GAR 100 - 16th Edition



Professional notice

A market leader in Vietnam for arbitration

Pending cases as counsel2
Value of pending counsel workUS$100 million
Treaty cases as counsel1
Third-party funded cases0
Current arbitrator appointments8 (2 as chair or sole)
Lawyers sitting as arbitrator1

YKVN was founded in 1999 as the Vietnamese affiliate of White & Case, which for regulatory reasons had decided to establish a separate entity in the country. The move was the brainchild of Minh Dang, who left his role as executive partner at White & Case Vietnam to set up the new firm. 

Today, the firm’s ties with White & Case are largely historical and few people in the market remember that YKVN originally meant “White & Case Vietnam”.

The firm’s international arbitration practice grew out of Dang’s longstanding role as an adviser to Vietnam’s national oil and gas group Petrovietnam. When the client was hit with a US$100 million ICC claim by an international oil consortium in 2013, YKVN co-counselled with a Shearman & Sterling team under the late Emmanuel Gaillard. They had a resounding win in that case, which led YKVN to pursue the area more seriously.

The firm says it has been involved in most of the major international arbitrations concerning Vietnam. It continues to partner with large international firms for high-value cases, but handles smaller work by itself.


YKVN has offices in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore – the latter which it operates using a separate entity. Dang, who is based in the Singapore office, is the firm’s head of international arbitration.

Who uses it?

Besides Petrovietnam, the firm has acted for Vietnamese telecoms company Viettel, Korea’s POSCO Engineering & Construction, Lautan Luas Vietnam, Tasco and Bühler Vietnam.

Track record

The early collaboration with Shearman saw an ICC tribunal completely dismiss a US$100 million tax-related claim by oil companies Premier Oil and Santos relating to an offshore oil block in 2015. Petrovietnam was also awarded its arbitration costs.

Recent events

Although much of the firm’s work is confidential, it helped a client defeat a Singapore-seated SIAC arbitration lodged over a joint venture to build a luxury apartment tower development in Ho Chi Minh City.

YKVN is honored to be the first Vietnam based law firm included in the GAR 100. We are profoundly grateful for the recognition. 

Established in 1999, YKVN is a top Vietnamese law firm with a diversified national and international practice.  With more than ninety legal professionals in offices in Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City and Singapore, YKVN provides legal services on a unique platform that combines Vietnam and international experience with a strong Vietnam focus (inbound and outbound). YKVN is a Vietnam market leader in corporate, M&A, power and energy, capital markets, private equity, project finance, banking, real estate, and domestic litigation. 

With the only established Vietnamese international arbitration practice, YKVN is also the undisputed Vietnam market leader in this practice area. Our international arbitration practice is based in Singapore where YKVN has maintained an office since 2011. Minh Dang leads a core team of two other partners, Nguyen Do and Thang Pham, and six associates to handle cases ranging from complex oil & gas tax disputes, shareholder disputes, professional liability cases to project development disputes, treaty arbitrations and complex debt restructurings. All of the matters have strong Vietnam connections with some of the disputes occurring in as faraway places as West Africa or Latin America. Typical arbitrations take place under UNCITRAL, ICC, SIAC or VIAC rules. The team is well recognized in the international arbitration community with Minh serving his second term on the SIAC Court of Arbitration and his first term on the KCAB International Arbitration Committee and Thang Pham serving on the YSIAC executive committee.

A unique strength of YKVN in international arbitration, is the expertise we have developed from working closely with international and regional law firms to handle complex arbitrations.  In these disputes, the litigation expertise of the international and regional firms is supplemented by our Vietnamese law expertise as well as our market and client knowledge.  Over the last decade, we have developed in-depth expertise with respect to Vietnamese law issues that tend to arise in international arbitrations. We know how the issues arise and, working with our international partners, can anticipate the reaction of international tribunals. In Vietnam seated arbitrations, we focus on identifying and resolving gaps between international procedural norms and rules and Vietnamese procedural rules to minimize the possibility of award challenges.  International partners with whom we work regularly include Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, Shearman & Sterling, Gaillard Banifatemi Shelbaya Disputes, Three Crowns, Sidley Austin and Drew & Napier.

Another key strength of YKVN’s international arbitration practice is that it is complemented by first-rate domestic litigation capabilities. The two co-chairs of the litigation practice, Truong Trong Nghia and Luu Tien Dzung, have both been recognized by ALB as top 15 litigators in Asia. Nghia has been lead counsel in many of the major corruption trials of past two years. Dzung represented the defendant in the famous lawsuit initiated by Vinasun taxi company.

Shareholder disputes are an area where coordination between litigation and arbitration lawyers is often required. A current shareholders’ dispute, for example, is at the same time pending before an UNCITRAL arbitration administered by the SIAC as well as the courts in Vietnam and Singapore. In these cases, when a dispute cannot be confined to a single arbitration but spills into other dispute resolution forums, we have special relevant experience that we can bring to bear.

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