Malaysian firm ZICOlaw opens in Myanmar

Malaysia headquartered regional firm ZICOlaw has established an office in Yangon, Myanmar, it’s seventh location outside of Malaysia.

The new office, branded as ZICOlaw Myanmar, is headed by office managing partner Win Naing, a locally qualified lawyer with over 17 years’ experience in advising foreign investors in Myanmar. Prior to joining ZICOlaw, Win practised law in local firms and previously worked at KPMG Legal’s Myanmar office for seven years.

Win will be joined by partner Cheah Ching Gaik, who will relocate from Kuala Lumpur to Yangon in early March. Cheah has over seven years of experience in the areas of M&A, joint ventures, IPOs and foreign direct investment. She began her career in ZICOlaw’s Kuala Lumpur office but later left to join Hewlett Packard in Malaysia as a legal counsel, advising on IT contracts, general corporate and privacy matters. She will rejoin the firm from Hewlett Packard next month to develop the firm’s Myanmar practice.

The Yangon office will be supported by a team of local Myanmar lawyers and lawyers seconded from the ZICOlaw network. In addition, ZICOlaw has set up a Myanmar practice support group of senior lawyers who travel to Myanmar on a regular basis. This support group is led by the firm’s regional managing partner Chew Seng Kok, head of projects and public private partnership practice Loh Wei Lian, and senior advisor Stephen Maloy who was formerly the Asia Pacific general counsel of General Electric (GE) and led GE’s entry into Myanmar.

The opening in Myanmar means ZICOlaw now has a presence in seven of the 10 state members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). It comes a month after The Lawyer first unvealed the firm’s intention to enter the market (21 January 2013). ZICOlaw is one of the first Asian firms to open in Myanmar since the beginning of this year. Singapore-headquartered Rajah & Tann will also launch into the emerging market on 1 March, through integrating Myanmar firm NK Legal into its network (1 February 2013).