Firms To Watch: Leading firms

BNG Legal has offices in Cambodia and Myanmar. With Darwin Hem; Jeffrey Simon and Tok Thavsothaly at the helm the firm is well-placed to advise foreign and local clients on a broad range of issues.
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Leading firms in Cambodia

Bun & Associates

Bun & Associates advises on a broad array of legal and tax matters and is ‘active in the market‘.  It continues to enjoy a steady flow of M&A instructions and its banking and finance practice has noticed a significant increase in compliance work particularly in relation to the fintech industry. In addition, the firm recently launched a health care practice group. It also has a dedicated practice that deals with insurance matters and its labour and employment team continues to thrive. The dispute resolution offering has been busy too acting on a range of contentious matters including some commercial arbitrations. The firm has a dedicated technology and telecommunications practice group that has been advising both mobile telecommunication operators and other clients such as internet service providers on some major transactions. Bun Youdy  is one of the key senior members of the firm. 

Testimonials

Bun and Associates has a big team. It is able to handle large and numerous transactions. Its banking practice possesses strong industry knowledge and the lawyers understand well all issues that are important for our compliance. The work they deliver is usually high quality. The firm is well equipped with advanced technology and synchronises well with our team’.

We regularly work with Bun Youdy and Un Sinath mostly for complex financing and regulatory matters while we work with Phal Dalika mostly for the conventional financing. They are very responsive and very well accessible. Their advice is always excellent quality and very practical. They have the ability to understand our requirements quickly and always show their commitment to go extra mile to get the work done as well as to protect our interests‘.

‘Bun & Associates has national and international lawyers who are experienced in many fields. They are great in translating the documents into both languages Khmer and English so that end-users are able to clearly understand legal terminologies and also in facilitating discussions and debates in an efficient way taking into account the diversity of end-users of the law’.

B&A team is very flexible. B&A team’s reaction time is great. Youdy – I can trust him. I have had countless amount of ideas, suggestions, proposals and struggles and he always pointed me towards the right direction. And when it comes to it, having that level of relationship is often more important than just maintaining the legal-client standard operations‘.

‘Antoine and Solina are great lawyers who have been coordinating the drafting of the health products law for the Ministry of Health, Cambodia. They are very committed, hardworking lawyers who communicate clearly with customers while producing quality work’.

‘Bun & Associates is one of our main legal counsels and the go-to law firm when it comes to our complex construction projects. The firm’s Real Estate team led by Sophealeak Ing who is very experienced and resourceful. For our latest and one of our most complex projects, we can say that we are pleased with the commitment and availability, technical knowledge, and most of all the practical understanding of the client’s needs and sense of anticipation of potential roadblocks, especially during contract negotiation and construction phase. They have provided a good platform when it comes to client-oriented legal services which involved coordination and a good level of understanding between teams of different fields of expertise such as legal, tax and technical teams (mainly construction management and project management teams)’.

‘Spohealeak Ing stands out for his resourcefulness, and practical and efficient approach to client’s needs and expectations. He can quickly understand the transaction’s key challenges and grasp the role of different stakeholders in tackling key roadblocks and ultimately making the project go through successfully. Huoy Tongkin is very knowledgeable and experienced in real estate and construction sectors. His understanding of cross-sector legal issues, high commitment and availability have been key to our project. ’

‘They work as a team and the team has a mixed  range of ages and experience but the team leader is good’.

Key clients

Smart Axiata

Bangkok Bank Public Company Limited

CIMB Bank Plc

FWD Group Financial Services Pte.

Kasikorn Bank

Fullerton Cambodia Financial Holdings (International) Pte. Ltd. (“Fullerton”)

R M A (CAMBODIA) PLC.

Anticimex Group

Pi P ay Plc

Golden Cambodia Century Group of Companies.

Urbanland Asia Investment Co., Ltd.

The Leedonheights Condominium Co., Ltd.

Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) financed by World Bank

LOLC Sri Lankan

Crystal Martin Cambodia

Ministry of Labor and Vocational Training supported by GIZ (German international cooperation)

Work highlights

  • Assisted the Ministry of Economy and Finance in relation to the Southeast Asia Disaster Risk Insurance Facility (SEADRIF), a joint initiative by the governments of Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar, and supported by the Government of Japan and the World Bank.
  • Advised Bangkok Bank in the financing of the development of a 45-storey mixed-use building in the heart of Phnom Penh.
  • Advised FWD, a leading life insurance company on its market entry into Cambodia.

DFDL

DFDL fields a large team that advises on the full range of legal and tax matters to foreign and local investors operating in Cambodia. Its primary focus is on corporate, banking, capital markets and real estate in addition to energy, mining and infrastructure projects. Tax is another key strength of the firm. It also regularly receives referrals from major international firms. Guillaume Massin  heads the firm’s regional real estate and construction practice. while Chris Robinson  is vastly experienced in a broad array of commercial and corporate matters, and Clint O’Connell  heads the Cambodia tax practice. Senior consultants Simon Burlinson and Raksa Chan are other key practitioners. Seka Hep is another important member of the practice in Phnom Penh who specialises in corporate law, real estate, and regulatory matters. Kooi Thong Lai has left the firm. 

Testimonials

‘I mostly work with Chris Robinson, a partner at DFDL. Chris has an excellent understanding of the Cambodian legal framework. He is very good at communicating complex legal issues in M&A transactions to the clients who do not have a proper grasp of complexity in cross-border M&A transactions. I have been very impressed with Chris’s ability to negotiate fair terms for our clients in deals involving international firms that are represented by top tier global law firms’.

‘I think DFDL is well positioned in the market as a strong M&A legal advisor and the practice is headed by Chris Robinson, one of the better partners I have come across in the region. The team is motivated. The marketing is subtle on the M&A front which is good and there is a strong word of mouth factor which puts the firm in the forefront. Very switched on, prompt in responses and very technically sound. His attention to detail is worth mentioning and he has shown a very high level of professional integrity with high quality drafts. Chris is one of the better M&A practice partners I have come across in my professional stint so far’.

‘This law firm has a diversity of employees who can assist clients with exceptional broad knowledge and experience in answering the client’s concerns. Also, it uses a transparent billing system (PC Law) which can show the completed work with specific duration (including hours & minutes) in order to provide the client with confidence on the payment. Last but not least, it uses technology like Teams and WhatsApp to communicate with and to provide advice to clients. I can say there is no other law firms in Cambodia who can offer such exceptional experience and transparency towards the client as DFDL does. Highly recommended’.

‘It is my pleasure to work directly with the partners (Clint O’Connell and Chris Robinson) who have an exceptional knowledge and care of the client’s concern, in terms of comprehensive advice and utmost protection for the client’.

‘Chuan How Tan is a very able attorney’.

Key clients

Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank

Bank of China

Credit Bureau Asia

DEG (German Development Bank)

ING Bank

International Finance Corporation

Mitsui

Mizuho Bank

Nagaworld

Sprott Private Resource (Canada)

Urbanland

Work highlights

  • Assisted Credit Bureau Asia in conducting diligence on two of its subsidiaries in Cambodia and Myanmar, reviewed the IPO prospectus, issued a legal opinion, and provided general advice on regulatory and compliance issues.
  • Advised True Digital Group on conducting legal due diligence on Mediaload, and reviewed the share subscription agreement from a Cambodian law perspective and rectification documents prepared by the target company.
  • Advised on two ground-breaking bond issues on behalf of the Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility (CGIF), a financial institution that was established to promote financial stability and to boost long-term investments in the ASEAN region.

R&T Sok & Heng Law Office

R&T Sok & Heng Law Office has a strong team that frequently advises on various high-value and large-scale acquisitions in Cambodia and advises banks and financial institutions on the financing of major developments. It advises some significant international clients. Chhay Heng  is a key figure at the firm, who specialises in mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance as well as real estate developments and insolvency matters. He is also adept at handling contentious matters. Tiv Sophonnora  leads the firm’s capital markets practice while Sotheary Hout  heads the firm’s corporate and commercial practice. Deline Sieng  is recommended for his experience in banking and finance matters.

Practice head(s):

Chhay Heng

Testimonials

‘The partner Tiv Sophannora has served us with distinction and excellence. Nora’s domain expertise is impressive and solid and a lawyer whom we can count on for advice, and who can make effective representation ’.

 

Key clients

TikTok Pte. Ltd.

Oxley Gem (Cambodia) Co., Ltd.

Soma Group Company Limited

BSE Accounting Co., Ltd.

Mega International Commercial Bank

Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Asia) Ltd.

Facebook

Prudential

CVC Asia Pacific Limited

Changi Airport

Work highlights

  • Assisting Tik Tok Pte. Ltd. on data privacy, e-commerce related registration, and business operations under Cambodian law.
  • Acting for Oxley Gem (Cambodia) Co., Ltd in relation to construction disputes with the main contractor on the Peak Project.
  • Advising and assisting Soma Group Company Limited in a joint venture for a major agricultural project in Cambodia.

SokSiphana&associates (a member of ZICO Law)

SokSiphana&associates (a member of ZICO Law) has a strong track record of advising on government relations, as its founder Sok Siphana has previously worked with a number of government agencies and with the International Trade Centre. The team is recommended for its corporate and commercial advice too as well as for its work with various foreign banks in Cambodia. Managing partner Matthew Rendall has a strong background in property and labour matters and is adept at handling complex cross-border transactions. Mealy Khieu  specialises in banking and intellectual property matters.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Rendall

Other key lawyers:

Sok Siphana; Mealy Khieu ; Daron Wong

Testimonials

‘Siphana himself is very well connected. Matt Rendall is a strong practitioner’.

‘Very professional approach with good response times’.

 

Key clients

Airbus

Kasikornbank Public Company Ltd.

Hyatt

J Trust Co., Ltd.

Coffee Concepts (Cambodia) Ltd./Starbucks

Hongkong Land

CIMB Bank

Hong Leong Bank

Bank of China

Qatar Airways

Work highlights

  • Represented Parkson (Cambodia) Co. Ltd. in a large cross-border dispute over the leasing arrangement with Hassan (Cambodia) Development Co., Ltd concerning a major shopping mall development in central Phnom Penh.
  • Advised a major international life insurance provider on the e-commerce and digital signature legal framework and assisted it in obtaining licensing permissions pertaining to products being introduced into the Cambodian market for the first time by the life insurance sector.
  • Assisted a regional (ASEAN) sports charitable institution on the inclusion of Cambodia into the regional federation.

Tilleke & Gibbins (Cambodia) Ltd.

Under the leadership of Jay Cohen, the team at Tilleke & Gibbins (Cambodia) Ltd. is well-regarded for its work on corporate and commercial deals. It is adept at advising multinationals on entry requirements into the local market and is skilled at providing key regulatory advice for highly regulated industries. It also features a strong IP practice. David Mol is highly-rated for his work in corporate and commercial matters and other areas of expertise include life sciences, franchising and licensing matters. Associate Nitikar Nith  advises clients on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters. Sochanmalisphoung Vannavuth, also an associate, is recommended for her work with local and foreign investors.

Practice head(s):

Jay Cohen

Testimonials

‘The team works seamlessly so that we as the client do not need to explain our situation and ask multiple times. They are professional, polite, and easy to work with. Their work level is trustworthy and above board. Jay Cohen is always a standout with his expertise and willingness to take on multiple tasks for our several organizations. Working with him and David Mol as a duo is a pleasant experience and they are effective in their efforts ’.

The team is always accessible and able to plan things ahead for clients. David Mol and Sovanrotha Sok are very capable lawyers and understand their clients’ needs‘.

Their responses were quick and logical‘.

Key clients

Advanced Bank of Asia Limited / ABA Bank

Baramey Production

China Telecom Global Limited

I-Finance Leasing PLC

KfW

Navis Capital Group

Sabay Digital Corporation

Zuellig Pharama

Work highlights

  • Advised a healthcare services provider in Asia on its acquisition of 100% of the shares in a leading pharmaceutical and healthcare product distribution company in Cambodia.
  • Engaged by Navis Capital, a leading investment fund in Southeast Asia, to advise on and carry out all work related to the Cambodian law aspects of its complex acquisition of CIA First International School.
  • Retained to provide ongoing regulatory advice in the banking and financial services sector to one of Cambodia’s leading banks.

VDB Loi

VDB Loi advises various international financial institutions, development banks, commercial lenders and governments. Other key clients include multinational institutions and enterprises.  The excellent team has a strong cross-border focus and is well-equipped to advise on the legal and tax issues that arise on high-value transactions. The group is also well-regarded for its renewable energy work. Senior partner Edwin Vanderbruggen specialises in project development, regulatory and tax matters. Counsels Edith Xingfei Ruan and Mariza Ung are among the other key members of the group along with senior counsel Maxim Kobzev.

Practice head(s):

Edith Xingfei Ruan; Mariza Ung

Other key lawyers:

Edwin Vanderbruggen ; Maxim Kobzev

Testimonials

The team is supportive‘.

It has in-depth local knowledge’.

Mariza Ung’s fluency in understanding and speaking English coupled with the insights she could give with regards to how Cambodian culture and law would affect my business idea proved invaluable. I can now move forward with my business idea and know the pros and cons of taking my idea forward in a culture and business environment that are new to me. I will continue to seek her advice on this and with any other legal matters while I am in Cambodia‘.

Key clients

Arcadia Land Co., Ltd

The Blue Circle Pte Ltd

DSV Air & Sea Co., Ltd

Oriental Bank Plc

Phillip Bank

Prime Road Power (Public) Company Limited

World Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising The Blue Circle Pte Ltd. on an 80MW wind power project, one of the first of its kind in Cambodia.
  • Advising the developer on a 60MW solar power plant project.
  • Advising Oriental Bank Plc on the establishment of a bank in Cambodia.