Embedding a culture of excellence

December 13, 2022 | 18:55
(0) user say
International law firm Allens has a long and proud heritage of shaping the future for clients and communities as well as its people. Giles Cooper, Linh Bui, and Ngoc Anh Tran, partners at Allens Vietnam, told VIR’s Nguyen Thu about the company’s 30-year success story across a range of industry and community issues in Vietnam.
Embedding a culture of excellence

Allens was one of the first foreign law firms to be licensed after the Vietnamese economy opened up to the world in the early 1990s. What have been some of the key achievements that have characterised Allens’ journey in Vietnam?

In its very early days, Allens played a key role in facilitating foreign investment in Vietnam – from translating key laws to volunteering time to draft laws that paved the way for investment.

Since then, the firm has been at the forefront of many of Vietnam’s first-of-a-kind and largest legal transactions – providing assistance on major infrastructure projects that set the foundations for the nation’s economic growth, and advising on early investments into Vietnam’s oil and gas sector which generated much needed revenue for the nation.

As Vietnam continues to rapidly develop into a leading regional economy, Allens has been playing a leading role in advising on mergers and acquisitions (M&As), private equity, banking, and capital markets and, more recently, on the country’s renewable energy push.

Embedding a culture of excellence
Giles Cooper, Linh Bui, and Ngoc Anh Tran, partners at Allens Vietnam

What is Allens’ position in the wider region, and what makes it different from other firms?

Today, Allens offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City practice both local and international law, advising across the complete suite of legal practice areas.

Allens has long had a presence across Asia-Pacific, from the early days as Allens Arthur Robinson and now as Allens and via an alliance with global firm Linklaters. This alliance ensures that we can serve our clients throughout Asia and internationally, through a network of 38 offices in 23 countries.

The alignment of our complementary practices means we offer an integrated service to clients and a unified team drawn from the best resources of each firm. Our culture also sets us apart. We have an embedded culture of entrepreneurship and excellence, and this has been with us since the very beginning.

What are Allens’ priorities in Vietnam, and where do you see growth opportunities?

Vietnam is widely considered a preferable destination for foreign investment, thanks to its macroeconomic parameters and its stable political system. Vietnam’s economy also benefits from the government’s efforts to promote free trade agreements with the world’s top economies and, more recently, the China+1 strategy. Those things together bring increasing opportunities for us here.

General M&A deals along with banking and finance continue to be our focus but, as the Vietnamese economy is maturing, we have also expanded our focus to private equity and capital markets.

With the growth of the economy comes the increasing need for energy. In recent years, the firm has seen growing interest in Vietnam as an investment destination for energy and renewable projects. Vietnam stands at a turning point, where rapid power demand increase and high economic growth expectations coincide with the country’s 2050 net-zero commitment and tumultuous global fuel markets.

Many experienced, reputable, and well-capitalised multinational renewable energy companies are keen to invest in Vietnam’s energy future to support the transition away from fossil fuels.

A priority for us is to walk alongside our clients in this area, drawing on decades of experience working with investors, lenders, and state authorities to develop, finance, and build power infrastructure and help them navigate the changing and challenging environment.

How has Allens supported human resources as well as empowered women and their role in the sector?

We have a market-leading position in Vietnam and a great team of talented young Vietnamese lawyers. We are proud of our track record in fostering local talent and leading lawyers who have built their careers with us in Vietnam.

At Allens, each lawyer is given the same opportunities to develop to their full potential, regardless of their gender, ethnicity, and educational background. In Vietnam, we are also the foreign law firm with the highest ratio of female partners and locally trained partners.

Allens welcomes second Vietnamese partner Allens welcomes second Vietnamese partner

Allens, one of Australia’s largest and oldest law firms, which has operated in Viet­nam since 1993, has an­nounced the appointment of Bui Khanh Linh as partner to the firm’s Ho Chi Minh City office.

By Nguyen Thu

What the stars mean:

★ Poor ★ ★ Promising ★★★ Good ★★★★ Very good ★★★★★ Exceptional