DAO NGUYEN

Managing Partner
    +84 28 3827 2418

Dao is the managing partner of DN Legal. She advises on all aspects of doing business in Vietnam. Her practice includes corporate and M&A, banking and finance, real estate, energy and infrastructure. She has acted for developers and the government of Vietnam on several landmark projects including the first licensed BOT project in Vietnam. Dao is fluent in English and Vietnamese.

The Asia Pacific Legal 500 2012 notes she “demonstrates a detailed view of on-going and likely future legal developments, a strong willingness to understand the client’s needs, combined with a pragmatic approach”. Dao is recognised as a leading lawyer by Chambers Asia in Corporate/M&A (2008-2014), Banking & Finance (2008-2012) and Projects & Energy (2010-2014); as a leading Real Estate lawyer by the Asia Pacific Legal 500 (2014); as leading lawyer by IFLR1000 in Corporate/M&A (2015-2020), Banking & Finance (2015-2020), Energy & Infrastructure (2017), Women Leaders (2018), and Project development (2020); as leading lawyer by AI Global in Corporate (2016-2018), Energy & Infrastructure (2017), Banking & Finance (2018); as winner of Business Excellence Awards by Corporate Insider (2019); as Awards Winner by International Advisory Experts (2019); and as leading lawyer in Construction & Real Estate (2018), Distinguished Practitioner on Real Estate & Construction (2020) by AsiaLaw.

Career History

  • Managing Partner, DN Legal, Vietnam, 2014 – Present
  • Managing Partner, Allen & Overy, Vietnam, 2012 – 2014
  • Managing Partner, Mayer Brown JSM, Vietnam, 1995 – 2012

Legal qualifications

  • Admitted as solicitor, Hong Kong, 2002
  • Admitted to the bar, State of New York, 1994
  • Admitted to the bar, State of California, 1991
Banking & Finance
  • Novaland on numerous corporate financing arrangements with international lenders.
  • Son Kim Land on corporate financing arrangements with a consortium of international le
  • HSBC on a tier 2 subordinated bond issue for the Bank for Investment and Development of Vietnam (BIDV), the first tier 2 bond issued in Vietnam based on international standard documentation and the first listed bond of this nature.
  • JP Morgan on a USD108m syndicated loan for Masan Industrial, a member of Masan Group, one of the largest private sector groups in Vietnam. The loan was structured akin to a bond transaction.
Corporate/M&A
  • Indochina Capital on selling its certain shares to a BVI company.
  • TAEL Partners on acquiring shares in Cotec Healthcare, six hospitals in Vietnam.
  • Kinh Do Corporation on acquiring shares in an edible oil company.
  • Hamon Properties Vietnam Limited on assisting in the acquisition of 90% interest in the Gateway project
  • Hubert Burda Media, a leading global media company, on assisting in acquisition of a stake in CocCoc, an internet company in Vietnam.
  • SonKim Land on assisting the company in the investment by Lemongrass II of US$100 million of convertible bonds in its real estate business.
  • Novaland on assisting the company in several corporate finance transactions (Convertible bonds as well as secured and unsecured loans) totally on US$200 million with offshore lenders to finance its real estate acquisitions and assisting it income with.
  • Dat Viet (Vietnamese Advertising and Media) on assisting the Company in a number of media related transactions and real estate projects.
  • Lombard Asia III L.P on assisting in the sale of shares in a media company.
  • Franklin Templeton on assisting the fund in increasing its shareholding in a JV security company.
  • First Alliance on assisting in the sale of 100% of the shares in an HR company to a Japanese investor.
  • Wendelbo SEA on assisting the Danish furniture company in increasing its investment in Vietnam.
  • Crescent Point Management on assisting this PE fund in the sale of several of its assets in Vietnam including the Nam Hai & Six Sense Con Dao.
  • Dynasty Investment on assisting in the sale of its interests in a real estate company.
  • Hydropower – IHA sustainability on assisting in a World Bank appointed study of the hydropower sector in Vietnam as local counsel.
  • Thea on assisting the acquisition of all the interest of a partner in company that own several beauty clinic in Vietnam.
  • AIG on assisting AIG in providing insurance as the purchaser in its purchase of a school.
  • Holcim on Assisting in a corporate matter.
  • GE on assisting in a number of transactions.
  • Chiap Hua Group on assisting on a 120 hectare project.
  • Dong Saigon on assisting in setting up a JV in respect of a 900 hectare project.
  • Assisting a fund on corporate matter in respect of its investment in 2 projects in Nha Trang.
  • Gaw Capital on assisting in various corporate issues relating to the Hyatt Danang resort project.
  • DREAM Hotel on assisting on a number of corporate matters.
  • An international oil company in relation to its acquisition of shares in a Vietnamese provider of oil and gas stockpiling.
  • C. Starck on a mining joint venture with Nui Phao Mining, developer of one of the largest tungsten mines in the world and a subsidiary of Masan Group, one of Vietnam’s largest private sector companies.
  • Unilever on the acquisitions of tea plantations and tea processing factory in Vietnam.
  • Anova Corporation, an animal feedstock producer, on the sale of its majority stake in a Vietnamese fish farming company.
  • A global bank on due diligence of a multinational oil and gas company’s Vietnamese oil and gas assets for the purposes of a major refinancing.
  • Nortel Networks on the dissolution of its subsidiary in Vietnam.
  • Citigroup Venture Capital International on a proposed strategic equity investment in a publicly listed Vietnamese financial institution.
  • Indochina Capital on its disposal of a 25% equity to Orix Group, a Japanese listed financial services group.
  • A private equity fund on its strategic investment of a 20% equity stake in a Vietnamese-based corporate, being a subsidiary of one of the largest private sector listed companies in Vietnam.
  • Prudential Property Investment Managers on the acquisition of 49% of the issued share capital to achieve ultimate ownership of 2 phases in a mixed-use residential development project in Vietnam.
  • Jardine Matheson on two separate acquisitions of Vietnamese companies within the food & beverage sector.
  • San Miguel on its acquisition of a USD35m food production business in southern Vietnam.
  • Diageo on general licensing, corporate and commercial issues and on the acquisition of a l ocal wine producer.
  • Danone Group on general licensing, corporate, commercial and labour issues and on the establishment of a wholly foreign owned Danone subsidiary.
  • Vinacomin on the Vinh Tan 1 1,200 MW BOT power project.
  • A renewable energy company in the acquisition of shareholding in a state-owned company under EVN that operates several hydropower plants in Vietnam.
  • International retailers on the establishment of retail stores in Vietnam, including leasing, licensing, financing, documentation and other regulatory work.
Energy and Infrastructure
  • Mitsui Oil Exploration Co. (MOECO) on a potential acquisition of oil and gas assets in Vietnam.
  • PetroVietnam Fertilizer and Chemicals Corporation on a proposed project finance offshore investment in a fertiliser plant in Morocco.
  • An international energy company on a 2×2 700 MW coal-fired BOT power project in a joint venture with PetroVietnam.
  • The Ministry of Planning and Investment on the drafting of BOT regulations in Vietnam in 1997, 2004 and 2009 and on the drafting of the Public Private Partnership legislation.
  • Chevron on its oil and gas pipeline and energy project in Vietnam.
  • A client on a passenger terminal BTO project at Tan Son Nhat Airport in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.
  • Wartsila on the first licensed BOT power project (120MW) in Vietnam. The deal was significant in that all the documentation became the model precedent for later BOT transactions in Vietnam.
  • GS Engineering & Construction on the first licensed road project (USD340m) under the Built-Transfer structure, a special form of investment under Vietnam’s BOT regulations, in which the developer will receive land in exchange for the road. Shortlisted by IFLR for “Project Finance Deal of the Year” in 2008.
  • The Ministry of Industry of Vietnam and Vietnam Electricity (EVN) on the Phu My 2-2 (715 MW) and Phu My 3 (716.8 MW) power plant projects.
  • An international consortium on bidding for a BOT project to build and operate a 1200 MW coal-fired power facility and assisting the consortium in its discussions with the Ministry of Industry and Trade, Vietnam Electricity and any other relevant Vietnamese authorities.
  • Vinacomin in a joint venture with AES on a 1,100 MW coal-fired power project in a negotiated deal that had to be carried out on a BOT basis.
  • Marubeni on the financing of a project to design, build, commission and operate a waste-to-power facility in Binh Duong Province, Vietnam.
  • Real Estate
  • Indochina Land on the development, ownership restructuring, rental and sale of the 5-star luxury resort Hyatt Regency Danang Residences in Danang, Vietnam.
  • Indochina Capital on the land acquisition, development, ownership restructuring, management and sale of the 5-star Nam Hai luxury resort in Hoi An, Vietnam.
  • Indochina Land on the acquisition of 99% interest in a real estate development company.
  • Indochina Capital on the sale of certain resorts and assets in Vietnam.
  • Hoi An South Development on a development of an integrated resort complex (with casino) in Quang Nam province, Vietnam.
  • Asian Coast Development Ltd. on its development of a resort and casino in Ho Tram, Vung Tau.
  • Hamon Properties on the structuring of the Joint Venture with Son Kim Land in the development of Gateway Thao Dien, a luxury complex project in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • Dream Hotel Group (HK), Ltd. on a dispute with the Hotel’s owner regarding the Hotel Management Agreement and Technical Service Agreement.
  • Finortrust Real Estate Company Limited on various purchases of villas and condotels in Vietnam.
  • Hyatt International-Asia Pacific, Limited on the Hotel Management Agreement and Technical Service Agreement for 2 hotel projects in Phu Quoc and Cam Ranh.
  • KN Cam Ranh Co., Ltd on the Hotel Management Agreement and Technical Services Agreement regarding its hotel projects in Cam Ranh.
  • Sun Group on the Intercontinental Peninsula Da Nang and Phu Quoc.
  • Nhon Trach Investment Joint Stock Company on its joint venture with CFLD to develop a township in Dong Nai province.
  • Silosso on its 2 resort projects Cam Ranh, Khanh Hoa.
  • Pavilion International on various project acquisitions including hotels, residential and commercial lands and casinos in Vietnam.
  • ChiapHua on a transfer of a real estate project in Ho Chi Minh City to Kepple Land.
  • Dynasty Investments on a transfer of a real estate project in Ba Ria – Vung Tau provin
  • EZLand on a development of a residential project in Ho Chi Minh City.
  • British University Vietnam on advising on its land lease issue.
  • Silver Needle on advising on its hotel development projects in Ho Chi Minh City
  • Viceroy on advising on the Hotel Management Agreement and Technical Services Agreement regarding its hotel project in Da Nang.
  • Kumho Asiana on the acquisition of the land for the Kumho Asiana complex consisting of an office tower, hotel under the InterContinental brand and service apartments.
  • Gamuda Land on the restructuring and amendment of license for a USD846m mixed-use development project in Yen So Park, Hanoi.
  • GS Retail on obtaining a retail license to build and operate a department store in Binh Duong, Vietnam.
  • An international developer on the sale of its wholly owned real estate project consisting of a grade A office building.
  • A foreign real estate and hotel management company and cornerstone investors in the establishment of a real estate fund to invest in a resort development project in Central Vietnam consisting of several hotels and residential villas and condominiums.
  • A client on a development of an integrated resort complex (with casino) in Vung Tau province, Vietnam.
  • American Indochina Resorts Ltd. on its sale of The Nam Hai resort.