Phong is recommended as a top-tier lawyer in the banking & finance and capital market practice (Legal 500, IFLR 1000 and Asia Law) and the M&A practice (Legal 500, AsiaLaw and Chambers Asia). He has been recognised as a market leader by IFLR 1000 in banking and finance, corporate, and infrastructure and energy. Who’s Who Legal 2019 regards Phong as an expert in Energy and Aviation sectors and IFLR regards Phong as an Asia Best Lawyer in 2019 and 2020. Most recently, Legal 500 has honoured him in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific Hall of Fame, among only 7 foreign and Vietnamese lawyers in this elite lawyer group for Vietnam.
With the broad experience, he has represented numerous international sponsors and lenders in relation to large-scale projects in oil & gas, power, chemical, automobile, aircraft, sea-port, highway, telecommunication, insurance, real estate development, retail and distribution, and consumer goods industries. He is reputable in advising international businesses and banks on corporate restructuring and financing, share subscriptions, mergers and acquisitions transactions, ECA and syndicated financing, asset financing, and project financing in Vietnam. He has been involved in most BOT and high-profile infrastructure projects in Vietnam including ACWA Power (previously K-Exim and K-Sure as the potential ECAs) – Nam Dinh 1 Power Project, Marubeni Corporation/KEPCO – Nghi Son 2 Power Project, Sumitomo Corporation – Van Phong 1 Power Project, AES – Mong Duong 2 Power Project, OneEnergy/Mitsubishi – Vinh Tan 3 Power Project, Chinese sponsors – Vinh Tan 1 Power Project, ITACO – Kien Luong 1 Power Project, Chevron – gas pipeline project, Premier Oil – gas transportation, Shell downstream projects, Phu My 2.2 Power Project, Wartsila BOT Power Project, Binh An BOT Water Project. His banking clients include Citibank, Standard Chartered Bank, SMBC, BTMU, CBA, etc. He also assisted the issuers or the arrangers for the convertible and SGX listed bonds of Vingroup, Vinacomin’s international bonds, Vingroup’s series of M&A transactions with GIC, Credit Suisse, Hanwha, Warbus Pincus, SK and Masan, Vincom Retail’s and Vinhomes’ Rule 144A international placement/HOSE listing and some overseas IPO/listing transactions.
Phong is a highly regarded attorney for his admirable capacity to provide practical solutions that well suit the clients’ needs. The Legal 500, 2007 edition, also commented him “‘Amenable, responsive and service-orientated’ Tran Tuan Phong is considered a leading light for M&A, acting for global brands”. Market sources declare that Tran Tuan Phong is “very well known for business law.” (Chambers & Partners 2017). “Tran Tuan Phong is a leading name in the market, regularly advising domestic and international companies on M&A transactions and joint venture investments. He is well versed in the finance, private equity and construction industries.” (Chambers & Partners 2019). The AsiaLaw, 2020 Edition, said about Phong “Very innovative and problem solving as well as understanding the client’s issue and providing excellent advice.”
- Advised a consortium of Marubeni Corporation and KEPCO in the bidding, development and financing of the Nghi Son 2 Power Project in Vietnam. This is the first power plant of international tender in Vietnam which has been successfully achieving financial close in August 2018 on limited-recourse project financing from JBIC, K-EXIM and commercial lenders. This deal is awarded as the APAC Coal-fired Power Project of the Year 2018 by IJ Global and the Project Finance of the Year 2019 by ALB.
- Involved in almost all BOT and high-profile infrastructure projects in Vietnam including ACWA Power – Nam Dinh 1 Power Project, Sumitomo Corporation – Van Phong 1 Power Project, AES – Mong Duong 2 Power Project, OneEnergy/Mitsubishi – Vinh Tan 3 Power Project, Chinese sponsors – Vinh Tan 1 Power Project, ITACO – Kien Luong 1 Power Project, Chevron – gas pipeline project, Premier Oil – gas transportation, Shell downstream projects, Phu My 2.2 Power Project, Wartsila BOT Power Project, Binh An BOT Water Project.
- Advised Grab in relation to its acquisition of the Southeast Asia business of Uber Technologies Inc. in Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and Thailand. This deal is awarded as the M&A Deal (Premium) of the Year 2019 by ALB.
- Advised Long Son Petrochemicals in relation to its financing via an US$ 3.2 billion syndicated loan to develop its Long Son Petrochemicals Complex in Ba Ria – Vung Tau province, Vietnam. This financing is awarded as the APAC Petrochemicals Deal of the Year 2018 by IJGlobal.
- Advised Vinhomes JSC (Vingroup’s subsidiary) and the major shareholders in relation to the 144A rule international placement and listing on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HOSE) with the offer value of US$1.4 billion, the largest listing ever recorded on HOSE till now. The deal was awarded as the Best Vietnam Deal and Best IPO Deal of the year 2018 by Finance Asia and as the Best Equity Deal of the Year 2018 by The Asset.
- Advised Vincom Retail (Vingroup’s subsidiary) and the major shareholders in relation to the 144A rule international placement and listing on the Ho Chi Minh City Stock Exchange (HOSE) with the offer value of US$740 million, the largest listing ever recorded on HOSE till November 2017.
- Advised Vingroup in the US$400 billion preference shares to Hanwha Group (for the first time of this deal in Vietnam)
- Advised Credit Suisse in the structuring of a private placement of near US$270 million by Vietcombank to GIC Private Limited
- Advised CVC in relation to its acquisition of shares in Asia Commercial Bank as listed in Hanoi Stock Exchange
- Advised TE Healthcare and TPG in investment in hospital businesses in Vietnam
- Advised Siam City Cement in the US$560 million acquisition of LafargeHolcim’s 65% shares in Holcim Cement Vietnam
- Advised CapitaLand in series of their real eatate acquisition in Hanoi
- Assisted Vietcombank in relation to its establishment of a representative office in New York, USA
- Advised Chevron in relation to due diligence and participation in US$1 billion pipeline project with PetroVietnam
- Deputy Secretary of Vietnam Bar Federation
- Chairman for the first term, Member of Management Board of Vietnam Business Lawyer Club (VBLC), Vietnam Bar Federation
- Member of international organisations and professional associations such as Asia Pacific Loan Market Association (APLMA), International Bar Association (IBA), American Chamber of Commerce in Vietnam (AmCham), Aviation Working Group – South East Asia (AWG SEA)
- Co-Team Leader of the Infrastructure Group of (Vietnam Business Forum)