Lovells expands Vietnam practice with Hanoi launch
Lovells is set to open a second office in Vietnam, launching in Hanoi.The top 10 City law firm already has an office in Ho Chi Minh City but is now hoping to be up and running in Hanoi by the end of the year. The office will be led by of counsel Gregory Buhyoff, who previously worked in Baker & McKenzie's Ho Chi Minh City branch until relocating to his native US. Most recently he ran his own practice in the US.The Hanoi office will advise on mergers and acquisitions, infrastructure projects and intellectual property and will ultimately have two to three lawyers.The strategy mirrors that of Lovells' Ho Chi Minh office, which was launched in 1994 and is expanding with the hire of corporate lawyer Nasir Abdul from local firm Ngo Migueres & Associes as counsel. The hire takes the office to around eight lawyers - none of whom are partners.Lovells Asia head Crispin Rapinet told Legal Week: "We are looking to establish our presence and invest in Vietnam. It is a very strong manufacturing centre and we get a lot of anti-counterfeiting instructions from our clients. We do a lot of raids and brand protection. On the corporate side there are a lot of major corporations and financial institutions that have business there."The Vietnamese market has been open for international firms to practise local law and hire local lawyers since a law change in 2003. Other international firms with a presence in the country include Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer - which has offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City - and French independent Gide Loyrette Nouel.
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