Ho Chi Minh City, 15 August 2017

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On August 10, 2017, the Vietnam M&A Forum 2017 announced the top mergers and acquisitions deals at a gala dinner at Ho Chi Minh City’s Gem Center.

26 deals and companies were chosen from nearly 100 nominations by Vietnam M&A Forum 2017’s panel of independent judges, to be then divided into different categories: The Best M&A Deals, Firms with The Best M&A Strategy, and The Best M&A Advisory Firms.

VILAF has again been awarded the M&A Law Firm of the Year. VILAF has advised more than 10 deals out of the 23 awarded M&A deals involving foreign investors in 2016-2017. Among those include advising Siam Cement City in the US$524 million acquisition of the capital interests of LafargeHolcim Vietnam, advising ANZ in the sale of its Vietnam retail banking business to Shinhan Vietnam, VIB Bank in the acquisition of the banking assets of the Vietnam branch of Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Earth Chemical in the acquisition of shares of A My Gia, and Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank Limited (SMTB) in the acquisition of a joint venture equity interest in BIDV Financial Leasing.


Le Nguyen Mien Thao

Student at Ho Chi Minh City University of Law

Tel: 0163 640 7336

Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Recently, the issue of environmental pollution has been gaining increasing attention in Vietnam resulting in significant damage and losses due to violations by corporate entities. Vietnam has environmental laws and regulations on the books, but are they sufficient to provide any real deterrence and enforcement? Citing laws, regulations, and other sources, what actions, regulations, enforcement procedures need to be considered to prevent and end current corporate environmental pollution in Vietnam?

In recent years Vietnam has experienced rapid economic growth enhanced by domestic corporations and especially by foreign direct investment (FDI) enterprises. However, the economic gains have come at a cost. The country’s environment has constantly been polluted due to violations in discharging wastewater, exhaust gases, dust, solid wastes and other pollutants by corporations in industries such as textile, metallurgy, shipbuilding, etc. Some of the most significant cases include violations of Vedan Vietnam Enterprise Corporation, Ltd. in 2008, Mei Sheng Textiles Vietnam Corporation, Ltd. and Formosa Ha Tinh Steel Corporation, Ltd. (Formosa) in 2016, etc. Environmental issues in Vietnam have not only resulted in losses on people’s health, natural resources, and environmental charges but also affected the national economy. Vietnamese government now takes it more seriously the importance of sustainable development and starts refraining from growing the economy at any cost.

Ho Chi Minh City, 9 June 2017

In March, VILAF invited law students attending law school in Ho Chi Minh City to compete in its first legal article writing contest. This is the inaugural year for this annual contest sponsored by one of Vietnam’s largest and most prestigious law firms.

The contest was open to all law students who had completed at least one year of law school prior to the end date of the competition, which was 30 May 2017.

Ho Chi Minh City, March 2017

ANZ has signed an agreement to sell its retail business in Vietnam to Shinhan Bank Vietnam, part of a broader retreat from Asia retail banking.

According to the news, ANZ’s retail business served 125,000 customers in Vietnam and included US$547 million in deposits and US$161 million in lending assets as of September 2016, with 8 branches and 289 employees.

The deal, subject to regulatory approval and expected to be completed by the end of 2017, is the latest step in ANZ’s retreat from the retail banking sector in Asia. After the retreat, ANZ Vietnam will continue to operate with a focus on the institutional client business.

The acquisition will increase the total asset of Shinhan Bank’s Vietnamese operation to US$3 billion, the number of credit card customers to 160,000 and employees to more than 1,300, making it the biggest foreign bank in the country by asset.

The VILAF team advising this deal was led by Partner Vo Ha Duyen and includes Partner Pham Si Hai Quynh, Senior Associate Nguyen Thanh Tung and Senior Associate Nguyen Thi Kim Anh.

By Kevin Hawkins and Nguyen Thi Phuong Nga
Ho Chi Minh City, March 2017


Upon accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO), Vietnam opened market access to various services including logistics services. In this regard, the Government issued Decree 140/2007/ND-CP (Decree 140) as an effort to incorporate WTO commitments into domestic law. However, Decree 140 revealed certain problems in practice during its decade of implementation. One of those problems is that classification of the logistic services under Decree 140 does not match with classifications in the WTO commitments. In addition, Decree 140’s wording is unclear, which has in turn created room for different interpretations by various implementing authorities.

Hanoi, 15 March 2017


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By Vo Ha Duyen, Diem Phan
Ho Chi Minh City, 20 February 2017

Eight years after the lapse of the phase-in schedule for its relevant WTO commitment, Vietnam for the first time is setting forth a legal framework for foreign invested enterprises (“FIEs”) to trade in drugs and drug ingredients to fulfill its WTO Commitments. With the long-awaited new Pharmaceutical Law taking effect this January 2017 and the draft of the decree implementing the Pharmaceutical Law (“Draft Decree”) being finalized for issuance, pharmaceutical FIEs appear to be able to exercise their trading right in a very near future.

In this briefing, the “Pharmaceutical Law” refers to the new Pharmaceutical Law and the “2005 Pharmaceutical Law” refers to the old Pharmaceutical Law, which has been in effect since 2005 and which was superseded by the new Pharmaceutical Law in January 2017.

VILAF, 20 November 2016

The 2016 Edition of IFLR1000 and the 2016 Edition of Legal 500, which were launched this month, continue to rank VILAF as a first tier law firm in all major practice areas ranked by these editorials, including Corporate/M&A, Banking & Finance, Capital Markets, Infrastructure and Projects, Dispute Resolution, etc.