Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Leading firms

Drawing on the firm's robust network of offices across the region, LS Horizon is widely recommended for its capabilities in outbound investment and financing matters, particularly in cross-border deals with a strong Thai aspect.
PhanthalyLAW is well regarded for its capabilities in the full gamut of contentious matters, including disputes and mediations.

Leading firms in Laos

DFDL Legal & Tax

DFDL Legal & Tax‘s Vientiane office assists a broad roster of domestic and foreign clients with a host of transactional and advisory matters. Over the past year, the team has continued to advise a number of foreign investors and contractors on high-profile projects in the energy, natural resources, tech, education, and payment services sectors. The firm also routinely serves as local counsel to major international banks. With a wealth of experience in the Southeast Asian and Australasian markets, managing director Kristy Newby specialises in M&A, foreign inbound investment, and Mekong region mining activity. Bangkok-based Gert Meersman heads up the regional energy, mining, and infrastructure offering, while Senesakoune Sihanouvong focuses chiefly on tax matters. Standre Bezuidenhout is noted for his Lao labour law practice.

Practice head(s):

Kristy Newby

Testimonials

‘The best projects team in the market with a long history of advising on Lao hydropower projects as Lao counsel. Strength and depth and experience.’

‘Kristy Newby is very easy to work with, knows the market well and is always willing to help.’

‘Highly dedicated and rigorous. Able to communicate effectively.’

‘Kristy Newby and Standre Bezuidenhout both deliver outstanding quality work. Very responsive and knowledgeable.’

Key clients

Vientiane International School – Gateway Project

Mekong Timber Plantations

ANZ restructuring

LXML, Phu Bia and Lao Sanxai

Southern Lao Vietnam Electricity Corridor (SOLVEC)

Tilleke & Gibbins (Laos)

Tilleke & Gibbins (Laos) acts for a litany of blue-chip multinational corporations with both established and emerging operations in the local Lao market, most notably in relation to large-scale energy and infrastructure projects, and in highly regulated industries such as TMT. Dino Santaniello is noted for his focus on patents, trade marks, privacy and data protection – underscoring the firm’s market-leading reputation for IP work. Bangkok-based Santhapat Periera regularly handles a range of Lao mandates, including recent finance and renewable energy matters. Saithong Rattana is a key contact for IP enforcement rights, counterfeiting, and labour law issues.

Other key lawyers:

Saithong Rattana

Testimonials

‘Dino Santaniello is my go-to lawyer for anything TMT and data-related in Laos.’

‘Dino Santaniello and his colleagues across the T&G network in Southeast Asia are able to work seamlessly on regional matters and have delivered satisfactory work products.’

‘We have a longstanding relationship with the team and regard their advice highly.’

Key clients

7-Eleven

AIG Group

Bayer

GlaxoSmithKline

Ryobi

Sanofi

Scania Siam

Siam Kubota

United Power of Asia

Unilever

Work highlights

  • Acted as Thai and Laos counsel to a Thai holding company engaged in electricity generation and property development regarding its investment in the Sandin Water Supply Project in Laos.
  • Assisted a leading hotel group in Thailand in executing two hotel management agreements with a local hotel owner in Vang Vieng, Laos.
  • Advised the consumer banking subsidiary of one of the world’s largest financial services conglomerates on the regulatory framework for its planned market entry into Laos.

VDB Loi

Drawing on the firm’s robust network of offices throughout Southeast Asia, VDB Loi regularly handles high-value transactions, financings, and advisory mandates for major international banks, project developers, and renewable energy companies. The team is especially noted for its energy and infrastructure practice, working with hydropower plants and solar providers on the full lifecycle of large-scale initiatives. Splitting his time between Cambodia and Myanmar, Edwin Vanderbruggen specialises in CLMV region projects across the energy, infrastructure, and telecoms sectors. Daodeuane Duangdara is a highly experienced tax adviser who acts for many of the region’s leading hydropower developers, while Sornpheth Douangdy‘s recent highlights include precedent-setting public-private partnerships in the solar sector. Meckhala Vilivong heads up the team’s regulatory compliance offering. All named lawyers are based in Vientiane unless noted otherwise.

Testimonials

‘VDB Loi provides excellent advice on the legal framework in Laos. They communicate well, responding quickly to emails, and are flexible in their approach.’

‘Sornpheth Douangdy gives well-considered legal advice and has a very reassuring manner.’

Key clients

Andritz Austria

BCPG PCL

China Mobile

China Development Bank

EXIM Bank China

German SFIC

Heineken Lao Brewery Co., Ltd.

Maruhan Development Bank

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

OHP Ventures Incorporated

Scatec Solar ASA (Norway)

Vietnam Dairy Products JSC (Vinamilk)

Siphandone-Ratch Lao Co., Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Scatec Solar ASA on an indirect acquisition of a 20% equity interest in the Theun-Hinboun Hydropower Project.
  • Advising a leading Chinese IPP in the renewable energy sector on the development of a 500MW solar energy project in Laos.
  • Advised a consortium including Energy Absolute and Chaleun Sekong on negotiating and entering into a memorandum of understanding with the Government of Laos to develop a +1GW hydropower plant in southern Laos.

ZICO Law

ZICO Law‘s multidisciplinary Vientiane office is sought after by a host of blue-chip clients and international partner firms for its capabilities in a diverse range of sectors. Recent highlights for the team include advising on a number of acquisitions in the mining and hydropower sectors, as well as various debt financings, investment structurings, and regulatory reviews – often on a cross-border basis. Dual-qualified (Laos and the Philippines) managing partner Aristotle David is a highly experienced lawyer with a far-reaching corporate and commercial practice. The equally prolific Cess Principe is noted for her renewable energy expertise.

Practice head(s):

Aristotle David

Other key lawyers:

Cess Principe

Testimonials

‘Excellent responsiveness, great team and dedication to the client’s needs.’

‘Very client-oriented and always available to talk.’

‘The team is knowledgeable and professional.’

Key clients

Tour Company

DLA Piper/Project Mekong

Lens manufacturing company

Tobacco retail company

Petroleum trading company

Coffee retail company

Muhibbah

Robert Acker

Sanko

Vehicle retail company

Work highlights

  • Advising Annamite on the investment acquisition of mining exploration projects in Laos.
  • Advising Burapha/BAFCO on various legal requirements regarding its business expansion.
  • Advising Japan Tobacco International on a debt to equity conversion and company licensing amendments.

Rajah & Tann (Laos)

Drawing on the firm’s sizeable network of offices within the region, Rajah & Tann (Laos) is well placed to advise on a litany of multi-jurisdictional instructions for key domestic and foreign entities. Recent cross-border highlights for the team include handling major investment transactions and joint development agreements on behalf of key renewable energy players, merchant banks and tech companies operating in the Lao market. Managing partner Lee Hock Chye is a highly experienced adviser who specialises in M&A, finance, and real estate matters. Khanti Syackhaphom handles foreign direct investments and other commercial deals for clients in the banking and energy sectors. Suntisouk Vandala is also recommended.

Other key lawyers:

Suntisouk Vandala

Testimonials

‘Very strong local legal team with support from its well-established regional network. The team was able to guide us through and overcome legal obstacles despite the pandemic with the use of communication technology.’

‘Very responsive and focused. They carefully highlight risks.’

Key clients

EDL-Generation Public Company

Visa Worldwide

Alipay

SC Johnson

Facebook

Phongsavanh Bank

DKSH

Guthrie GTS Pte Ltd

Lao National Consulting Group Co., Ltd.