New Member – Paul Wordley joins as the Insurance Law Expert in the United Kingdom

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Paul Wordley as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Insurance Law expert in the United Kingdom.

Paul is one of the founding partners of Wordley Partnership, having been a partner in a major international law firm where he was a member of the Management and Strategy Boards respectively.

Paul’s expertise is geared towards advisory, complex claims, dispute resolution and coverage issues in the international insurance and reinsurance markets, acting for policyholders, insurers, brokers, intermediaries and reinsurers.

His particular areas of expertise are in the oil, gas, mining, commodities, marine, construction and TMT sectors.

Paul has been involved in a number of high-profile international insurance and reinsurance claims in recent years and has also advised on a number of recent major oil, gas, mining and commodities claims. He also has significant mediation experience having represented clients in several successful multi-million-dollar mediations. Paul has also conducted numerous arbitrations before LMAA, ICC, SCC and LCIA.

He is recommended by expert legal directories as ‘exceptional’ and has become a thought leader in the natural resources insurance world.

Firm Description:

Launched in early 2019, Wordley Partnership is a commercial law firm with particular expertise in all aspects of dispute resolution, commercial problem solving and insurance / reinsurance / coverage.

The Partners have many years of experience working on some of the largest and most complex disputes across the globe whilst at an international firm based in the City of London. With proven track records they have consolidated that expertise into their own firm.

They are often instructed to advise boards and directors of companies on legal liability, asset recovery and preservation as well as advising on strategies to resolve disputes and limit liability, whether that be working in the background or openly in arbitrations and litigation. Their expertise extends to prosecuting claims where required and they have a strong track record of success.

In addition to disputes, the firm has a significant non contentious capability.


New Member – Dahlia Joseph Rowe joins as the Business Law Expert in Saint Kitts & Nevis

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Dahlia Joseph Rowe as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Business Law expert in Saint Kitts & Nevis.

Dahlia Joseph Rowe, a Grenadian National and the 1998 Grenadian Island Scholar, started Joseph Rowe law firm after leaving a lucrative partnership at the largest law firm in the Federation of St. Christopher and Nevis where she worked for over 10 years. Dahlia moved to Nevis after completing her studies at the Hugh Wooding Law School in Trinidad in 2005 and obtained her Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill Campus (Upper Second Class Honors) in 2003. Dahlia also holds a Masters of Law degree from the University of London.

Areas of Expertise

  • Business Law
  • Litigation
  • Real Estate Law
  • Maritime Law

Firm Description:


Nevis is located 17.16° North and 62.58° West in the Caribbean’s archipelago. With an area of a mere 36 square miles, divided into five parishes, and a population of approximately 13, 000 people, Nevis forms part of the island Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis – the smallest independent state in the Americas.

Nevis is the smaller of the two islands with one mountain at the center of the island measuring approximately 3,232 feet. Nevis is separated from St. Kitts by only two miles of water called ‘The Narrows’.


The island has a stable economy that fosters growth, development and profitability. At present, the largest revenue generating industry is tourism, but the offshore and financial services sectors are rapidly growing and lucrative industries.

St. Kitts and Nevis also boasts a Citizenship by Investment Program which started in 1984 – the oldest economic citizenship program in the Caribbean. There is no residency requirement to qualify for citizenship and the St. Kitts and Nevis passport affords the holder visa-free travel to hundreds of countries and territories worldwide including the United Kingdom and the Schengen Area Member States in Europe.


New Member – Carlos Perez-Mesa, Jr. joins as the Insurance Law Expert in the USA – Hawaii

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Carlos Perez-Mesa, Jr. as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Insurance Law expert in the USA – Hawaii.

Carlos D. Perez-Mesa has been an active trial attorney in New Jersey and Hawaii since 1986. In Hawaii, he has tried over 20 jury and bench trials to verdict in state and federal court and participated in over 300 arbitrations and meditations. Mr. Perez-Mesa has wide ranging experience practicing in both federal and state court handling a broad range of litigation, including products liability, construction law, employment discrimination, personal injury, the Americans with Disabilities Act, environmental law, automobile and slip and fall accidents, Title VII civil rights law and workers compensation law. He also handles private arbitrations and mediations involving all types of civil actions, including auto cases, sexual harassment, age discrimination, wrongful discharge, racial discrimination, UM and UIM auto cases and AOAO disputes.

Upon graduation of law school, Mr. Perez-Mesa served as a law clerk to Judge Nicholas in Mandak, Passaic County, New Jersey.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Perez-Mesa focused on litigation concerning personal injury, employment discrimination, products liability and condominium law. He defended AIG™ and Farmers™ Insurance insureds involved in automobile and slip and fall accidents. Mr. Perez-Mesa worked seven years as a trial attorney for AIG™’s Staff Counsel’s office in Honolulu. He also has three successful published Hawaii Supreme Court opinions.

Areas of Expertise

  • Complex Litigation
  • Construction Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Construction
  • Insurance
  • Manufacturing
  • Retail

Firm Description:

Clay Iwamura Pulice & Nervell is a versatile full service law firm of highly qualified and dedicated attorneys representing a diverse international, national and local clientele in different industries, who turn to us for a wide range of legal services and resources. Our clients include major public corporations, privately held and family businesses, entrepreneurs, start-ups and emerging growth companies, investors, governments, public agencies and individuals.


New Member – Júlia Szarvas joins as the M&A Law Expert in Hungary

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Júlia Szarvas as our exclusively recommended & endorsed M&A Law expert in Hungary.

Júlia Szarvas has spent 16 years of her professional career at law firms working in association with different BIG4 firms and one of the largest accounting firms in Hungary. She has broad experience in transactions when legal, tax and accounting aspects need to be considered parallel.

She understands the tax and accounting requirements and knows the legal answer. Julia has advised clients in different M&A transactions and setup of joint venture structures.

Julia advises several international clients holding investment in Hungary and provides day-to day advice for their legal compliance in corporate, commercial and HR matters. She is specialized in certain special regulated areas, including data privacy law and legal aspects of electronic signatures.

Areas of Expertise

  • M&A Law
  • Joint Venture
  • Real Estate
  • Employment Law
  • Corporate Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Privacy Law

Firm Description:

Szarvas and Partners Law Firm is a small boutique firm with international clientele. We focus on legal support of foreign INVESTMENTS IN HUNGARY and on legal compliance of clients DOING BUSINESS IN HUNGARY.

The firm specializes on complex advisory and transactional services, when legal support needs to be provided in consideration of tax and accounting aspects and in cooperation with professionals of such areas. We are an independent law firm, having smooth cooperation with several independent financial and tax advisors and accounting firms, as well as with law firms in numerous European countries.


New Member – Babette Smeets joins as the Family Law Expert in Chile

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Babette Smeets as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Family Law expert in Chile.

Babette Smeets studied Law at the University of Leiden, The Netherlands, specialising in Private Law, Family Law and Inheritance Law. She received an LL.M degree in International Law – Trade, Investments and Arbitration from the University of Chile in Santiago de Chile and the Ruprecht Karls-Universität in Heidelberg, Germany (2011).

Her special interest in Private and Family Law, and her awareness of a growing need for support and specialised legal advice in the field of family matters –particularly in a global context– led her to focus on this area of expertise. Her multicultural experience and outlook allow her to understand the particular concerns of people from different cultures. Moreover, Babette’s legal experience is not limited to Family Law, so she has a unique understanding of the wider issues associated to family matters.

Babette Smeets is a recognized leader in international succession Law and unclaimed property law and can assist heirs with the legal inheritance and probate process in Chile.  A deceased could also have left assets in Europe, the United States, or elsewhere. She has helped clients with the recognition of their right to inherit and international claims. She also has helped locate heirs and recover assets classified as unclaimed estates in Europe and the United States. Working in a global team provides her the legal ability to handle international claims and get results in even the most complex circumstances.

Firm Description:

SMEETS Family Lawyers provides high quality legal advice and services in the field of Chilean and cross-border family issues. We are dedicated to looking after your personal interests.

We provide legal advice on Chilean and cross-border family matters, such as legalising a foreign marriage, prenuptial agreements, divorces, mediation, alimony, registered partnerships, legal issues involving children (child custody and abduction; the Hague Convention), adoption, inheritances, immigration, relocation or settlement in Chile (we can also assist you with the legal process of buying and selling property in Chile), and others.

We provide our advice and services based on your particular circumstances: quickly, efficiently and effectively with absolute discretion and reliability. If necessary and if you desire it, we can consult and work with law and tax firms (or attorneys), including from abroad.


New Member – Jon Paul Mouttet joins as the Energy Law Expert in Trinidad & Tobago

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Jon Paul Mouttet as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Energy Law expert in Trinidad & Tobago.

Jon Paul Mouttet is a Senior Partner in the Commercial Department of Fitzwilliam, Stone, Furness-Smith & Morgan. Fitzwilliam, Stone, Furness-Smith & Morgan has been in existence for over 100 years and is one the largest and oldest full service commercial firms in Trinidad and Tobago. He joined Fitzwilliam, Stone, Furness-Smith & Morgan at the end of 2005 and was initially active in both the Litigation and Commercial Departments but now concentrates on commercial work and tax litigation. His practice primarily focuses on industrial foreign investment projects, energy and tax law.

His clients include international and local companies involved in oil and gas, power generation, commodity trading, industrial and manufacturing processes, quarrying, service companies and local conglomerates operating in various sectors.

Firm Description:

The Firm is one of the oldest and largest commercial law firms in Trinidad and Tobago and traces its origins to the practice of Oliver Fitzwilliam who first started practicing in 1912 after a gift of $5000 was bestowed upon him by his great uncle, Jules Larry. Oliver Fitzwilliam was later joined by Stanley Stone in 1919 after the end of World War I and this two man operation began carrying on their practice as “Solicitors and Conveyancers” under the name “Oliver Fitzwilliam & Co”. Their practice was one of the first firms in Trinidad and Tobago to formally register its business name in 1923 (its business name certificate is numbered forty four), pursuant to the passage into law of the then Registration of Business Ordinance in that same year.


Navigating Litigation in Court in Vietnam: A Comprehensive Overview


I. The Court System in Vietnam

Vietnam’s court system is organized into four main levels:

  1. District Courts: These courts handle most civil and criminal cases of first instance. They also have jurisdiction over administrative cases.
  2. Provincial Courts: These courts serve as appellate courts for decisions rendered by the District Courts and handle certain cases of first instance, such as commercial and economic disputes.
  3. High People’s Courts: These courts have appellate jurisdiction over decisions rendered by the Provincial Courts and serve as courts of first instance for certain cases involving high-ranking officials or matters of national importance.
  4. Supreme People’s Court: This is the highest court in Vietnam and has the authority to review final judgments from the High People’s Courts, provide guidance on the application of the law, and ensure the uniformity of judicial decisions.

II. The Litigation Process

A. Pleadings and Initiation

The litigation process begins with the submission of a Statement of Claim to the competent court. This document should include information about the parties, the nature of the dispute, the legal basis for the claim, and the relief sought. The court will then serve the defendant with the Statement of Claim, and the defendant must submit a Statement of Defense within the prescribed time limit.

B. Evidence and Discovery

Parties are required to submit evidence in support of their claims and defenses. Unlike in some other jurisdictions, the Vietnamese legal system does not have a formal discovery process. Parties are responsible for gathering and submitting their own evidence, although the court may order the production of specific evidence upon request.

C. Hearings and Trials

Once the pleadings and evidence have been submitted, the court will schedule hearings for witness testimony, expert opinions, and oral arguments. Hearings are generally open to the public, but the court may decide to hold closed hearings in certain circumstances. The presiding judge, together with the assessors, will question the parties, witnesses, and experts, and the parties will have the opportunity to cross-examine them.

D. Judgments and Appeals

After the hearings and trials, the court will deliberate and issue a judgment. This judgment will include a determination of liability, damages, and the allocation of costs. Parties have the right to appeal the judgment to a higher court within a specified time limit. Appeals can be based on errors of law, errors of fact, or both.

III. Enforcement of Court Judgments

Once a judgment becomes final and binding, the winning party may seek to enforce it against the losing party. Enforcement is carried out by the Civil Judgment Enforcement Agency, which has the power to seize and sell assets, freeze bank accounts, and take other measures to ensure compliance with the judgment.

IV. Alternative Dispute Resolution

Parties involved in disputes in Vietnam may also consider alternative dispute resolution methods such as arbitration or mediation. These methods can offer more flexibility, confidentiality, and potentially faster resolution than litigation. However, the choice of dispute resolution method depends on the specific circumstances of the case and the parties’ preferences.

V. Tips for Successful Litigation in Vietnam

To increase the chances of a favorable outcome in your litigation case in Vietnam, consider the following tips:

  1. Choose the right legal representation: Engaging an experienced and knowledgeable attorney with a deep understanding of Vietnamese law and court procedures is crucial to your success in litigation.
  2. Prepare a solid case: Thorough preparation, including gathering all relevant evidence and documents, is essential to presenting a strong case before the court. Be ready to address any weaknesses in your case and anticipate the arguments of the opposing party.
  3. Understand the applicable laws and regulations: Familiarize yourself with the relevant laws, regulations, and judicial precedents that may impact your case. Your attorney can help you navigate the complexities of the Vietnamese legal system.
  4. Comply with court procedures and deadlines: Ensuring timely submission of pleadings and other documents, as well as adherence to court procedures, is critical to maintaining the credibility of your case and avoiding potential setbacks.
  5. Communicate effectively: Clear and concise communication with the court, witnesses, and experts is essential. This includes presenting your case in a well-structured and persuasive manner and being able to respond effectively to questions and objections.
  6. Consider settlement options: In some cases, it may be more advantageous to explore settlement options rather than pursuing litigation to its conclusion. This can save time, money, and resources while still achieving a satisfactory resolution.

By following these tips and working closely with your attorney, you can improve your chances of achieving a successful outcome in your litigation case in Vietnam.

VI. Conclusion

Litigation in Vietnamese courts can be a complex and time-consuming process. Understanding the various stages of the litigation process and the structure of the court system can help parties make informed decisions about how to proceed with their disputes. If you require assistance with litigation or any other legal matter, our law firm is here to help. We have a team of experienced attorneys who can guide you through the litigation process and represent your interests in the most effective manner. Please do not hesitate to contact us to discuss your needs and learn more about how we can assist you.

Note: This article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Each case is unique, and specific legal advice should be sought from a qualified attorney based on the individual circumstances of your matter.


The Multi-tiered Approach: A Common Strategy within Vietnam’s Law on Investment

In the bustling sphere of Vietnam’s business investments, a prevalent practice emerges: the creation of multi-tiered subsidiaries. This structural strategy is geared towards establishing an entity that can potentially benefit from being treated as a domestic company under Vietnamese law, an advantage built upon the foundation of the Law on Investment No. 61/2020/QH14.

Central to this approach are the provisions within Article 23.1 and 23.2 of the law. These sections present an interesting dynamic where a company primarily owned by foreign investors (Company 1) and its direct subsidiary (Company 2) are akin to foreign entities under Vietnamese law, while companies not within these stipulations are viewed as domestic entities.

The intricacies of these provisions are further unveiled in the interpretation related to the subsidiaries of Company 2 (Company 3). A predominant school of thought among legal experts suggests that Company 3 does not fall under Article 23.1, and as per Article 23.2, should be treated like a domestic entity.

However, it’s essential to recognize that this interpretation, despite its popularity, is not explicitly affirmed by the authorities. The silence from the relevant bodies introduces an element of uncertainty. There remains the possibility of a more conservative interpretation that could classify Company 3 as a foreign entity, given that its majority owner, Company 2, is also classified as such.

This prevailing ambiguity has led many firms to adopt a cautious approach. The establishment of additional subsidiary layers (Company 4 and Company 5) serves as a widely used defensive tactic, providing a level of ‘insurance’ against potential future restrictive interpretations of the law.

In conclusion, while the multi-tiered subsidiary structure is a common practice in navigating the Law on Investment in Vietnam, its acceptability remains an open question due to the lack of explicit regulatory affirmation. This uncertainty highlights the dynamic interaction between strategic business planning and legal interpretation in the context of Vietnam’s intricate legal landscape.

Contact us for legal services in Vietnam

New Member – Sofia Monge joins as the Inheritance Law Expert in Portugal

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Sofia Monge as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Inheritance Law expert in Portugal.

Areas of Expertise

  • Inheritance Law
  • Labor Law
  • Criminal law
  • Lawyer since 2005
  • Founding partner and President of the General Meeting of Carlos Pinto de Abreu e Associados – Sociedade de Advogados, SP, RL
  • Professor of the professional course of Legal Services Technician, teaching the subjects of civil and criminal procedural practices and evidence at the Social Development Institute

Firm Description:

The utility of the exercise of Advocacy and the increased value of legal services is in the prompt response, in anticipation of problems, in the prevention of risks, in the utility of advice, in the minimization of damages, in the proactivity of the advice, in the quality of sponsorship and in the effectiveness of defense.

The work or activity of a Lawyer or a Lawyer is also a difficult and complex task, not just legal, but vision, strategy and management, always rich, innovative, exciting, unique and unrepeatable, because it generates more Significant value or risk minimization should not be neglected. The advocacy exercise is better than a simple and formal provision of a legal, traditional, concrete, watertight and ready to deliver service or the provision of simple, isolated, blind, aseptic, pre-prepared, repetitive, occasional and autonomous services .

New Member – Tran D. Hoang (Henry) joins as the Banking and Finance Law & Business Litigation Law Expert in Vietnam

Leaders in Law, the leading platform in its field, is delighted to welcome Tran D. Hoang (Henry) as our exclusively recommended & endorsed Banking and Finance Law & Business Litigation Law expert in Vietnam.

Tran D. Hoang is a lawyer licensed in Vietnam, New York state, and Massachusetts state in the United States. He specializes in negotiation, real estate, company formation and restructuring, commercial law, and international business law.  He has devoted his legal career to the growth of the business environment in Vietnam. He represented hundreds of start-up businesses to file a petition calling for the scrapping of Article 292 under Penal Code 2015 due to it hindering the development of internet and telecommunications-based companies. In 2016 and 2017, the Prime Minister and the National Assembly of Vietnam agreed to remove Article 292.

Tran D. Hoang has written articles and presented in many workshops and conferences in different countries on the introduction and analysis of the Trans- Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. He also has written hundreds of legal infographics articles on newspapers and blogs. He regularly advises for the operation, management, investment, internal structure and other legal matters of various companies in different industries, such as securities (Thien Viet Securities), education (ILA Vietnam), technology (Go-Viet), real estate (Phat Dat Real Estate Development), media (Galaxy Media and Entertainment) and other fields.

Firm Description:

HERMAN, HENRY & DOMINIC (EZLAW) is an experienced team of lawyers and legal experts based in Saigon and Hanoi.  The firm provides legal services to business organizations committing to the long-term development of Vietnam. The firm believes in building strong relationships with their clients based on trust and respect.

HERMAN, HENRY & DOMINIC (EZLAW) specializes in corporate matters (especially M&A), financing, banking, land, labor, tax and commercial matters, contract drafting and negotiation, and arbitration and litigation.  The firm also maintains permanent good working relations with various governmental bodies in Vietnam to enable them to access the resources necessary to produce timely and effective results for the clients.

HERMAN, HENRY & DOMINIC (EZLAW) work under their motto: “Local Expertise & Global Standard.”