Jay Cohen

Partner and Director, Cambodia


  • JD, Washington University School of Law
  • MA, Washington University School of Law
  • BA, Emory University

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 Asialaw, Chambers Asia-Pacific, IFLR 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.

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; real estate investment structuring; resource development project licensing and concessions; trademark and patent registration and enforcement; labor and employment matters; and mergers and acquisitions.

  • 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.

Chambers Asia-Pacific
General Business Law 2023 – Band 2 for 2 consecutive years

  • “Jay is the one that can handle very complicated matters and understand the situation, even better than ourselves. He does high-quality work and is easy to work with too.”
  • “Jay Cohen is a very sophisticated US corporate lawyer who has great knowledge of Cambodian laws. He provides easy to understand and practical solutions to complex legal matters.”
  • “Jay is proactive and very responsive to comments and revisions. He understands the nature of the business and provides many helpful suggestions for the contract.”

The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
General Business Law 2023 – Leading Individual for 3 consecutive years

Asialaw Leading Lawyers
Corporate/M&A 2024 – Distinguished Practitioner for 5 consecutive years

IFLR 1000
Banking & Finance 2024 – Highly Regarded