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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Vietnam > Corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and M&A
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Allen & Overy LLP provides 'insightful and very practical advice' on a range of deals, including heavyweight work for both trade investors and private equity clients. Duc Tran¬†has 'deep knowledge of legal practice in Vietnam and how international business works' - he advised ThaiBev on the Vietnamese law elements of its approximately $4.8bn purchase of a 54% majority stake in Sabeco (producer of 333 Beer and Saigon Beer), the largest inbound M&A deal in Vietnam to date. Another cross-border deal with Thai involvement was advice to Malee Group on its ŗłŅ330m purchase a 65%¬† majority stake in LongQuanSafe food, which owns the Bidrico drinks brand. In addition, Tran and senior associate Tina Ledinh¬†(whose 'thoughtful review makes any output more practical and sensible - she has a well-balanced sense between international standards and Vietnamese practice') assisted UBS as advisers to SCIC with the auctioning of a 3.33% stake in Vinamilk. The same two lawyers also advised BNP Paribas on selling its stake in Orient Commercial Bank. Private equity is another area of expertise and the team acts for leading names in the sector; the practice advised KKR on its $250m investment in Masan Group.¬† Kido Group is a notable domestic client, while the team handled Asean company Jollibee Foods' purchase of a further 10% stake in its Vietnamese joint venture SuperFoods Group, owner of the Highlands Coffee and Pho 24 chains. Other clients include notable sovereign wealth funds. Named lawyers are based in Ho Chi Minh City.

At Allens, Robert Fish in Ho Chi Minh City, together with senior associates Mai Loan Nguyen and Ha Nguyen, advised the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on selling its Vietnamese retail banking business to Vietnam International Bank. Fish and Linh Bui assisted Hillhouse Capital with selling its 25% stake in Vina Café Bien Hoa to Masan Beverage; senior associate Ngoc Nguyen and associate Stephen Ngo, who was a new hire from Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP in Calgary, were also part of the team. Other clients include Abbott Laboratories, which Bui and senior associate Ngoc Anh Tran assisted with moving its majority stake in Domesco between two subsidiaries as part of a broader internal restructuring. The firm also acts for a number of Vietnamese businesses. Private equity clients include Standard Chartered Private Equity, which the firm advised on investments including a purchase of a stake in Online Mobile Services, which operates epayment network Momo. Bill Magennis is a key contact in the Hanoi office.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is, for many, 'one of the best law firms when it comes to investments into Vietnam - it provides quick responses, deep industry knowledge and appropriate advice'. Tony Foster, who is 'thorough and very experienced', and associate Eric Johnson, who was a new hire from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP in Hong Kong, are based in Hanoi; the duo, alongside counsel and Ho Chi Minh City office head Bui Thanh Tien, advised Jardines Cycle & Carriage on the purchase of a 10% stake in Vinamilk through both an on-exchange purchase and a private deal directly from the State Capital Investment Corporation. Tien also advised Mekong Capital on various investments, often working with recently promoted senior associate Phong Nguyen and associate Christopher Milliken, who was a new hire from Slaughter and May 's London office; Nguyen and Milliken are also based in Ho Chi Minh City. Don Stokes is now primarily based in Singapore, but continues to be involved in Vietnam-related deals, such as handling Quadria Capital's purchase of a stake in FV Hospital and Clinics. Other clients include Anheuser-Busch Inbev, which the team advised on a proposed investment in Sabeco, as well as VinaCapital and leading private equity houses. Senior associate An Hoang Ha is another key name in Hanoi.

VILAF¬†has a particular specialism handling the Vietnamese legal elements of heavyweight deals, frequently acting as co-counsel alongside major global firms.¬†Dang Duong Anh and counsel Vu Le Trung advised Shinsei Bank on its 49% purchase of MCredit, turning it into a joint venture with former sole owner Military Bank.¬†Tran Tuan Phong¬† and counsel Nguyen Vu Quynh Lam handled Siam City Cement's purchase of LafargeHolcim's 65% stake in Holcim Vietnam for ‚ā¨460m. Bui Ngoc Anh advised an international oil company on the sales of its Vietnamese LPG distribution and processing business and Thang Long LPG. Nguyen Quang Hung assisted Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank with purchasing 49% of BIDV Finance Company. Vo Ha Duyen¬†and senior associate Nguyen Thi Phuong Nga, who are based in Ho Chi Minh City,¬†advised Nawaplastic Industries on purchasing a further 29.5% of Bin Minh Plastics Company for $102m. Other clients include Vinhomes and leading private equity houses, including Partners Group. Kevin Hawkins¬†is now at ZICO Law. Named individuals are based in Hanoi except where stated otherwise.

YKVN is a popular choice for international investors looking for Vietnamese legal advice pertaining to their activities in Vietnam. Truong Nhat Quang and counsel Nguyen Nam Hung advised Techcombank on a VND8.4tn sale of treasury shares to Warburg Pincus, and, in a separate deal, assisted the same client with redeeming its shares from HSBC. Quang and Phan Vinh Nhan , in conjunction with Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy's Singapore office, advised Masan Group on its receipt of $150m of investment from KKR. Vu Dzung assisted Prudential Vietnam with selling the consumer finance part of its Vietnamese operations to ShinhanCard, and handled JD.com's purchase of a 20% stake in Tiki. Eli Mazur, whose work includes a significant amount of pharmaceutical and life sciences matters, is also a key contact in Ho Chi Minh City - his clients include Sanofi, among others. In the Hanoi office, Diep Hoai Nam  advised GE Vietnam on purchasing a steam generator plant in Quang Ngai province from Doosan Heavy Industries. Senior associate Nguyen Van Hai, who is based in Ho Chi Minh City, is a new arrival from Mayer Brown JSM. Other Vietnamese clients include Airports Corporation of Vietnam and BIDV. K. Minh Dang, who is based in the firm's Singapore office, handles work for cornerstone client GIC and also advised Shinhan Bank its purchase of ANZ Bank's Vietnamese operation by way of an asset sale.

Baker McKenzie 'exceeds expectations - it knows its subject matter and what clients want, meaning the advice is not only how to get things done but how to do it in ways better than the ones the clients thought of'. Lan Phuong Nguyen and Yee Chung Seck handle cross-border investments. Banking sector M&A deals include Nguyen Hoang Kim Oanh advising several investors on the purchase of a 15% stake in ACB from Standard Chartered. Key names in Hanoi include Chi Lieu Dang and recently promoted partner Thanh Son Dang, who handle heavyweight deals, and special counsel Richard Kim, who was a new recruit from LOGOS Attorneys at Law.

Frasers Law Company 'provides very thorough and caring advice that strikes the right balance between providing the right information without overdoing it - the team is strong across all practice areas and clients know they can speak to the various partners and associates and get straight to the point'. Mark Fraser is, for some, 'one of the best lawyers in the country - his work ethic is second-to-none'; he and senior associate Ho Thuy Ngoc Tram handle work concerning Vietnam's leading business names. Justin Gisz, senior associate Vo Mai Uyen Thi and consultant Nguyen Van Vien also handle heavyweight transactions, with Nguyen Thi Lang advising on matters include take-private deals. Stefano Pellegrino is another key associate. Other work includes assisting with commercial contracts and restructurings. Vietnam Infrastructure is among the firm's clients. Named lawyers are based in Ho Chi Minh City.

At Hogan Lovells International LLP, Jeff Olson advised Dun & Bradstreet on the sale of its Vietnamese business to CRIF, while Samantha Campbell, who divides her time between Singapore and Vietnam, advised the International Finance Corporation on purchasing a minority stake in Pan Farm, working with senior associates Eddie O’Shea and Long Huynh. Other clients include Under Armour and IBM. All individuals are based in Ho Chi Minh City except where stated otherwise.

Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers' team is 'responsive, knowledgeable and has an understanding of clients' business needs' and 'provides professional advice on both Vietnamese law and cross-border regulatory and compliance matters, which is very helpful to foreign investors'. Practice head  Vu Thi Que, senior counsel Tran Thi Phuong Thao and foreign counsel Ai Kawakami advised Sumitomo Forestry on an investment in An Cuong Woodworking. Thao and foreign counsel Logan Leung, who is 'responsive, provides practical advice and is understands of clients' needs and concerns', also acted as Vietnamese counsel to NakedHub on its sale to fellow co-working landlord WeWork. Que, Leung and senior associate Trinh Minh Duc assisted NIBE Industrier with its purchase of BriskHeat Corporation, which has its key manufacturing plants in Vietnam. Tran Duc Son is also involved in key deals; he advised Pilmico Foods Corporation, which is part of Filipino listed company Aboitiz Group, on its purchase of a 70% stake in animal feed producer Europe Nutrition. IT contracting is another area of expertise. Other clients include HP Inc, which the firm is advising on its integration of Samsung Electronics' printer business, The Weir Group  and other businesses from Europe, Korea, China and Japan. Hoang Thi Thanh Thuy is now general counsel at Siemens Vietnam.

Clients of Tilleke & Gibbins are 'very pleased with the level of service they receive and the level of resources committed to their deals - the advice provided is solid and the team has the commercial acumen to advise clients on practical steps to mitigate legal risks'. Thomas Treutler  'provides advice that clients can trust, and manages his associates well'. Treutler and recently promoted partners Vinh Quoc Nguyen, who provides 'solid advice at crucial moments', and Hanoi-based Kien Trung Trinh, plus attorney-at-law Chuyen Hong Huu Le, whose 'responses are quick and her advice reasonable', advised FMC Corporation on its acquisition of DuPont Vietnam as part of the global merger between Dow Chemical and DuPont. The practice also has considerable expertise in the pharmaceutical sector, with Merck, Johnson & Johnson and Servier notable clients. Attorney-at-law Tu Ngoc Trinh and Thai-qualified foreign attorney Waewpen Piemwichai handle franchising matters for clients including Hertz, Subway, Gap and Chikaranomoto Holdings (owner of the Ippudo ramen restaurant chain). Unless stated otherwise, named lawyers are located in Ho Chi Minh City.

Asia Counsel Vietnam Law Company Limited is 'excellent: the team is very responsive, commercial in its approach and very well managed - clients cannot fault them'. Minh Duong, who is qualified in Australia, has 'true international quality'; he advised Credit China Fintech on its purchase of a majority stake in fintech company Amigo Technologies, and assisted Rang Dong Plastics with its partial sale to Sojitz. The firm is also advising the owners of Ngu A Chau Service Production on the sale of the company to Japan's Takara Belmont Corporation. Managing partner Christian Schaefer is another key contact. Other deals include private equity transactions, with the firm handling work for leading names in the venture capital space. The team is based in Ho Chi Minh City.

At DFDL Legal & Tax, J√©r√īme Buzenet, who is based¬†in Hanoi, and Huynh Dai Thang¬†in Ho Chi Minh City assisted Affinity Equity Partners with the Vietnamese elements of its purchase of Lock & Lock, which has four subsidiaries in Vietnam. Tran Thi Vu Hanh¬†in Hanoi advised HanesBrands on a restructuring exercise.¬†Other work includes Buzenet and Hoang Phong Anh advising¬†Sumitomo Dainippon Pharma on a change of distributor in Vietnam. Advice to warranties and indemnities insurers on M&A deals is another area of expertise. Air Asia is also a client.

Duane Morris Vietnam LLC handles a range of work, ranging from cross-border M&A deals through to commercial contracts, outsourcing and franchising. Giles Cooper and senior associate Manfred Otto (who leads the firm's Japan desk in Vietnam) assisted Mulwarra Export with purchasing its Vietnamese distributor, and advised Yellow Star Investment on purchasing a minority stake in a health care business. Oliver Massmann and Hanoi-based special counsel Hoang Minh Duc are also key contacts. Other clients include Laurelton Diamonds and Spirax Sarco. Competition law is another area of expertise.

At Mayer Brown JSM, David Harrison and Hoang Anh Nguyen (the latter based in Hanoi) advised Standard Chartered on selling its stake in Asia Commercial Bank. Harrison, counsel Hai Thao Nguyen and senior associate Orsolya Szotryory-Grove, together with the firm's Singapore office, advised a private equity house on its purchase of a majority stake in Vietnam Australia School. The firm also acts for development banks, as well as Swire, which the firm advised on the Vietnamese elements of its sale of its cold storage business. Named lawyers are based in Ho Chi Minh City except where mentioned otherwise.

At Russin & Vecchi, LLC, Mai Thi Minh Hang, who is based in Hanoi, advised TNT Express on buying out its joint venture partner Vietrans and handled Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance's purchase of a 20% stake in Petrolimex. Hanoi-based name partner Sesto Vecchi handles a range of deals. In Ho Chi Minh City, Nguyen Huu Hoai and Nguyen Huu Minh Nhut handle a number of deals with significant real estate challenges alongside the corporate issues. The team is frequently referred work by Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP and is acting alongside it on Sealed Air's sale of the Diversey Care business to Bain Capital and Intel's carve-out of the McAfee cybersecurity business prior to the sale of a majority stake to TPG Capital.

Vision & Associates' Hanoi-based team handles corporate transactions as well as advisory and licensing work. Nguyen Thi Thanh Xuan handles key deals, with Luu Tien Ngoc providing general corporate advisory support to Rieke Packaging Vietnam, among others. Dang Trong Hieu assisted Bibomart with a restructuring exercise. Le Quynh Anh and Ngo Trung Hieu  also lead inward investment deals and Nguyen Bao Ngoc is a key senior associate. The firm also advises Southeast Asia Packing Company, Vinacapital Opportunity Fund and Under Armour.

ZICO Law handles work concerning foreign investment, commercial contracts, corporate structuring and other matters. Phuong Nguyen manages the firm's Hanoi office, while the firm's Ho Chi Minh City office was recently strengthened by the arrival of Tay Zi Li, who  relocated from Kuala Lumpur, and Kevin Hawkins, who joined from VILAF, who are the office's co-executive partners.  Phuc Nguyen is another key contact in Ho Chi Minh City. Clients include a number of well-known Malaysian and Chinese corporates. David Lim is now general counsel at Hongkong Land, based in Singapore.

At ACSV Legal, managing partner Mark Oakley and senior associate Elaine Chew advised L Concepts (part of the Longfort Group) on several investments in food and beverages, including purchasing Scoozi Pizza, which operates primarily in Thailand. Other work includes assisting with restructuring, private equity deals and fintech matters, as well as compliance issues. The group also acts for Ortholite Vietnam, which it advised on developing a new manufacturing plant in Binh Duong province. The team is based in Ho Chi Minh City.

Nicolas Audier, Etienne Laumonier and Bernadette Fahy are the key contacts at Audier & Partners Vietnam L.L.C., which has a track record acting for well-known European businesses.

At DIMAC, Le Thanh Tung and Hanoi-based Pham Quoc Tuan, who is the firm's managing partner, advised Square Communications Group on its sale of a majority stake to Hakuhodo. Nguyen Danh Cong is a new promotion to the partnership. Franchising is also an area of expertise. Named individuals are based in Ho Chi Minh City except where mentioned otherwise.

Lexcomm Vietnam LLC's team is 'responsive and practical on top of its technical ability'. Luong Van Trung and Nguyen Viet Ha advised Vietnam Australia International School on its sale to TPG. Ha also advised VMG Media on its sale of a 65% stake in VNPT Epay and on the public M&A side, assisted Daiwa Securities with a project to increase its stake in Saigon Securities. Other clients include VNPT. Named individuals are based in Ho Chi Minh City.

Net Le, Xuan Thuy Nguyen and Ngoc Hong Bui are the key names at LNT & Partners, which has a track record of handling cross-border deals and restructuring work.

Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu advises a range of leading Japanese clients on their investments in Vietnam. Ho Chi Minh City office head Motohisa Nakagawa and foreign attorney (as the firm calls Vietnamese-qualified lawyers) Long Nguyen advised Dentsu on forming a joint venture to develop software. The duo, along with foreign attorney Hoai Tran and the firm's Tokyo office, also advised Lifull on its purchase of a a Vietnamese IT company. In the Hanoi office, Kiego Sawayama and foreign attorney Ngoc Hoang advised Mitsui-Soko International on forming a logistics joint venture in Japan. Sawayama also advised Fuji Solar on its takeover of Vietnam Sunergy Company, a manufacturer of solar panels.

At Nishimura & Asahi, Ha Hoang Loc and Vu Le Bang handle inbound investment from Japanese organisations into Vietnam, including via public M&A. Taro Hirosawa in Hanoi and Kazuhide Ohya in Ho Chi Minh City are the key Japanese-qualified lawyers in the team. Clients include leading Japanese conglomerates as well as businesses operating in sectors including heavy industry, software and the financial services.

At ATIM, Hien Nguyen handles foreign direct investment work. In addition to having expertise in regulatory and consumer law matters,  Quang Trinh handles work concerning licensing and market entries for international businesses. The firm acts for, among others, notable clients in the direct selling industry. The firm is based in Ho Chi Minh City.

Dilinh Legal's team is based in Ho Chi Minh City. Michael Lee, who was previously with Tilleke & Gibbins, handles inbound investments and commercial contracting, among other work. Diep Hoang, who is another key name, handles work including advice to Quant Edge on commercial contracts, as well as assisting with inbound investments in Vietnamese companies. Dat Hoang Truong is an of counsel of note. The firm also acts for Far Eastern Apparel, Ipsen Pharma and a number of Taiwanese clients.

At DN Legal, firm founder Dao Nguyen is the key name. The practice has a track record handling work including corporate advice and M&A transactions.

At EPLegal Limited, Tony Nguyen advised Hyundai Freezer Plant on setting up a new foreign-owned company to distribute its freezers in Vietnam. He also advises StreamCast Asia on various matters. Other work concerns the energy sector - a key strength for the firm - and pharmaceuticals.

Phuoc & Partners has a track record acting for listed clients on M&A deals. Nguyen Gia Huy Chuong is a key name.

PLF - Law Firm's Bui Cong Thanh advised the International Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation on creating a $3m international standard laboratory in Vietnam, and assisted Tex Corp with launching a new zipper manufacturing business in the country. Khai Hoan - a manufacturer of medical gloves - is also a key client.

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