The Legal 500




Myanmar’s focus on political and economic reform has seen it grow into an attractive South East Asian investment target in a range of sectors including telecoms, infrastructure, and energy and natural resources. Indicative of this fast-growing reputation, in March 2014 Myanmar’s Ministry of Energy awarded tenders to explore for oil and gas in 20 offshore blocks to international energy companies such as Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips and Total.

The Foreign Investment Law of November 2012 eased the regulatory regime for firms keen to establish a foothold in the country. The international firms to take advantage of this include Stephenson Harwood, which entered into a formal association with established domestic player U Tin Yu & Associates, and Baker & McKenzie Yangon, which opened in February 2014, while Allen & Overy became the first Magic Circle firm to open a Yangon office in May the same year. The entry of Duane Morris LLP in September 2013 through a tie-up with Singapore-based Selvam LLC marked the first US firm to dip its toe into Myanmar. It has a presence in Yangon through Selvam & Partners.

With partner-level presence on the ground understandably small in what is still an emerging market, most firms continue to focus on running Myanmar desks from their main Asia Pacific offices: Mayer Brown JSM, Herbert Smith Freehills LLP, and Linklaters Singapore Pte. Ltd are several notable examples.

The granting of 15-year telecom licences to Norwegian telecoms player Telenor and Qatar-based Ooredoo to provide nationwide mobile communications services marked one of the largest investments in the country’s infrastructure, as well as a test of its telecoms and property laws. Allen & Overy LTD and VDB Loi were among the many firms which advised on pre and post-tender issues. Other major sources of work include the Ahlone natural gas fired project in Yangon, which is one of Myanmar’s largest private power projects and key to meeting its future energy demands. Mayer Brown JSM is advising project sponsors Toyo Thai Power Corporation and 8 Coins Capital in that matter.

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Legal Developments worldwide

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  • Recent Issues of Data Protection Regulation in Korea

    The Personal Information Protection Act ("PIPA") was enacted as a general law of personal information in March 2011 to fulfill the need for presiding rules to govern personal information protection. In fact, there have already been a number of special laws governing personal information protection in various special areas and cases, such as The Act on Promotion of Information and Communications Network Utilization Information Protection ("Network Act") governing information and communications services, and the Use and Protection of Credit Information Act ("Credit Information Act") governing personal credit information. Special laws prevail over the general law, when in conflict with individual articles of the general law.
  • Work Permits for Foreign Shareholders and Managers in Turkey

    Since last 10 years the financial developments and the promising financial and technological progresses notably in energy, tourism and infrastructure sectors have attracted the foreign investors' interest. Since the number of foreign investments has been increasing within these developments, the question, if a company may have foreign shareholders and foreign board members has come to the fore. This was actually the result of the frequent change in laws as part of adaptation progress to E.U legislation. 
  • Concerns regarding UCA as a result of coalition agreement Michel I


    The intellectual property rights (IP) are conceptually is linked to both intellectual and industrial rights in Turkish legislation. Intellectual property rights are almost related to the intellectual and artistic works, linked rights (neighboring rights), computer programs and databases and protected with royalty, while industrial rights contain patents, utility models, trademarks, industrial designs, topographies of integrated circuits (chips), geographical indications, plant varieties, other names and signs, trade secrets (know-how, undisclosed information) and they are protected with industrial and exclusive rights.
  • An Overview of FIDIC Rules

    FIDIC, (Federation Internationale Des Ingenieurs Conseils), International Federation of Consulting Engineers aims to find a resolution in construction sector. There are five different FIDIC contracts in different colors that regulates different and separate obligations and rights. Today FIDIC is applied to 30 % of international construction project contracts. In Turkey, FIDIC mostly was preferred in high volume construction projects such as Marmaray Bosphorus Project, Baku Ceyhan Pipeline Construction Project, Ankara- Istanbul Highway Construction. 
  • Delivery of Leviathan Gas through Turkey

    Israel's offshore Tamar and Leviathan gas fields in Eastern Mediterranean Sea have a significant discovery in order to meet Europe's rising gas and energy need.
  • Present and Future of Renewable Energy Resources Support Mechanism in Turkey: “YEKDEM”

    Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority ("EMRA") has announced on 1st October 2014 that the electricity manufacturing license holders producing electricity from renewable resources are required to submit their applications for Renewable Energy Resources Support Mechanism ("YEKDEM") for the year 2015 until 31th October 2014, in order to benefit from the facilities regulated by the related legislation.
  • Re-employment of Employees & Constructive Dismissal Claims

    This update reports recent developments on employment law and practice in Singapore.
  • Comprehensive Measures to Protect Personal Data in the Financial Sector

    The following is a summary of the press releases made by the Financial Services Commission on 10 March 2014. These are action items and policies that the FSC and relevant ministries are seeking to implement. The following measures have developed from a series of measures previously announced since the data leakage from the three credit card companies were revealed last January.
  • Essilor’s Proposed Combination with an Optical Lens Maker in Korea is Blocked

    In its press release on March 17, 2014, the Korea Fair Trade Commission (the "KFTC") blocked the proposed acquisition of 50% shares by Essilor Amera Investment Pte. Ltd. (a subsidiary of Essilor International S.A., the largest optical lens maker in the world) in Daemyung Optical Co., Ltd. (the second largest optical lens maker in Korea) citing inter alia the likely lessening effect on price competition and the probable future abuses of the enhanced market power. On top of the expressed competitive concerns, the KFTC observed that allowing foreign firms to acquire local firms and turn them into their local sub-contractors worsens the competitive market structure of the domestic optical lens industry.

Press Releases worldwide

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