Freshfields in Vietnam
As one of the first law firms in Vietnam to receive an office licence after the country opened to the world in 1994, we have been at the forefront of Vietnam’s economic transformation.
Over the past 27 years, we have encountered – and overcome – the full range of legal issues Vietnam can present. We deploy innovative structures to ensure transactions succeed, drawing on our international legal expertise and in-depth local law knowledge.
Our experience spans many areas, including:
- the development of Vietnam's infrastructure, with leading roles in power, water, ports, oil and gas, airports, roads and soft infrastructure projects;
- investment and acquisitions of interests in Vietnamese companies (both public and non-public);
- privatisations of state-owned companies and divestments of their assets;
- corporate finance and capital markets;
- investment funds;
- competition; and
- dispute resolution.
Helping foreign investors execute the highest-profile acquisitions in Vietnam, including the largest deals in each year during the last decade.
Acting on the largest ever private equity investment in Vietnam.
Acting on investments in high-growth sectors, including education, healthcare, and fintech.
Advising on numerous acquisitions by foreign investors in the banking and finance sector, including on the acquisition of interests in the largest state-owned bank and the largest finance company in Vietnam.
Advising on five out of the seven successful equitisations of large state-owned enterprises with foreign strategic investors to date.
Advising on merger filing clearance for cross-border M&A transactions.
Acting on fund raisings by Vietnamese companies.
Advising on the largest ‘build-operate-transfer’ project development and financing in the power sector to have closed in Vietnam.
Acting on various gas-fired-power and LNG-to-power projects in Vietnam.
Advising on multiple solar and wind projects in Vietnam at different stages of development.
Acting on the financing and the restructuring of two of the leading port projects.
Acting for the developer on some of the largest ‘new city’ property developments in Ho Chi Minh City.
Acting on various employment restructurings, resolving disputes and investigations.
Diversity and inclusion
We are committed to creating a pleasant environment where our employees are encouraged to communicate openly and transparently with each other.
Our firm’s “Being Freshfields” global framework guides our standards of behaviour. The framework is based on the four key principles of respect, support, openness and positivity. Staff are encouraged to gather and voice any concerns and opinions on work matters and everyday issues. We also want our people to have a healthy work-life balance and we understand that good mental health is as important as physical health. We do not promote a ‘face-time culture’ and we encourage our staff to enjoy their life outside of work.
Creating an inclusive workplace where everyone can achieve their potential
Creating an environment where difference is valued is important to encourage all of us to work and lead inclusively. We know that focusing on diversity and inclusion is not just the right thing to do, but the smart thing to do, helping us to attract and retain top talent and meet our clients’ needs. We seek to embed our inclusion and diversity efforts into our everyday activities across the firm.
Promoting gender diversification
We are also passionate about promoting gender equality in the wider legal industry and are committed to providing opportunities to female lawyers who are qualified and would like to practice law with Freshfields in Vietnam.
Supporting the LGBT+ community
We are proud to support our lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBTQ+) colleagues in the firm and the wider LGBT+ community. Our wide range of initiatives are aimed at building a welcoming, positive and supportive environment so that everyone is comfortable to bring their whole self to work. We are working together to create a workplace where everyone can achieve their potential.
Mental health and wellbeing
We are driving an open, non-judgemental and inclusive conversation about mental health at all levels of the firm across the globe, including in Vietnam. Our ongoing commitment to create the right environment to foster open and mindful communication underlines the importance placed on mental wellbeing at Freshfields, which itself forms part of our broader thinking on employee wellbeing.
We believe that we need to have targeted initiatives and programmes, but also continue to evolve our efforts to recognise the complexity and interwoven nature of diversity, so are seeking opportunities to bring together different groups, both within the firm and in partnership with external organisations. We have been developing a number of initiatives to ensure we foster an inclusive culture where everyone has the opportunity to progress. Examples of this include our inclusive leadership workshops, a programme aimed to help leaders explore how to mitigate bias in talent decisions and strengthen leadership skills, and our reverse mentoring scheme.
Whilst we are making progress, there is more to do. Our priorities include a focus on everyday actions and inclusive leadership, our diverse talent pipeline, changing the dialogue and increasing engagement.
Environment: protecting what’s precious
Freshfields has been a consistent leader in both its environmental work for clients in Vietnam and in its own environmental commitments. Given the seriousness of the situation in Vietnam, Freshfields is now taking its engagement to an altogether higher level. Our Managing Partner, Tony Foster, together with Dominic Scriven of long-term client Dragon Capital, have recently set up the Environmental Working Group of the Vietnam Business Forum, which meets on a regular basis with the Government. This will provide a mechanism for businesses to have direct input to senior Government leaders, including the Prime Minister, on environmental issues of concern in Vietnam.
Tony Foster and Dominic Scriven have been active on environmental projects together for about 20 years, setting up Wildlife at Risk in Vietnam, establishing a large bird sanctuary area in Cambodia, and supporting the Royal Society for the Protection of Nature in Bhutan, among other thing projects.
Social responsibility and corporate governance
The way we do business at Freshfields reflects who we are and what we stand for. We want to provide our clients the best legal advice. And we want to do so responsibly.
The COVID-19 crisis and governmental responses to it are causing profound changes, affecting individuals and businesses alike. Freshfields’ Vietnam offices have done various activities to support the community to overcome the COVID-19 crisis.
- We donated healthcare masks and protective gear to doctors during the COVID-19 outbreak in Hanoi, and food and milk to children in quarantine camps in Bac Giang province.
- We support Newborns Vietnam, a UK-registered NGO dedicated to reducing neonatal mortality in Southeast Asia with a specific focus on Vietnam.
- Staff from our offices and their families have joined sports activities to raise funds for Newborns Vietnam.
- We organised ‘Giving Tuesday’ to help Newborns Vietnam buy emergency resuscitation boxes for maternity hospitals in Hanoi which could save thousands of babies’ lives.
- We do pro bono work to help REACH, a Vietnamese NGO specialised in providing vocational training, career advice and job placement services for Vietnam’s most at-risk youth.
- We donate and support activities of the UK-registered Saigon Children’s Charity, a non-profit organisation based in Ho Chi Minh City providing direct support to disadvantaged children to widen access to education in Vietnam.
- We support the Blue Dragon Children's Foundation, a charity that helps street kids and children with disabilities. The Blue Dragon Foundation also rescues kids from slavery and human trafficking in Vietnam.
- We support the Christina Noble Children's Foundation, one of the longest serving NGOs in Vietnam, which provides support for the physical, mental, educational and emotional needs of vulnerable children.
Tony Foster Partner
Bui Thanh Tien Partner
Ho Chi Minh City
Eric Johnson Counsel
Nguyen Ngoc Phong Senior Associate
Ho Chi Minh City
Chris Milliken Senior Associate
Ho Chi Minh City
Hoang Hoa Associate
Le Hai Duong Associate
Ho Chi Minh City
Nguyen Viet Associate