Hogan Lovells Miami partner Gaston Fernandez is set to relocate to Vietnam, where the firm has two offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as managing partner.

Fernandez advises on infrastructure and energy project financing with a focus on emerging markets. Whilst based in Miami, Fernandez specialized in Latin America projects, often with ties to Asian financiers and investors. 

Fernandez will be based in Hogan Lovells’ Ho Chi Minh City office, where the firm counts seven lawyers. In Hanoi, the firm has one lawyer. 

Fernandez has not previously been involved in the firm’s matters in Vietnam but will soon be working closely with regional partners. According to Fernandez, Hogan Lovells will be making more strategic hires for its Vietnam offices in the near future, with a primary focus on energy projects and the related financing practices.

Two other partners, Samantha Campbell and Alex Wong, also advise on Vietnam-related deals but are based in the firm’s Singapore office. 

“In a lot of ways, that work will be good preparation for Vietnam,” said Fernandez. “Vietnam is a rapid growing and developing market and it has huge potential.” 

Fernandez has practiced at Hogan Lovells for over 13 years, four of which were spent in the firm’s Beijing office advising on general corporate M&A, private equity and foreign direct investments. Prior to that, he spent just over a year at Beijing-based De Heng Law Offices.

“Vietnam is very important to us,” said Lloyd Parker, Hogan Lovells Asia Pacific regional managing partner. “If you look at all the different statistics in terms of future projected growth, Vietnam has a very fantastic future ahead of us. We now have one business plan for that one Southeast Asia market, and Vietnam is a very important part of that. We are making sure our partners are joined up together and they are collaborating well and working on projects together.” 

Fernandez succeeds former partner Jeff Olson, who joined Hogan Lovells as partner in 2014 and later took over Campbell as Vietnam managing partner. In June, Olson left Hogan Lovells to return to the U.S., joining the firm’s client NTT Data Services as M&A in-house counsel in Texas. 

In Southeast Asia, Hogan Lovells also has offices in Jakarta, in addition to Vietnam and Singapore. The firm has made a number of partner hires in the region in recent months, including that of Biswajit Chatterjee, Mochamad Kasmali, Charlie Clayton-Payne and Nick Williams.