AI Issue 5 2018

46 Acquisition International - Issue 5 2018 DN Legal is a successful law firm brimming with experience in Vietnam. We invited Dao Nguyen to tell us more about the successful law firm which she founded, as well as her own extensive experience. stablished in 2014, DN Legal was founded by legal expert Dao Nguyen after more than 25 years of being based in Vietnam. Dao set up DN Legal with the vision of focusing only on corporate M&A and corporate finance in all sectors. Making the most of the company’s unique skillset, Dao and the team are willing to take on work that clients felt other firms could not deliver a high enough standard of results. Dao starts off the discussion by describing the long-term relationships that DN Legal has built with many of its clients, and how this is a clear indication of the company’s ongoing success. “Some of our clients have been with us for many years, and the new clients are Vietnamese companies seeking to raise funds from international investors. The type of work we have done includes large real estate developments such as new town developments, and the raising of funds for such projects via loans, convertible bonds and other instruments.” The approach that a firm adopts when undertaking a new client is crucial to the long-term success of the company and the client. Throughout the legal industry, almost every case is unique. Therefore, Dao and her team work extremely hard to gain an understanding of the client’s desired outcome before taking on the case, ensuring that they can provide the best result. “Here at DN Legal, we do not take on work unless we are able to provide an efficient service which adds value to the client’s case. We look first at the type of work required as we are focused on complex M&A and corporate finance transactions, and real estate and work that we think we can do better than other firms. In such cases, we believe that we provide value to the client, and so we look at our ability to do the work in a timely manner.” One of the major challenges Dao faced in the early days of working as a lawyer in Vietnam in 1990s and then becoming managing partner for her previous firms was finding the right talent and setting up a business in which every aspect was new. Dao tells us what other potential issues she has had to overcome, and how these have enabled her firm to thrive in this respect. “Vietnam had just opened its doors for foreign investment in 1987, and there was a lot of stress Company: DN Legal Contact: Dao Nguyen Address: 3rd Floor, President Place, 93 Nguyen Du, Ben Nghe Ward, District 1, Ho Chi, Minh City, Vietnam Phone: +84 28 3827 2418 Website: ProducingUnmatched Results Across the Legal Sector E 1804AI50 in helping clients navigate a challenging and new environment. Added to that, the challenges in finding lawyers whilst also adapting to living in Vietnam made the job exciting but stressful at the same time. The sector has changed because the Government has revamped the entire legal framework to equal the playing fields for all investors, and this has opened up many sectors to foreign investors.” Establishing DN Legal as a major player within the legal sector is a key indicator of Dao’s ability to lead her team. Refusing to micro-manage to her team, Dao believes she gives her staff the freedom to maximise their potential, and this attitude to her work has seen the firm become increasingly successful. “Essentially, I manage my team by not managing them at all and this is something I learned during my time as Managing Partner of two international firms. I believe in empowering lawyers to take on work which they have not done before, but I make sure to provide them with clear guidance and instructions. The key is to maintain a collegial atmosphere where new ideas are welcomed, and I also believe in guiding and promoting lawyers. “It is the same throughout the company, and we do have a set of values; Passion, Respect, Integrity and Honesty, Excellence and Accountability. Plus, everyone who works for me embodies these values. For us, the recruiting process is where it all starts and so we try to look for people who work and live to the highest standards but like to have fun and do not take themselves too seriously.” Regarding what the future holds for DN Legal, Dao is keen to capitalise on the success that her firm has achieved already and continue to encourage her staff to try something different, and provide a service which is unrivalled across the industry. “Moving forward, I would like to see the firm grow and we have started the process already with the recent promotion of corporate partner Tuan Anh Le. I started DN Legal because I wanted to do something different and take on work that clients believe we can do better than other firms. In addition, I also want the people who work for me to have fun and enjoy the law while working to the highest standards. Most of all, I would like to see the lawyers in our team develop and lead their profession.”