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Making it official: Taylor Wessing deepens Vietnam reach with local merger

Taylor Wessing has expanded its offering in Vietnam, by merging its Singapore outpost, RHTLaw Taylor Wessing, with its Vietnamese alliance firm PBC Partners.

In a move to strengthen its regional cross-border practice, the firm has merged with PBC Partners, its local partner since 2014, adding two offices to its global network. Taylor Wessing now has 32 outposts around the world.

The launch adds 25 lawyers in the two cities covering a range of practice areas including foreign direct investment, M&A, real estate, energy, banking and tax.

PBC Partners was founded in 2005 and has been active in developing Vietnam’s legal current legal system.

RHTLaw Taylor Wessing Singapore managing partner Tan Chong Huat said: ‘What started out as an alliance of like-minded law firms has now grown into a pre-eminent legal firm in Vietnam. Vietnam is one of the fastest growing emerging markets in the world and is poised to play an important role in the ASEAN economy.’

The Vietnam office will be led by Tran Thanh Hai as managing partner and Benjamin Yap as senior partner, both of PBC Partners.

Hai has 19 years of legal experience and previously practiced with PwC Legal Vietnam. Yap is called to the English and Singapore Bar and has 20 years’ experience handling M&A and real estate matters for local and international clients.

Taylor Wessing UK managing partner Tim Eyles told Legal Business: ‘We see Asia as one of the important regions for our clients and the sectors we focus on. This is a very logical extension to Vietnam – it’s a very fast growing market in its own right. It’s also a gateway to the Indochina region, which could help take us into Laos, Cambodia or Myanmar.

‘We feel that having worked with PBC Partners for some time now we have been very impressed with the quality of the lawyers and their ability to service sectors that are important to us. There are good cultural relations between us, which have been established by our working together.’

The coming months will see partners from Taylor Wessing’s Singapore office seconded to the new Vietnam practices and vice versa. The firm said this will help strengthen knowledge across the Asia practice.

Taylor Wessing has seen a series of recent expansions into the far east and South-East Asia. In 2013 the firm opened in Indonesia with an office in Jakarta and formed an association with South Korean full service firm DR & AJU two years ago.