VDB Loi, a Myanmar law and advisory firm, has doubled its presence in the country by becoming the first foreign law firm with a fully operating office in the capital Nay Pyi Taw, the law firm said in a statement.
The firm has been present in Yangon since 2012, where it employs approximately 30 lawyers and advisors.
VDB Loi said beefing up its existing Nay Pyi Taw office from a small support hub to a fully operational office, and in the process, moving it to a new facility, fits with its strategy of meeting clients’ needs for prompt and regular access to government decision makers.
“We have two dozen ministries to follow, some of which we need to talk to on a daily basis. There is just nothing like actual face-to-face, personal contact. You need to be in Yangon for your clients, but you need to be in Nay Pyi Taw to get the client’s project done,” the firm’s managing partner Jean Loi said.
“Time is essential on any deal, and we believe that we can speed up the process considerably by having a fully operating office here in the capital, where so many decisions are made.”
Edwin Vanderbruggen, VDB Loi’s partner in charge of Myanmar, said: “Our clients need constant support in the capital, particularly at the outset of their project. We are very pleased that we were able to secure premises that are extremely central and spacious.”
He said the new office will house several teams, including those focusing on MIC permits, import licences, FDA approvals and operating licences.
“We will also be running our advisory and technical assistance work for the Myanmar government out of the capital,” Edwin added.
VDB Loi had assisted five out of 12 prequalified bidders in last year’s telecommunications licence tender, as well as tower companies and network providers. As local counsel to one of the two licence winners, Ooredoo, the firm provides a range of services including assisting with the investment and operating licences.
Another area VDB Loi has focused on for the past year was oil and gas. It assisted three of the “supermajors” with deepwater plays, and advised Australian energy giant Woodside on its two farm-in transactions.
The firm’s infrastructure and energy engagements, such as the Thilawa Special Economic Zone, cover mostly bilateral government projects, while its team also assists private developers with mixed-use real estate projects.