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Editorial

With one of the world’s fastest rates of economic growth, the Trump administration’s rejection of the Trans-Pacific Partnership has not put too much of a dampener on Vietnam’s economy, which is ‘one of the most dynamic emerging countries in East Asia’ according to the World Bank. Manufacturing remains a key sector – according to the Brookings Institution a tenth of the world’s smartphones are made in Vietnam – and local conglomerate Vingroup is in the process of creating a plant to build cars under the home-grown Vinfast brand. To fuel this industrialisation, much work in the country concerns energy developments and infrastructure projects.

Vietnam's popularity with tourists has had a knock-on effect in the construction industry, with new hotels being built in major cities and in coastal regions. Agriculture (Vietnam notably being a top exporter of rice and coffee) is a key part of the economy, but not a hefty generator of legal work. Oil and gas work exists too to a limited extent, although crude oil has fallen behind the likes of fruit and vegetables and smartphones to thirteenth in the list of exports.

FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

VILAF

With 24 years of experience in Vietnam, VILAF is one of the largest law firms in Vietnam and consistently ranked as a first-tier law firm by The Legal 500, IFLR1000, Asia Law and Chambers and Partners. VILAF has been representing clients in many complex cross-border M&A, large financing and capital markets transactions, and major infrastructure and energy projects in Vietnam. The firm’s long-term clients include, among others, Marubeni Corporation, Mizuho Bank, ANZ, Sumitomo Corporation, Phillip Morris, BNP Paribas, Siam Cement Group, Capitaland, Jollibee Foods Corporation, HSBC, Hoa Lam, Ford, and GM.

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FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Lexcomm Vietnam LLC

Lexcomm Vietnam LLC (Lexcomm) is a pre-eminent full-service commercial law firm with market-leading practices and an established bench of highly experienced legal practitioners spread across the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offices. The firm is a significant legal force in this emerging market, and the clients value the depth of the Vietnamese law capabilities.

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FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Vietnam

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Vietnam, a leading law firm, offers clients access to a network of over 1,200 legal professionals across 30 offices in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and the United States of America via the firm’s membership with the Taylor Wessing group. The firm traces its beginnings to 2005 when a team of experienced Vietnamese lawyers came together to set up what was formerly known as PBC partners. A subsequent joint venture in 2016 with the sixth largest law firm in Singapore, RHTLaw Taylor Wessing, led to a brand relaunch and the firm became known as RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Vietnam.

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Much international investment comes from South Korea and Japan with corporates from those countries having particular visibility in a variety of sectors. A number of US companies also have a key presence in the private sector.

Most law firms have a presence in both national capital Hanoi and economic powerhouse Ho Chi Minh City. A number of international firms, including global firms and regional firms from across the South East Asia region are present, with varying degrees of local law capability. Japanese and South Korean firms, in particular, are very focused on servicing clients from their homelands. Key local firms include YKVN and VILAF.

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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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