Thomas J. Treutler is the managing director of Tilleke & Gibbins’ Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City offices. Tom is registered to practice as a foreign lawyer in Vietnam and has been providing legal services in Vietnam for 25 years. He is an attorney licensed by the State Bar of California.
Tom specializes in corporate and commercial law as well as intellectual property, and co-heads the firm’s life sciences practice with Alan Adcock. He advises leading multinationals, as well as small and medium-sized businesses, on setting up their business operations in Vietnam. He regularly handles mergers and acquisitions work, including the Vietnam portion of one of the largest global acquisitions of 2017. Tom leads Tilleke & Gibbins’ strong franchising practice in Vietnam, and advises foreign companies on distribution of products into the fast-growing Vietnamese market. He also advises foreign companies on compliance matters and how to navigate the complicated nuances of Vietnamese labor law. In this area, Tom has led FCPA compliance investigations, and helped successfully resolve several high-profile labor disputes in Vietnam.
Tom, who formerly served as the Chairman of AmCham Vietnam’s IT, Telecom & IPR (ITTI) Committee, regularly advises in the area of media and technology law. Recognized as a leading lawyer in intellectual property by Chambers, The Legal 500, and Managing IP, Tom has extensive experience in patent and trademark counseling, and IP enforcement. He has secured a number of landmark patent infringement victories for foreign companies operating in the life sciences and technology sectors. Under Tom’s leadership, Tilleke & Gibbins has been named Firm of the Year for Vietnam nine times since 2012 by Managing IP. In 2014, Tom helped lead an anti-counterfeiting action for a U.S. printer cartridge producer that was named Case of the Year for Southeast Asia by Managing IP, due to the court’s award to the plaintiff of damages and attorney fees, as well as costs for a prior administrative action. As a former patent attorney in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles, he has prepared and prosecuted patent applications in the semiconductor, computer, software, electronics, communications, and medical device industries.
Tom is the co-chair of AIPLA’s IP Practice in the Far East Committee and a former chair of the East Asia and Pacific Subcommittee of INTA’s Famous and Well-Known Marks Committee. He currently sits on the INTA Academic Committee and is also a member of the INTA Asia-Pacific Global Advisory Council. Tom has advised EuroCham Vietnam’s Pharma Group (an industry group of major pharmaceutical innovators), and has assisted with drafting position papers on compulsory licensing and a roadmap for Vietnam’s compliance with the EU-Vietnam Free Trade Agreement and TRIPS. He also serves as a local expert for Vietnam for the European Commission’s ASEAN IPR SME Helpdesk.
Tom earned his JD, magna cum laude, from Indiana University Bloomington’s Maurer School of Law, where he now serves as a member of the Dean’s Global Advisory Board, and graduated from the University of Michigan with a BSE in Computer Engineering. Having lived and worked in Vietnam as a translator in the early 1990s before becoming a lawyer, Tom reads, writes and speaks Vietnamese fluently. Tom founded the Hanoi Youth Baseball Club in 2008, and his 16U team qualified for the 2015 Colt World Series in the United States.
Awards & Rankings