VIETNAM WILL soon house two new Allens Arthur Robinson practices, with offices to open in Hanoi in the north and Ho Chi Minh City in the south, as part of an absorption of Phillips Fox’s operations in the country.
Resident partners Bill Magennis and Nigel Russell will run the Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh offices respectively, having between them 27 years’ experience in Vietnam. Assuming that all the approvals are met, the operations are due to open at the beginning of the new year.
“Our aim is to be the leading legal firm in the Asia-Pacific region and expanding into Vietnam is another important step in this process,” Tom Poulton, managing partner of Allens, said.
The acquisition builds on Allen’s network in the Asia-Pacific region, currently spanning 12 offices in seven countries. It is anticipated that the Vietnamese offices will include 35 staff, conduct all ongoing Phillips Fox matters once client approval is obtained, along with the Laws of Vietnam translations and website www.vietnamlaws.com.
Jim Dunstan, Allens’ executive partner in Asia described the move as “a vote of confidence in the future of Vietnam”.
“A presence in Vietnam is a logical and sensible strategic fit with our existing Asia-Pacific operation,” he said.
“With Vietnam on the verge of joining the World Trade Organisation, it is an exciting time for that country and we are very fortunate to be able to merge with an already established, successful operation there.”
Magennis said that “after 14 years practising law in Vietnam, I am very pleased to become part of the strong regional network of [Allens]”.
“We look forward to continuing our work of assisting investors in Vietnam and promoting Vietnam as a destination for foreign investment,” Russell said.