DFDL was established in 1994 in the Lao PDR and was built on a unique vision: to create an integrated legal and tax firm with in-depth knowledge of DFDL jurisdiction so as to provide technical excellence across DFDL core areas of expertise.

DFDL Lao office has the experience and insights to assist clients to navigate the complexities of this emerging market and to provide commercially-focused advice, based on over twenty years of experience in this jurisdiction.

Described in Legal 500 as being “very professional” and offering “excellent local experience and expertise”, DFDL’s Lao and foreign advisers have an outstanding reputation for offering focused legal services covering a broad scope of legal issues.

Area of Expertise


Key Experience

Xe-Pian Xe-Namnoy Hydropower (USD 749 million)
Nam Ou Hydropower Project Phase I (USD 700 million)
Nam Ngiep 1 Hydropower (USD 916 million)
Nam Theun 2 Hydropower (USD 1.3 billion)
Nam Tha 1 Hydropower (USD 450 million)
THPC (USD 500 million)
Lane Xang Minerals mining project (MMG)
Phu Bia mining project (PanAust)
Lao Sanxai Minerals Exploration Project (Rio Tinto / Mitsui Joint Venture)
Hongsa mine mouth lignite power project
Tha Lau-Xam Tay Highway Project

International Labor Organization
Lao Tobacco Limited; Maruhan Japan Bank
Australian Embassy; BIVAC; British Embassy
Catholic Relief Services
Fred Hollows Foundation
FreeBalance International
Mitsubishi; John Snow Inc.
Management Sciences for Health
Fast Enterprises

Standard Chartered Bank
Barclays Bank Plc.
Credit Suisse
Deutsche Bank AG
DBS Bank Ltd
World Bank Krung Thai Bank
Siam Commercial Bank

Lao Ford City
RM Asia (Swensen’s/Pizza Company)
Comin Lao
Gebr. Heinemann
Lao Brewery Co. Ltd
General Electric

Key Members

Kristy Newby

Kristy has 16 years’ experience practicing as a solicitor in the Lao PDR, Vietnam and Australia. In both Laos and Vietnam, Kristy has advised private and public companies, financial institutions and investors on corporate and commercial matters, with a particular focus on mergers and acquisitions and foreign direct investment. In the Lao PDR, Kristy has also focused on project finance deals, advising sponsors and lenders on a number of high profile domestic and cross-border power projects. Additionally, Kristy has substantial experience advising potential investors, existing operators and regulatory authorities in the mining sectors in the Mekong region.

Kristy is recognized in Laos as a “Leading Individual” in Legal 500 (Asia Pacific), a “Market-Leading Lawyer” in AsiaLaw Profiles and a “Band 2 Practitioner” in Chambers Asia Pacific.

Kristy is currently President of the Australian Chamber Commerce in Laos.

Kristy Newby

Partner, Lao PDR Managing Director & Co-Head of Regional Compliance & Investigations Practice

Jack Sheehan

Jack is a Partner and the Head of the Regional Tax Practice. He specializes in providing advice on structuring inbound and outbound investments in Asia, corporate and international tax planning, mergers and acquisitions, transfer pricing and supply chain structuring and tax controversy. Jack has also assisted in advocacy for tax policy at a Government level in a number of South East Asian countries.

Jack is listed as a leading tax adviser for 2019 by the Legal 500 and was nominated as Asia Tax Leader 2019 by International Tax Review.

Jack is regularly a speaker and writer on tax matters in Asia. Jack has spoken at number of leading Universities including the Law School at Queen Mary’s University London, the Law School at Chulalongkorn University Thailand, Law School at Dundee University UK, and leading tax bodies such as the International Fiscal Association (IFA) and the International Bureau for Fiscal Documentation (IBFD), and leading business associations across Asia.

Jack holds a Master’s Degree in Tax Law from the Law School at the University of Oxford and is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.

Jack Sheehan

Partner & Head of the Regional Tax Practice Group

Vinay Ahuja

Vinay is a partner in the regional Banking & Finance Practice Group and is the Group Leader. He also serves as the head of the India Desk and as well as leading the firm’s Indonesia Practice. He is a fintech and technology specialist.

With 15 years of transactional and advisory experience, a decade of which has been spent in Southeast Asia with DFDL, Vinay has advised several domestic and international banks both lenders and borrowers, sponsors, private and institutional investors, insurance companies, development banks, governments, agencies and state owned enterprises in their domestic and cross-border finance transactions including commercial and institutional lending, acquisition and leveraged finance, project finance, securitization and structured finance, derivatives, secured and unsecured transactions, and regulatory advice and compliance. He also leads on a number of key client relationships and is one of the firm’s B&F sector leaders.

He has also advised a vast spectrum of corporate and multinational clients on complex transactions in Indonesia, Lao PDR and Thailand relating to energy, infrastructure, mining, information technology, telecommunications, transport and logistics, and agriculture. Of late, he has been advising several clients operating in the realm of block chain and crypto currencies.

A regular speaker at various international industry conferences, seminars, and workshops, Vinay has also authored a number of articles and papers published in various newspapers, magazines and journals, including the IPBA Journal, Asian-MENA, ALB, and IBLJ.

Vinay has also been recognized as a ‘Distinguished Practitioner’ by Asia Law in 2020 and Thailand’s Top 100 Lawyer in 2019 by Asia Business Law Journal.

Vinay Ahuja

Partner, Head of Regional Banking, Finance & Technology Practice & Head of Indonesia Practice

Senesakoune Sihanouvong

Senesakoune is a highly experienced Lao Bar Association member and Country Partner with recognized expertise in Lao tax issues. He has extensive experience in legal and tax advice, compliance and due diligence across a range of sectors including hydropower, mining, forestry and general businesses. Senesakoune regulatory advises on foreign investment issues and also has extensive experience in Lao PDR public administration and governance matters, as he has been working closely with Lao authorities over the last 14 years.

Senesakoune Sihanouvong

Partner, Lao PDR