Next Generation Partners

Rising Stars

Leading firms in Laos

DFDL Legal & Tax

DFDL Legal & Tax combines deep local knowledge of legal and tax regulation to advise on large-scale transactions and projects across Southeast Asia, leveraging its regional network to offer expertise in multiple jurisdictions. The ‘standout’ firm covers a wide range of sectors including life sciences, infrastructure, mining and TMT, and has experience in acquisition and leveraged finance, project finance and securitisation matters. The team is also recommended for its litigious capability, including regulatory investigations and contentious insolvency work. Managing partner, Kristy Newby, has notable expertise in the mining sector, along with project finance and corporate transactional experience. Senesakoune Sihanouvong  has a strong background in commercial advisory work, specialising in tax issues and the securities market in Laos, while Standré Bezuidenhout handles a broad range of labor matters, from redundancies and retirements to employment and consultancy contracts and policies.

Practice head(s):

Kristy Newby

Other key lawyers:

Senesakoune Sihanouvong; Standré Bezuidenhout

Testimonials

‘DFDL are extremely knowledgeable and experienced with the Laos jurisdiction. What makes DFDL a standout for me is that the senior partner and senior associates are always very approachable and accessible, provide timely advice and, unlike many other law firms, will suggest alternatives.’

‘Kristy Newby is very experienced, not just with the jurisdiction, but more broadly across the SE Asia region. Standre Bezuidenhout is very approachable and experienced lawyer, who provides good, practical advice and alternatives.’

‘DFDL is the leading firm in the Lao PDR, having foreign partners based in Vientiane and such partners having deep experience in Lao. They have extensive knowledge of Lao laws, culture and dealing with the government.’

‘I’ve worked with Kristy Newby and Senesakoune Sihanouvong. Both of them are helpful, supportive and reachable.’

Key clients

Mekong Timber Plantations

LXML, Phu Bia Mining & Lao Sanxai

Sinohydro (Hong Kong) Holding Co. (a subsidiary of PowerChina)

Impact Energy Asia Development Ltd

Xayaburi Power Project

Stora Enso Laos Plantation AB

Tilleke & Gibbins (Laos)

Tilleke & Gibbins (Laos) acts for foreign investors penetrating the local market, offering guidance on commercial transactions such as M&As, joint ventures and restructuring, and has more recently strengthened its litigation and arbitration capability. Praised as ‘highly responsive, with good coverage of technology in the Southeast Asia region’, the firm offers expert advice on key matters in highly regulated industries, such as TMT and infrastructure, and houses a well-regarded IP practice. The team is also active in project development, focusing on renewable energy such as hydropower, solar and wind projects. Lead partner, Dino Santaniello, provides a bridge between the business community and Lao government authorities, ensuring the firm can offer relevant strategic market entry advice. Bangkok-based Santhapat Periera remains a key contact in the team.

Practice head(s):

Dino Santaniello

Other key lawyers:

Niti Muangkote; Santhapat Periera

Testimonials

‘I have worked with Tilleke & Gibbins on various client matters over the course of 10 years. I have always found the group to be responsive and willing to take on unique challenges. They take steps to learn about the client’s needs and provide a flexible response to suit such needs.’

‘Highly responsive, with good coverage of technology in the Southeast Asia region.’

‘Good on the ground, local law knowledge of regulation and enforcement matters.’

Key clients

7-Eleven

Bayer

Delivery Hero

GlaxoSmithKline

Ryobi

Sanofi

Scania

Siam Kubota

United Power of Asia

Unilever

Work highlights

  • Advised a convenience store franchises in launching, localising, and managing their franchise in the Laos market.
  • Representing the Lao entity of an alcoholic beverage company in arbitration at the Economic Dispute Resolution Center in Laos between the client and its local distributor, which has accumulated debt of approximately $450,000.
  • Retained to advise a multinational online delivery service platform provider, Delivery Hero, on a wide range of corporate and commercial matters related to their operations in Laos, including extensive advice on the launch of new services in the jurisdiction.

VDB Loi

The Vientiane-based practice at VDB Loi handles banking and finance matters, energy and infrastructure projects, in addition to corporate advisory work. This includes specialising in project investment and structured finance, M&A and shareholder agreements, along with having a strong tax and regulatory focus. Head of the tax practice, Daodeuane Duangdara, is a well-regarded expert in this area, negotiating tax incentives and concession agreements, particularly in relation to major hydropower projects in the region, and assisting clients with ownership transfers, market entry, licensing and a range of due diligence matters. The firm has recently expanded into the Southeast Asia region, including Bangladesh, consolidating its existing presence in Cambodia and Myanmar. Practice leader and senior legal counsel, Sornpheth Douangdy, is a key figure in the practice.

Practice head(s):

Sornpheth Douangdy

Other key lawyers:

Daodeuane Duangdara; Edwin Vanderbruggen; Meckhala Vilivong

Key clients

Aderans Lao Co., Ltd.

ANDRITZ HYDRO GmbH

Bangkok Chain International (Lao) Co., Ltd.

Boart Longyear

China CITIC Bank Corporation Limited, Guangzhou Branch

Havas Riverorchid Group

Heineken Lao Brewery Co., Ltd.

iCare Benefits

Isuzu Truck Service Factory Lao

Kasikornthai Bank

Lao Jagro Development Xiengkhouang Co., Ltd.

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

  • Advised Diamond Generating Asia Limited as local counsel on a 600MW cross-border Laos-Vietnam wind power project, the first wind farm project in Laos.
  • Assisted Ratch Lao Service Co., Ltd with the acquisition of shares in a large private hospital in Laos.
  • Assisting Boart Longyear with its defense against unfair tax claims before the National Assembly.

ZICO Law

ZICO Law is active across the banking and finance, renewable energy and fintech sectors, as well as engaging on a variety of matters in the mining, aviation and retail industries. The firm has seen an uptick in M&A and compliance work for businesses expanding into the Laos market, particularly SMEs, and services both local and foreign clients, offering a robust range of legal advice. Managing partner Aristotle David has wide-reaching experience in company establishments, investment structurings and compliance, regularly navigating government administration and regulation. Senior associate Cess Principe works across the Southeast Asia region on commercial and corporate matters, as well as energy and infrastructure, a key economic sector in Laos.

Practice head(s):

Aristotle David

Other key lawyers:

Cess Principe

Key clients

Annamite

Mekong TimberMaxim Caterer’s/Coffee Concepts

Sanko Lao

Work highlights

  • Advising Mekong Timber Plantations with the legal due diligence, project financing structuring, and agreement drafting on securing funding for a tree plantation concession investment.
  • Advising Annamite, 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 amuthorities, draft share transfer agreement.
  • Advising Maxim’s Caterer’s/Coffee Concepts on various legal compliance matters for its Starbuck’s Cafe in Laos.

Rajah & Tann (Laos)

Rajah & Tann (Laos) is well-placed to leverage the firm's network of offices and offer regional exposure, enabling the Laos team to advise across a range of foreign-Loas joint venture opportunities, regulatory compliance issues, project financing and foreign direct investments. The firm is noted for its business incorporation advice relating to financial regulation, and more broadly within the banking and finance sector. Clients benefit from the team’s local knowledge, combined with cross-border transactional experience. Finance and real estate expert Lee Hock Chye leads the practice alongside Khanti Syackhaphom, who handles foreign direct investments, and Singapore-based Brian Ng. Associate Suntisouk Vandala is another key member of the team.

Practice head(s):

Lee Hock Chye; Khanti Syackhaphom; Brian Ng

Other key lawyers:

Suntisouk Vandala

Key clients

EDL-Generation Public Company

Visa Worldwide

Alipay

SC Johnson

Facebook

Phongsavanh Bank

DKSH

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