asialaw Analysis

General business law

With an office in Yangon and operating on the ground since 1995, DFDL’s Myanmar practice specialises in banking and finance, capital markets, and corporate and projects work, with a particular focus on infrastructure, power and mining. The firm is a true hybrid practice, being international in origin but also with a strong local law operation. Partner William Greenlee and managing director Nishant Cloudhary are key contacts.

Work highlights

Advised a consortium of lenders in relation to a $2 billion financing for the Southeast Asian ride-hailing giant, Grab.

Advised JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration on its withdrawal from the Yetagun Project.

Represented China Harbour Engineering Company on the construction and development of the Yangon Elevated Expressway.

Key clients

Bangkok Bank, Credit Guarantee and Investment Facility, Export Import Bank of China, TrueNoord Aviation

Duane Morris & Selvam

The first US firm to open in Myanmar, Duane Morris & Selvam advises on all aspects of Myanmar general business law. The firm focuses on general corporate work, direct foreign investment and market entry. It also has a strong reputation in projects and energy, banking and finance, litigation and regulatory work. Key contacts include Leon Yee, Krishna Ramachandra and Priyank Srivastava. Director Kenneth Lim joined in 2021.

Work highlights

Advised Iceberg Holdings on its expansion plans in Southeast Asia.

Advised one of the largest Korean government development banks on its regulatory and initial setup requirements in Myanmar.

Advised Shwe Min Gan Finance Company on its operation, managing structure and financing agreement with potential investors.

Key clients

iGenesis, Indraprashta Gas, State Bank of India

Kelvin Chia Yangon

As the oldest and largest law firm in the country, Kelvin Chia Yangon is a premier choice for commercial matters. As an international consultancy, the firm is spearheaded by senior transactional lawyers with both international expertise and hands-on knowledge of local law. Operating in Myanmar since 1995, Kelvin Chia Yangon has an reputation as one of the leading law firms in the jurisdiction. Key contacts include Cheah Swee Gim, Pedro Jose F Bernardo, Lyra Miragrace Flores-Bisnar and Khin Leinmar Ban Aye.

Work highlights

Advised 2C2P on the legal due diligence and provided transactional assistance for its potential takeover by Ant Group.

Assisted Emerging Towns and Cities Singapore and Golden Land Real Estate Development on an SGX-approved independent legal review.

Myanmar Legal MHM

Myanmar Legal MHM offers a range of law services, with a particular focus on investment, M&A and banking and finance. The firm has a team of senior lawyers with many years of international and domestic experience, covering a range of practice areas and jurisdictions. Myanmar Legal MHM is capable of undertaking cross-border matters as well. Takeshi Mukawa, Kana Manabe and Khin Cho Kyi are key contacts.

Work highlights

Advised Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company on a joint venture to enter the Myanmar insurance market.

Advised CB Bank on several domestic lending transactions.

Assisted Bangkok Bank on several domestic lending transactions involving a major international lender.

Nishimura & Asahi (Myanmar)

Nishimura & Asahi is one of the longest-established international law firms in Myanmar. The firm has considerable experience in lobbying and negotiating with various government authorities, and also has a strong connection with the Japanese government. The firm is experienced in a variety of practice areas and industry sectors, including banking and finance and corporate and M&A. Yusuke Yukawa and Isamu Imaizumi are key contacts.

Work highlights

Advised Japan International Cooperation Agency on drafting the by-laws of new insurance business law in Myanmar.

Rajah & Tann Myanmar

Rajah & Tann Myanmar is a full-service law firm capable of providing high-quality legal services in all sectors, including foreign direct investment projects, corporate and M&A, banking and finance, energy and projects, and competition and antitrust. Unlike many foreign law firms, Rajah & Tann Myanmar acts for many large Myanmar companies, an indication of the firm’s strong local presence and expertise. Key contacts include Chester Toh, Min Thein and Kyaw Swa Myint.

Work highlights

Advised OCBC Bank on its $40 million financing for the expansion of a Myanmar conglomerate’s broadband network in Myanmar.

Advised Eden Agritech Company on the acquisition of a 40% stake held in Agri First by Myanmar Agribusiness Public Company.

Represented a consortium of investors from Japan, Singapore and Myanmar on the Yangon Central Railway Station project.

Tilleke & Gibbins

Tilleke & Gibbins’ full-service outfit in Yangon provides a gateway for regional and international companies to enter Myanmar’s emerging and liberalising commercial markets. The firm focuses its practice on banking and finance, intellectual property, projects and infrastructure, and market-entry advice. As an international law firm, Tilleke & Gibbins has many large international clients who have a significant impact on Myanmar’s economy. Yuwadee Thean-ngarm and Derrick Khoo are key contacts. Partner Derrick Khoo joined the firm in 2021.

Work highlights

Assisted an international investment group with the restructuring of an underwriting arrangement on an M&A deal involving real estate in Myanmar.

Advised the largest energy drinks manufacturer in Asean on a joint venture for the establishment of a manufacturing facility in Myanmar.

Advised a multinational logistics company on its entry into Myanmar.


VDB Loi is a leading law firm in Myanmar, with more than 90 staff in Yangon as well as a fully operational office in Nay Pyi Taw. The firm is renowned for its award-winning deals in the technology and telecommunications, energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, and retail sectors. As an international law firm, VDB Loi’s core expertise includes banking and finance, corporate and M&A and tax. Jean Loi, Edwin Vanderbruggen and Maxim Counsel are key contacts.

Work highlights

Advised a Thailand-headquartered international oil and gas company in relation to the import, construction and operation of LNG terminal facilities, gas distribution and sales.

Advised PTT Exploration and Production Public Company on the review of different business models for the implementation of a domestic gas to power project.

Represented a multinational bank corporation headquartered in Singapore on the revision of terms of existing project finance loan documentation.

ZICO Law Myanmar

ZICO Law commenced operations in 2013 and works in a wide range of areas, including corporate and M&A, projects, infrastructure, and real estate. In particular, the firm has been consistently engaged in corporate and commercial matters for both foreign and local investors in Myanmar. The firm’s projects practice continues to maintain a portfolio of flagship clients. Geraldine Oh and Maung Thein are key contacts.

Work highlights

Advised China Triumph International Engineering on the construction and development of the 220MW solar power plant in the Minbu district of Myanmar.

Advised a Myanmar subsidiary of an international tobacco company on legal and regulatory matters.

Advised an internet service provider in Myanmar on the drafting and preparation of its Master Services and Supply of Goods Agreement.