Southeast Asian firms gear up for Asean economic zone

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) has big plans for 2015, with regional economic integration on the agenda. As part of this a single market will be created to allow the free flow of goods, services, investments and labour across the region’s 10 member states. 

In preparation regional firms Rajah & Tann and Zicolaw have been positioning themselves as whole-of-market players. In August Rajah & Tann’s associated firms in Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar and Vietnam came together with the firm’s own offices in Singapore, Laos and Thailand to market themselves under the banner Rajah & Tann Asia. The aim, the firm said, was to “provide seamless legal services in Southeast Asia”.

Malaysia’s Zicolaw has been following a similar path, recently opening a Hanoi base to complement the Ho Chi Minh City office it launched in 2012. After adding Laotian firm Vientiane Law Co to its network in July and opening in Yangon last year the firm now has a presence in 15 cities across all the Asean countries except the Philippines and Brunei.

In anticipation of the opportunities the new economic zone will create for firms operating in the region, The Lawyer is compiling its first-ever Southeast Asia Elite, an in-depth look at the top independent firms operating in the Asean countries.

To nominate a local firm that provides top-quality, standout service in Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Brunei, Cambodia or Laos please email associate editor Margaret Taylor on .

The full list will be published in December. Meanwhile, to whet your appetite for what is going on in Asia more generally check out our Asia Pacific 150 here

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