ASL Law branches out services for wider regional ambitions

September 14, 2022 | 08:00
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Opening the first representative office for ASL Law in Singapore on August 12 was an important milestone in the firm’s expansion journey. Pham Duy Khuong, managing director of ASL Law, speaks with VIR’s Hoang Oanh about his dream of going global.

Vietnam has opened up many development opportunities for law firms in its territory. Why did ASL Law decide to open an office in Singapore instead of focusing on the domestic market?

ASL Law branches out services for wider regional ambitions
Pham Duy Khuong, managing director of ASL Law

Since its establishment, ASL Law has made great efforts to reaffirm its position as one of the leading law firms in Vietnam. More than 670 domestic and foreign enterprises have enlisted our services.

ASL Law and its member lawyers have been honoured multiple times by prestigious international magazines and organisations such as Asia Business Law Journal, World Trademark Review 1000, and the Legal 500. We opened a new office in Ho Chi Minh City three months ago to expand the previous representative office.

On August 12, the firm conquered a new stage in its development by opening a new representative office in Singapore. Many foreign law firms have come to Vietnam, but no Vietnamese firm had expanded into the international market.

With a team of prestigious lawyers from Vietnam and other countries and nearly 20 years of professional experience, we have enough determination and capacity to officially reach out into ASEAN. Singapore was the first country selected, marking an important milestone for the firm’s growth as it entered one of the region’s most challenging and strict legal markets.

What is the strategy of ASL Law, and how can a law firm from Vietnam compete with well-known firms in Singapore?

In addition to the head office in Hanoi, we aim to build a team of qualified personnel, including Vietnamese and foreign lawyers, in Ho Chi Minh City to turn it into a new capital for ASL Law, besides developing the office in Singapore.

In the long term, we will gradually shift focus from Vietnam to other regional countries, but need a specific plan to realise this ambition. We choose to develop strengths in intellectual property (IP) as our first weapon to conquer the Singapore market.

We have also made proud achievements over the years as one of the leading law firms in intellectual property.

IP laws in countries in the region are often similar, so it will be easier to become a leading IP law office in these foreign countries. From my personal working experience, as well as ASL Law’s consulting scope in 22 countries, I believe we have enough determination, finance, and support from partners to shape ASL Law more firmly, In addition to IP issues, we will also prioritise expanding the scope of consulting related to blockchain.

ASL Law has a strong team of legal experts in blockchain, so we are confident we can successfully advise in many different countries. Corporate service is also a priority for our development.

Vietnamese businesses doing business abroad can be confused about legal issues, especially startups or those who do not have their own legal department. The firm will accompany and support them with procedures of company establishment, settlement, and tax to help Vietnamese businesses follow the host country’s law, avoiding risks and minimising losses.

Opening a representative office in a foreign country does not necessarily mean that the enterprise is at an international level. Can you more specifically explain ASL Law’s position in the region?

ASL Law is home to many experienced lawyers from Vietnam and other countries where Vietnamese businesses are active, such as Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, China, Japan, South Korea, the US, and more.

They are all experienced in fields affecting the operation of most businesses, such as anti-dumping, mergers and acquisitions, real estate, finance, banking, foreign investment, arbitration, and intellectual property.

As a member of the International Bar Association with relationships with investors from many economic powers worldwide, the firm also brings quality investors to do business in Vietnam – and helps Vietnamese businesses expand abroad.

Our success proves that several Vietnamese law firms are strong enough to cover complicated multinational legal cases.

What makes ASL Law different from other firms?

What makes us stand out is the 1-2-2 principle: a client request receives independent advice from two senior lawyers at ASL Law, including connecting the client with foreign lawyers when they need legal advice from outside of Vietnam or when the contract consultancy requires a legal assessment based on Vietnamese and international legal systems.

As a result, the client will receive complete consultancy covering all bases while saving time and cost.

The firm also offers solutions based on the requirements of investors and businesses who are or will be doing business in Vietnam and Vietnamese businesses investing abroad.

By Hoang Oanh

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