Christopher A. Muessel

Partner, Head of Southeast Asia Practice
cmuessel@yklaw.us
(212) 837-2600
Location: Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA

Chris Muessel is one of the most experienced US lawyers regarding the corporate/commercial laws of countries in Southeast Asia (SEA) and head of YK Law’s SEA practice. Over a 22 year period, Chris has developed an expertise in cross-border M&A (incl. PE funds & family offices), project finance (energy and mining), compliance (incl. FCPA), real estate, intellectual property and trade (treaties and anti-dumping claims). He has in-country experience in Cambodia (1998-1999), Japan (2000-2001), Vietnam (2001-2007) and Singapore (2007-2014), and has continued to advise clients in all these countries (and most of the other SEA countries) since transferring his international practice to the US in 2014.

Chris has served on several boards of the American Chamber of Commerce (AmCham), including AmCham Vietnam (Chairman 2007) and AmCham Singapore (Governor 2008-2011), which has allowed him to stay abreast of all major legal and business issues facing foreign investors and companies in SEA.

Education

  • Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC (J.D.)
  • Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO (B.A.)
  • Université Laval, Quebec City, Canada (French Language Cert)

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania
  • District of Columbia

Memberships

  • Asian Law Alumni Advisory Board (ALAAB), Georgetown University, Washington, DC (Board Member)
  • Asia-Pacific Council of American Chambers (APCAC), Singapore (Board Member)
  • American Association of Singapore (AAS), Singapore (Board Member)
  • American Chamber of Commerce, Singapore (Governor)
  • American Chamber of Commerce, Vietnam (Governor and Former Chairman)
  • British Business Group of Vietnam, Vietnam (Member)
  • Canada-Vietnam Business Association, Vietnam (Member)
  • American Bar Association, US (International Section) (Member)
  • District of Columbia Bar, Washington, DC  (International Section) (Member)
  • Maritime Administrative Bar Association, Washington, DC (Member)

Languages

  • English
  • French (Basic)

Recognition

  • Chambers Asia (Leading Overseas Counsel);
  • Chambers Global (Global Leading Lawyer – Corporate); and
  • Legal 500 (Leading Lawyer – Corporate).

Publications & Appearances

  • “Riding Vietnam’s Next M&A Wave: Challenges for Legal Practitioners Operating in Vietnam”,Asian Legal Business, June 2011.
  • “Update on Vietnam’s Evolving Legal Framework for Clean Development Mechanism (“CDM”) Projects Under the Kyoto Protocol”,Association of Corporate Counsel, August, 2007.
  • “Vietnam’s Evolving Legal Framework for Clean Development Mechanism (“CDM”) Projects Under the Kyoto Protocol”,13th Annual Environmental Conference, Chicago, Illinois, USA, June 2006 (also published in the Clean Energy and Climate Change Newsletter (Global), 21st Edition, August 2006).
  • “Vietnam’s Clean Development Mechanism (“CDM”)Projects Under the Kyoto Protocol”, 12th Annual Environmental Conference, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2004.
  • “Compendium of Cambodia’s Commercial Laws”, Internet Website funded by the World Bank, Phnom Penh, Cambodia (1999).
  • For many years, Chris has been a regular speaker on the lecture circuit on issues related to Southeast Asia (especially, Vietnam), including cross-border investments, mergers & acquisitions, corporate/commercial law (incl. large real estate projects), project finance, international trade and compliance (incl. the FCPA). Excerpts from his presentations have been printed in many international newspapers and trade publications.

Experience

  • Recent transactions handled by Chris Muessel include:
  • Advised US gaming company  (US$9 billion annual revenues) regarding casino licensing, joint venture agreements and development of a US$4 billion integrated resort project in Vietnam.
  • Advised Hong Kong-based PE fund (US$2 billion under management) on the development of a US$50 million recycling facility for rubber and other synthetics used in the sports footwear export industry in Vietnam.
  • Advised Singapore-based PE fund (US$1.5 billion under management) regarding a prospective US$130 million real estate project in Vietnam as part of a consortium led by an Omani sovereign wealth fund.
  • Advised Singapore-based family office (US$350 million under management) regarding prospective M&A acquisitions in Southeast Asia and the US (including CA wineries being divested by an international beverage conglomerate).
  • Advised major Singaporean bank on the project financing of a US$225 million FPSO vessel built in Singapore for use in Vietnam’s coastal waters.
  • Advised Top-3 Malaysian energy producer on the development of a biofuels energy project in Cambodia using rice husk byproducts as fuel source.
  • Advised leading US-based ocean geophysical services company regarding market-entry issues and operations in Myanmar and Vietnam.
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