The Legal 500

Vietnam

Editorial

Overview

The Vietnamese market remains beset by economic problems, while the offshore oil dispute with China sparked riots in the north of the country. The banking sector has been quite severely affected by the instability, there is considerable concern over the country’s debts and capital markets work has ground to a virtual standstill in the country. M&A work is on the rise, though, with a number of smaller transactions by new investors in the market, particularly private equity companies, which have been attracted to opportunities in the food and beverages, wider consumer products and banking sectors. Japanese and Korean companies continue to be Vietnam’s main source of investment.

Vietnam remains a challenging market for companies to enforce international arbitration awards and firms are increasingly lobbying foreign embassies and officials to intervene to remind Vietnamese authorities of the country’s obligations under international treaties.

The departures at Mayer Brown JSM continued, with Mai Phuong Nguyen leaving the banking and finance team in May 2014. Corporate and M&A specialist Kevin Hawkins had departed earlier in the year to join Vilaf, becoming the latter firm’s first international partner and was given a remit to grow the US client base. One of the major talking points in the market has been the departure of real estate doyenne Dao Nguyen from Allen & Overy LLP, following her much heralded arrival when the firm set up in August 2012. Nguyen has established DN Legal. LCT Lawyers completed a Vietnam-only merger with Singaporean law firm Rajah & Tann LLP to create Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers. Hogan Lovells International LLP’s practice has been depleted by the departures of Stanley Boots and Christian Schaefer to found a new firm concentrating on corporate law.

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Legal Developments in Vietnam

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  • The Law On Price by Dr. Nguyen Anh Tuan, LNT & Partners

    On 6/20/2012, the National Assembly voted to adopt the Law on Price (the "LOP") in response to the public demand for an effective legal framework to control price manipulation from dominant enterprises such as gasoline, electricity, etc. The law will take effect from 01/01/2013 and repeal Ordinance No. 40/2002/PL-UBTVQH10 dated 26/4/2002 of the National Assembly Standing Committee (the "Ordinance"), which is conceived as outdated and containing certain provisions contravening the WTO’s regulation. This article describes the main features of the law and provides some insight into its potential impacts on the Vietnamese economy.

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