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Litigation firm U Aye Kyaw Associates joins VDB Loi to form disputes resolution practice in Myanmar

December 4, 2014

VDB Loi and U Aye Kyaw & Associates, a specialized litigation firm in Yangon, are teaming up to provide dispute resolution services in Myanmar. The principal U Aye Kyaw is a former judge, magistrate and law lecturer with nearly 25 year experience in civil and commercial litigation and arbitration. He and his team of litigators have served clients in a broad range of industries with services since 1990. U Aye Kyaw regularly acts for clients in the property and construction sphere.

VDB Loi is a leading firm in Myanmar, boasting a team of 40 lawyers and advisers, and is mainly known for racking up high profile transactional mandates in TMT, power, oil and gas, real estate and consumer goods. Preparing its move into the disputes space, the firm recently made key hires of foreign lawyers with a litigation background. For example, Chris Sheridan is a solicitor with over 10 year experience in the legal field, including work as an insolvency litigator with Rigby Cooke in Australia.

“U Aye Kyaw and his team joining us and the new foreign hires are meant to get us ready for the disputes side of the legal market” explains managing partner Jean Loi. “In sync with Myanmar’s economy, our focus has been mostly transactional for the past few years. Clients are investing now, acquiring assets and launching projects. There will be a need as well for assistance and advice in connection with litigation and arbitration. We want to make sure that we are well prepared for that”, she continues.

Edwin Vanderbruggen, who heads the legal team in the firm’s Yangon and Nay Pyi taw offices notes: “A solid litigation capability is a not only attractive as such, it is also a strong support to our advisory work. We want to understand how matters would play out in the Myanmar courts when we advise on transactions or compliance”.

Myanmar revamped its arbitration framework by adopting the New York Convention and is upgrading its Arbitration Act to be in line with the Uncitral Model Law. A recent arbitration procedure in a dispute between Myanmar Economic Holdings and Fraser & Neave with regard to Myanmar Brewery illustrates the need for dispute settlement services in connection with this newly opened Southeast Asian country.