Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Leading firms

Spearheaded by ‘outstanding leader’ Kaz Patafta, the team at McDonald Patafta & Associates Lawyers provides ‘high-quality, comprehensive and commercially astute advice’ on matters concerning foreign investments and financings, in addition to mining and hydropower projects.

Leading firms in Laos

DFDL Legal & Tax

With demonstrable industry expertise in the mining, infrastructure, and agriculture sectors, DFDL Legal & Tax is well-positioned to advise on a plethora of projects in Laos and across Southeast Asia. The firm routinely assists local and international developers with solar and wind energy projects, often in the Cambodian and Vietnamese regions. Also recognised for its strong corporate and M&A practice in the plantation and insurance industries, the group is frequently engaged by global corporations to handle domestic and cross-border work, such as joint venture deals, offshore transactions and regulatory issues. Elsewhere, the team has reputed expertise in the employment, tax, insolvency, and real estate fields. Managing partner Kristy Newby is noted for her strengths in banking and finance, and regularly advises on commercial transactions and foreign investments. Senesakoune Sihanouvong specialises in tax, due diligence, and compliance concerns, whereas Standré Bezuidenhout covers work relating to labour and disputes.

Practice head(s):

Kristy Newby

Other key lawyers:

Senesakoune Sihanouvong; Standré Bezuidenhout


‘DFDL stands out for its practical local knowledge. Legislation in Laos is constantly changing, and DFDL have been on the ball when it comes to reviewing potentially damaging impact.’ 

‘Kristy Newby has worked in Laos for many years and brings a sensible approach to legal advice.’

‘They are a trusted adviser.’

‘Kristy Newby is a considered and professional lawyer whose advice comes with much experience, both in Laos and elsewhere. Kristy is able to get across difficult issues quickly and brings her experience from other matters to provide considered and timely advice.’

‘Standré Bezuidenhout is well-versed in Laos law and the needs of international mining companies and presents his advise in an easy to use format.’

Key clients


InsuResilience Investment Fund

Lane Xang Minerals Ltd (LXML)

Phu Bia

Lao Sanxai

Sinohydro (Hong Kong) Holding Co.

Work highlights

  • Advised Impact Energy Asia Development Limited on the 600MW Monsoon Wind Project, which will supply clean electricity from the Lao PDR to the Quảng Nam province in Vietnam through a 500kV transmission line, under a power purchase agreement with Vietnam’s electricity firm EVN.

Tilleke & Gibbins (Laos)

Based in Vientiane, Tilleke & Gibbins (Laos) acts on an extensive range of legal concerns, including banking and finance transactions, regulatory matters, M&As and joint ventures, and project developments. Engaged by a range of global banks, corporations, and foreign investors, the firm primarily focuses on corporate, commercial, and disputes work, often in connection with syndicated loans and entry into the local market. Elsewhere, the team offers advice on work relating to tech, renewable energy, life sciences, and telecoms industries, and is also recognised for its strong IP practice. The firm is jointly led by expert Dino Santaniello, who counts data protection law, employment matters, and investment concerns amongst his key workload, and Niti Muangkote, who specialises in high-value commercial and financing transactions across various sectors.

Practice head(s):

Dino Santaniello; Niti Muangkote

Key clients

SIAM KUBOTA Corporation

Tetra Tech

The Export-Import Bank of China

Work highlights

  • Assisted the Export-Import Bank of China, Zhejiang Branch in conducting due diligence on mortgaged and pledged assets under a USD120m multicurrency syndicated loan to Vientiane Hongshi Saythirath Cement for the construction of a cement plant.
  • Acted for SIAM KUBOTA Corporation in a joint venture between KUBOTA Corporation and Siam Cement Group, in obtaining the first-ever trademark cancellation decision from the Lao Department of Intellectual Property.
  • Advised a leading Spanish hotel brand and global hotel chain on its entry into the Lao market by way of a hotel management arrangement with the local owner of a hotel in Luang Prabang.


VDB Loi’s broad scope of work includes complex cross-border deals, such as project financing and M&A transactions, banking and finance matters relating to asset financing and securitisation, and solar and wind energy and infrastructure projects. On the corporate and regulatory front, the firm adopts a multidisciplinary approach by liaising with its tax and compliance departments to advise businesses on ownership transfers, market entry, incorporation, and licensing. Known for its ability to combine local expertise with an international background, the firm has a strong presence across Southeast Asia, and has recently ventured into the South Asian market through the recent opening of its Bangladesh office. Sornpheth Douangdy leads the practice and focuses on project finance and construction cases. Elsewhere, tax expert Daodeuane Duangdara is reputed for her work on large hydropower projects, whilst Meckhala Vilivong leads the compliance department, and Edwin Vanderbruggen advises clients on the nexus between legal and tax concerns.

Practice head(s):

Sornpheth Douangdy

Other key lawyers:

Edwin Vanderbruggen; Daodeuane Duangdara; Meckhala Vilivong



‘VDB Loi offers a comprehensive package of legal and tax advice and is therefore a one stop shop for their clients which are often investors, contractors, consultants, etc. They have a lot of experience and in-depth expertise in different industries including energy. Their advice and write-ups are highly professional and to the point.’

‘VDB Loi representatives are flexible when it comes to their availability. They offer highly professional solutions and communicate to the point. We have had a great experience with the team, and in particular with Edwin Vanderbruggen and Daodeuane Duangdara.’

Key clients

Aderans Lao Co., Ltd.


Bangkok Chain International (Lao) Co., Ltd.

Boart Longyear

China CITIC Bank Corporation Limited, Guangzhou Branch

Havas Riverorchid Group

Lao Jagro Development Xiengkhouang Co., Ltd.

Heineken Lao Brewery Co., Ltd.

iCare Benefits; Isuzu Truck Service Factory Lao

Kasikornthai Bank; Lao Quality Sole Co., Ltd.

Nederlandse Financierings-Maatschappij voor Ontwikkelingslanden N.V. (FMO)

Newrest Lao Sole., Ltd.

Ratch Lao Service Co., Ltd

Siphandone-RATCH Lao Co., Ltd.

Work highlights

  • Advising Guangxi Guiguan Electric Power Co., Ltd., the major investor in a 500MW solar power project in Laos.
  • Advising OCK Berhad on its telecom tower project.
  • Assisting the Asian Development Bank with a review on the Public-Private Partnership Decree and with strengthening the capacity of the Lao government authorities on public-private partnerships.


ZICO Law routinely represents clients from the manufacturing, mining, and aviation sectors, as well as major financial institutions and telecommunications operators on an array of legal matters spanning project financing and project investment, joint ventures, and regulatory and compliance issues. Recognised for its expertise in the transportation and infrastructure sectors, the team is also noted for handling complex high-speed rail and hydropower projects. Senior associate Cess Principe notably focuses on energy and infrastructure matters across Southeast Asia, while managing partner and ‘top lawyerAristotle David’s broad practice encompasses investment structuring and investment regulatory compliance, as well as company establishments. The team also includes foreign direct investment and regulatory legal compliance expert Khammuan Bouxatry.

Practice head(s):

Aristotle David

Other key lawyers:

Cess Principe; Khammuan Bouxatry


‘I really like the strong client approach of Aristotle David and his team. They are always available to help, pragmatic and service-oriented. They have strong knowledge of Laos and its law and regulations.’

‘Aristotle David is a top lawyer delivering valuable input and great service.’

Key clients

Sanko Lao

Vientiane Logistics Park (Thanaleng Dry Port)

Annamite Resources

Burapha Agroforestry Co. Ltd.

Essilor Lao

Scoot Airlines

KB Kolao Leasing

Work highlights

  • Advised Sanko Lao Co., Ltd., a concrete manufacturing company, in providing services under a general retainer engagement, drafting contracts, advising on joint venture matters, and investment structuring and various legal compliance matters.
  • Advising a Singaporean low-cost airline on the license amendment and renewal of all the company licenses to maintain its airline operations in Laos.
  • Advising a mining and exploration company in Laos, on the investment acquisition of mining exploration projects in Laos, conduct legal due diligence, coordinate with investment application before government authorities, draft share transfer agreements/resolutions, assist with negotiation discussions and investment structuring.


ILAW LAOS CO., LTD. advises on the promotion of investment between domestic and foreign investors, with additional expertise in corporate and commercial matters, labour and employment cases, intellectual property issues, and contract and agreement drafting work. Managing partner Somphob Rodboon leads the team and is noted for his experience in litigation and disputes involving corporate, commercial and intellectual property issues. Associate Viphavanh Syharath is another key contact in the group.

Practice head(s):

Somphob Rodboon

Other key lawyers:

Viphavanh Syharath

Key clients

Sitthi Logistic Laos Company Limited

Banana Tech Company Limited

Banana Tech Company Limited

PTL Holding Company Limited

DHA Siamwalla Co., Ltd.


DHAS Laos Co., Ltd.

DHAS Laos Co., Ltd.

iQuri Tech Company Limited


DFT (Thailand) Co., Ltd.

Do Day Dream Public Company Limited


Work highlights

  • Advised PTL Holding Company Limited in the establishment of a company in the Lao PDR Special Economic Zone.
  • Planned the strategy of structural deal and investment for the investor; drafted various agreement; and conducted the due diligence report for Banana Tech Company Limited.
  • Planned the strategy of structural deal and investment upon the parties; drafted commercial agreements; advised legal matters regarding the request of related certificates and required licenses to comply with the applicable law for running business in Laos for Banana Tech Company Limited.