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Who Represents Who

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Allen & Overy LLP has broad-ranging expertise across industry sectors, variously including advising Ageas Insurance International on the formation of a bancassurance joint venture company, acting for KKR on the divestment of its holdings in Masan Consumer and assisting Hong Kong-based Welkin Capital with its investment in restaurant chain operator Huy Vietnam Group Limited. Practice head Duc Tran and senior associate Tina LeDinh handled all of these deals and are highly recommended.

Allens advises companies on M&A, restructurings, joint ventures and complex commercial matters. Its clients include leading domestic companies and foreign investors from the US, Japan and Thailand, among them Abbott Laboratories, PepsiCo, Mitsui & Co and Siam City Cement Corporation, as well as leading domestic companies, Robert Fish, Linh Bui and Bill Magennis are recommended.

Baker McKenzie acted on one of Vietnam’s largest-ever acquisitions when a cross-office team which included Yee Chung Seck and Oanh Nguyen advised Singha Asia on its $1.1bn purchase of a stake in Masan Group. The highly regarded Fred Burke is another key contact, having been involved in an impressive amount of M&A since moving to the country close to 20 years ago.

Frasers Law Company’s ‘business-focused approach and practical advice’ attract a high number of M&A deals; recent highlights encompass the retail, pharmaceuticals, TMT and real estate sectors. Names to note include highly regarded founder Mark Fraser and Justin Gisz, who ‘demonstrates a wealth of experience in advising on complex business issues’. A number of senior associates left to found Lexcomm Vietnam LLC.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s Hanoi-based Vietnam managing partner Tony Foster is a go-to lawyer for complex transactions, including equitisations of state-owned enterprises. Among private sector mandates, he led the advice to Metro Group regarding the €655m sale of its Vietnamese Metro Cash & Carry wholesale operations to Thailand-based TCC Holding, a deal which involved a change of acquirer and tax complications. Infrastructure expert Don Stokes relocated from Japan to the Ho Chi Minh City office.

Vilaf regularly acts as local counsel on huge cross-border transactions, such as GE’s $17bn acquisition of Alstom’s power and grid business, and in deals involving foreign companies investing in Vietnam, including Mondelēz International’s $370m acquisition of a controlling stake in listed company Kinh Do Corporation. Vo Ha Duyen and Dang Duong Anh are two names to note in the sizeable team.

Local firm YKVN has an impressive breadth of experience, as evidenced by recent key deals such as Power Buy Company’s purchase of a stake in electronics store operator Nguyen Kim, as well as other transactions in food and beverages, aviation, e-commerce and energy. The sizeable team is located in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as Singapore, and includes co-head Diep Hoai Nam, Truong Nhat Quang and Vu Dzung.

Audier & Partners Vietnam L.L.C.provides valuable advice which cuts to the crux of an issue’. Managing partner Nicolas Audier was involved in all of the firm’s recent key deals, which included assisting two high-profile European corporates with establishing networks in Vietnam and also advising on a series of divestments. Nicolas Picard and Bernadette Fahy are also recommended along with Etienne Laumonier, who is ‘particularly good at coming up with practical solutions’.

DFDL’s Vietnam managing director Jérôme Buzenet is able to leverage the firm’s regional network of offices to act on cross-border deals such as advising Singaporean shipping services company S5 Asia Group on its acquisition of Jardine Shipping Services (Vietnam). Huynh Dai Thang is also recommended.

At Duane Morris Vietnam LLC, general director for Vietnam Dr Oliver Massmann, who is fluent in Vietnamese and is particularly experienced in dealing with state-owned enterprises, has recently handled a number of complex joint venture agreements and restructurings on behalf of international investors. Giles Cooper is recommended for M&A deals.

Jeff Olson is the key contact at Hogan Lovells International LLP, having recently handled cross-border transactions in sectors such as food and beverages, IT and education. Samantha Campbell, whose expertise ranges from corporate transactions to project and finance matters, is another name to note.

LNT & Partners’ growing practice attracted work from several new clients, including acting for Glomed Pharmaceuticals on a $75m cross-border M&A deal, advising Euro Automobile Company on a reorganisation and demerger, as well as assisting Nippon Paper with an investment into a local company. Nguyen Ha Quyen Hoang heads the team, which also includes Net Le and Anh Tuan Nguyen.

Mayer Brown JSM acts on complex inbound transactions, including Cassia Investments’ minority buy-in to fast-growing restaurant chain Kafe Group, and also uses its Vietnam office as a base for significant cross-border deals such as advising Development Finance Asia on establishing an equipment leasing business in Myanmar. Practice head David Harrison and associate Orsolya Szotyory-Grove, who has expertise in licensing and developing internal corporate compliance programmes, are recommended.

Russin & Vecchi, LLC’s longstanding clients include Post-Telecommunications Joint Stock Insurance Company, which Mai Thi Minh Hang advised on the sale of 37% of newly issued shares to Dongbu Insurance, TNT Express and Delta Airlines. Nguyen Huu Minh Nhut, who ‘takes good care of his clients’, the experienced Sesto Vecchi and Nguyen Huu Hoai complete the four-partner team.

Tilleke & Gibbinsimpresses with its efficiency and cost-effectiveness’. The practice has particular sector strengths in life sciences and manufacturing, helping clients such as Fruit of The Loom and Merck Sharp & Dohme on a range of corporate issues, including licensing. Practice head Michael Lee has ‘a very good understanding of how to circumnavigate the logjams and challenges posed by the legislative environment in Vietnam’. Jim Dao leads on franchising while Vinh Quoc Nguyen heads the M&A team.

New York-qualified Manchoong Ha at Bizlink Lawyers recently advised Dae You Decal Company on establishing print business operations and acted for a foreign investor on its acquisition of a stake in a Vietnamese financial company. Samsung C&T and Doosun Vietnam are also clients of the practice.

Nishimura & Asahi is a go-to firm for Japanese investors in Vietnam and recently acted on JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corporation’s acquisition of an 8% stake in state-owned Petrolimex and advised JFE Steel Corporation on taking a 5% interest in Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation. Hikaru Oguchi heads the practice, which also includes Vu Le Bang and Ha Hoang Loc.

Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers has ‘wide-ranging expertise’ and is ‘a reliable adviser in a challenging environment’. The team advises on joint ventures, restructurings, incorporations and M&A, notably with a recent uptick in real estate-related deals such as Nam Long Group’s sale to two Japanese investors. Practice head Vu Thi Que has ‘deep insight into M&A and regulatory matters’.

ZICOlaw (Vietnam) Ltd’s strength in the real estate sector drives much of its corporate and M&A work, but the practice – which is led by David Lim – also is active across a number of different industries, including recent e-commerce, natural resources and manufacturing instructions. Clients include Vinacapital, Meito Transportation and Tokyo Keiki.

ACS Legal’s founding partner Mark Oakley is a ‘reliable adviser possessing outstanding expertise in private equity and cross-border transactions, combined with strong negotiation skills’. He heads a ten-lawyer team with sector knowledge spanning food and beverages, retail, hospitality and gaming.

Asia Counsel Vietnam Law Company Limited attracts diverse corporate instructions, recently including advising Apple Tree Group on its acquisition of an online retail start-up company and assisting the developer of the Ho Chi Minh City German House PPP project on all contractual and legal matters. Managing partner Christian Schaefer and Minh Duong are the key contacts.

Recent highlights for Hanoi-based BDLawyers and Associates Co., Ltd (BDLAW) include assisting construction materials company Viglacera Corporation with setting up a joint venture with a Japanese partner and advising Oil Korea on establishing a lubricants factory in Vietnam. Nguyen Thanh Ha heads the team.

Bross & Partners’ senior partner Tran Anh Hung regularly handles M&A deals, as well as general corporate advisory matters. His track record includes having acted for Hapro Corporation and Vinaconex Viettel Financial.

Leadco Legal Counsel’s team, which is led by Tran Si Vy, was involved in one of the markets top deals of 2015 when it advised the Vietnam Lottery Company on negotiating a partnership with a Malaysian investor to operate a countrywide computerised lottery system. Kyocera and Toyo Denso are also clients.

All four of LuatViet’s partners regularly handle corporate and commercial matters and Ha Dang Quang has been particularly active on the firm’s recent M&A deals. Clients include a mix of foreign investors and established local companies, with sector strengths in real estate and energy.

Phuoc & Partners has particular expertise in the pharmaceuticals, real estate, consumer goods, TMT and automobile sectors. Versatile lawyer Dinh Quang Thuan is the key contact in Ho Chi Minh City.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal Vietnam Company Limited expanded its practice in 2016 with the recruitment of new Vietnam head of legal services Nasir Dao PKM Abdul and a team of lawyers from Gide Loyrette Nouel A.A.R.P.I.’s now defunct Ho Chi Minh City office.

At Vision & Associates, practice co-heads Luu Tien Ngoc and Dang Trong Hieu and managing partner Pham Nghiem Xuan Bac are regularly instructed by domestic and international clients on advisory and transactional matters.

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