asialaw Analysis

General business law

Established in 1994, ‘Outstanding’ firm DFDL provides legal services in M&A, employment, infrastructure and tax matters. The firm has a deep local knowledge and understanding of the legal and tax regulations and policies. Kristy Newby is the country managing director of the firm’s Laos office. She advises clients on corporate and commercial matters, with a particular focus on M&A and foreign direct investment. 

Work highlights 

Reviewed the financing and security arrangements foVientiane International School regarding the Gateway Project. 

Advised Mekong Timber Plantations on a $12 million financing transaction for a processing facility in Laos. 

McDonald Patafta & Associates Lawyers

McDonald Patafta & Associates Lawyers has been operating in Laosince 2008. The firm provides a full range of legal, tax advice and documentation services to foreign investors and local companies. It  has strong relationships with the local and international business community. Kaz Patafta is the main contact. 

Work highlights 

Advised BCPG Public Company on its acquisition and financing of the Nam San 3A and Nam San 3B Hydropower projects in Laos. 

Advised Kyuden Mirai Energy on its acquisition of shares in and financing of the production project for wood pellets over 6,345 hectares of land in Laos. 

Key clients 

BFL, Export-Import Bank of China, Gulf Energy Public Company, Olam International 

Tilleke & Gibbins

Tilleke & Gibbins has been based in Laos for 25 years and continues to provide an extensive range of legal services. The Vientiane office is particularly noted for its work in energy, TMT, intellectual property and regulatory. Dino Santaniello heads the firm’s office, and is valued for his unique ability to connect the business community with the Lao government authorities. 

Work highlights 

Acted as Thai and Laos counsel to a Thai holding company engaged in electricity generation and property development regarding its investment in the Sandin Water Supply Project in Laos. 

Advised a major retail chain, one particularly well known in Southeast Asia, on their entry into the Laos market. 


The Vientiane office of VDB Loi provides a high standard of legal and tax solutions for transactions and investment in Laos. In particular, the firm performs well in energy and infrastructure, banking and finance, and corporate and regulatory. The main contact is Daodeuane Duangdara, who leads the firm’s tax team and advises clients in the banking, hydropower and mining sectors. 

Client feedback 

Excellent local knowledge and industry expertise.” – Private equity 

The firm gives us confidence that local law is being complied with and that every care is being taken in regards to our request.” – Real Estate 

Daodeuane Duangdara 

Excellent insider knowledge and professionalism.” 

Work highlights 

Acted as local counsel for the major investor in a 500MW solar power project in Laos. 

Acted as local counsel for the major investor regarding the development of a thermal power project in Laos. 

Advised Scatec Solar on its acquisition of an indirect equity interest in the Lao PDR’s first public-private hydropower project. 

Key clients 

DGB Lao Leasing, iCare Benefits, KB Kolao Leasing 


Operating since 2009, ZICO Law operates its Vientiane office with a team of experienced foreign and Laotian lawyers. The firm has seen solid growth in the areas of sustainable energy, transportation, fintech, aviation, and telecommunications. Managing partner Aristotle David specialises in banking and finance, corporate commercial, IP and real estate.

Work highlights 

Advised an investor to navigate through various licensing requirements for its franchise operations, and draft/review commercial contracts for a café in Laos. 

Advised a foreign investor on the investment acquisition of mining exploration projects in Laos.