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Dino Santaniello is an experienced and versatile legal consultant in Tilleke & Gibbins’ office in Laos, where he is a respected advisor for international and regional companies on corporate legal and regulatory issues, commercial transactions, intellectual property protection, and dispute resolution in the Lao market. With wide-ranging expertise, Dino leads legal teams on corporate establishment, licensing, energy and project development, M&A deals and joint ventures, privacy and data protection, and enforcement of intellectual property rights. Dino is recognized as a leading legal practitioner in Laos by publications such as Asialaw Leading Lawyers, Chambers Asia-Pacific, IFLR 1000, and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific for his exceptional client service and legal acumen.

Dino is also an active supporter of the business community in Laos. He is frequently invited to give presentations for the European Chamber of Commerce in Laos, industry bodies, and other organizations. He is the sole EU IPR SME Helpdesk representative in Laos and regularly contributes insights and feedback to the Lao government on pending policy developments.

Dino’s dedication to facilitating inbound investors entering Asian markets is underscored by his fluency in French, English, Lao, and Thai.


  • Acted as lead counsel to various international clients in their acquisition of shares in investment vehicles registered and established in Laos to invest in infrastructure projects, such as a water treatment plant, renewable energy projects, and others, involving both concessionary and non-concessionary project arrangements.
  • Advised a subsidiary of a Chinese state-owned company as the sponsor for the design, financing, and construction of a run-off-river hydroelectric power plant in Laos with a total installed capacity of 770 MW.
  • Advised international companies on solar and wind projects, which typically entails providing an in-depth overview of the steps for acquiring shares in local project companies, obtaining relevant licenses, and other corporate structuring and operating advice.
  • Advised world-leading technology companies on the regulatory framework in Laos applicable to internet/telecommunications infrastructure, including required licenses and permits, data privacy, Schrems I and II and data transfer impact assessments, and law enforcement access to data.
  • Assisted major hospitality groups in Southeast Asia with a full range of legal work in Laos, including conducting due diligence on potential targets for acquisition, preparing template hotel management agreements, advising on company incorporation, and assisting with registration of trademarks in Laos and across the region.
  • Advised industry-leading container transport companies, shipping services companies, and freight forwarders on licensing requirements, FDI restrictions, tax considerations, and joint venture formation in relation to their business objectives in Laos.
  • Advised multinational online delivery and ride-hailing service platform providers on a wide range of legal matters related to their operations in Laos, including extensive advice on the launch of new services in the jurisdiction.
  • Conducted legal and land due diligence exercises on behalf of a wide variety of businesses, including major development corporations, agricultural and energy project companies, hotels, and pharmaceutical companies seeking to develop extensive arable agricultural sites under both concessionary and non-concessionary project arrangements.
  • Advised the consumer banking subsidiary of a global financial services conglomerate on the regulatory framework for their planned market entry into Laos, which entailed extensive guidance on the regulatory framework for carrying out cash management, trade services, foreign exchange regulations, markets, securities services, investment banking advisory, ratings advisory, and capital market origination advisory services.
  • Assisted one of the largest banks in the United States by advising on a close-out netting with a local bank in Laos. This was the first agreement of its kind in Laos and represented a major landmark, both for the banking industry and for our client’s activities in the emerging market.
  • Engaged by a major U.S.-based consumer bank to advise on the provision of offshore banking services in Laos. We also advised the client on local banking regulations, securities markets, doing business, permitted banking operations, foreign exchange regulations, and tax in each jurisdiction.
  • Advised a leading Thai stockbroker by providing advice on the issuance of bonds in Laos. Our legal opinion touched on various issues such as the definition of debentures, guarantees required, the trading of debentures, and banking and custodian services in Laos.
  • Secured a EUR 300 million loan to support the renewal of a shipping services company’s fleet providing logistics to oil and gas companies operating worldwide. The loan was provided by a pool of local French banks and foreign banks.
  • Completed a transfer of ownership of 25 vessels for an oil and gas company as part of sale and bareboat charter agreements signed with two large banks. The transfer, valued at approximately USD 913 million, was completed within a year and was one of the biggest deals that year in the industry. The income generated by the sale allowed the company to hasten the renewal of old and obsolete vessels.
  • Secured a loan of EUR 90 million for a client offering shipping services to oil and gas companies to improve and upgrade two vessels operating in the North Sea. This allowed the company to improve its fleet in this part of the world and provide cost-efficient vessels in a highly competitive industry.








    DJCE, Faculty of Law Paul Cézanne, Aix-Marseille III University

    LLM, Faculty of Law Paul Cézanne, Aix-Marseille III University

    LLB, Faculty of Law Paul Cézanne, Aix-Marseille III University


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