Vietnam

Overview

With its regional legal and tax expertise, DFDL has assisted clients in Vietnam since 1995, advising on both local and international legal and tax matters from its offices in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi.

Drawing on more than 20 years of in-depth experience in the country and the Mekong Region, DFDL has built a reputation as the preferred choice of legal and tax services provider in Vietnam, advising on all aspects of investments from general regulatory matters to commercially robust, complex, and bespoke sophisticated transactions.

Providing international quality, seamlessly integrated, and relentlessly solution-oriented legal and tax services to establish, structure and protect our clients’ business interests, are key cornerstones of DFDL’s culture, approach, and strategy worldwide. Positioned as the preeminent full-service, legal and tax integrated law firm in Vietnam, DFDL has developed a reputation for technical excellence, creativity, and integrity coupled with in-depth knowledge of the local environment.

Our advisers have represented leading international and Asian investors in Vietnam, including leading international and Asian financial institutions. Our involvement in major projects in Vietnam includes major power projects, large real estate projects, and mergers and acquisitions.

Area of Expertise

  • Banking & Finance
  • Corporate & Commercial
  • Compliance & Investigations
  • Energy, Mining & Infrastructure (EMI)
  • Employment & Labour
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Real Estate and Construction
  • Regulatory Assistance
  • Restructuring & Insolvency
  • Tax & Transfer Pricing
  • Technical Assistance

Key Experience

A world famous cosmetics and beauty brand on its ground-breaking Southeast Asia expansion – acquisition of a 51 percent stake of a leading distributor of premium cosmetics, skin care and spa treatment product across in Cambodia, Vietnam and Myanmar.

Liberty Global on various warranty and indemnities insurance coverage of M&A deals in Vietnam and the region.

B. Grimm Power on its acquisition of an 80% interest in one largest-scale solar power plants in Vietnam, the greenfield 257 MW Hoa Ho.

USAID/Deloitte on the development of model direct power purchase agreements for adoption by the Electricity Regulatory Authority of Vietnam (ERAV) for all renewable energy projects in Vietnam.

An international bank group on a USD 195 million international financing of a renewable energy project.

Softbank on Thailand and Vietnam based matters in relation to its USD 1.5 billion investment into Grab, a multinational ride-hailing company based in Singapore.

NewQuest on the restructuring and acquisition of a substantial minority interest in the holding company of a leading chemical distributor and its subsequent follow on acquisition in that entity.

An independent investment firm, on its cornerstone investment in the USD 922 million IPO of Techcombank, a major bank and the second biggest IPO to date in Vietnam.

VinaCapital on its block sale of USD 3.6 million shares of Vinamilk in Vietnam.

Key Members

Jérôme Buzenet

Jérôme qualified as a French Lawyer (Avocat) and went on to further studies at Oxford University through the LL.M program in English law. Before this, he obtained a postgraduate Master’s Degree in Business and Tax Law at La Sorbonne-Paris I. Prior to joining DFDL to head two offices, Jérôme was with Freshfields in Hanoi for over six years and Linklaters in Paris. His practice focuses on M&A, private equity and investment fund formation and restructuring, in Vietnam and the wider Mekong region. Permanently based in Vietnam since 2004, Jérôme also advises on projects and finance matters. He is recognized as a leading practitioner by all of the Chambers, Asia Pacific Legal 500 and IFLR 1000. He speaks French, English, Italian and some Vietnamese.

Jérôme Buzenet

Partner, Vietnam Managing Director, Co-Head of Regional Corporate & Commercial Practice and Co-Head of Regional Mergers & Acquisitions 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

Hanh Tran

Hanh is a leading Vietnamese-qualified lawyer, with more than 18 years’ experience of advising leading multinational clients and financial institutions on complex corporate law matters in Vietnam and Cambodia. Before joining DFDL in 2006, Hanh worked at the European Commission in Vietnam where she was responsible for the legal aspects of the EC’s development projects in Vietnam, and prior to that she was the head of the corporate secretary division of KPMG Cambodia.

Hanh advises clients predominantly on complex Project Finance, Real Estate and Corporate and Commercial matters. Some of the most significant transactions she has advised on include the Chinese state bank financing of USD 421 million as well as the refinancing to a telecom company in Cambodia, a major port project with project value worth approximately USD 300 million and, most recently, the acquisition of a stake in a Cambodian hydropower project by a major Chinese SOE.

Hanh holds a Lawyer Certificate (Judicial Academy Institute of Vietnam), Master’s in international business (University of Tours, France), Bachelor’s in law (Hanoi National University) and a Bachelor in Foreign Languages ‒ French and English (Hanoi Foreign Language College). She speaks Vietnamese, French and English.

Hanh Tran

Partner, Vietnam Deputy Managing Director & Head of Ho Chi Minh City Office

Phong Anh Hoang

Phong Anh Hoang is a fully qualified Vietnamese lawyer who, prior to joining DFDL in 2007 as the senior associate in charge of the Vietnamese practice, worked for Gide Loyrette Nouel in Vietnam for 12 years. He has an excellent knowledge of corporate, commercial and investment law in Vietnam, having provided legal expertise on several important foreign investment projects in Vietnam as well as working on donor funded technical assistance projects, including projects for the review and analysis of draft Vietnamese legislation.

Phong Anh provided legal advice and assistance for several BOT power plant projects for both the sponsor side (a gas-fired BOT power plant project of USD 480M in Vietnam) and the Government side (two coal-fired BOT power plant projects – 1,200 MW, USD 2B each project, and one gas-fired BOT power plant project – 700 MW).

He is the lawyer for the Vietnamese Government in an international arbitration in connection to an investment dispute between an overseas Vietnamese investor and the Vietnamese Government.

Phong Anh also provided technical assistance to several banking reform projects which were financed by World Bank and Asian Development Bank in Vietnam.

Phong Anh Hoang

Partner