World's largest law firm to combine with LuatViet in Vietnam

October 28, 2021 | 15:06
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Dentons, the world's largest law firm, has announced a combination with leading Vietnamese law firm, LuatViet. This will give Dentons a presence in the key locations of Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi. Gerald Singham, global Vice-chair and CEO of Dentons’ ASEAN region shared with VIR’s Thanh Van about the combination and Dentons’ vision for the Vietnamese market.

What is the structure of the combination with LuatViet?

World's largest law firm to combine with LuatViet in Vietnam
Dentons has entered into a combination with LuatViet in Vietnam

Dentons and LuatViet are proposing a whole-firm combination which epitomises our polycentric model – combination firms retain control and governance over how best to serve local clients, but gain global advantage from Dentons' vast talent pool, and worldwide reach.

As the first truly polycentric global law firm, Dentons was founded on the concept that clients can best be served by a firm that embraces the local legal and cultural differences found among the communities in which it operates. With no headquarters, no presiding dominant culture, and no desire to "colonise", Dentons takes pride in diversity that matches that of its clients. LuatViet and Dentons have served clients together for many years.

In parallel, our strategic growth is always client-led, and Vietnam was clearly identified as a target geography for legal services. Dentons' proposed combination with this established and prestigious firm, one of the oldest in Vietnam, is a meaningful testimony to years of successful collaboration. We are delighted that our future colleagues at LuatViet have put their trust in Dentons, to take this next step in being part of the leading global law firm in the ASEAN Region.

Can you elaborate on the significance of the Vietnam market?

Dentons' strategy to connect the firm's clients to local talent in Vietnam and the ASEAN region is based on strong economic and client focus considerations. The ASEAN region represents a population greater than the EU, and is emerging as a powerhouse on the global economic stage. Vietnam was the world’s fifth fastest growing economy in 2020 and despite the challenges faced by every market during the pandemic. Vietnam continues to thrive in its domestic industries - particularly in manufacturing and services, for which it is considered a key Asian hub. When considering opportunities in emerging countries, we know from experience that deep-rooted local legal expertise, cultural understanding and strong local reputation with clients, are key factors in our choice of market entry and choice of local firm.

LuatViet is a top-ranking local legal firm in Vietnam and was one of the first law firms in the Vietnamese marketplace. With the addition of the services of LuatViet in Vietnam, Dentons will have an established presence that allows the firm to service clients’ needs within and outside Vietnam.

How much more work has Dentons on the whole taken on in recent years that originate from Vietnam? And what type of work?

Dentons currently has a significant number of clients that operate in Vietnam, across multiple practices and sectors. We have advised clients on many high-profile matters in and out of Vietnam, some of which include corporate and commercial, employment, licensing, and dispute resolution work, within the manufacturing, construction, and finance sectors.

The combination of LuatViet and Dentons would allow both firms to serve current and new clients in key business sectors and practices including: corporate and investment, mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, capital markets, real estate, construction, and dispute resolution. The combination would lead to significant synergies in light of Dentons’ strengths in each of these practice areas.

How do you expect the combination with LuatViet will facilitate Dentons’ expansion?

Dentons has 12,000+ lawyers globally, and more than 20,000 people overall. With the addition of the key strategic locations of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, we will have 207 worldwide locations in 82 countries.

Meanwhile, LuatViet has three partners and more than 30 professionals and enjoys a strong reputation for world-class legal services in Vietnam. It is widely recognised in the market for leadership in manufacturing, real estate and construction, banking and finance, and individual representation.

Dentons' strategy is focused on finding firms who have the proven ability to offer sophisticated, high-quality legal services and business solutions. We quickly identified LuatViet as a leading and internationally-focused firm in Vietnam, and our combination continues Dentons' momentum in ASEAN, enabling Dentons to, once again, maintain and improve its quality as it grows. With the proposed combination with LuatViet, Dentons will be present in five out of the 10 ASEAN economies, including offices in Singapore, Myanmar, Indonesia, Malaysia and now Vietnam.

By Thanh Van

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