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The secret to winning Japanese clients: Lessons from Cambodia's top law firm

By Sneha Choudhary
-    May 23, 2024
Credit : GMI Post

Amid the continuing influx of foreign investment, Cambodia is undergoing a significant transition. Three years ago, the government enacted a law that laid out new regulations to attract more international investors and make the country more competitive globally.

Following this, it implemented new policies to diversify its base of foreign investors. Among the leading partners that stand out is Japan.

Davies SM Managing Partner Sovicheany Pheng (Source: DSM)

Celebrating the 70th anniversary of their bilateral ties, Cambodia and Japan are expanding their cooperation. Prominent companies like Toyota Tsusho Manufacturing, Aeon Mall, and Minebea are reinvesting significantly in the country. And local law firms play a crucial role in supporting these investments and helping investors navigate the complexities of the local business environment.

Davies SM Attorney At Law (DSM) has stood out among the competition for providing quality legal services to multinationals, government agencies, and foreign investors. In an interview with GMI POST, Managing Partner Sovicheany Pheng outlines three ways the firm has attracted and retained Japanese clients.


Be a partner for growth


Pheng emphasizes the importance of being an investment ally rather than just a legal partner.

DSM tailors solutions for clients based on evolving trends and risks in the dynamic business environment. Instead of adopting a one-size-fits-all approach, it understands each client's goals and customizes its services to address specific challenges.

“The goal of DSM is to grow with our partners as a team. Through our quality and effective legal services, we assist all foreign investors, like the Japanese, navigate the complexities of an emerging market,” she said.


Map out a detailed, compliant-oriented approach


DSM guarantees that its work is comprehensive, covering everything from legal advice and feasibility studies to tax considerations at the pre-investment stage. This meticulous approach appeals to Japanese clients who prioritize thoroughness and compliance.

“In our experience, the Japanese are compliant, systematic, and rule-driven. What sets us apart is our ability to present a basket of unique and innovative legal solutions that comply with national regulations at low costs,” Pheng said.


Build trust through collaboration


Pheng stressed that collaborating with other Japanese legal firms can help cultivate trust among potential Japanese clients. DSM’s team is made up of top lawyers adept in both national and international legal intricacies, ensuring that clients, especially foreign investors, have a holistic understanding of the local market and receive services that meet their high standards.

“Our firm aims to collaborate with Japanese law firms to better serve Japanese clients who want to expand in Cambodia and appreciate local sensibilities in their solution. We want the Japanese to know they can trust us like their own” she said.

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