Cambodia

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: The Bar Association of Kingdom of Cambodia

Competition authority: Ministry of Economy and Finance

Financial regulator: National Bank of Cambodia

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction:

Financial and corporate (published October) - Financial and corporate, Project development

Jurisdiction overview

Cambodia’s private practice legal market is relatively young having only emerged when the country adopted a new constitution in 1993.

The legal system draws heavily on the French civil law tradition because of the country's colonial past. This was re-established as the modern state emerged following an era of rule by the Maoist Khmer Rouge.

DFDL, a firm that’s specialised in emerging markets throughout the Mekong region, was the first officially authorised firm to launch in 1995, with Bun and Associates not too far behind. Other regional firms such as Tilleke & Gibbins also operate in Phnom Penh and R&T Sok & Heng is a member of Singapore-based Rajah & Tann Asia and thus supported by a regional network in South East Asia. 

Corruption is a clear issue in the country and the Anti-Corruption Unit (ACU) was set up in tandem with the promulgation of the 2010 Anti-Corruption Law (ACL), in an attempt to find new and innovative ways to implement the law.

Candy Chan - Journalist - Asia-Pacific

Financial and corporate
Bun & Associates

Ranking among the market leading firms in Cambodia, Bun & Associates performs consistently well across financial and corporate and project development.

The firm provides advice in a wide variety of sectors including banking and financial services, insurance, real estate, agriculture, environment, mining, oil and gas and technology and telecommunication.

In the research period the firm acted on the listing of the first-ever corporate bond on the Cambodian Securities Exchange.

Additionally, the firm was kept busy with an array of mandates including both buy and sell-side M&As, regulatory compliance work, asset acquisition, and aircraft leasing.

Staffing changes saw the hire of Liu Ting Ting from De Heng Law as head of the firm’s China desk.

Recent Deal Data highlights

• Carlsberg acquisition of a majority stake in Cambrew

• Hattha Kaksekar $30 million 8.5% bond issue

• Woori Bank acquisition of a stake in VisionFund Cambodia

 

Client feedback

“They are one of the few firms in ASEAN that know how to service Japanese clients and understand their thirst for details and keeping to timetables. The quality of their work is very good including an excellent due diligence report.” - Banking

“Overall assessment is very good.” – Financial and corporate

“The representatives of Bun & Associates that have worked with us recently have been professional and knowledgeable.” - Financial and corporate

“Value for money.” - Financial services regulatory 

“Strong in corporate and M&A.” - M&A  

“The team shows great capability in understanding legal/regulatory matters and analysing possible positioning strategies, flexibility in exploring different methods, practicality in suggesting approaches, as well as carrying out stakeholder management very well within the country. “ - Project development 

Yean Solina

“Listens and advises appropriately with a good understanding of the needs of the business.”

Chanda Sun

 “Responsive and knowledgeable.”

Bun Youdy

“Bun Youdy has been an important resource for us, and to a certain extent the industry, in advocacy matters related to the Telecom Law (even before promulgation in 2015), subsidiary telecom regulations, and recently some transactional work. Youdy's experience and visibility within the Telecoms & ICT sector as well as the financial sector, and in the country as a whole have led his company to be one of the most prominent legal firms in this field of work.”  

“The best lawyer in Cambodia by a long chalk.”

“Very good. He always thinks about the benefit of the client.”

DFDL

Active in the jurisdiction since 1995, DFDL is one of Cambodia’s leading firms and is recognised for its financial and corporate and projects work.

In the research period the firm acted on Cambodia’s first PPP project with international financing and also advised on one of the first large scale mining projects in the jurisdiction.

The firm’s projects team saw the departure of head Cassandra Duffy for Clifford Chance, while the head of the banking and finance team, Daniel Wein, left for Ellice Tanner Hart. Deputy head of the banking team, Vathana Sar, also left the firm.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                      Cambodia Airports PPP

•                      Okvau Gold Deposit

•                      Sihanoukville Expressway PPP

R&T Sok & Heng

Bolstered by the Rajah & Tann Asia network R&T Sok & Heng is a strong performer in project development, but its financial and corporate practice sets it apart from its competitors. 

During the research period the firm acted on a number of M&A mandates, most notable for Chinese acquirers in the real estate sector; acted on IPOs on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange; and advised on the first private offering of a listed company in Cambodia. 

The firm has also recently advised on mandates involving cross-border financing and regulatory compliance in sectors including technology, consumer goods, insurance, banking and financial services.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                     HLH Development / Royal Group of Companies joint venture

•                     Oriental Payment Group Holdings HKSE IPO

•                     Phnom Penh SEZ $10 million private offering

 

Client feedback

“The firm has been excellent in responding in a timely manner.” – Banking

 “I have done work in Cambodia for many years, and R&T Sok & Heng is by far the market leader when it comes to both quality of legal advice and practical on the ground knowledge. Too often, Cambodian advisors will just advise on the practice - this does not work for international clients who need to follow a country's laws strictly. RTSH has found the right balance of advising on laws and give solutions on how to move a project forward when those laws are not always followed by the regulators. In addition, the lawyers understand complex legal transactions and can translate them into a course of action that will work in Cambodia.” – Financial and corporate

“Diligent on details, assess local rules and regulations, and provide advise to serve client's benefits.” - Financial and corporate    

“The firm really impressed us with it's highly efficient and highly qualified professional service. The team responded promptly, and always offered its professional legal advice with full consideration of the benefit to us. The team has a business mindset, which helped us make better choices in the deal. Thanks to R&T's team, we closed the deal successfully and safely.” – M&A

Heng Chhay 

“Heng Chhay is clearly the market-leading lawyer in Cambodia. His knowledge of the law, his understanding of the Cambodian political and legal environments and his ability to communicate those to foreign clients is second to none. He grasps concepts quickly.”

Sieng Deline

“Able to provide efficient responses in a manner that outlines all scenarios.”

Tiv Sophonnora

“He provides a highly efficient and highly professional service. He always responded promptly. His business mindset helped us make better choices in the deal.” 

“He has a sharp mind and excellent knowledge of Cambodian law and practice and international legal concepts.“

“Great in handling details. Listens to the client and provides advice and services to comply with government rules and regulation while protecting the client's interests.“ 

Sciaroni and Associates

Sciaroni and Associates is recognised for its financial and corporate and project development practices.

The firm has experience in providing advice across multiple sectors including financial services, manufacturing, telecommunications, hospitality, transportation, mining, energy and healthcare.

The firm’s recent mandates include project financing, compliance and regulatory work, sell-side mergers and acquisitions, and aircraft leasing.

SokSiphana & Associates

Founded in 1998 by name partner Dr Sok Siphana, SokSiphana & Associates is an established full-service firm and provides advice on the full spectrum of financial and corporate matters. The firm has been a member of the ZICO Law network since 2012.

The firm is on the legal panel of top international banks in Cambodia and advises them on the legal framework and compliance issues. The firm is also experienced in acting for foreign financers in project financing mandates in the real estate and infrastructure sectors.

During the research period the firm was involved in some high-value acquisitions, mergers, joint ventures, IPOs, and project financing transactions in sectors including banking, telecommunication, and power.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                     J Trust Co $150 million acquisition of a majority stake in ANZ Bank Cambodia

•                     PRASAC $60 million loan facility

Tilleke & Gibbins

Tilleke & Gibbins in Cambodia is known for its financial and corporate work.

During the research period the firm has been kept busy with compliance and regulatory work, restructurings, buy-side acquisitions and loan facilities for clients in a variety of sectors including banking, oil and gas, real estate, food and beverages, insurance, technology and telecommunication, and media. 

Staffing changes saw the hire of Jay Cohen as partner and director of the Cambodian practice from KCP Cambodia.

VDB Loi

During the research period, VDB Loi in Cambodia was most active in the financial and corporate space.

The firm has primarily taken on buy side roles in inbound acquisitions and has also been involved in IPOs, mergers, restructurings and project financings in a variety of sectors including banking and financial services, real estate, food and beverages, hospitality and telecommunication.  

Recent Deal Data highlights

•                     Shanghai Commercial and Savings Bank $100 million acquisition of a majority stake in AMK Microfinance