PRACTICES

Litigation & Dispute Resolution

In the tendency of more and more litigations in commercial activities nowadays by local and foreign corporations in Vietnam, Le & Tran ‘s Team of Litigation and Dispute Resolution definitely provides a truly effective solution to clients. Our high-end quality of service has been qualified by many big global corporations, typically Petronas – the multinational oil and gas corporation listed on the FORTUNE Global 500. Indeed, our team is included with well-versed litigators who are passionate courtroom advocates, not merely paper ones. At trial, we win by arguing sound legal reasoning, based on practical points to help the judge reach the right decision in protecting our client’s benefit.

Our strength as advocates lies in our intellect, creativity, and tenacity.

 

Most of our clients come to us for complex, high stake disputes because of our competency.  We know when an assertive litigator needed to take the case to court to get the best result for the client or when just with a flip to turn over the result without making too many waves.  With practical experience, we can give our analysis on the case at the right beginning to help clients have an assessment of their case.  This is also the way to minimize their litigation cost.  Of course, not all cases go to trial, but we assert our clients get the best settlements when the opposition is convinced that we are not afraid to try the case.  Our preparedness to go to trial gives our clients a substantial advantage in the negotiation stage.

Throughout the time, our litigation practice has been awarded and recommended by many reputable organizations valuing lawyers around the world such as Chambers Asia Pacific, Benchmark Litigation, Legal 500, Asia Profiles.

APPROACH TO LITIGATION

 

Each case should have a strategic approach to guarantee the desired outcome, understand this, our litigators customize our strategic and cost-effective approach to the client. By evaluating the case at initial stage, we help clients know where their position is in the dispute as well as the strength and weakness potentially exposed at every stage in order for them to get to know their pros and cons in each battle, thereof we draw the whole picture of what should do for the preparation to get the highest result.

Our lawyers are passionate courtroom advocates to give practical solutions.

 

From the point we are retained, we spend the time and effort to understand the imperatives of the client’s industry and bottom line, we look for the most effective way to resolve the dispute at the earliest opportunity, to get the result out of court, avoiding unnecessary delays and costs, as well as unwanted attention to the client’s reputable brand. A successful case can be resolved right at the negotiation stage or be escalated into a trial or even appeal stage, but anyway it should be made an assessment.

  Initial assessment: sometime the case could be stopped right after the client knows their position, so the initial assessment is inevitable. This stage also helps clients prepare for the whole process of preparation, including making financial plans and operation strains that are controlled by the dispute.

  Mediation: our litigators will not hesitate in mediation if it definitely gives marks to clients in solving the dispute since we are not interested in escalating the dispute to save cost to clients. However, if we find out the mediation is not suitable especially in an aggressive dispute where the mediation gives no value, we will certainly advise our clients to stop.

  Alternative dispute resolution: Disputes are more frequently resolved out of the courtroom because of its time-saving characteristics. Our lawyers are experienced with arbitration in Vietnam and internationally.  We have participated in many arbitration centers in Singapore, Hong Kong.

  Trial: Trial is the best practical experience of our Team. Understanding the procedures of the trial proceeding is determined an essential factor in deciding winning result.  Our lawyers are well equipped with knowledge in the court system, trial procedures as well as the time to present the decisive evidence, all of which are the best preparation for a winning status.

  Appeal: when the case escalates with the appeal stage, the record and argument at trial are significantly important. Before any appeal stage, we again evaluate our situation to understand the position to have a better strategic approach.  By doing so, we are always ready to challenge against any force to make sure the best result for our client.

SOME OUTSTANDING EXPERIENCES

 

  We represented our Client in a shareholder dispute with its partner. The partner filed a lawsuit against our Client to void a transaction with the total value of around USD1,000,000 under the ground of conflicts of interest. The partner argued that there was a shareholder holding shares in both sides (which happened due to the close relationship between both sides) and that shareholder should not be allowed to vote when passing the transaction. The arguable issue was whether the transaction was for the benefits of the company or was the misconduct and abuse committed by the major shareholder. We have successfully argued that the transaction was reasonable, fair and good for the company at that time; and as a result, the court made the judgment in favor of our Client.

  We advised and represented the plaintiff (a foreign company) in the proceedings against the infringement which was conducted by two Vietnamese companies in manufacturing and trading a medicine with the similar brand name to that of the plaintiff. The lawsuit was filed at People’s Court of Ho Chi Minh City against these two companies for intellectual property infringement and requested for compensation, disposal of infringing goods and public apology.

  In a construction dispute between our client and a sub-contractor in relation to a water supply and sanitation project, due to the large scale of the construction project, normal lawsuit at the First-Instance Court would cost a lot of time for our client, therefore, instead of filing a lawsuit against the sub-contractor, we advise our client to file the lawsuit against the commercial bank to claim payment under the bank guarantee for advance payment (with the amount of over EUR700,000). This allows our client to quickly claim the money and completely reverse the positions of the parties, i.e. the sub-contractor has to file the lawsuit and suffer from the time-consuming litigation proceedings and expensive advance litigation fee to claim back the bank guarantee payment from our client. Then, our client can defend such lawsuit without any urgency because the money was already obtained.

  The opposition (a Mechanical Engineering and Construction Limited Liability Company) sued our client for not paying 5% of contract value (over USD4,000,000 in total) due to our blame for their unfinished maintenance tasks. 
With well-established tactics in analyzing the lawsuit, we figured out this claim was clearly implausible due to the opposition’s
two disastrous mistakes.

  Firstly, their lawyers seemed not to understand the arbitration process that led to their over-claim at the maximum amount (over USD590,000) without consideration of the cost they might pay. Secondly, the opposition submitted tons of documents to the arbitration (Vietnam International Arbitration Center) without pre-checking the possible negative impacts.

  Being fully aware of our client’s context (lack of written documents or trusted evidence), we effectively navigated the “playground” at our own advantages by utilizing the opposition’s documents as a trusted verification for our arguments. Also, on counter-claiming the opposition, we deeply understood every step in an arbitration procedure that we decided to selectively claim them only for their bad works with an aim to our definite success at the minimum legal costs. We did successfully represent the client in disclaiming USD270,000 in the total amount of USD590,000 claimed by the opposition,i.e. the final amount in the judgment was USD320,000 for the opposition.

OUR COMMERCIAL LITIGATION EXPERTISE INCLUDES THE FOLLOWING: