26 Oct 2021

Dentons builds in Southeast Asia with Vietnamese tie-up

Combination with long-time collaborator LuatViet is global giant's fifth in ASEAN region

View of Ho Chi Minh City at night time, Vietnam.

Ho Chi Minh City De Visu; Shutterstock

Dentons has secured a presence in Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi through a combination with Vietnamese law firm LuatViet.  

The deal is the global giant’s fifth in the ASEAN region – following on from combinations in Singapore, Myanmar, Indonesia and Malaysia – with the firm also targeting deals this year in Thailand and the Philippines.

LuatViet is led by founder and managing partner Tran Duy Canh and is comprised of partners Tran Thi Ngoc Linh and John Yue along with around 30 legal professionals. 

The two firms said they have a history of advising clients in areas including banking and finance, M&A and corporate and investment.  

“Vietnam, as one of the fastest growing economies in the world, is a priority market for our clients," said Elliott Portnoy, global CEO of Dentons. "Combining with LuatViet, with whom we have worked for years, will allow us to connect clients to leading talent in Vietnam and to more than 20,000 professionals around the globe." 

Canh added: "LuatViet and Dentons share the vision of leading the way for differentiated client service in ASEAN. Our combination with Dentons means that our clients benefit from continuing to be served by lawyers with essential local expertise, while also having access to an unrivalled talent pool around the globe." 

The deal is Denton's first in the ASEAN region since 2018, when it announced combinations with Indonesia’s Hanafiah Ponggawa & Partners and Malaysia’s Zain & Co.

However, in April global vice chair and ASEAN CEO Gerald Singham told Singapore's The Business Times Vietnam was one of three jurisdictions targetted by the firm this year along with Thailand and the Philippines.

Earlier this month, Dentons completed its combination with leading Mozambique firm Fernanda Lopes & Associados-Advogados, almost two years after it was originally announced. That boosted the firm’s Africa headcount to 250 lawyers working across 17 offices in 12 countries. 

In March, it bolstered its Latin American presence by combining with Bolivian law firm Guevara & Gutiérrez, making it the only global law firm with an office in the Andean country. 

It has also been building its national US network, under Project Golden Spike, most recently unveiling a deal with Alabama law firm Sirote & Permutt, the fifth to be secured as part of the strategy. That was back in December 2020.

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