THE TEAM

Practices Area

Corporate Compliance, Investment, Tax, Labor & Employment

Overview

Hannah has five years of extensive legal advisory experience to a wide range of local and multinational companies. She has successfully resolved literally hundreds of complex legal issues relating to investment and corporate compliance practices. In addition, Hannah provides vital support to many companies in planning strategies and navigating business, immigration, and corporate reorganization issues in compliance with the complex legal system in Vietnam. With her considerable expertise, deep analytical abilities, and intensive work experience as a senior associate at the Firm, her opinions are highly valued in the legal community and, in conjunction with Stephen, she has been a speaker at several legal seminars over the past few years.

Education

LLB (Ho Chi Minh City University of Law, Vietnam)

Languages

Vietnamese and English

EXPERIENCE

Over the last five years, Hannah has handled many high-profile matters for global corporations from the US, the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, Korea, and Australia.  Here are some of the details from just a select few of these accomplishments:

Investment – Corporate Compliance

  • In 2017, Hannah assisted an international specialist staffing group based in the UK to expand its business in Vietnam as a part of its network of branches throughout Asia. At that time, the human resource (headhunting) industry was still quite new to Vietnam and was strictly controlled by the Vietnamese government. In fact, most licensed companies are still 100% Vietnamese-owned. Hannah was successful in assisting the client in complying with the numerous requirements concerning capital, personnel, and location to establish its 100% foreign-owned company in Vietnam. Further, she provided critical direction that allowed this company to pass the on-site corporate compliance inspection carried out by the licensing authority and successfully obtain a license to provide employment services.Hannah continues to provide vital advice on all corporate compliance issues for the company’s daily operations ranging from the organizational structure (e.g. management board replacement, capital increase, foreign loan injection, headquarters movement) to compliance gaps which may result in the subsidiary being subjected to serious penalties (e.g. periodic reports, government inspections).

    The complexity and scope of this project was considerable and was valued at $410,000 USD.

  • In 2019, Hannah assisted a global corporation based in the USA specializing in manufacturing automotive transmissions and powertrain parts (whose clients include OEM automotive companies such as FCA/Jeep, Ford, GM, and Hyundai) in establishing its factory in Vietnam. The client desired to locate the factory in a high-tech zone in Vietnam which was entitled to investment incentives. The critical issue was that the high-tech zone management authority is very strict in approving business licenses if such businesses are unable to meet the complex requirements for high technology. Hannah was successful in providing a satisfactory explanation, convincing the high-tech zone management authority to grant licensing for the client’s factory.The total value of this case was estimated at $500,000 USD.
  • In 2019, Hannah assisted a large global corporation based in the USA specializing in footwear in converting its representative office in Vietnam into a 100% foreign-owned company to meet its business needs. This was an extensive international corporation that owned famous brands such as Allen Edmonds, Blowfish Malibu, Bzees, Circus by Sam Edelman, Dr. Scholl’s Shoes, Famous Footwear, Fergie Footwear, Franco Sarto, LifeStride, Naturalizer, Rykä, Sam Edelman, Veronica Beard, Via Spiga, Vince, Vionic, and Zodiac.Before engaging the Firm, the client’s business in Vietnam was limited to a representative office which was not allowed to perform any profit-generating activities. Further, the client encountered difficulties in employing additional foreign specialists to serve its business needs because of the narrow view of the Vietnamese labor authority that a representative office does not require many foreign employees.

    Hannah advised the client to convert its representative office into a 100% foreign-owned company to meet its business needs and expand its operations. Before the conversion, to settle the client’s immediate employment requirements, Hannah was successful in providing a satisfactory explanation to the labor authority which allowed the representative office to employ more foreign specialists. Then, Hannah successfully supported the client in setting up a 100% foreign-owned company and transferring all assets of the representative office to the new company. Importantly, the conversion process was accomplished smoothly without any interruption to the client’s daily business.

    Due to the large size and extent of these operations, this project was valued at $550,000 USD.

  • In 2018, Hannah assisted a group of Korean investors with the acquisition of a solar power plant with a total value of approximately $50,000,000 USD. The terms of the deal were that the Vietnamese partner would be in charge of obtaining all necessary licenses for the acquisition and the project, including obtaining approval from the Ministry of Industry and Trade for the basic design and electricity purchase license as well as successfully concluding a power purchase agreement with Vietnam Electricity Corporation (EVN). The clients’ main concern was how to insure that the money was returned if the Vietnamese partner failed to obtain the licenses.Hannah was successful in structuring the payment terms and imposing other conditions on the Vietnamese partner to protect the client’s commitments. Further, she assisted the client in negotiation and successful execution of the principal agreement on shares purchase.
  • Hannah designed and supervised a legal update project for a significant global F&B corporation. As part of her duties, she made monthly presentations for the client’s legal staff on changes to a wide range of regulations by the Vietnam government which directly affected the client’s daily business (e.g. commerce, customs, goods origin, food safety, labor, finance, taxation, etc.). In addition, Hannah alerted the client to any implications and precedents that the client should take into account for its corporate compliance.

Labor & Employment

Hannah has advised many corporations on various types of labor issues and commercial matters affecting their daily business. Based on her experience, Hannah provides the client with creative and unique solutions in dealing with the grey areas of Vietnamese law in this evolving legal landscape.

Typical clients include:

  • A sports shoes manufacturer with over 20,000 employees in Vietnam. Based in Taiwan, the client is part of a Group which is one of the largest sports shoe manufacturers in the World.  Hannah provided critical advice on many complicated labor commercial matters that positively affected their daily business operations.
  • A second athletic and casual footwear manufacturer having over 90,000 employees in Vietnam. The client is a member of a Group which is one of the largest branded athletic and casual footwear manufacturers in the World based in Taiwan.  Hannah provided essential advice on complicated labor issues and commercial matters which improved daily business operation.
  • For a global corporation in semi-conductor industry, Hannah advised and prepared labor compliance documents to protect their interests as well as shielding their IP rights and confidential information in Vietnam in the event of any potential disputes with its employees. Understanding that the reputation of the client is also very important, Hannah provided practical advice to ensure its compliance with Vietnamese law in the context of international practices.
  • To accommodate its needs and to promptly prevent potential risks, Hannah provided advice and representation to a large and significant national airline of the United Arab Emirates. As any minor risk can cause a negative impact on the reputation of the client, Hannah assisted this client in creating its practical internal labor regulations and rectifying any legal errors to prevent potential risks in the internal compliance system of the client’s representative office in Vietnam.

Other legal matters

  • Created and reviewed sales contracts, services contracts, labor contracts, and HR documentation.
  • Advised and represented foreign-owned companies in registering their foreign loans with the State Bank of Vietnam.
  • Obtained work permits, visas, and temporary resident cards for expats; resolved immigration matters.
  • Prepared and reviewed prenuptial agreements, agreements on marital assets, and wills; advised and assisted in inheritance and probate procedures.