Vietnam

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Frasers Law Company

Established in 2004, Frasers Law Company has established itself as a highly regarded firm in Vietnam. The firm maintains offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm’s breadth of work includes banking and finance, capital markets and corporate and M&A. The banking and finance team advises on refinancing and restructuring existing loans with particular emphasis on infrastructure projects in the energy sector.

The firm’ capital markets team works closely with the banking practice to advise on matters including structuring and tax issues and convertible debt securities and structured products.

In corporate and M&A work, the firm advises across a range of matters including acquisitions, divestments and related financing arrangements, capitalisations and entity establishments.

The projects team has expertise in sectors including energy, oil and gas, utilities, transport, telecommunication, and mining and natural resources.

 

Key clients  

Clients include FamilyMart, Vinacapital Ventures, Sojitz Corporation, PTTEP, Bacardi, and EFG-Hermes UAE.

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

The banking team had a busy year with a high volume of mandates, taking on roles for lenders and borrowers. The firm also advised clients operating in the financial services space on regulatory compliance matters.

A cross border deal on the capital markets equity side saw the firm advise an international client on its secondary offering. On the debt front, the firm had a busy year with roles on confidential matters involving bond issues, hedging, swaps, and loan–note conversions.

The corporate team was active on a host of transactions, advising clients such as merger participants, buyers, sellers, and joint venture partners. Additionally, the firm advised on several corporate restructuring exercises.

A non-confidential projects highlight saw the firm advise the developer on the development of a high value multi-purpose real estate project.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Long An 3GW LNG-fired power station

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Banking and finance

"Responsive."

"The law firm has a solid knowledge about our business and the local and international legal matters relating to the capital market, M&A deals."

"Good track record means they have prior knowledge of the issues that can arise and possible solutions. Responsive and thorough in providing advice. "

 

M&A

"They are highly responsive, had excellent turnaround times and worked very seamlessly with us in our role as leading/international counsel."

"Very experienced with good insurance sector knowledge."

"They gave a comprehensive view and where risk was apparent, gave an evaluation both as to the type of risk and qualifying it but also suggested how mitigation may be possible."

"Excellent and timely communications, quick to understand the issues, concise and thorough. Personalised and friendly service. Extremely helpful. I felt I mattered."

"They are thorough, well aware of the laws and regulations and how they are applied."

"Advising the legal requirements for the transaction and reviewing the draft of tenancy agreements."

"Provided high-quality advice in relation to regulatory requirements, drafting of investment agreements, and conducted legal due diligence, in relation to the transaction in Vietnam."

"Extremely fast and reliable. Practical approach. Deep market knowledge."

"Frasers are professional, courteous, commercial and pragmatic, providing clear advice, both responsive and proactive, prompt and helpful."

"Professional, qualified, experienced with excellent mix of international experience and understanding of local practices, rules and regulations."

"Responsive, and clear, to-the-point advice."

"Responsive, quick turnaround, attention to detail, easily digestible advice."

"The firm has a great ability to blend western style legal advisory services with unique knowledge of the Vietnam market. Frasers is also very responsive in terms of turnaround time."

"Their actions are always quick and address the issues accurately. "

"They always answer our questions very quickly and precisely. "

"Very responsive, always willing to help. Justin Gisz provides clear answers and highlights any grey areas or 'unknowns' for us to consider. "

"Very strong technical knowledge of Vietnamese regulation and laws; very responsive."

"The team is responsive and we have access to the managing partner. They are extremely knowledgeable in local Vietnamese laws and their practical application."

"Quick response, deep consideration."

"Fraser's strengths revolve around the commitment and experience of its partners and senior staff who are always deeply involved in the work and client engagement. This leads to faster turnaround times and more practical solutions to issues that arise."

 

Project development

"Attentive, knowledgeable, prompt with responses and delivery within agreed timelines."

"The collaborators of the company are always competent and try to reach the steps of the establishment process in an efficient way."

"Deep knowledge of Vietnam and laws impacting foreign investors."

"Absolutely satisfied by results, quality, communication skills, timing, quotation, etc."

"Fast, efficient and to the point."

"Professional, hard-working, fast response."

"Their ability to speak Vietnamese to a Vietnam-based company as well as their way to navigate Vietnam and US law was helpful in the resolution."

"They are incredibly responsive, and are able to return complicated advice very efficiently. Frasers are an established entity in Vietnam which allows them to pursue their clients' interests quite forcefully - as any local competition recognises and respects their views."

"Frasers did a very good job combining its deep understanding on local law and practice with its great commercial sense on cross-border infrastructure and energy projects."

"Agile. Professional. Responsive."      

"They are responsive and provide clear, commercial advice."

"Mark Fraser is practical in his approach and a good communicator."

"This firm provided in-depth advice on business lines."

"Quick response and deep consideration."

 

Restructuring and insolvency

"Professional, thorough, prudent and strategic."

"Mark and team were extremely knowledgeable in the area of employment law, hence the reason we hired them. They were extremely helpful and very professional throughout the entire engagement and the contracts and advice they provided were clear and conscience and easy to understand."

"Very diligent. Listening well. Understanding the needs of the customer. Great understanding of local situation and good local network."

"Good communication and deep understanding of cross-country issues."

"Expertise on Vietnamese legal company set-up as well as local knowledge. Super-responsive."

"M&A corporate issue and regulation on foreign investment."

"Very proactive on seeking the right information from the correct individuals. Providing timely feedback and advice."

 

Mark Fraser

"Responsive and knows insurance law."

"A highly experienced and technical but commercial lawyer with good insurance sector experience."

"Depth of knowledge; comprehensive; responsiveness."

"Highly experienced and gives great technical yet commercial advice."

"He is very concise and clear in offering advice and suggested forward engagement."

"Problem solver."

"Very personable and knowledgeable. Easy to talk to and a superb listener. Identifies the heart of the matter quickly and gives excellent problem solving advice."

"Excellent local knowledge; and its practical application and implications in both a local and regional context."

"Good grasp of legal query and response."

"He is good with managing relationships and ensuring that work is delivered on time and on budget."

"He is very supportive for us and always thinks about the client's risk and benefit."

"Mark did a very good job combining his deep understanding of local law and practice with his great commercial sense on cross border infrastructure and energy projects."

"Mark Fraser is practical in his approach and a good communicator."

"Mark is professional, courteous, commercial and pragmatic; providing clear advice, both responsive and pro-active, prompt and helpful. He also delegates well but is available and personally involved in the matter."

"Mark is responsive, knowledgeable, calm, professional and always polite."

"Strong legal knowledge."

"Very approachable, attention to detail and responsiveness."

"Very personable service and ability to provide local market knowledge in context of his experience working in other markets such as the UK. Mark is also extremely responsive, often responding much sooner than expected, even where no time frame has been requested."

"Very professional and full of knowledge and experience."

"He gave good advice to us and was supportive."       

"Competent; informative; great communicator."

"He is always accessible and has a good local network."

"He's very communicative and has incredible legal knowledge."

"They were very responsive and good knowledge on the topics at hand."

"Quick response and deep consideration."

"Gains a full understanding of the requirements and executes as required."

 

Justin Gisz

"Attentive; meets deadlines; knowledgeable and a great project team member."

"All attributes are pretty good."

"Incredibly responsive. Deep market knowledge and understanding of the fintech industry and issues. Solution-oriented advice and can-do attitude. Best lawyer I ever worked with."

"Strong knowledge and experience about the transactions, technical issues; provides advice to cover all risks related to each transaction and issues arising during the deal; advises good solutions in dealing with difficult conflicts."

"The lawyer has strong knowledge and experience on M&A deals, legal technical practices, etc. Always provides advice to cover all risks related to each transaction and each issue arising from the deal/transactions. Advises good solutions in difficult conflicts or situations."

"Understood our stance and position. Not afraid of going up against a large company."

"Very clear responses and willing to help."

"Justin gets deeply involved in each engagement and takes a very hands-on approach. When legal issues arise, he works hard to find solutions and build consensus with other parties. He takes ownership of deals and ensures they continue to move forward if others appear to be delaying the process or stumbling."

 

Duong Thi Mai Huong

"Excellent legal technical knowledge; very responsive; ran the whole transaction."

 

Phuong Nguyen

"She has much valuable experience in the tax and legal fields to support us when adjusting our contract forms."

 

Stefano Pellegrino

"Stefano was the first lawyer that help us to establish the newco in Vietnam, he has always proved himself prepared and helpful."

 

Nguyen Mai Phuong

"They were very responsive and good knowledge on the topics at hand."

 

Phung Thi Thanh Thao

"Efficient and to the point; meets deadlines."

 

Ho Thuy Ngoc Tram

"She's knowledgeable, strategic and attentive; and spot on advice and recommendations."

"Corporate. Foreign investment."

"Very responsive to our requests, thorough in approach and knowledgeable about Vietnamese corporate laws. Comes up with pragmatic solutions to our problems."

 

Ngoc Minh Truc Vo

"Communication and excellent support."

KPMG Law

Under the leadership of managing partner Richard Stapley-Oh, KPMG Law’s team of over 50 personnel is spread across three offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is recognised for its focus on corporate and M&A work. Sectors of experience include real estate, hospitality, healthcare, energy and manufacturing.

 

Key clients  

Clients include Simon Holding and Anheuser-Busch.

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

During the review period, the firm was active on several confidential deals, often acting for buyers on real estate acquisitions. An interesting highlight saw the firm assist an international brewery on a merger.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Anheuser-Busch / SAB Beer merger

Mayer Brown

Active in Vietnam since 1994, Mayer Brown performs consistently across the financial and corporate space from two offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm performs consistently well in banking and finance, capital markets, corporate and M&A, and project development.

The firm’s ability to act as both international and local counsel on large project mandates provides it with an edge over its competitors.

The firm is active in a range of sectors such as financial services, real estate, food & beverages, education, and natural resources.

 

Key clients  

The firm’s extensive client list includes Marubeni, Vietnam Oil & Gas, FMO, IFC, Vietinbank, Techcombank, Vingroup, San Miguel, and The Ministry of Finance.

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

The banking and finance team primarily acted for lenders, often on project financing transitions.

The corporate team recently advised repeat client DEG on an investment in Onstar Express in the largest Series B funding round in Southeast Asia. Another highlight saw the firm advising a foreign investor on a high-value acquisition in the banking and financial services sector.

In the projects space, the firm assisted an energy company in the development of a 3GW LNG-to-power project in Vietnam.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Anova Feed $10 million term loan facility

DEG acquisition of a stake in Onstar Express

Leapfrog Investments acquisition of a stake in PasarPolis Indonesia

Long An 3GW LNG-fired power station

Quang Tri Province 144MW wind farm

Robi Axiata $95 million financing

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Banking and finance

"Mayer Brown posses significant experience and know-how to navigate local issues especially with the central bank.”

 

M&A

"Responsiveness and knowledge of the market."

"Mayer Brown is an exceptional firm and in particular David Harrison in their Ho Chi Minh City office. David's in-depth knowledge of the Vietnamese market is impressive and unmatched." –

 

David Harrison

"David not only provides technical and commercial legal advice but understands how to manage both local and international parties in order to close a deal, which is a critical factor in emerging markets."

"No one that we have come across knows Vietnam like David. It's literally 'his backyard'.”

 

Ben Thompson

"Positive and commercial approach with in depth knowledge of power project finance."

Nishimura & Asahi

Active in the jurisdiction since 2010, Nishimura & Asahi has offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and is the first Japanese firm to establish operations in Vietnam.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is recognised for its corporate and M&A work.

 

Key clients  

Key clients include Mitsui & Co, Yamato Kogyo, Stripe International, Pacific Petroleum Import Export Trading, and Japan South East Asia Growth Fund.

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

During the review period, the firm primarily advised buyers - often Japanese companies - on acquisitions in a wide range of sectors, including banking and financial services, real estate, construction, oil and gas, and manufacturing.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Aozora Bank acquisition of a 15% stake in Orient Commercial Joint Stock Bank

Haseko Corporation acquisition of 36% stake in Ecoba Vietnam

Mitsubishi UFJ Lease and Finance acquisition of a 49% stake in VietinBank Leasing     

Samty $141 millionacquisition of a 90% stake in S-VIN Vietnam Real Estate Trading

Yamato Kogyo $100 million acquisition of a stake in Posco SS Vina

Yurtec Corporation acquisition of Sigma Engineering

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

VILAF

VILAF houses its large team of 80 practitioners in its two offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Vo Ha Duyen acts as the Chairperson with Dang Duong Anh acting as managing partner of the Hanoi practice.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is ranked among the market-leading firms across the board in the financial and corporate space.

The banking and finance team is skilled in advising on cross-border financing transactions, particularly in financing of BOT power projects.

In the area of capital markets the firm is experienced in advising on transactions such as IPOs on international and domestic exchanges, acquisitions, structured de-listings for private equity acquisitions, equity capital market products and bond offerings.

The firm’s corporate and M&A practice caters to clients in their joint ventures and M&A transactions with a particular focus on energy and infrastructure, banking, real estate and construction and retails sectors.

The projects team has capabilities in advising domestic and foreign project developers and lenders, particularly in the renewable energy sectors.

 

Key clients  

Notable clients include Marubeni Corporation and KEPCO, Credit Suisse, Sumitomo Corporation and Vinagroup.

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

The banking team recently acted for lenders, borrowers, and lessors in matters such as aircraft leasing, acquisition financing, and project financing.

A precedent-setting capital markets deal saw the firm act for a private equity firm on its purchase of convertible bonds issued by a local bank. On the equity side, the firm notably advised on several confidential cross border IPOs.

A corporate highlight saw the firm advise CapitaLand on a landmark real estate acquisition. In another eye-catching deal, the firm acted for the sell-side in the sale of an electrical equipment manufacturer. This marked the largest inbound industrial transaction in Vietnam by a private company for the last three years.

The project development team was primarily active in the energy space and advised on several high-value projects.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Affinity Equity Partners $130 million subscription to Chi Minh City Development Joint Stock Commercial Bank bonds

HSBC VND 600 billionunsecured bond issue

KKR acquisition financing

Nghi son 2

Stark Corporation $240 million acquisition of Thinh Phat Cables

Van Phong 1

Vietravel $36 million aircraft leasing

Vung Ang 2

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Banking and finance

"Very knowledgeable, solid firm on aviation matters."

"Provide excellent quality service in timely manner."

 

M&A

"Constructive and clear legal advice; good general knowledge of how business in Vietnam works, enabling the client to understand associated risks and make appropriate decisions at times."

"Provided professional, timely & accurate legal advice throughout the due diligence procedure and shares purchase agreement."

 

Project development

"Timely feedback, connecting local developers."

"Deep knowledge of the sector, practical structures for sponsor's consideration."

"Good knowledge of the energy sector and local laws, the team is very proactive and always available. "

"Timely response; good understanding of local market norms and regulations."

 

Restructuring and insolvency

"A thorough and detailed organisation."

 

Dang Duong Anh

"Always available to provide feedback; good knowledge of the market and industry."

 

Hung Q Nguyen

"Supportive and responsible for work."

 

Vaibhav Saxena

"Timely response and flexibility."

"Very responsive; takes our matter seriously; practical and pragmatic approach; reasonable fees."

 

Phong Tran

"Profound and versatile knowledge; high ethics."

 

Ngoc Luong Trinh

"Detailed; provided clear and constructive legal advice."

 

Duyen Ha Vo

"In-depth knowledge of how business in Vietnam works, which has proved to be helpful to the client's decision making many times."

 

Trung Vu

"Pleasant, patient and professional."

YKVN

Since its founding in 1999, YKVN has expanded its presence to include Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore. The firm’s deep bench is headed by Truong Nhat Quang.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

YKVN is one of the clear market leaders in the financial and corporate space in Vietnam.

The film's banking and finance practice’s scope of work includes corporate finance, asset finance, project finance and bank M&A.

In the area of capital markets the firm covers equity offerings, debt offerings, investment funds and regulatory advice.

The corporate and M&A team advises on cross-border mergers and acquisitions, disposals, corporate restructurings and takeovers.

The firm is actively involved in project development work where it advises on matters across an array of industries.

 

Key clients  

Key clients include Vingroup, BNP Paribas, Bank of China, China Development Bank, Vietcombank, SoftBank Investment Advisers, and BNP Paribas.

 

Research period review: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

The banking team advised lenders and borrowers on matters including syndicated financing and project financings.

In capital markets, the firm notably advised the issuer on the first successful bond listing on the Taipei Exchange. On the equity side, the firm took on issuer side roles on high-value IPOs, including the IPO of Central Retail Corp.

A headline worthy deal on the corporate front saw the firm advising the sellers in the largest investment in Vietnam by private equity funds to date.

The projects ream was recently active for developers and sponsors in the energy and healthcare sectors.

A staffing change saw the departure of partner Phan Vinh Nhan, who left for Allen & Gledhill.

 

Deal highlights: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Apollo Global Management $480 million acquisition of Showa Denko’saluminum can and aluminum rolling business

Heliconia Capital Management $23 million acquisition ofThai Binh Duong Medical Joint Stock Company

Ho Chi Minh City Development Joint Stock Commercial Bank $65 million

KKR / Temasek Holdings $650 million investment in VinGroup

Masan Group Corporation $200 million financing

Mitsubishi Materials Corporation $90 million acquisition of a stake in Masan High-Tech Materials Corporation

Nam Dinh 1

Phu My Hung Development Corporation $80 million bond issue

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

M&A

"YKVN provided us with practical legal solutions."

ACSV Legal

Established in 2014, Vietnamese law firm ACSV Legal has an office in Ho Chi Minh City. The firm extends its presence throughout Southeast Asia and the Pacific Rim by its membership of One Asia Lawyers.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is recognised for its corporate and M&A practice. It takes on mandates including mergers, acquisitions, corporate restructuring, joint ventures and private equity.

AN Legal

Founded in 2012, AN Legal is a Ho Chi Minh City-headquartered boutique law firm with seven qualified lawyers. The firm has expanded its client base through alliances with Wilberforce TJC Law Corporation in Singapore and HUYN Law in Korea.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm specialises in corporate and M&A work in the real estate sector and takes on work from foreign and local investors and investment funds.

 

Key clients

Key clients include VinaCapital, Kido Group, Nam Phat Villa and Hotel Company, VinaCapital Danang Resort, Catalina Corporation and Cypress Assets.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

The firm continued its focus on the real estate sector, taking on roles for both buyers and sellers on acquisitions and on regulatory compliance work. An interesting mandate saw the firm advise Taekwang Vina Industrial Joint Stock Company on post-acquisition regulatory compliance work. Another highlight saw the firm advise a local investment management company on acquiring a mixed-use project.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Cong Hoa Garden development

Cypress Assets $50 million divestment of stake in Sheraton Nha Trang Hotel & Spa

Industrial Development Company $65 million acquisition of Vinh Phuc Province Industrial Park

VinaCapital Danang Resort $133 million acquisition of Orchard Parkview and Golden Mansion real estate assets

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Financial and corporate

“Wonderful experience. Knowledgeable and responsive!”

“They advised on how the local regulations and laws applied in reality. They did very well.”

“Responsive and good knowledge in their legal field.”

 

 

M&A

“AN has good knowledge about the market and can foresee the potential risks in a deal. Their strong network supports the process and makes it quick and efficient.”

“Very responsive and commercial, detailed knowledge of the laws and practical cases in Vietnam, and precise and comprehensive advice.”

 

Project development

“They provide foreign company standards to foreigners with good local legal knowledge and experience.”

ATIM Law Firm

Founded in 2007, ATIM Law Firm is a full-service firm with offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Quang H Trinh serves as senior partner.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is recognised for its work in the corporate and M&A and project development areas.

The firm’s expertise includes advising on inbound and outbound M&A, joint ventures and regulatory compliance.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the review period, the firm was primarily active in the corporate and M&A space. The firm advised on several confidential matters related to regulatory compliance, corporate restructuring, and entity establishment. 

ATS Law Firm

Founded in 2014, ATS Law Firm is a full service law firm with offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is noted for its banking and finance, corporate and M&A and project development practices.

Sectors of activity include, real estate, engineering and construction, hospitality, healthcare, and fintech.

 

Key clients  

Recent clients include 1 Number Finance Information Technology, Marubeni Heavy Equipment, Turner Vietnam, and Chau Thanh Trading and Investment.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

M&A

"ATS have supported us on numerous transactions over the years (mainly investment deals of various forms). We have found them to be reliable and thorough, very comprehensive on the preparatory side of deals, and proactive in moving things towards the finishing line. They compare very well with law firms we use elsewhere in Asia, and I have recommended their corporate team to others on a number of occasions."

 

Project development

"Helped a lot in this transaction since they have much knowledge and experience in the hotel management industry."

"ATS law firm was very professional, dedicated and experienced in the hospitality field. They consulted us with many crucial points that helped our company to achieve the most beneficial agreement."

"What made us most satisfied was their prompt and professional consultancy."

"What we like most about ATS law firm are their quick response and enthusiasm in consultancy."

 

Restructuring and insolvency

"They listen to and check very carefully our requirements before giving legal advice."

Audier & Partners

Established in 2008 by name partner Nicolas Audier, Audier & Partners has offices in Hanoi and Ho Hi Minh City in Vietnam and an office in Yangon in Myanmar.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is strongest in capital markets and corporate and M&A and has well-established banking and finance and project development practices.

The banking and capital markets teams are experienced advising clients such as lenders, borrowers, issuers and guarantors.

The corporate team advises across the spectrum of corporate transactions, including joint ventures, mergers, acquisitions and restructurings.

On the projects side, the firm has acted for a range of clients including developers, project companies, construction companies and property managers.

 

Key clients  

Notable names include Central Group, Dior, DFS Group, Accor and Uber.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Capital markets

"They responded on a difficult topic in just over 24 hours: superb."

 

M&A

"Professional. Responsive. Highly skilled. Technically savvy. Business-minded."

"Extremely timely and reliable service, precise answers on complex issues which have so far proved to be correct - good professional network of contacts within business and government in Vietnam."

 

Project development

"Very proactive."

"They know Vietnam very well and are also warning against possible booby traps. They are very straight and honest. When they do not know the answer, they say it."

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has over two decades of experience in Vietnam and has offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. The firm has a highly regarded practice in Vietnam and is helmed by managing partner Frederick Burke.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm boasts a market-leading corporate and M&A practice and has strong banking and finance, capital markets and project development practices as well. 

The banking and finance team provides advice on matters including project finance, real estate finance, financial services regulatory, structured finance and asset finance.

The capital markets team is experienced in handling both debt and equity matters.

On the corporate side, the firm acts for domestic and international clients across a diverse range of sectors including banking and financial services, consumer products, real estate, energy, retail, healthcare, food and beverage and technology.

 

Key clients  

The firm’s impressive client list includes Canadian Solar, Hopewell Group, Tata Group, Sumitomo, Maybank International, The Korea Development Bank, HSBC, VNPay, Mittal Steel and Standard Chartered Bank.

Bizlink Lawyers

Full-service law firm Bizlink Lawyers was established in 2007 and has offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Do Trong Hai serves as managing partner of the firm.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is strongest in corporate and M&A, and is active in banking and finance, capital markets and project development.

The firm takes on clients from a range of sectors including real estate, hospitality, industrials and manufacturing, and technology.

 

Key clients  

Key clients include TRAPHACO, Vietcombank, T&M Vietnam Investment, DT Xuan Truong, MUFG Bank, Ford Vietnam and Vietnam Airlines Investment.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Banking and finance

"Provide quality service in a timely manner."

 

Restructuring and      insolvency

"A difficult disposal due to regulations in Vietnam. The firm was able to provide advice to facilitate the sale."

DFDL

DFDL in Vietnam was founded in 2006 and has offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Martin Desautels serves as managing partner. The firm sits on the panels of several financial institutions including Standard Chartered Bank, IFC, ADB and ANZ Group.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm has a strong project development practice and also has well-established banking and finance, capital markets and M&A practices.

The banking team provides advice on matters including acquisition finance, project finance, structured finance and leveraged finance.

The corporate and M&A team is active in industries including energy, real estate, mining, retail and technology and telecommunications.

The projects team often acts for regulators, financiers, and developers and has a particular focus on the clean energy space.

 

Key clients  

Notable clients include China Exim Bank, AIG, Groupe Rocher, BG Container Glass and B Grimm.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Banking and finance

"They are very responsive and knowledgeable."

 

Investment funds

"They provided guidance around the necessary steps for our investment in a Vietnamese company. This was a new geography for us to invest in and they were able to walk us through the necessary steps."

 

M&A

"The team was very thorough and knowledgeable. Providing excellent legal advice and finding creative solutions to secure the deal."

DTLAW

Vietnamese law firm DTLaw is headquartered in Hanoi and maintains a branch office in Ho Chi Minh City. The firm is led by managing partner Nguyen Tat Thang.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is recognized for its corporate and M&A and project development capabilities.

The firm is experienced in a range of sectors, including logistics, food and beverage, consumer products, construction, healthcare, and real estate.

 

Key clients  

Clients include Casablanca Viet Nam, Hop Luc Construction, Mitsui Kinzoku Catalysts Viet Nam, Fitness Good Family Technology, andInternational Chauntea Trading.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

M&A

"Legal due diligence of the company and draft share transfer contract."

 

Project development

"They have a strong understanding of international rules of sale and purchase of goods. They helped us detect and minimise the risks in our transactions."

Duane Morris Vietnam

Duane Morris has over a decade of experience in Vietnam and has 14 lawyers across its offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Key figures include partner Oliver Massmann.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is strongest in banking and finance and project development and has well-established capital markets and M&A practices.

The banking and finance team advises on a range of transactions, including regulatory compliance and the corporate team often advises foreign companies in setting up operations in Vietnam.

The projects team is experienced in sectors including oil and gas, real estate, energy, shipping, transport, construction, mining and telecommunications.

 

Key clients  

Notable client names include Sembcorp Utilities, John Laing Investments, Clermont Holdings, Vietinbank, Bank of Singapore and Bootstrapper.   

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

M&A

"Hard-fighting and relentless in negotiations."

"Depth of knowledge; commercial mind; good problem-solving solutions; strong local partner."

 

Project development

"The firm was knowledgeable on trade agreements specific to Vietnam."

EPLegal

Since its establishment in 2009, EPLegal has developed a specialisation in the oil and gas sector. Tony Nguyen is the founding partner and Annie Ngo is managing partner. The firm has offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and, outside Vietnam, in Birmingham in the United Kingdom.

The firm has strong M&A and project development practices and is also active in banking and finance.

Clients include oil and gas operators and contractors, well-known financial institutions and capital funds, as well as companies operating in other heavy and service industries of Vietnam.

During the research period the firm advised on various M&A transactions in the oil and gas and power industries including a joint venture involving a solar power project.

In banking and finance work the firm advised on restructuring and project financing mandates.

In projects the firm was active on confidential mandates in sectors such as oil and gas and energy.

 

 

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

International law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has been active in Vietnam since 1994. The firm has offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City and is led by managing partner Tony Foster.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is one of the clear market leaders in the jurisdiction, with strong work in banking and finance, capital markets, project development and corporate and M&A. It also boasts a restructuring practice.

The banking and finance team has extensive experience advising financial institutions across the gamut of financing transactions.

In M&A the firm is experienced in financial institution acquisitions often acting for foreign clients in acquiring and disposing of shares and assets of local financial institutions. It also acts for private equity houses and strategic investors on high-value deals.

The firm’s infrastructure team has historically advised on market first mandates since 1994, including the first BOT power project in the jurisdiction. Key sectors of focus are conventional and renewable energy, transport, oil and gas, mining, utilities and social infrastructure. 

 

Key clients  

The firm’s client list includes big names such as Pepsi, Sembcorp Utilities, MUFG Bank, Warburg Pincus, Morgan Stanley, HSBC, JBIC, Temasek and Asian Development Bank.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Banking and finance

"They have deep understanding of both current and potential changes of the regulatory procedures for private placement of SOEs in the country, which are really helpful when we are to grasp the whole picture of the process."

 

Capital markets

"FBD helped with reviewing the loan agreement and Vietnam's mortgage agreements, and registration of relevant charges in Vietnam."

 

M&A

"Commercially savvy."

"Deep knowledge of the oil and gas industry in Vietnam. Particularly in connection with the sale and acquisition of assets in such a sector."

"Perfect knowledge of local legal environment, interpretation of law, discretion and confidentiality."

"Responsive and pragmatic advice."

"Sound advice translated into practical work."

"They are proactive and well aware of the legal landscape on the jurisdiction. The quality of documentation and negotiation is excellent."

"Provided that rare combination of clear legal advice and commercial acumen."

"Commercial - was able to adopt a commercial mindset considering the post-deal implications/practicalities for us as the client. Prompt and responsive. Vietnam local staff is well versed in local law and banking practices to assist with settlement."

"Clear advice on the risks. Clear advice on structure. Commercial approach."

"Very competent in M&A and all associated questions when it comes to capital market law; very responsive, good communication skills."

 

Project development

"1. Depth of sectorial experience. 2. Issue analysis. 3. Legal risk mitigation advisory."

"In-time knowledge of Vietnamese laws and regulations. Proactive advice."

"Accuracy, reactivity, insights, recommendations."

"No one knows infrastructure and energy in Vietnam better than Freshfields. They are unrivalled in this regard. Their local and international insight cannot be beaten."

"Swift and timely responses. Input which was to the point and practical when we were looking to gain an understanding of a new market and legal framework. Pinpointing real risks well."

"Swift and timely responses. Pragmatic/Commercial approach. Input which was to the point (not theoretical but practical) when we were looking to gain some understanding of the local market and legal framework."

"Pragmatic lawyers with good experience with international EPC contracting practices. Efficient and well-coordinated within the network."

"Extremely knowledgeable. Pragmatic advice. Providing tailor-made solutions. In-depth knowledge of the energy sector in Vietnam."

"Very professional, knows the Vietnamese context well, and delivers in a timely manner."

Lexcomm

Established in 2016, Lexcomm is a full-service law firm with offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Key figures include Pham Ba Linh who serves as managing partner and head of the energy, project finance and infrastructure practices.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is strongest in project development and has robust banking and finance, capital markets and M&A practices.

The banking team is experienced advising clients such as international lenders, commercial banks, and borrowers on matters involving project finance, acquisition finance, debt restructuring, syndicated lending and regulatory compliance.

On the projects side, the firm has a focus on the energy, oil and gas, utilities, transport, mining and infrastructure sectors. It has a wealth of experience advising an array of clients across a broad spectrum of upstream, midstream, power, petrochemicals and mining exploration projects.

 

Key clients  

Notable client names include BNP Paribas, HSBC, UBS, MUFG, Premier Oil Vietnam, Korean National Oil Corporation, Vietnam Electricity, Techcombank and Nexif Energy Management.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

M&A

"Fast feedback, commercial approach to legal advice."

"They gave us sound advice on evaluation, legal matters, contract terms and negotiation, future operation. "

 

Project development

"Responsive, accurate and communicative."

"They are always very responsive, incisive and very commercial. We always appreciate their guidance on how to navigate some of the complex matters."

LNT & Partners

Founded in 2006, LNT & Partners is a full-service independent firm with strong banking and finance, corporate and M&A, and project development practices. The firm has offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and has expanded its presence in the region with an office in Singapore.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The banking team has experience in advising on matters involving regulatory compliance, project finance and syndicated loans. The M&A team’s expertise cover an array of sectors including, banking and finance, real estate, insurance, pharmaceuticals, and logistics.

 

Key clients  

Noteworthy clients include Vietcombank, Vietcombank, ANZ, Standard Chartered, Mizuho Bank, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, FWD Insurance, and Vingroup.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Banking and finance

"Good understanding of oil and gas issues and requirements under Vietnamese law re issuance of guarantee."

 

M&A

"The firm gave timely advice and have short response time on document revision."

PLF Law Firm

Established in 2009, Vietnamese firm PLF Law Firm has 15 lawyers and maintains an office in Ho Chi Minh City. Since 2017, the firm has been in association with LawPlus, a law firm focusing on the Thailand and Myanmar markets.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is noted for its banking and finance and corporate and M&A practices.

Key sectors of focus include manufacturing, real estate, technology, food and beverage.

 

Key clients  

Key clients include Tech-Link Silicones, Viet Glove Corporation, Kurabo Vietnam, HTech Resources, and Boncafe Vietnam.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Project development

"PLF is very detailed in its procedure and this style of law firm is a great support to us: it explains to the other party an accurate picture of the risks they are taking."

PwC Legal

Active since 2000, PwC Legal Vietnam is a full-service law firm with offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Key figures include Le Anh Tuan, who serves as director and partners Phan Thi Thuy Duong and Eva Szurminska Jaworska. Access to PwC’s global networks provides the firm with an edge when catering to client needs.

 

Focusses / specialisms

PwC Legal in Vietnam is ranked for its corporate and M&A and project development work.

The firm takes on clients from sectors such as agriculture, real estate,food and beverage.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the review period, the firm acted for foreign clients on matters involving acquisitions, disposals and regulatory compliance.

The firm enhanced its corporate offering with the addition of partner Eva Szurminska Jaworska from ILC Legal.

 

Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

M&A

“In-depth knowledge of the complexities of foreign investment in Vietnam, responsiveness to our needs, and creative and pro-active in problem-solving when we hit brick walls.”

 

Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers

Full-service law firm Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers has offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi and is a member of the Rajah & Tann Asia network.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm is a consistent performer in banking and finance, M&A and project development.

The banking team is experienced advising both lenders and borrowers and often acts for financial institutions. The corporate team acts on M&A matters and is also experienced advising venture capital funds and seed companies

 

Key clients  

Notable clients include CMX Sunseap, Hong Leong, RBC Water, Givaudan and VinaCapital.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

M&A

"They provide professional and usable advice. Also speak good English. They understand what an international client is looking for. "

"Expertise from the industry. Fast response to questions. Good counsel in areas of conflict. Solution-focused."

Shearman & Sterling

New York-headquartered law firm Shearman & Sterling caters to the Vietnam market through its Singapore and Seoul offices. Key figures include partners Anna Chung, Ben Shorten and Bill McCormack.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm has a particular focus on the energy sector and is experienced in advising on matters involving project finance, capital markets, corporate and M&A, and project development.

 

Key clients  

Recent clients include Korean Export-Import Bank, Sinosure, China Development Bank.

The EZLAW Firm

Boutique firm The EZLAW Firm has been active since 2016 and has offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is recognised for its work in the corporate and M&A space. It advises both local and domestic companies on corporate transactions across a range of industries.

 

Key clients

Clients include Thien Viet Securities, ILA Vietnam, Phat Dat Real Estate Development Corporation, KIDO Group and Pantos Logistic.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period, the firm often acted on buy and sell-side roles on acquisitions and also advised clients on establishing entities across sectors including real estate, education, financial services, logistics and healthcare.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Eight At Work acquisition of Travelindochina

Thien Viet Securities acquisition of a stake in Finhay

Tilleke & Gibbins

Regional player Tilleke & Gibbins has been active in the Vietnam market since 1992 and has offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm has strong corporate and M&A and project development practices and is also active in the banking and finance space.

The corporate team has particular strength advising on market entry, corporate formation and licensing, and mergers and acquisitions.

In projects, the firm has experience acting for national and international operators in the petroleum industry, as well as companies focused on new energy technologies and renewables such as solar power and wind power.

 

Key clients  

Notable clients include XTB International, Carousell, and Marsh and McLennan Group.

VCI Legal

Founded in 2002, VCI Legal is recognised for its banking and finance, M&A and project development work. The firm is led by managing partner Tuan A Phung and has offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm’s experience covers advising domestic and foreign clients such as banks and financial institutions, corporates, and private equity and investment funds across a variety of transactional matters.

 

Key clients  

Clients include University Access Centre Vietnam, Solenis Singapore, PHILUX Global Fund, Thai Tuan Co, Grab and March Global.

Venture North Law

Venture North Law is a boutique law firm founded in 2013 with a focus on the corporate and M&A practice area. The firm is helmed by managing partner Nguyen Quang Vu and is headquartered in Hanoi.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm takes on clients from sectors including real state, technology, consumer products, hospitality, energy, fintech and transport.

Victory

Founded in 2014, Victory is a full-service law firm headquartered in Ho Chi Minh City. Key figures include Dung Le, who acts as managing partner. The firm has a regional presence through associate firm networks in Korea, Japan, Singapore and Thailand.

 

Focusses / specialisms

The firm is strongest in corporate and M&A and project development work.

It has experience advising on matters in a wide range of industries including energy, logistics, hospitality, real estate, manufacturing, media, food and beverage and construction.

 

Key clients

Recent clients include Beta Holdings, Dai Dung and Solarxell.

 

Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Highlights from the research period include advising a local manufacturing company on issuing bonds; advising several foreign investors in acquiring local companies; and assisting a foreign projects firm with implementing a rooftop solar project.

The firm strengthened its corporate offering with the additions of counsels Bernadatte Van Lindth from DTH-Law and Vien Dong Le from Indochine Counsel.

 

Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Ba Ria-Vung Tau sea port development

Beta Holdings restructuring

Vision & Associates

Led by managing partner Pham Nghiem Xuan Bac, Vision & Associates performs consistently in banking and finance, corporate and M&A and project development. The firm maintains an office in Ho Chi Minh City.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The banking team advises both foreign and local banks in developing their businesses and on transactions. The firm is also often engaged to advise government agencies.

The corporate team is capable of handling matters including regulatory compliance, privatisations, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions.

In projects, the firm is active in sectors including transport, energy and real estate, often acting for foreign and local clients.

 

Key clients  

The firm’s client list includes ANZ Banking Group, OCBC, UOB, Korea Development Bank, HSBC, Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corp, World Bank, HALCOM Vietnam and China Development Bank.

Watson Farley & Williams LVN

In May 2019, LVN & Associates became a fully integrated member of the Watson Farley & Williams’ network to form Watson Farley & Williams LVN. The firm is located in Hanoi with Linh Doan being a key figure.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm’s strength lies in its banking and projects practices. It is focused on the energy and infrastructure sectors and is capable of advising clients throughout the energy project life cycle. The firm has been involved in almost all BOT coal-fired power projects in Vietnam and is also active in the renewable energy space.

In the projects space, the firm advises government agencies, international lenders and investors on both inbound and outbound work including regulatory issues, and project finance and foreign investment deals.

 

Key clients  

Notable clients include The Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, Toyo Ink, and the Asian Development Bank. 

ZICOlaw

With offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, ZICO Law in Vietnam has been active since 2011 and operates as a full-service law firm under the leadership of managing partner Phuong Nguyen. The firm boasts membership of the regional network of ZICO Law.

 

Focusses / specialisms 

The firm has strong banking and finance, corporate and M&A and project development practices. The banking team advises clients such as financial sponsors, corporations, and financial institutions across all stages of transactions. The corporate team acts for a variety of clients, including sovereign wealth funds, real estate developers, and private equity funds. The projects team has experience in sectors including energy, utilities, oil and gas, transport, real estate and construction.

 

Key clients  

Key clients include Hongkong Land, Sotetsu Holdings, Green Waste Management and Sunseap Group.

 

Client feedback: 31st edition (2020/2021) 

Project development

"Quick responses - helpful advice."