The Vietnamese economy is a dynamic growth area, hailed by many analysts as one of the fastest growing in South East Asia with huge potential for inward foreign investment. In common with many developing countries, an under-developed domestic economy colliding with an influx of foreign investment has led to volatility. This has been expressed in many forms including: steep rises (and falls) in the real estate sector, erratic stock market performance, high inflation, and currency devaluation.
Though corruption and inflation remain issues in Vietnam, the country
is rapidly expanding and attracting interest from multinationals,
including international law firms. Freshfields, Baker & McKenzie and
Mayer Brown JSM already have a longstanding presence in Vietnam, but
earlier this year magic circle firm Allen & Overy announced that it
too would open offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi in 2012; a move one
in-house counsel at an international bank labelled "the biggest
shake-up in the legal market for years"....
CONTEXT AND TRENDS
Though Vietnam's state bank curbed inflation rates this year, the country's weak macroeconomic fundamentals have not been repaired. Practitioners say that the legal market has not developed alongside the markets; they frequently deal with slow regulators and ambiguous laws....