Truong Trong NghiaPartner

    Truong Trong Nghia

    Partner
    Ho Chi Minh City

    Expertise

    Arbitration

    Corporate and M&A

    Dispute Resolution

    Foreign Investment

    Litigation

    Professional Practice Experience

    Mr. Truong Trong Nghia is one of the co-chairs of disputes resolution practice at YKVN LLC and is well-recognized as one of Vietnam’s most experienced lawyers with over 30 years of legal practice and arbitration experience. Mr. Nghia started his legal profession in 1982 at the State Economic Arbitration of Vietnam and presided over 400 economic cases. He also practiced law as one of government-appointed people’s counsels before the legal practice was permitted as a profession in Vietnam. As a Fulbright scholar, Mr. Nghia made his Master of Laws at NYU School of Law in 1994 – 1995. He returned to Vietnam and worked for 12 years as Deputy Director and later Director of ITPC, a government agency under Ho Chi Minh City People’s Committee specializing in promoting foreign trade and supporting foreign investors in Vietnam. During this time, he joined Ho Chi Minh City Bar and practiced as an Of Counsel to YKVN. In 2008, Mr. Nghia resigned and became a full-time partner co-heading YKVN’s disputes resolution practice. Mr. Nghia is a senior arbitrator of Vietnam International Arbitration Center (VIAC), has arbitrated more than 20 cases as member or president of the arbitral tribunal.

    As co-chair of litigation and arbitration practice at YKVN, Mr. Nghia has advised clients in domestic as well as international litigation and cross-border arbitration. He also regularly advises domestic and foreign companies on corporate, trade, foreign investment and M&A matters. Mr. Nghia’s clients are major Vietnamese corporations including VNPT, Vietnam Steel Corporation, Saigon Construction Corporation (SGCC), Tan Thuan Industries Promotion Corporation (IPC), Vietinbank, Eximbank, Agribank, Satra and PNJ, as well as foreign-invested enterprises and multinationals like Bunge, Bachy Soletanche, Hill International, Metro Cash & Carry, RMIT, Academic Colleges Group (ACG), Misfit, Fulbright University, Abbott, Coca-Cola, Hitachi, Hyosung and Rio Tinto.

    Mr. Nghia is ranked Band 1 in Dispute Resolution by Chambers & Partners consecutively from 2011 to 2020. According to its remarks, Mr. Nghia has been “pivotal to the Vietnam legal community for many years”, has outstanding experience in “working with senior legal bodies and the government”, and is one of “very well-known and experienced litigators who are sought out for their counsel on some of the most complicated cases.” Asialaw Profiles 2012 noted Mr. Nghia as one of the “most successful and respected litigators in Vietnam” in 2012 and awarded him the title “Dispute Star of the Year” in 2016. Legal 500 has ranked Mr. Nghia as one of Leading Individuals in Disputes Resolution in Vietnam over the years, and one of four Leading Individuals in Disputes Resolution in Vietnam in 2019.

    Civic Leadership Activities

    Mr. Nghia has been participating in the leadership of Vietnam’s legal professions. He was serving as the Vice President of the Vietnam Bar Federation (VBF) since its inaugural term 2009 – 2014, re-elected as Member of Standing Committee of VBF in its second term 2014 – 2019, and re-elected as Vice President of the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association for a second term (2014 – 2019). He has been elected as Vice Presidents of Vietnam Society of International Law (VSIL) founded in July 2016.

    A former member of the Prime Minister Phan Van Khai’s Research Committee and former Director of the Foreign Trade & Investment Promotion Center (ITPC) of Ho Chi Minh City, he resigned in 2008 to dedicate his full time to the lawyer practice.

    Mr. Nghia was nominated as a candidate of Vietnam Lawyers Association in the election of Vietnam’s National Assembly for its 13th Term (2011 – 2016) and elected to that highest state power of Vietnam which functions are making law and electing the State President, the Prime Minister, his deputies and the ministers, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and the Supreme Prosecutor of the country. The only practicing lawyer in the National Assembly at that time, he was elected by the National Assembly to its Judiciary Committee. Mr. Nghia was re-elected to the National Assembly and its Judiciary Committee for the 14th Term (2016 – 2021). As member of such Committee, he participated in reviewing key Government’s reports on judiciary matters before submission to the National Assembly at annual sessions and took part in periodic and ad-hoc inspections of the Committee in the ministries and provinces. During his terms as member of National Assembly, Mr. Nghia actively took part in the amendment and making of key laws, including the 2013 Constitution, the Law on Organization of National Assembly, Law on Organization of Government, the Civil Code and the Civil Procedures Code, the Penal Code and Penal Procedures Code, and all other laws relevant to trade, foreign investment, finance and tax.

    Education

    New York University, School of Law, Master of Comparative Jurisprudence (LL.M. CJ) (1995)

    Leipzig University, Germany, LL.B. (1980)

    Bar Membership

    Vietnam Bar Federation: Vice-President since 2009, Member of Standing Committee since 2015

    Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association: Vice-President since 2008

    Arbitrator of International Arbitration Center (VIAC) and Mediator of Vietnam Mediation Center (VMC)

    Vietnam Society of International Law (VSIL): Vice President since July 2016

    Fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)

    Dispute resolution/Litigation

    • Represented Bachy Soletance, Hill International, Saigon Construction Corporation (SGCC) and Tan Thuan Industries Promotion Corporation (IPC) in solving disputes related to major real-estate and construction projects by negotiations as well as legal proceedings;
    • Represented individual and organizational clients from Agribank, Mekong Housing Bank, Dong A Bank, Eximbank and PNJ in white-collar litigation and related lawsuitsl;
    • Represented sellers of a 25-million-US M&A transaction to successfully recover 3 million US retention from a foreign buyer in a VIAC arbitration;
    • Represented one of two key owners of Trung Nguyen coffee business group in a series of lawsuits over several years in and outside of Vietnam for dividing matrimonial assets and resolving shareholders disputes;
    • Advised a foreign-invested company in a 300 million USD infrastructure BOT & BT project on disputes with a municipal government whereby the initially approved invested capital cap was accepted to be increased by more than 60 million USD;
    • Advised the foreign owner/operator of a 5-star hotel in Ho Chi Minh City, being charged of tax evasion and involved in a complex dispute with the local BCC partner and tax authority, and helping the investigation be dropped and the originally criminal charge was changed into an administrative fine;
    • Represented the major shareholder of VCCT, a company operating large cable-car project worth tens of million USD in winning the lawsuit over a shareholders dispute;
    • Represented the subsidiaries of P&G, Metro Cash & Carry, Abbott, Hyosung and Coca-Cola in Vietnam in settling its labor and land use rights disputes;
    • Represented Exxon Mobil before the Economic Court of Ho Chi Minh City and the Supreme Court in connection with disputes arising from a long-term gas distribution contract (final judgment of the Supreme Court upholding the favorable lower court judgment); and
    • Represented American Coffee before the Economic Court of Ho Chi Minh City in pursuing contractual remedies against a Vietnamese coffee company (probably first Vietnamese court ruling awarding damages to an offshore buyer).

    M&A, Project Finance, and Foreign Investment

    • Advised EIB in a multimillion-dollar financing for a multinational corporation in connection with the expansion of its activities in Vietnam;
    • Advised BIDV in a multimillion-dollar financing for a significant real estate project invested by a foreign investment fund;
    • Advised one of the largest foreign investment funds in Vietnam in a private equity deal in which the fund was buying a majority stake from a local company in the telecom sector;
    • Advised Misfit on various local issues related to the acquisition by Fossil;
    • Advised RMIT on issues of new business lines, new operation premises and land use rights under amended laws;
    • Advised BUNGE on settlement of enduring disputes with a local joint-venture partner by a multi-million-dollar buy-out that also ended a series of multi-level legal proceedings lasting more than seven years; and
    • Advised Rio Tinto in solving discrepancies in implementation of AANZ FTA in Vietnam.

    Arbitration

    • Acted as panel arbitrator over dozens of cases at VIAC relevant to trade, insurance and construction; and
    • Presided over a number of cross-border and complex cases in maritime transactions and FIDIC contracts with English being language of arbitration.

    Awards

    2016
    Disputes Star of the Year | Dispute Resolution | Asialaw

    Rankings

          

    2021
    Elite practitioner | Dispute Resolution | Asialaw

    2020
    Elite practitioner | Dispute Resolution | Asialaw

    Dispute resolution star | Dispute Resolution | Benchmark Litigation

    Band 1 |  Dispute Resolution |  Chambers

    Leading individual | Litigation | Legal 500
    Leading individual | Arbitration | Legal 500

    2019
    Leading lawyer | Dispute Resolution | Asialaw

    Dispute resolution star | Dispute Resolution | Benchmark Litigation

    Band 1 | Dispute Resolution | Chambers

    Leading individual | Dispute Resolution | Legal 500

    2018
    Leading individual | Dispute Resolution | Legal 500

    Comments

    “Very proactive, with a commercial mindset and excellent insights with respect to local regulators”
    “One of the most well-known and experienced lawyers in Vietnam”
    “Professional and effective approach in solving complicated case”
    “Enormously wise about the realities of the court systems, whilst putting a huge amount of thought into strategy”
    “Very well known and experienced litigator who is sought for his counsel on some of the most complicated cases”
    (Chambers)

    • Economic Arbitration in Vietnam, Ho Chi Minh City Publishing House (1988).
    • Rule of Law in Vietnam – Theory and Practice, The Maureen and Mike Mansfield Foundation (2001).
    • Author of a large number of articles on Vietnamese legal issues including Vietnam’s international integration (US-Vietnam BTA, Vietnam’s accession to WTO, TPP, EUVFTA), application of precedent in Vietnam’s court, human rights in Vietnam’s Constitution, presumption of innocence and right to remain silent in Vietnam’s Law.

    Lecture

    • Lectured on law in undergraduate and graduate programs at University of Law and University of Economics of Ho Chi Minh City.
    • Vice President of the Vietnam Bar Federation (VBF) for the inaugural 2009 – 2014 term and re-elected to the Standing Committee for the 2014 – 2019 term
    • Vice Chairman of the Ho Chi Minh City Bar Association for a second time for the 2013 – 2018 term
    • Vice Presidents of Vietnam Society of International Law (VSIL), just founded in July 2016
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