UK law firm Allen & Overy has opened an office in Yangon, Myanmar.
The launch brings the firm’s office count to 12 in Asia Pacific. Half of them are located in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region, and include locations in Singapore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and, via an alliance with Indonesian practice Ginting & Reksodiputro, in Jakarta.
“While risk is still a key factor for corporations looking to invest in Myanmar, the business and legal framework for opportunity is improving day-by-day,” commented Simon Makison, chairman of Allen & Overy in ASEAN.
One of the firm’s big clients in the country is Norwegian telecom group Telenor, which recently won one of the two telecommunications licences awarded in Myanmar’s first internationally recognised public procurement process.
Allen & Overy’s other key areas of operations in the country comprise energy, infrastructure, banking, manufacturing and consumer goods, Makison said.
“In terms of industry development, we have been active in the power sector, working with developers and multilaterals, including assisting with the development of a standardised power purchase agreement for all electricity sales.”
Makinson, who has led the firm’s push into Myanmar since international sanctions began to lift two years ago, is in charge of managing the Yangon office. The team includes two other senior lawyers and three business services staff on the ground, as well as sector specialists from the firm’s Bangkok and Singapore offices.