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
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
Bun & Associates practices both local and international law in Cambodia. It is notable for its financial and corporate and project development practices.
The firm acted on the first telecoms deal in Cambodia since deregulation of the industry, which involved Smart Axiata’s acquisition of assets from another telecom company in the country. The firm is active in the insurance sector where the firm often provides regulatory advice to firms such as AIA Life Insurance.
Key clients include Smart Axiata, AIA Life Insurance, Cambodia’s Ministry of Economy and Finance, and Ministry of Mines and Energy.
R&T Sok & Heng is a member of the Rajah & Tann Asia network, which gives them access to a large client base. It is most notable for its financial and corporate practices.
The firm advised Birmingham International Holdings in the issuance of shares on the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. It also assisted in the refinancing of a loan for Donaco International. Additionally, it also provides legal advice for financial institutions such as Kasikornbank Public Company and Advance Bank of Asia.
Key clients include Donaco International, Crystal International, and Kasikornbank.
"Overall, I have been very happy. Clearly, they are trying to build a solid book of clients. Strengths - good response time; good staffing (use partners for more sensitive/complex issues; associates for less intensive work); good availability; good understanding of client needs." - Project development
"Very attentive, listen to clients, straight to the point with solutions needed, flexible, quick reply to meeting arrangements as well as legal advice required. Good location."- M&A
"Experienced, and his legal knowledge widely covers the industrial knowledge that is required in Cambodia."
"Helped us with setting up the company. Very competent, detail-oriented and also made the process very easy on us."
SokSiphana & Associates has active financial and corporate and project development practices. As the firm’s founder served within the Cambodian government it has well-established relationships with the state.
The firm provided due diligence for China Development Bank in an interest rate swap transaction with Guangxi Bank and ACLEDA Bank. It also assisted Maybank Investment Bank and OCBC Bank in the legal challenges regarding the financing of a local coal-based power plant.
Key clients include China Development Bank, Guangxi Bank, and ACLEDA Bank.
Tilleke & Gibbins advises on financial and corporate law within Cambodia.
The firm provided due diligence services and advised for regulatory matters in FMC Corp’s acquisition of DuPont’s crop protection business, the largest M&A transaction in the country 2017. The firm has also been involved in the energy sector and on several transactions involving a few financial institutions.
Key clients include FMC Corp and DuPont.
VDB Loi is most active in project development. It often advises foreign firms entering the Cambodian market on transactional work.
The firm advised Asian Development Bank in the development of a large-scale Cambodian solar power plant. It assisted in multiple aspects of the transaction including regulatory, licensing, and financing matters. Other industries in which the firm has been involved in include telecommunications, infrastructure, and banking.
A key client for the firm is Asian Development Bank.