city firm Freshfields has opened an office in Hanoi, joining a growing number of practices establishing a Vietnamese branch.
The office, which opened last week, is headed by fee-earner Tony Foster, hired by Freshfields from US firm Coudert Brothers in April.
Foster will be helped by two Vietnamese lawyers and additional staff are expected to be recruited when the business has developed.
Speaking from Hanoi, Foster says in the initial stages the office is likely to deal with in-bound equity investment work.
“We would envisage substantially more financing work as the country begins to rebuild its infrastructure,” he says.
In January City firm Sinclair Roche & Temperley secured the UK's first licence to operate in Vietnam, and Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance and Lovell White Durrant have since opened branch offices. Hong Kong practice Johnson Stokes & Master has also moved into the area.
Freshfields marketing director Dominic Leahy says the firm has decided to open the office because it can see “inward investment opportunities” in Vietnam.