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Jay Cohen

Partner and Director, Cambodia


Jay Cohen is a partner and director of Tilleke & Gibbins’ Cambodia practice, leading the Phnom Penh office’s commercial and intellectual property practices. Based on the quality of his client service and legal expertise, Jay is ranked as a leading commercial lawyer in Cambodia by AsialawChambers Asia-PacificIFLR 1000, and The Legal 500 Asia Pacific.

With over 15 years of experience in Asia, Jay is an authority on inbound investments in the region. His practice covers every stage of the investment process, beginning with offshore structuring issues and market entry into Cambodia, including advising on appropriate entities, tax considerations, licensing requirements, intellectual property protection, and labor compliance matters. He also regularly assists clients with implementing appropriate corporate and investment structures, advising on ongoing operations, and negotiating and drafting commercial contracts.

Jay has particular expertise in the energy industry, in which he frequently assists clients with acquisition of energy resources and infrastructure, handles upstream licensing and transactional work, and advises on regulatory compliance in emerging Southeast Asian markets. He is also a well-respected practitioner to the technology industry, frequently advising innovative technology companies on their Southeast Asian operations, with a particular focus on the regulatory framework applicable to FinTech and other professional services technology. He is an active member of the firm’s Technology Industry Group.

More broadly, Jay is a trusted advisor to businesses on a variety of general corporate, commercial, intellectual property, and compliance matters in Cambodia, including licensing and regulation; civil aviation compliance procedures (including aircraft registration and deregistration); real estate investment structuring; resource development project licensing and concessions; trademark and patent registration and enforcement; labor and employment matters; and mergers and acquisitions.

Jay is a truly global practitioner, entrusted with high-value commercial matters by both local clients in Cambodia and international clients from across Asia, Europe, and the United States alike. He consistently provides practical, innovative solutions to the dynamic challenges that arise within a developing legal framework. Recognized for his knowledge and insights on the legal environment for business in Cambodia, Jay currently serves on the Board of Governors for the American Chamber of Commerce in Cambodia.

Jay earned his J.D. from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri, alongside an M.A. in East Asian Studies, and is licensed to practice law in the state of California. He is conversant in Chinese (Mandarin).


  • Served as a sole arbitrator in a complex dispute in front of the National Commercial Arbitration Centre of Cambodia.
  • Assisted with an EPC agreement for the construction of a jet fuel depot as part of the development of Phnom Penh’s new international airport.
  • Retained to assist a Thai state-owned bank in preparing a suite of template agreements under the umbrella of the client’s uncommitted credit facility agreement for use in the Cambodian market.
  • Advised numerous world-leading banks, investment firms, and financial services providers on the marketing of offshore debt and equity securities and funds, and the provision of financial services (e.g., remittance and clearance services) to clients in Cambodia.
  • Represented a leading Cambodian utilities company in procuring a USD 2.3 million loan facility to expand its water treatment plants and provide working capital.
  • Advised the operator of a leading third-party mobile and online payment platform on regulatory issues and approvals required to introduce and operate the client’s widely-used payment platform in the Cambodian market.
  • Acted for a Singapore-based impact investment firm on leading a pre-series A round for an agricultural supply chain startup in Cambodia.
  • Advised a leading energy-as-a-service company in Asia on business model structuring issues and assisted with preparing a template equipment lease agreement for its planned launch of a rooftop solar business in Cambodia.
  • Advised the Southeast Asian regional franchisee of a world-leading clothing retailer on the expansion into the Cambodian market.
  • Represented a client on the provision of a USD 500,000 convertible loan to a Cambodian water authority. Work involved extensive investigations into the holding company and four subsidiary water companies, reviewing and providing extensive input on the loan agreement, and advising on the successful completion of the loan.
  • Advised multinational clients on the acquisition of oil and gas blocks in Cambodia, Vietnam, Kazakhstan, and the United Kingdom.
  • Represented a major global energy company in negotiating the terms of a transnational gas pipeline in Southeast Asia.
  • Drafted and advised on the service and process agreements for one of Asia’s largest refineries.
  • Drafted license and service agreements for telecom platforms in Indonesia, Israel, Kazakhstan, The Netherlands, Thailand, the United States, and Vietnam.
  • Advised on and drafted original design manufacturing transactions for a major global consumer electronics company for the production of mobile phones.
  • Advised banks and Fortune 500 companies on know your customer and anti-corruption requirements in Southeast Asia.
  • Drafted and advised on loan and security agreements, and banking opinions in Cambodia for international banks.
  • Advised real estate developers on all aspects of real estate development projects from initial structuring issues, land acquisition, security issues, real estate development rules, condominium management rules and commercial agreements with buyers.
  • Acted as legal advisor to the administrator in the first insolvency proceeding filed in Cambodia for Nautisco Seafood Manufacturing.
  • Represented creditor and participated in the creditor’s committee in connection with Cambodia’s second insolvency proceeding for Mfone.






    JD, Washington University School of Law

    MA, Washington University School of Law

    BA, Emory University


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