Leading firms in Cambodia

DFDL

An established name in the ASEAN region, DFDL has a full-service team in Phnom Penh and with language skills in English, Mandarin, French, Khmer, Greek and German, the Cambodia team is well-placed to handle significant cross-border corporate matters involving jurisdictions such as China, Singapore, and Western Europe. Jointly headed by Guillaume Massin and Chris Robinson, the practice group advises on the full range of corporate finance, tax, real estate, infrastructure and general business issues, and is unique in its ability to act as domestic and international counsel. In particular, the team's China desk, bolstered by the addition of two new Mandarin speakers, has been an important source of work and has secured the team instructions from active Chinese banks and project companies. Next generation lawyer Daniel Wein left Cambodia in 2018, but the team brought on a number of new senior consultants in 2019.

Practice head(s):

Guillaume Massin; Chris Robinson

Other key lawyers:

Clint O’Connell; Seka Hep; Vansok Khem; Chuanhow Tan

Key clients

Bred Bank

Belt Road Capital Management (BRCM)

ANZ

Mitsui

Bank of China

Smart

Royal De Heus

Startshine

China Road and Bridge Corporation

PTT

Work highlights

  • Acted as Cambodian counsel to IFC in relation to its cornerstone investment in corporate bonds listed by HKL on the Cambodia Securities Exchange. This was the first-ever corporate bond listing in Cambodia.
  • Acted for Mitsui in relation to both the initial investment and the exercise of the call option for a total 20% stake in the offshore parent company of Axiata Group Berhad.
  • Acted as lead counsel to the former shareholders of SAMIC in relation to its 100% acquisition by NongHyup Bank.
  • Acted as lead counsel for ANZ in its sale to J Trust of a majority stake in ANZ Royal Bank.
  • Advised Belt Road Investment Group on a share purchase and subscription agreement with an offshore parent of Sabay Digital Corporation pursuant to which Belt Road will acquire 40% of the parent’s issued share capital.

Bun & Associates

Bun & Associates advises domestic and international corporates on a wide range of corporate and finance transactions, commercial contracts, taxation, labour, IP and real estate matters, and general business disputes. Bun Youdy specialises in banking, M&A, litigation and telecoms regulation; Sophealeak Ing leads the real estate, construction, energy, environment and commercial contracts group; Sovath Phin has expertise in IP matters; and Sinath Un focuses on banking and finance. Another key figure is Antoine Fontaine, who specialises in insurance, labour law, tax and customs, and has advised government bodies on regulatory matters concerning international investments and the Cambodian insurance market.

Other key lawyers:

Youdy Bun; Antoine Fontaine; Sophealeak Ing; Sovath Phin; Sinath Un

R&T Sok & Heng Law Office

R&T Sok & Heng Law Office acts for an enviable roster of household-name corporate clients, fueled in part by the firm's regional coverage and highly ranked corporate team in its home base in Singapore. Managing partner Chhay Heng is a licensed administrator for insolvency cases in Cambodia, and three of the team's partners are members of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators Singapore Branch. Moreover, the firm is one of the few legal advisers licensed to practice securities law in Cambodia, and has recently been involved in a cross-border IPO in Hong Kong and, separately, advised on a first-of-its-kind private offering in Cambodia. Further, the team has been involved in a number of major real estate developments in Cambodia, and has also been active in the country's budding insurance sector. Sophonnora Tiv is another key figure in the team.

Practice head(s):

Chhay Heng

Other key lawyers:

Sophonnora Tiv; Sotheary Hout; Deline Sieng;

Key clients

Oriental Payment Group Holdings

The Body Shop International

Facebook Singapore Pte. Ltd.

Phnom Penh SEZ Plc

KONE Public Company Limited

Visa Worldwide Pte Limited

Unikrn Inc.

Beijing Properties (Holdings) Limited

HLH Development Pte. Ltd.

AXA Insurance Pte. Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advised Oriental Payment Group Holdings on the Cambodian law aspects of its IPO on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Acted for The Body Shop International (Asia Pacific) in relation to its proposed franchise business expansion in Cambodia.
  • Advising Facebook Singapore on Cambodia law in relation to control of content issues in the run-up to Cambodia’s general election.
  • Acted for Phnom Penh SEZ Plc in relation to its $10m private offering; this marked Cambodia’s first private offering of a listed company in Cambodia.
  • Acted for HLH Development in relation to its joint venture with Royal Group of Companies for the delivery of a mixed-use development.

Sciaroni & Associates

Sciaroni & Associates has expertise in business litigation, M&A and cross-border financing transactions, including project finance. Key figures in the practice group include Bretton Sciaroni and Joseph Lovell. Sciaroni is the only non-native member of the Cambodia Bar Association, and was one of the very first foreign lawyers registered in Cambodia. In the non-contentious space, Lovell specialises in development finance transactions and M&A spanning the hospitality, financial services, telecoms, and manufacturing sectors. The team also has strengths in real estate, tax, and aircraft finance and leasing. Next generation lawyer Sophea Sin joined the team from Tilleke & Gibbins (Cambodia) Ltd.

Practice head(s):

Joseph Lovell

Other key lawyers:

Bretton Sciaroni; Simon Burlinson; Sujeet Karkala; Sophea Sin

Key clients

IR Resources

ACLEDA Bank

City Star

Can Sports

Evergreen Shipping

Taiwan Hsin Kuang Bank

Laurenton / Tiffany and Co.

CARE

China Unicom

Louis Vuitton

Work highlights

  • Represented a Chinese DFI in multiple major infrastructure projects.
  • Acted for International Consumer Products as defendant in breach of contract litigation related for distribution agreement.
  • Advised a US DFI in project finance transaction.
  • Advised European DFI as sellers in partial acquisition of a Cambodian MFI.
  • Lessors counsel in multiple leases of aircraft to local airlines.

SokSiphana&associates (a member of ZICO Law)

SokSiphana&associates (a member of ZICO Law) was established by Sok Siphana, who has enjoyed a diverse career in various Cambodian government agencies and at the UN Conference on Trade and Development, in addition to his private practice. With this background, the firm is well known for its government relations capabilities, particularly in foreign affairs and multi-lateral trade matters. In the corporate and commercial space, the firm holds panel appointments on several foreign commercial banks in Cambodia, and is registered with the SEC to to advise on listing mandates on the Cambodian stock exchange. Of late, the team has been involved in standout real estate and energy infrastructure developments, M&A in the telecoms and banking sectors, and various commercial transactions for international corporates. Indeed, the firm is plugged into the regional network of ZICO Law and thus benefits from the group's regional relationships and cross-border capabilities. Other key figures include Mealy KhieuMatthew Rendall, and Daron Wong.

Practice head(s):

Sok Siphana; Mealy Khieu; Matthew Rendall; Daron Wong

Key clients

J Trust Co., Ltd

PP.SW Development Co., Ltd

Jebsen & Jessen (Cambodia) Co., Ltd

DBS Asia Capital Limited

Attwood Investment Group Co., Ltd

Cambodian SingMeng Telemedia

OCBC Bank

China Telecom Global Limited

Regent Meridian International Property Pte Limited

DEUTSCHE INVESTITIONS – UND ENTWICKLUNGSGESELLSCHAFT MBH

Work highlights

  • Advising J Trust on the acquisition of majority stake in ANZ Bank Cambodia.
  • Acted as lead Cambodian counsel to Lion Group in its proposed $400m real estate investment in “Lion City Gateway”, a major mixed-use development.
  • Advising Jebsen & Jessen (Cambodia) on the importation of pesticide products into Cambodia, including licensing and regulatory compliance.
  • Acted as the lead Cambodian counsel to DBS Asia Capital (a company with Cambodian subsidiaries) in relation to its IPO on Hong Kong Stock Exchange.
  • Advising Attwood Investment Group on the establishment of a joint venture for the development of a 1200w power plant in southern Cambodia.

Tilleke & Gibbins (Cambodia) Ltd.

Tilleke & Gibbins (Cambodia) Ltd. provides a suite of corporate and financing advice to regional and dual-listed companies and investment funds from its offices in Phnom Penh. Moreover, the practice group differentiates itself by the strength of its IP management and enforcement capabilities, where it acts for leading international brands such as Honda, Starbucks and Daimler. Working across the firm's regional network, the team is also well-placed to advise on regulatory issues for insurance companies, foreign securities matters, and energy-sector mandates. The last of these capabilities in particular was strengthened by the arrival of three partners in the firm's Bangkok office, which will spearhead the regional energy offering. Jay Cohen now heads the practice group following the retirement of John King at the end of 2017. The firm took on a number of junior recruits in 2018-2019, but next generation lawyer Sophea Sin joined Sciaroni & Associates in 2019. David Mol is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Jay Cohen

Other key lawyers:

David Mol

Key clients

Bayer

CBS

Exxon Mobil

Johnson & Johnson

Hertz

Pfizer

Revlon

Shiseido

Starbucks

Zuelig Pharma

Work highlights

  • Involved in the first-ever secondary listing submitted to the SEC and SET in Thailand.
  • Assisted Honda with one of the first and largest raid actions based on industrial design infringement in Cambodia.
  • Retained to enforce Starbucks’ IP rights in Cambodia.
  • Provided regulatory and market entry advice to one of Thailand’s largest reinsurance providers interested in launching operations in Cambodia.
  • Advised a regional investment fund on negotiations to acquire a specialized bank in Cambodia.

VDB Loi

VDB Loi has a strong domestic and cross-border practice, advising on high-value Cambodian real estate developments, capital markets transactions, business regulatory matters, and inbound M&A across a variety of industry sectors including financial services, food and beverage, telecoms, and real estate. The practice group is headed by Potim Yun and includes US senior counsel Alex Larkin and senior associate Alessandra Laureiro, who has experience practicing at one of the world's largest law firms. The firm has also continued to expand its presence in Cambodia, having recently taken on two additional junior lawyers from DFDL.

Practice head(s):

Potim Yun

Other key lawyers:

Alex Larkin; Alessandra Laureiro; Leung Seng

Key clients

Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank

Work highlights

  • Acted as local counsel to the Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank (SCSB) in its acquisition of a majority stake of AMK Microfinance.

BNG Legal

BNG Legal is particularly well known for its strength in IP management and enforcement, where it is instructed by international corporates and regional and international law firms. In addition, the team also has strengths in corporate and banking matters, labour law, taxation, and the domestic regulations governing these areas. Headed by Darwin Hem, the firm also has an active litigation practice.

Practice head(s):

Darwin Hem

Other key lawyers:

Kunthy Koy; Neam Koy; Chinith Chum