Tracking a Talented Trainee

Le Dinh Buu Tri

A locally trained Vietnamese lawyer has been honored with the Best In-House Counsel award twice by the prestigious Hong Kong-based Asia Law Magazine. His name is Le Dinh Buu Tri.

Trainee in a Law Firm

After graduating from law school, Tri applied to work as a trainee at the Hong Kong law firm Johnson Stoker & Master. He got the position and was given the task of filing papers.

Since he had to read all the documents he was filing, Tri got to know everything that was going on at the firm. Soon the young man found himself wanting the world.

It wasn’t plain sailing though, not by any means. He often felt stressed by the work and was sometimes hurt by his colleagues’ harsh comments. But Tri did not lose heart and kept learning as much as possible.

It paid off because, within four years, his senior colleagues were taking the young man seriously and listening to his opinions instead of dismissing them out of hand.

After Tri left that particular firm, he went on to work for an Australian outfit for a year and then decided to finish his cadetship.

Taking off with Manulife

In 2000, life insurance in Viet Nam was only regulated by Decree 100 and a few Circulars. Seeing that the laws regulating the life insurance industry were far from comprehensive, Tri began to study the field by himself.

One year later he became the legal manager of Manulife Insurance.

Now that he was able to access a variety of files on insurance, Tri recognized that insurance products had been around for hundreds of years in other countries and their legal systems had been formed in contexts quite different from Viet Nam.

That was why foreign insurance companies often got into trouble trying to apply their rules in Viet Nam, partly because of the different legal habits and partly because of the thinking of Vietnamese people.

Besides handling a wide range of his firm’s legal business, Tri helped four other top names in the industry who had set up shop in Viet Nam - AIA, Bao Viet, Bao Minh and Prudential - to reach consensus with Manulife on 29 Vietnamese legal terms for the insurance industry. That was in May 2006.

The 29 terms enable these firms to come to an agreement on the definitions of certain clauses in a life insurance policy.       

In another field of commerce, again thanks to Tri’s hard work and diligence, a foreign insurance firm can now complete the legal procedures for trading real estate in Viet Nam.

Tri is presently engaged in a new project: setting up an investment fund within five years.

Source TT – Translated by Hoang Uy

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