find the latest legal job
Banking Associate - 1-6PQE - Allen & Overy
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: United Kingdom
· Banking Associate - 1-6 PQE - Allen & Overy
View details
Academic Dean and Head of School of the TC Beirne School of Law
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· An outstanding opportunity · Provide educational, research and organisational leadership
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Arncliffe NSW 2205
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Globals fight protectionist lawyer law

Globals fight protectionist lawyer law

International firms may have dissuaded the Vietnamese government from limiting the scope of legal services they provide, but Baker & McKenzie still fears proposed changes to the country’s lawyer law could restrict foreign firms in the future.

Fred Burke, managing partner of Baker & McKenzie’s office in Ho Chi Minh City, told Lawyers Weekly that the Vietnamese national assembly took on the recommendations of his firm and others that opposed planned amendments to Vietnam’s 2006 law on lawyers.

Vietnamese firms had lobbied the government to impose greater restrictions on the practices of their foreign counterparts. The protectionist provision could have prevented local employees from drafting contracts, Burke revealed, with the law stipulating that legal document services were off limits for foreign firms.

“That set off alarm bells because Vietnamese commercial trade and investment dealings with the rest of the world depend a lot on Vietnamese lawyers who work in international law firms, who are drafting contracts and business charters all the time,” he said.

Norton Rose’s affiliate in Vietnam, Vision & Associates, was one of the local firms lobbying for the restrictions. Burke claimed global firms supporting a protectionist law are simply trying to knock out their competition.

“If you’re an international law firm that doesn’t have a presence in Vietnam and relies on local firms you want work to have to go to local firms ... that’s why some globals support this protectionism,” he said.

But Burke was reassured last Thursday (20 November) when he received the final draft of the law, which stipulates that Vietnamese lawyers working at foreign firms are allowed to draft contracts. “This was very encouraging,” he said, adding that the National Assembly appeared to have heeded warnings that the restrictions would not only be damaging to foreign firms, but that taking a protectionist position could scare off investors.

Burke fears, however, that this stipulation does not prevent the law from being interpreted differently in the future should leaders take a protectionist stance.

“They may have kicked the can down the road a little bit and put the issue off ... we want to be certain that, if the atmosphere changes, the law doesn’t change as well,” he said.

Burke admitted that Baker & McKenzie has already “suffered some damage”, with uncertainty on this issue keeping talent and business away.

Other international firms with significant practices in Vietnam include Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Hogan Lovells and Allens. Lawyers Weekly approached Allens for comment, but the firm declined to comment on this issue. 

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Globals fight protectionist lawyer law
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Jan 18 2018
Lawyer highlights ‘unintended consequences’ on SSM estate planning
A succession lawyer has warned that the right for same-sex couples to legally marry could have a sub...
drug rehabilitation services available in rural and remote communities
Jan 18 2018
ALS survey shines spotlight on insufficient rehabilitation services
A new survey posted by the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) has revealed an alarming insight into ...
Scales of Justice
Jan 17 2018
Lawyers lash out over latest Dutton attack
A number of legal bodies have condemned federal home affairs minister Peter Dutton’s latest commen...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...