Duane Morris appoints first female chair of an international firm in Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City-based corporate partner Nguyen Thi Lang will lead firm's Vietnam business

Nguyen Thi Lang Image courtesy of Duane Morris

Duane Morris has named Nguyen Thi Lang as chair of its Vietnam business, the first female chair of an international law firm in the Southeast Asian country.

Nguyen – who has only been a partner at the firm since 2019 – focuses her practice on a range of corporate and commercial matters, including M&A, cross-border investment, real estate and infrastructure projects. Nguyen also heads up the firm’s Ho Chi Minh City office.

Matthew Taylor, chairman and CEO of Duane Morris, said: “Our Vietnam offices are a key part of our firm’s success in Asia, and we are excited that [Nguyen] now has an expanded role as chair of Duane Morris Vietnam. We are proud that she is the first chairwoman in Vietnam of an international law firm, and her stellar credentials and background will provide our client base with an additional firm resource and leader in-country.”

Taylor said Nguyen will continue to oversee its Ho Chi Minh City office, with partner Oliver Massmann overseeing the firm’s office in Hanoi. The firm has a total of 15 lawyers in Vietnam. 

Before joining Duane Morris, Nguyen spent seven years as a partner at local firm Frasers Law Company after almost a decade as international counsel at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. She also had earlier stints at PwC Legal and Lucy Wayne & Associates.

Nguyen said: “As the Vietnam economy opens up to more international trade, which will have tremendous benefits for both our country and citizens, I am excited to more actively guide our clients through this new, more opportunistic landscape.”

The firm’s strong Vietnam focus saw it selected by the EU Commission to support the current implementation of the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement. Duane Morris has been in Vietnam since 2007, one of four countries where it operates in Asia, including Myanmar, China and Singapore.

Other US firms have been strengthening their ranks in Asia this year. Last month White & Case hired India-focused corporate partner Rahul Guptan in Singapore from Clifford Chance, while Morrison & Foerster added litigation partner Takahiro Nonaka from DLA Piper in Tokyo. Also in May, Reed Smith hired disputes partner Timothy Cooke from Stephenson Harwood in Singapore, and at the end of April, Gibson Dunn added a quartet of regulatory lawyers from Herbert Smith Freehills in Hong Kong.

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