Article and photos contributed by Kenneth Ang, Director, Special Projects & International Liaison, Bar Council Secretariat
Bar Council Malaysia organised its first official business development mission –– termed "legal market visit" –– of the Malaysian Bar to Vietnam on 9 Aug 2019. The market visit was led by the President of the Malaysian Bar, Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor.
President of the Vietnam Bar Federation, Dr Do Ngoc Thinh, receiving his Malaysian counterpart, Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor, President of the Malaysian Bar.
The market visit received encouraging support from Members of the Bar, with the participation of nine Members from nine firms. These firms generally have existing Vietnamese clients and/or are looking for new work opportunities with Vietnamese firms and lawyers.
The highlight of the mission was the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding ("MoU") between the Malaysian Bar and the Vietnam Bar Federation ("VBF"). The Malaysian Bar delegation was hosted by the leaders of VBF, comprising its President and Vice–Presidents, including a representative from the Vietnam Ministry of Justice who witnessed the signing of the MoU.
An important part of the agenda for all our market visits is an opportunity for participating lawyers to introduce themselves and their firms' areas of practice. The lawyers bring along their firm profiles to be shared with their peers during the networking session.
Members of the Malaysian Bar who were part of this mission have reported promising collaboration opportunities, ranging from business and client referrals to end–to–end legal work support, and are continuing to build their own networks both in Malaysia and Vietnam.
The Bar Council had, in the beginning of 2019, imposed a condition whereby Members of the Bar who wish to join market visits have to pay a RM1,000 deposit to secure a place. The deposit –– which will be refunded upon the Member's successful completion of the mission –– is to help to ensure that Members do not withdraw after registration without sufficient reason, as this deprives other Members from an opportunity to participate, since places are limited.
We are encouraged that the response from Members was nevertheless substantial. We thank the Members who participated in this mission and hope that they found the legal market visit to be productive and enjoyable. We look forward to increased interest from Members in our future missions.
Signing of MoU between President Abdul Fareed Abdul Gafoor and President Dr Do Ngoc Thinh in Hanoi, Vietnam on 9 Aug 2019.