Event Report

The growth of the Vietnamese legal community over the past 30 years has been precipitous, with the in-house world being no exception. Where company’s legal duties were once commonly farmed out to business personnel with no legal training, there is now a roster of highly respected general counsel, chief legal officers and heads of legal operating on behalf of Vietnam’s companies that rivals any other in Southeast Asia’s emerging markets. With this in mind, The Legal 500 thought it was high time to devote an edition of our GC Powerlist series entirely to this dynamic country, after many years of recognising the country’s in-house legal talent only indirectly through our famed Southeast Asia publication.

Bringing this innovative project to fruition involved a comprehensive research process totalling hundreds of workhours across multiple teams at The Legal 500 and our sponsor firms – DFDL, Frasers Law Company and VILAF. Over many months, we compiled a rundown of the top in-house lawyers in the country by leveraging our contacts in the region to amass a huge number of nominations. With this done, we began planning for a launch reception that would truly befit this watershed moment in the development of the Vietnamese in-house legal community’s international profile.

On 16th November 2023, we welcomed a distinguished list of guests to Ho Chi Minh City’s beautiful Park Hyatt Hotel, perhaps the finest event venue in the city, to celebrate their achievement alongside their contemporaries. After keynote speeches from some extremely prominent guests from the sponsoring law firms – Hanh Tran (Partner and Co-Managing Director – Vietnam, DFDL), Mark Fraser (Founding Managing Partner, Frasers Law Company) and Duyen Ha Vo (Chairperson, VILAF) – around 130 guests heard from our in-house legal guest of honour, Long Ho of HSBC, who spoke of the growing influence of in-house lawyers in Vietnam as well as the challenges of the future that they would be instrumental in solving.

Everyone got their moment in the spotlight, as awardees were invited on stage to receive their accolade along with raucous applause from those in attendance.  With the official business out of the way, attendees moved on to drinks and canapés while catching up with old friends and making new contacts.

We are delighted with the success of this milestone initiative, which hopefully leads to further collaboration and knowledge-sharing among the Vietnamese in-house legal community. This is the first of many GC Powerlists in Vietnam, and we look forward to inviting the best of the in-house legal community in Vietnam to next year’s launch.

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