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Allen & Overy LLP’s team ‘responds quickly and has good knowledge of the power and project finance industries across the South-East region’. The team advises participants, including developers, lenders and export credit agencies, on a range of high-level infrastructure and industrial projects. Adam Moncrieff, who ‘has experience of the power industry and project finance, and is up-to-date on market practice’, and Duc Tran advised a consortium of lenders, including Crédit Agricole, on the restructuring of the financing of the Cai Mep port project. Tran led a team, which included senior associate Tina LeDinh, that advised a number of export credit agencies, including leading names from Japan and Korea, on the Nghi Son Refinery project. Power projects remain a staple of the practice, with Moncreiff and Tran, inter alia, advising First National Operation & Maintenance as sponsor of the 1.2GW Nam Dinh coal-fired power project.

Allens handles work concerning megaprojects in the oil and gas space, as well as advising on coal-fired power station matters. Bill Magennis, Hop Dang and Chung Le, who was elected to the partnership in July 2017, are advising the Nghi Son project company, a $9bn oil refinery project capable of refining 200,000 barrels of oil a day, which is scheduled to enter into operation in 2017. Downstream hydrocarbons work includes Magennis assisting Mitsui Oil Exploration with its development of a gas block in Vietnam, which included handling transportation and sales agreements, and Magennis and Dang advising ExxonMobil on a gas-to-power project using gas from blocks off the coast of Da Nang. Magennis and Dang are also advising on the Vung Ang II and Vinh Tan III coal-fired power station projects. Senior associate Giang Nguyen is also a key contact.

Clients appreciate Frasers Law Company’s ‘professional knowledge and experience in the power sector, and in financing too – they can rely on the firm’s advice to give in-depth analysis of the subject matter’. The team advises sponsors, financiers and buyers from China, Japan and beyond on projects concerning conventional and renewable energy, hydrocarbons, ports and telecoms. Nguyen Thi Lang is ‘conscientious, devoted and able to analyse and interpret the relevant law – she does well in handling complicated megaprojects’, while Mark Fraser is ‘very approachable, highly knowledgeable and responsive’.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer primarily advises on coal-fired power projects, but also handles matters concerning renewable energy, ports and telecoms. Among other projects, Tony Foster advises AES Corporation and the project company on the 1.2GW Mong Duong 2 coal-fired power project, which was constructed on a build-operate-transfer (BOT) basis. Lender-side highlights include Foster and Don Stokes, plus counsel Bui Thanh Tien, advising the lenders to the Phu My power project; the three also advised Crédit Agricole on BP’s sale of its share in the project to SembCorp Utilities. The team also advises Vietnamese companies investing across the region from its offices in Vietnam; Stokes advised Viettel on forming a joint venture with two Myanmar companies to invest $1.8bn in Myanmar’s telecoms network. Other clients include the Vietnam-Oman Investment Company, which Tien advises on investing in a water treatment plant in Hanoi, and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation, which Stokes advised on financing several mobile telephone tower projects in Myanmar created by Apollo Towers, a Myanmar entity.

Vilafprovides timely responses, and has a good knowledge of Vietnamese law regarding BOT projects’. The firm has a particular strength in coal-fired power projects, but also handles port and renewable energy projects. Vo Ha Duyen and counsel Trinh Luong Ngoc advised SCG Chemicals on buying out its joint venture partner from the Long Son Petrochemicals project in a transaction governed by Vietnamese law. Energy highlights include Duyen advising JBIC on its role as financing arranger of the Vung Ang 2 BOT power project, while on the contractor side Tran Tuan Phong advised Marubeni on its role as engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor alongside Vietnam Electricity for the 600MW Thai Binh 1 coal-fired power station. Other clients include Sumitomo.

Audier & Partners Vietnam L.L.C. handles headline infrastructure mandates concerning transport construction and power projects. Nicolas Audier advises construction companies on the Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi mass transport projects, Etienne Laumonier and Nicolas Picard worked with him on those projects respectively. Audier and Laumonier also advise a number of investors involved in a BOT power project. Other highlights include Laumonier advising an international commodity trader on selling fuel to Vietnamese power stations.

DFDL handles agenda-setting work regarding clean and renewable projects, as well as petrochemical matters. Jérôme Buzenet and Hoang Phong Anh assisted Qatar Petroleum with the sale of its stake in the Long Son Petrochemicals Company, a joint venture developing a petrochemicals facility in Vung Tau province, to Vina SCG Chemicals for $36.1m. The team also advises public sector clients and, Martin Desautels, who divides his time between Vietnam and Phnom Penh, advised the Ministry of Industry and Trade on project agreements for the Nam Dinh coal-fired power project.

Duane Morris Vietnam LLC provides ‘excellent client service and response times’, handling a range of energy work with a particular niche in solar and other renewables.Oliver Massmannknows the Vietnamese legal system inside out, and always has great practical solutions – his years of experience shines through’; he is advising Prolignis Energie Consulting on a project to create a biomass power plant, and is assisting TCP Asia Pacific with a project to build six solar plants, creating a total of 420MW of capacity. Cross-border work includes Giles Cooper advising Sembcorp Utilities on a 225MW gas-fired power station in Myingyan, Myanmar; the BOT agreement was signed in January 2017. Other work concerns midstream oil and gas, and wind energy.

Hogan Lovells International LLP’s group ‘provides a consistently high standard of work, at a par with what international clients are used to in more established jurisdictions’. Samantha Campbell leads ‘a team which is able to handle multi-jurisdictional project structures: the spectrum and quality of its expertise makes it a one-stop shop’. Campbell and senior associates Long Huynh and Eddie O’Shea advised the IFC and a co-investor on an investment in a local hydropower producer, and assisted a consortium of lenders led by ANZ Bank with restructuring a loan to the Saigon Premier Container Terminal project. Other work concerns transport and wind power. The firm also acts for JBIC, as well as leading oil and gas players.

Lexcomm Vietnam LLC’s team is ‘helpful regarding various issues in the petroleum and energy sector, such as production sharing contracts, taxes, gas and renewables’. Pham Ba Linh, who is ‘enthusiastic, client-focused and knowledgeable in Vietnamese legal issues’, advises international oil companies on block developments and farm-ins regarding oil and gas blocks, and also serves as local counsel for developers of gigawatt-plus coal fired power stations. Nguyen Viet Ha and Linh advise Vietnam Electricity as project sponsor of the 600MW Nghi Son 1 coal-fired power plant, which will be built by an EPC contractor. Work in the transport space includes Linh advising a contractor on the Ho Chi Minh City Metro Line 1 project. The firm also acts for water plant developers and road constructors.

Mayer Brown JSM advises investors, including private equity funds and development banks, on mostly renewable, but some more conventional energy projects, including handling the international aspects of foreign projects from Vietnam. David Harrison and senior associate Orsolya Szotryory-Grove advised private equity fund Climate Investor One on financing a 20MW solar project in the Philippines, and assisted DEG with providing secured facilities to Max Power for the refinancing of several gas turbines in Bangladesh. Other clients include international banks, and mid – and down-stream oil and gas companies.

Baker McKenzie handles project finance matters, ranging from industrial zones and energy through to telecoms. Oanh Nguyen advised Canadian Solar on securing $60m of financing from the IFC for a solar power project. Chi Lieu Dang and Tran Manh Hung also play key roles in major mandates.

EPLegal Limited’s Ngo Quynh Anh and Tony Nguyen advised the Vinh Son Song Hinh company on drafting three EPC contracts for hydroelectric projects, and assisted PetroVietnam with several offtake agreements. Other clients include PVC-MS, which the firm advised on contracting out services for a steam turbine generator.

PricewaterhouseCoopers Legal Vietnam Company Limited’s Nasir Dao and senior lawyer Le Anh Tuan act as regulatory counsel on significant projects in the sector, handling licensing and other matters. The team assists with refinery projects, as well as handling oil and gas matters and advising on matters concerning several coal-fired power stations.

Vision & Associates advises on matters including road construction projects and renewable energy, acting for investors, developers and suppliers alike. Le Quynh Anh advised VTEC on contracts for an electronic toll collection system on several motorways, with Luu Tien Ngoc also a key contact.

YKVN’s K Minh Dang handled several matters for PetroVietnam, including advising on the implications of foreign contractors withdrawing from two offshore oil and gas blocks, and assisting with repatriating oil and gas assets from three liquidated Bermudan companies. Senior associate Pham Minh Thang is also noted.

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