Sunday 6 January 2013

Top 10 Law Firms in the Kingdom of Cambodia

Chambers and Partners - Home

THE FIRM Sources single out this firm as a market leader, highlighting its increasing appeal to foreign clients. The team's key areas of expertise include banking, foreign investments, real estate and commercial litigation. In the past year, it advised Minebea on business establishment and foreign investment regulations. Other key clients include CIMB Bank, HwangDBS Commercial Bank and Ajinomoto.

Sources say: "We found their service comprehensive and responsive, which enabled us to meet our deadlines. The team was very professional and dedicated."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Youdy Bun is "dynamic, committed and has an international outlook." He recently advised a major local company on the acquisition of a USD60 million brewery plant. His impressive client roster also includes several foreign banks operating in Cambodia. Antoine Fontaine is a popular choice among international firms, and is most noted for his work with French clients.
THE FIRM DFDL's depth of resources and strong Indochina presence make the firm a popular choice for complex, cross-border deals in the region. With tax advisers on the team, it is able to provide clients with all-round advice that encompasses both legal and tax aspects. The firm is particularly well known for project finance deals. It was instructed by Export-Import Bank of China in a USD300 million hydropower project to be developed in Pursat province in Cambodia. Real estate is another area of strength; the team recently advised the Royal Group of Companies on the acquisition of Hotel Cambodiana.

Sources say: "Their cross-country presence works tremendously in their favour." "They are fantastic in Cambodia and have great regional expertise too."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Martin Desautels is well regarded for investment funds and project finance matters. He proves particularly popular with foreign banks. Commentators report: "He has been in the region for a long time and has  very deep knowledge and experience of the sectors and ministries here. He's also incredibly client-focused and ensures that we get the service we want from DFDL."
THE FIRM This firm has a long and distinguished track record in advising foreign clients on their inbound investments. Commentators single out the team's strong relationship with the government as one of its greatest strengths. It is particularly active in the areas of property development, agriculture, telecoms and mining.
Sources say: "A top-tier, well-established firm."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Bretton Sciaroni is an adviser to the Cambodian authorities and is the first port of call for clients with government-related issues. Matthew Rendall is best known for his substantial expertise in property matters. Sources commend him for being "a solid practitioner who can pinpoint potential problems before they arise." 
THE FIRM Clients turn to BNG Legal for its robust foreign investments and company formation practices. Recent highlights for the firm include advising BHP Billiton on compliance with local regulations in areas such as taxation, insurance and labour. The team is also active in the IP arena, handling portfolio maintenance, licensing, anti-counterfeiting and enforcement matters. Its client base also includes Air France, Swift Resources and Leopard Capital.
Sources say: "They are quick to respond and are patient in sitting down with us and discussing the issues in detail."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Naryth Hem is a seasoned practitioner who advises both local and foreign clients on their business operations in Cambodia. One client notes: "He is adept at advising on reaching an agreement between foreign and local investors." Liam Garvey is another leading figure in the team. He is particularly highly regarded for his experience in commercial matters.
THE FIRM Ban Nou Ouk & Partners is widely known for its solid litigation practice, particularly in regard to criminal law. It also offers a full range of services in the banking, finance, labour, taxation and real estate areas. The firm is also well versed in advising foreign investors, and has a strong Malaysian and Chinese client base in the garment and manufacturing sectors.
Sources say: "They have strong corporate and litigious practices, and are leaders for criminal matters."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Interviewees highlight Ry Ouk's overseas training as a key draw for international clients. They also single out his negotiating skills: "He's a very forthright negotiator who is not afraid to take a stand and defend it."
THE FIRM This firm stands out for its extensive capability in litigious matters, including IP and criminal cases. Its commercial practice is another core strength. It also advises on banking, telecoms, property and infrastructure matters. The firm attracts both local and foreign clients, with the latter coming from China, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Vietnam.
Sources say: "HBS has a very strong contentious practice."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients take great comfort in the high level of commitment they get from managing director Ly Tayseng. He advises foreign investors on company formation issues, and also handles dispute resolution, including international commercial arbitration.
THE FIRM Sok & Heng was founded in March 2010 and has already secured a prominent position in the market. Sources underline the full-service firm's strength in advising international clients. Its recent highlights include advising WING Cambodia on various matters, including revising mobile network operator agreements and general corporate governance. The group also acted for Malaysian-listed company Golden Land in the acquisition of approximately 30,000 hectares of concession land.

Sources say: “The firm is professional, thorough and extremely knowledgeable in Cambodian law.”

KEY INDIVIDUALS Heng Chhay advises clients on corporate and commercial work, and is particularly highly regarded for property matters. Clients report: “Working with someone like Chhay is a breath of fresh air because he's truly informed about the laws and the frequent changes that occur within the legal system.” Khavan Sok is praised as "a shrewd negotiator and talented problem solver – he is able to articulate the laws in an easily comprehensible manner."
THE FIRM This boutique excels in advising on international trade and corporate law. It is sought out by multinational firms for its expertise in the real estate, agriculture and tourism industries. It recently advised the Leopard Cambodia Fund on its investments in local projects. The team also acted on a joint venture between a Thai holding company and a Cambodian firm for the trading and manufacturing of agricultural chemical products.

Sources say: "The firm has extensive knowledge of the Cambodian market and is well versed in the local laws and regulations."

KEY INDIVIDUALS Seasoned practitioner Siphana Sok is lauded for his expertise in commercial matters. "He's among the top Cambodian lawyers, someone whom I respect enormously," a peer affirms. Sok's wealth of experience includes holding top posts in Cambodia's Ministry of Commerce, the International Trade Centre and a joint agency of the WTO and UNCTAD.

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