“The execution of the laws
is more important
than the making of them”
OUR UNIQUE FOCUS IS YOUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE IN THE MEKONG REGION
Not all law firms are alike. Each is guided by distinct principles, focus and capabilities affecting every aspect of your
experience. As the Mekong Region’s leading law firm, DFDL Mekong is no exception.
More than 15 years ago, our firm was built on the foundation of a unique vision: to build an integrated, international
standard law firm with in-depth local knowledge of the countries of the Mekong Region, while providing effective,
accurate, efficient and personalized legal services.
Today, under the leadership of our six principals, our vision is a reality, with more than 90 multicultural lawyers and
legal advisers serving our clients throughout eight offices across the five countries in the region.
We pledge to provide you with effective, accurate, efficient and personal legal services:
Effective means that we care about achieving results, not just providing advice.
Accurate means that we will always uphold the highest standards of our profession, which, even in the region’s
sometimes opaque and unpredictable legal systems, inspires us to give you clear, accurate and targeted legal
advice closely tailored to your needs.
Efficient means that we care about your bottom line, and we do not waste unnecessary resources on your projects.
Personal means that our lawyers are committed in the success of your business and the transactions or disputes that
you place under their care.
DFDL Mekong provides a truly uniform regional service under our “One Firm One Region” operating doctrine. Our
principals and senior advisers all have experience across the region and can give you the local expertise and regional
perspective you need to successfully invest in and operate a business in the Mekong region.
CLIENT SUCCESS IS THE TRUE MEASURE OF OUR FIRM
DFDL Mekong’s success lies not only with our deep local insight and connections in the region to assist in every phase
of your investment, but also with our commitment to providing you, our clients, the highest degree of excellence in
service and, above all, results.
Many law firms active in this region try to service their clients from major business centers outside the region.
We at DFDL Mekong know that the legal services you need to make your investment successful cannot be provided
on a “fly-in” basis.
Our regional presence in eight offices spanning five countries gives you the ability to obtain legal and consulting advice
through an integrated network.
Our team works closely together to ensure you obtain the most up to date advice on all aspects of your investments.
PERSONALIZED SERVICE IS IN THE DETAILS
Whether you need legal assistance on one aspect of Based on your needs, throughout the course of your
a deal, or a step by step approach from conception business operation, we will assist with the following:
to fruition, DFDL Mekong will guide you through each
step of the process. Examples of our services during Advice on labor law, employment contracts and
the investment phase include: related matters
Registration and protection of intellectual property
Issuing legal opinions on local law and procedure Corporate governance
Conducting legal due diligence for all types of Debt or equity financing
transactions, including project finance, mergers Dispute resolution
and acquisitions Environmental regulations
Obtaining business or project licenses Tax compliance
Drafting joint venture agreements and other All other commercial matters
Incorporating and registering companies
Assisting with legal aspects of financing and banking
Leasing and purchasing of residential and commercial
Tax and investment planning and structuring
OUR EXPERTISE IS YOUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
As a full service law firm, DFDL Mekong provides legal and advisers have practical knowledge of the various
services in nearly all sectors and practice areas. forms of ownership, taxation, zoning and regulation of
For a complete list of our practice areas and business sectors, land use throughout the Mekong Region. We will assist
please visit our website at www.DFDLMekong.com. you with all aspects of your invesment, from structuring
complex real estate transactions to drafting and
The team at DFDL Mekong has developed special negotiating all legal documentation.
expertise in a number of specific practice areas. This
special expertise is made available to our clients through Taxation
regional practice groups with experts in each country
attending to every aspect of your legal requirements. DFDL Mekong specializes in providing tax planning and
These practice groups are aligned with the major sectors structuring advice throughout the Mekong Region (and
for investments in the region. offshore) to ensure that your business will benefit from
the lowest tax burden legally possible. We will develop
By focusing on these specialized areas of practice, our the optimum tax structure for your transaction. Members
lawyers and advisers are able to leverage expertise for our of our tax practice group have the technical know-how
clients and provide an unparalleled quality service, helping and experience to deal with a variety of tax issues, including
you achieve your goals in the region. purchase price allocations, preserving net operating loss
carryovers, and maximizing amortization and depreciation
Energy, Infrastructure and Project Finance benefits. We also have extensive experience in drafting
DFDL Mekong has considerable experience in the energy complex contractual provisions relating to tax representations
sector in the Mekong Region. We have advised on major and indemnities.
projects worth billions of dollars. These range from large DFDL Mekong assists clients with corporate, partnership
hydropower projects in Laos and Cambodia, to pipelines and individual tax, real estate transactions, mergers
and IPPs in Vietnam, to renewable energy projects in and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, leveraged leases,
Thailand. We have also advised on major roads, ports, exempt organizations, employee benefits, trusts and
bridges, water treatment facilities, transmission lines, estates, estate planning and tax controversy work. Clients
railroads, airports and telecommunications projects. in this area range in size from individual investors and
DFDL Mekong’s project finance experience is deep and diverse, SMEs to large established multi-region and international
with an emphasis on providing viable solutions to enable corporate groups.
successful financing of projects in the region’s sometimes
underdeveloped legal environment. DFDL Mekong has Corporate and Commercial
extensive understanding and recognized expertise in a wide
array of finance and secured lending transactions: assisting Our corporate and commercial practice group will
banks, international financial institutions, hedge funds, provide you with knowledge that can only come from
mining companies, power companies, insurance companies more than 15 years experience advising a comprehensive
and other institutional and commercial lenders, as well as and varied client base on a wide range of commercial
borrowers, equity investment groups and individual investors. and corporate matters. From large multinational corporations
to local small to medium-sized enterprises, we have
Our lawyers’ and advisers’ unique knowledge and considerable expertise on a wide range of corporate and
capabilities, along with strong dedication to client commercial legal matters, including cross border transactions,
service, allow us to complete energy, infrastructure mergers and acquisitions, corporate advisory, technical
and financial transactions in the region in a timely and assistance, commercial and corporate governance and
successful manner. compliance matters.
Our mergers and acquisitions expertise has been
Real Estate Practice acknowledged by Asia Counsel through “Deal of the
Whether your real estate transactions and disputes Year” awards in 2007 and 2009 for two regional
are routine or complex, DFDL Mekong’s real estate telecommunication mergers. In year 2009, “Asian Legal
practice group represents developers, investors, lenders Business” has selected DFDL Mekong as the best private
and businesses in the acquisition, development, equity & venture capital boutique firm in both Vietnam
financing, sale and leasing of real estate. Our lawyers and Thailand.
IT IS THE PEOPLE WHO MAKE OUR FIRM
At DFDL Mekong we are only as good as our people. Fortunately, we are dedicated to hiring, keeping and making available to you the best legal
minds in the region. Here are some more insights into the talented and diverse people making DFDL Mekong’s guiding principles work for you.
DAVID DORAN THIERRY GOUGY
Partner and Chairman Partner; Managing Director, Vietnam
Managing Director, Thailand Thierry.Gougy@dfdlmekong.com
David.Doran@dfdlmekong.com Based in Vietnam, Thierry is a French qualified lawyer with
Having started his legal career at the Bangkok office of a more than 15 years of experience on M&A and privatization,
major international law firm in 1992, David recognized the infrastructure projects, taxation and technical assistance to
need for a regional law firm with exceptional customer local governments. He has worked in Asia for more than 10
service and specialized local knowledge. In 1994 David years, seven of which were spent in Vietnam, first with Gide
founded DFDL Mekong with three other attorneys, in Loyrette Nouel and then with Pricewaterhouse Coopers Legal.
Prior to joining DFDL Mekong, Thierry was the managing
Vientiane, Laos. In 1995, he set up DFDL Mekong’s office
lawyer for the Hong Kong and Guangzhou offices of French
in Phnom Penh. In 2003, David relocated to Thailand law firm, Lefe�vre Pelletier & Associes. Before moving to the
to establish the firm’s Bangkok office, and to supervise Mekong region, Thierry was partner at a leading commercial
hydropower and other energy projects in Laos. Currently law firm, Naciri & Associes in Casablanca, Morocco. Thierry
David is the Managing Director of the Thai offices, and the attended Universite Paris Dauphine where he studied
Chairman of DFDL Mekong. international business and administration and business law
David’s practice focuses on energy, infrastructure, project at Universite Pantheon Assas (Paris II). He is a graduate of the
finance and mergers & acquisitions. He heads, together Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po).
with Martin Desautels, the firm’s Energy Infrastructure and Languages: French, English, basic Vietnamese and Mandarin
Finance Practice Group.
David was born in Bangkok. He is a member of the California Partner; Managing Director, Regional Tax Group
and Washington State Bar Associations, and has a Juris Edwin.Vanderbruggen@dfdlmekong.com
Doctor degree from the University of Washington School of As the “go-to” tax specialist, Edwin is regularly called on
Law, where he served on the Law Review. to train and assist government tax department officials
Languages: English, French throughout the Mekong region. Based out of our Phnom
Penh, Cambodia office, he advises multinational enterprises
L-MARTIN DESAUTELS and international organizations in the field of taxation. Edwin
Regional Managing Partner previously taught tax and international law at numerous
Managing Director, Cambodia universities in Belgium, The Netherlands and Thailand and
Martin.Desautels@dfdlmekong.com continues to teach at prestigious universities throughout
Martin’s experience in the Mekong Region dates back to the Mekong region. In addition, Edwin has published more
1999 when he worked on major energy projects in Hanoi, than 40 scientific articles in international legal journals and
the first BOT power plant project in Vietnam: the Phu My 2-2 five books on international law, taxation and investment law
Gas Power Plant Project. He has considerable experience on issues, some of which won scientific awards. Edwin holds a
a variety of energy, infrastructure, project finance, secured LL.B. from University of Antwerp, Belgium and a LL.M. in tax
lending and corporate transactions across the region, with law from Free University of Brussels, Belgium.
special emphasis on Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Martin Languages: Dutch, German, English, French and Thai
joined DFDL Mekong in 2002 when the Firm went on a major
regional expansion program setting-up offices in all Mekong MARCUS COLLINS
Region countries. Martin is DFDL Mekong’s Regional Managing Partner; Head of Samui and Phuket, Thailand offices
Partner and Managing Director of our Cambodia office. Marcus.Collins@dfdlmekong.com
Marcus has more than 20 years experience advising clients
Martin’s practice currently focuses on regional energy and on investing and operating businesses in Thailand. He has
infrastructure projects, finance transactions, investment practiced in Thailand at some of the world most prestigious
funds and other corporate work. He has worked on a variety firms including Allen & Overy, where he was a partner.
of infrastructure projects throughout the Mekong Region, Marcus left Allen & Overy in 2003 to join McEvily & Collins. In
notably port construction, railway development, toll bridge, search of new regional opportunities, Marcus merged his firm
water plant facilities, telecommunication networks and gas- into DFDL Mekong in January 2010. His practice focuses on
coal- heavy fuel- renewable- hydro power plants. general corporate/commercial work and property and finance
Martin holds a LL.B. Sherbrooke University, Quebec, Canada transactions.
and LL.M. from London School of Economics and is a Marcus has a LL.M. from Cornell Law School and a LL.B. from
member of the Quebec Bar Association. Erasmus Universiteit, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He maintains
Languages: English, French, basic knowledge of Vietnamese his membership with the New York State Bar Association and is
and Khmer. also admitted in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
Languages: English, Dutch, conversational Thai and German
Partner For more information on the DFDL Mekong Team visit us at
After working for 5 years with White & Case and Linklaters,
Paniti merged his practice with and co-founded DFDL
Mekong’s Bangkok office in 2007. Paniti’s practice focuses
on corporate finance, energy, property finance, TMT & IT. He
also advises on employment law and dispute resolutions.
Paniti has a LL.B. from Chulalongkorn University and a LL.M.
from University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law.
Languages: Thai, English
often makes good law”
William Orville Douglas