Herzfeld Rubin 1st Nonaffiliated US Law Firm in Myanmar
By Andrew Strickler
Law360, New York (October 29, 2013, 4:27 PM ET) -- New
York-based Herzfeld & Rubin PC has become the first U.S. law
firm to independently open an integrated office in the Southeast
Asian country of Myanmar, with an eye on leveraging its
experience in other frontier markets, the firm said Tuesday.
The new office, dubbed Herzfeld Rubin Meyer & Rose Law Firm
Ltd., is located in the country's biggest city, Yangon, and is
run completely through the U.S. entity as opposed to a foreign
affiliate. The firm also plans to open a satellite office in the
capital city of Naypyidaw in the first quarter of 2014, firm
principal Eric C. Rose said.
The office, already staffed by both American and Myanmar
attorneys, represents the first U.S. investor in the
professional services industry in Myanmar to hold a full
ownership interest under the Myanmar Investment Law, legislation
passed last year that has begun the process of opening the
country's long-restricted markets, according to the firm.
Herzfeld & Rubin was granted a waiver on a rule restricting full
foreign ownership interests and received a license in July to
open the office.
The firm's experience working in Romania and other Eastern
European counties since the 1990s, and Rose's own work as
in-house counsel for companies investing in frontier markets,
made Myanmar an attractive opportunity despite a lack of
infrastructure and despite still-emerging legal controls after
decades of military rule, Rose told Law360.
"We've been looking for a real opportunity to use our
competitive advantage, and when we saw two years ago things were
starting to change, we started coming here, and held hands with
the [U.S.] State Department, and advised them," he said. "We
know from experience that it pays to be first in."
The office will offer a range of legal and business development
services, with an initial focus on inbound investments from
China, Thailand, Singapore and elsewhere in Asia. Working with
New York-, Europe- and Israel-based lawyers, the firm is also
targeting companies interested in exporting to the U.S., with
textiles being a significant area of interest.
"This is a country with a pedigree of producing very good
garments in the past, and it has the advantage of the workforce
and the know-how," Rose said.
U Kyaw Hoe, a prominent civil and criminal litigator in Myanmar
and a member of the Central Committee of opposition party
National League for Democracy, will lead the litigation
practice. The office will initially include five attorneys and a
In September, Duane Morris LLP became the first U.S.-based firm
to expand into Myanmar, doing so through a Singapore-based joint
The moves were made possible by the recent lifting or expiration
of sanctions from the international community and by a series of
reforms that began with elections and the official dissolution
in 2011 of a military dictatorship that has ruled the country
since the 1960s.
“The result of sweeping political and economic reform has
ignited interest in Myanmar by American and other global
investors — including our clients," said Herzfeld & Rubin’s
managing director, Ian Ceresney, in a statement. "Their renewed
focus in the region, and Southeast Asia generally, is the
impetus behind our decision to establish a presence there.”
Herzfeld & Rubin is headquartered in New York and has more than
200 attorneys in seven offices in the U.S., Europe, Israel and
--Editing by Edrienne Su.
99B Myay Nu Street, LAMAI Condo, Suite 6D, Sanchaung Twp., Yangon 11111, Myanmar - Phone: +95 1 230-5935©2015 Herzfeld Rubin Meyer & Rose Law Firm Limited. - Legal Info