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Asia Business Law Journal names the country’s top law firms. Lim Miran and Brian Yap report

While global economic headwinds crimped demand for Thailand’s exports and slowed GDP growth to 1.9% in 2023, Asean’s second-biggest economy earned a longer-term boost in the form of foreign direct investment from countries including Japan.

As a legal and commercial market with a significant Japanese presence, Thailand recently received commitments from automakers including Toyota and Honda for more than USD4 billion worth of investment over the next five years. Additionally, some Japanese manufacturers that have been diversifying their supply chains – primarily away from China – due to geopolitical tensions have also announced plans to expand in Thailand. Electronic equipment and components maker Kyocera, for example, is reported to be increasing production of capacitors for smartphones and electric vehicles.

The Thai government under Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin has been seeking more investment from countries including China, which has recently been granted permanent visa-free status. The administration also aims to foster the creation of 10,000 startups by the end of 2027 in areas including agriculture and medicine to boost corporate innovation and the country’s economic productivity.

Businesses and individuals in the country are also looking at a pipeline of projects in the real estate and construction space. Thailand’s ministry of transport in December 2023 announced 14 infrastructure projects worth an estimated THB570 billion (USD16 billion) would commence in the following year. Global property services and investment firm CBRE said that despite persistently high interest rates and inflation concerns, several “very large-scale” mixed-use projects were ongoing in an evolving real estate industry in Bangkok.

Amid these market and government-led developments, which will no doubt generate various streams of legal work in the country, Asia Business Law Journal presents the Thailand Law Firm Awards 2024, recognising the country’s best in the past year.

We identified four law firms as the best of the best. Among them, one has risen to the top as Law Firm of the Year. We also recognise the Best New Law Firm, and four winners of equal standing in each of the 26 other categories.

Law firm awards

LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

BAKER MCKENZIE

Baker McKenzie celebrated its 45th anniversary in Thailand in 2023, where it runs a full range of legal services and leads in practice areas such as M&A, banking and finance, and capital markets.

With more than 250 lawyers on the ground at the time of publication, Baker has advised on landmark transactions spanning across practice areas. Such high-profile deals include acting for ExxonMobil in selling its stake in Esso Thailand to Bangchak Corp for the equivalent of about USD600 million. The firm has also advised on large-scale cross-border transactions, including representing Sika Thailand in an entire-business transfer from Master Builders Solutions Thailand. The transfer was part of the post-acquisition integration following Swiss construction-related chemicals group Sika’s EUR5.3 billion (USD5.8 billion) takeover of Master Builders Construction Chemicals from Lone Star.

Baker was one of the first international law firms to enter the region’s aviation market, having been employed by carriers including Thai Airways on a wide range of transactions. Such deals range from acquisitions and aircraft financing to operating lease transactions and airline restructuring. Baker represented Thai Airways in its financial restructuring and court-supervised business rehabilitation plan, with work in the firm’s aviation practice often straddling multiple practice areas including banking and finance, and litigation.

Jittinun Chatsiharach, Token X

“Baker McKenzie (Thailand) distinguishes itself by not only offering insightful counsel, but also by serving as a collaborative and strategic partner,” says Jittinun Chatsiharach, CEO at Token X in Bangkok.

Chow Steel Industries chief financial officer Paramat Chulvanij adds that Baker has “strong knowledge of law and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s regulations, with fast response and professionalism”.

Law firm awards

BEST OVERALL LAW FIRMS

Founded in 2015, Kudun & Partners boasts a lineup of 16 partners at the time of publication, including founder Kudun Sukhumananda and the head of its Japan practice, Emi Rowse Igusa, who joined the firm from Herbert Smith Freehills in 2022.

The Bangkok-based firm has in the past year expanded its lawyer headcount by adding more than 100 associates to its team. At the same time, it has been broadening its focus to industries including automotive and telecommunications, while deepening its expertise in areas such as M&A, capital markets and litigation.

With the inclusion of services such as trademark registration and immigration, Kudun & Partners is evolving into a full-service law firm and has been hired for key roles in cases from a variety of practice areas. One such area is dispute resolution, where the firm has had high-stakes cases including representing Advanced Info Service in dismissing National Telecom’s bid to have an arbitral award of more than THB32 billion (USD882 million) overturned.

Besides dispute resolution, the firm has also been active in both domestic and cross-border M&A. Recently, it acted as a co-counsel with Korean law firm Jipyong in advising B.Grimm Power on two cross-border acquisitions in South Korea’s renewable energy sector totalling USD60.9 million.

Bethany Zhang, principal at Apollo Global Management in Hong Kong, says: “Kudun & Partners has the best combination of local expertise and international standards. They are commercial and maintaining high standards in terms of deal structuring and documentation. They also helped us tremendously when negotiating terms with the counterparty, given our language barrier in the Thai market. Tremendously helped us in our real estate transactions in Thailand.”

As one of the largest law firms in Thailand, as well as in Southeast Asia, Tilleke & Gibbins has offices in six Asean countries. As a full-service firm with more than 230 lawyers and consultants, the firm has been active in multiple practice areas including competition and antitrust, which has seen the firm act for multinationals such as Toyota Boshoku and NTT Docomo.

The firm advised Boshoku, a Japanese automotive component manufacturer that is part of the Toyota group, on complying with Thai competition law requirements for two transactions, including conducting and rendering a merger control analysis and assisting with a post-merger notification filing to the Trade Competition Commission of Thailand. In a separate case, it counselled NTT Docomo, a Japanese telecoms and mobile phone operator, on Thai competition law concerning an offshore merger at the parent company level.

The healthcare and life sciences space has been another area in which Tilleke has engaged in large-scale cross-border cases. It acted for PerkinElmer, a US multinational with diversified business operations including in life sciences and diagnostics, in the divestment of Thai assets as part of a USD2.5 billion global sale to New Mountain Capital.

Siraprapha (Khim) Claassen, John Hardy

“Tilleke & Gibbins not only delivers excellent legal and professional services, but also brings to the table practical and cost-effective solutions with a deep understanding of our business needs,” says Siraprapha (Khim) Claassen, global head of legal and a senior director at John Hardy in Bangkok.

Tilleke has also been investing in its aviation practice, winning mandates including representing an aviation operating and leasing company in claiming USD10 million in damages from a breach of aircraft lease agreements on three Boeing 737-800 aircraft.

Weerawong C&P, one of Thailand’s largest law firms, has more than 100 legal professionals providing services in Thai, English and Chinese, and working regularly with regulatory bodies in Thailand including the Bank of Thailand, the Stock Exchange of Thailand and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Specialising in multiple areas including M&A, banking and finance, project finance and dispute resolution, the Bangkok-based firm has been actively engaging in both domestic and cross-border transactions. It advised RealTruck, a US-based maker and online seller of automotive accessories, on its acquisition of Mountain Top, a designer and manufacturer of truck accessories globally – including in Asia.

Weerawong was hired as legal counsel to Singapore-based PE firm AIGF Advisors on the sale of its KFC business in Thailand, which is expected to be completed before the end of 2024. The firm also acted for Universal Music Group, a global music-based entertainment company, on its investment in a 70% stake in a THB1.6 billion (USD44 million) joint venture with RS Music.

Public legal work coming out of the construction and infrastructure space has been another active area, including advising on the Bang Khun Thian-Ban Phaeo section of the Pak Tho motorway.

Supagorn Jittimaporn, vice president of Boutique Corp in Thailand, says: “Their costs are reasonable, and their team members are efficient and responsive.”

Law firm awards

BEST NEW LAW FIRM

TTT+Partners

Established in March 2023, TTT+Partners began with a team of 19 lawyers specialising in capital markets, M&A, foreign direct investment and dispute resolution, and has grown to 30 legal professionals. Among the team is Veeranuch Thammavaranucupt, a former senior partner at Weerawong C&P who left the firm after seven years leading its capital markets and corporate governance practice groups to launch her own practice.

TTT+Partners has focused on broadening its offering and has begun to make its mark in areas including dispute resolution, aviation, and banking and finance, as well as infrastructure and project finance. In a high-profile litigation case, the Bangkok-based firm represented Wizard Solutions in a dispute over its “Korea King” frying pans. The case, which ended in a dismissal due to insufficient plaintiff evidence, had seen Wizard Solutions sued for the equivalent of about USD45 million after being accused of deceptive advertising.

Avy Lim, Sunline Oversea Group

“We’ve chosen TTT+ Partners to represent us in a civil dispute regarding banking technology against a government bank,” says Avy Lim, deputy chair at Sunline Oversea Group based in Bangkok.

“With [partner] Pathorn [Towongchuen] and [senior attorney] Nantinee [Sunthonpimol] leading the team, their adept handling of high-value, complex IT-related disputes, complemented by their deep understanding of both civil and administrative legal proceedings, gives us confidence in their ability to navigate such intricate matters. Their commitment, service and responsiveness also enhance our trust in TTT+ Partners’ team.”

In the infrastructure and project finance space, the firm represented U-Tapao International Aviation, the concessionaire to the U-Tapao International Airport development project, in establishing a legal framework for special tax and customs privileges for the Eastern Airport City. This marked the country’s first and largest airport concession. In a different deal, it has advised Northern Bangkok Monorail on the contract for managing the Mass Rapid Transit Pink Line project worth USD1.6 billion.

Established in 1998, Herbert Smith Freehills’ Bangkok office has been running a robust dispute resolution practice covering fields from construction and infrastructure, labour and employment to energy and resources.

Led by managing partner Warathorn Wongsawangsiri, the UK firm’s Bangkok office features dispute resolution veterans including senior consultant Chinnawat Thongpakdee, a former secretary to the head of Thailand’s Legal Counsel Department with more than 30 years of experience in litigation and arbitration.

Wongsawangsiri is regarded as among the country’s leading disputes lawyers, with two decades of experience representing Thai and foreign corporations in arbitration cases. These include acting for Thailand’s largest listed mobile and telecoms company in an arbitration claim for payment of THB31 billion (USD850 million) in concession fees, which ended with a victory for the client. In another career benchmark, he represented a Thai conglomerate under International Chamber of Commerce rules in the arbitration of a USD350 million-plus shareholder dispute over the purchase of a stake in a Thai renewable energy business.

JTJB International Lawyers, led by managing partner Naiyachon Tathong in Bangkok, specialises in multiple practice areas including dispute resolution and arbitration, maritime, shipping and transport, and intellectual property.

Functioning as the Bangkok office of Singapore’s Joseph Tan Jude Benny since 2005, with a focus on litigation and international commercial arbitration, JTJB merged with independent Thai law firm AWP & Alliance in early 2023.

Tathong himself is a specialist in dispute resolution and arbitration, as well as the fields of maritime, shipping and transport. While the managing partner’s practice focuses on litigation, he has many years of experience advising on both contentious and non-contentious matters. Tathong’s work has centred on business and commercial disputes in both local Thai courts and arbitration tribunals, particularly when advising on disputes concerning construction, shareholders, labour and intellectual property. With his experience in arbitration, he has been appointed as an arbitrator of the Thailand Arbitration Centre.

  • BAKER MCKENZIE
  • CHANDLER MHM
  • TILLEKE & GIBBINS
  • WATSON FARLEY & WILLIAMS

Created through the 2017 combination of Thai law firm Chandler & Thong-ek Law Offices and Japanese law firm Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, Chandler MHM is one of the largest full-service international law firms in Thailand.

The firm, led by co-managing partners Chisako Takaya and Jessada Sawatdipong, has been active in deal and advisory work across multiple practice areas. In the aviation space, for example, the firm advises on the full spectrum of work in the industry, particularly aircraft financing, leasing and M&A.

It has represented and acted for SMBC AC in its intra-group sale of aircraft following the acquisition of Goshawk. It has also, among other aviation-related deals, advised two Irish subsidiaries of CDB Aviation on two lease agreements with respect to A330-300 aircraft with Thai Airways as the lessee.

UK law firm Watson Farley & Williams’ Bangkok office was established in 2001 and is now led by partner Steven Burkill, who specialises in complex international disputes and Asia-based energy arbitrations. It has firmwide expertise in aviation with a dedicated team of lawyers in the field advising various stakeholders, including banks, aircraft and engine leasing companies, airlines, airports and manufacturers.

Together with other legal services in restructuring, dispute resolution and M&A, for example, the UK firm has been assisting those stakeholders in Thailand and Asia as a whole. That includes helping companies understand a new development in Thailand, involving aircraft registration and deregistration coming under regulation 44 of the country’s civil aviation authority from 15 December 2023. The firm has been advising on the key changes from this and how it impacts lessors of aircraft to Thai operators.

Allen & Overy has been in Thailand for more than 23 years and is one of a few international law firms that provides a one-stop domestic and cross-border service to entities such as multinational corporations, banks and financial institutions on both international and Thai law.

As an integral part of the UK firm’s wider Asean network, which includes offices in Singapore, Vietnam and Indonesia, the Thai office features a team of lawyers including partner and recognised regional expert, Sarah Wilson, and Thailand-qualified counsel, Anchalee Limviriyalers, who runs the firm’s banking practice on the ground. Limviriyalers specialises in banking and capital markets, and has advised on a number of high-profile syndicated loan transactions in Thailand.

Linklaters, which launched in Bangkok in 1998, advises across a range of practice areas in Thailand including banking, projects, acquisitions, real estate finance and capital markets. The UK firm has gained a strong reputation in Thailand for its sector expertise covering several areas, including banking and finance.

The UK firm’s Bangkok office boasts a team of experienced local banking lawyers, including partners Pornpan Chayasuntorn, Pichitpon Eammongkolchai and senior partner Wilailuk Okanurak. Okanurak has more than 30 years of experience advising on banking transactions across Asia. Eammongkolchai, on the other hand, is a highly recognised banking lawyer in Thailand, advising domestic and international companies on cross-border banking and debt restructuring deals.

Dan Shaw, tax manager at KPMG in Thailand, comments: “Excellent client service, technical ability and breadth of knowledge.”

Led by founder and managing partner Pisut Rakwong, Pisut & Partners runs a robust and wide ranging corporate practice from full-service corporate legal solutions and M&A to corporate governance and compliance.

The firm has made advising clients on corporate governance and compliance a priority, helping companies introduce effective compliance programmes. By conducting comprehensive compliance assessments coupled with ongoing guidance, Pisut & Partners has been assisting clients in mitigating legal and reputational risks, while at the same time enhancing stakeholder confidence.

Jantanarak Tuekaew, Disrupt Technology Venture

Warot Advisory Services is headed by managing partner Warot Wanakankowit, who specialises in advising on taxation, corporate and commercial, foreign business law, and labour and employment, as well as M&A transactions.

The Bangkok-based firm offers a wide range of corporate advisory services covering matters relating to company formation, licensing and permit requirements for specific business operations to commercial contract negotiations and licence agreements.

Jantanarak Tuekaew, managing director at Disrupt Technology Venture in Thailand, says: “Warot Advisory Services deserves to be nominated … because its founder is highly passionate, works diligently, and has a client-centric approach. They make a significant impact on the Thai startup ecosystem by leveraging their expertise to support and nurture startups, contributing to the overall growth of the ecosystem and the Thai economy.”

Founded in 2018 in Bangkok by partners John Formichella and Numlapyos Sritawat, Formichella & Sritawat has a team of privacy attorneys handling regulatory and cybersecurity compliance and privacy issues.

Formichella heads the firm’s privacy practice for the telecoms, media and technology (TMT) sector, and has more than 25 years’ experience advising on data privacy and cybersecurity, among other areas. Over the years, the Bangkok-based firm has advised foreign multinationals on navigating the data privacy laws in Thailand. This includes advising a Nasdaq-100 company on Thai cybersecurity law concerning data centres, and counselling a London-based multinational law firm on Thai regulations governing healthcare companies in utilising cloud services with respect to patient data.

With offices in Thailand, Myanmar and Vietnam, LawPlus is led by founding partners Prasantaya Bantadtan and Kowit Somwaiya, who have 55 years of combined legal experience. The Bangkok-based firm’s corporate and M&A practice also covers areas including data protection, trade competition, employment and real estate.

As the firm’s senior partner and former managing partner of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Bangkok office, Somwaiya has more than 30 years of experience advising on multiple practice areas, including data privacy. Under his leadership, LawPlus has been active in advising companies on data privacy and protection compliance, including helping Tong Thai Rubber to meet the requirements of Thailand’s Personal Data Protection Act.

The firm also advised a joint venture company affiliated with one of Thailand’s top three commercial banks, carrying out a review of its data privacy compliance documents and providing relevant legal advice.

Since 1997, Hunton Andrews Kurth has been operating in Bangkok, from where it runs its Southeast Asian practice. The office’s more than 30 local and international attorneys have years of experience representing clients in a wide range of areas, from M&A and project development to structured finance and restructuring.

Hunton Andrews has a long history of advising on energy projects, dating back to when it acted for Virginia’s first electric power company in 1901. In Thailand, the firm boasts a team of experienced energy lawyers including US-trained Thai partner Chumbhot Plangtrakul, who has acted for some of the largest domestic and international players in the field. Plangtrakul advised a Delaware unit of Thailand-listed coal mining and natural resources company Banpu on the corporatisation of a multimillion-dollar portfolio of upstream and midstream oil and gas assets in North America.

Plangtrakul works alongside Bangkok-based energy partners James Bradley and Edward Koehler. Bradley focuses on electric power projects in Southeast Asia, while Koehler specialises in energy and infrastructure project development and finance across Asia.

Law firm awards

ESG

  • BAKER MCKENZIE
  • CHANDLER MHM
  • TILLEKE & GIBBINS
  • TTT+PARTNERS

Bangkok-based LEXEL is a full-service firm that focuses not only on intellectual property, in which it has particular expertise, but also a wide range of practice areas including healthcare and life sciences.

The firm is headed by managing partner Tanakrit (Chansin) Tangburanakij, a former principal of the intellectual property and technology group at Baker McKenzie in Thailand, and a former president of the Intellectual Property Association of Thailand.

Radeemada Mungkarndee, a partner and head of the firm’s patent and life sciences team, has been a key figure leading the firm’s engagement in the life sciences sector. As a former patent attorney at Baker McKenzie and Tilleke & Gibbins, Mungkarndee has, for example, been advising research institutions on transitioning their innovations into commercial ventures by treating intellectual property as a valuable asset.

Southeast Asia-based law firm DFDL was launched in Bangkok in 2005, building a strong track record advising on projects related to energy, infrastructure, transport, real estate and finance, among other areas.

Besides its well-known tax expertise, DFDL has a team of attorneys in Thailand advising on restructuring cases. Jonathan Blaine, tax director and co-head of the restructuring and insolvency practice, focuses on assisting the firm’s clients in regional restructuring and insolvency resolutions and projects. Senior advisers Panida Agkavikai and Noppadon Treephetchara, a bankruptcy specialist, are also among team members spearheading the restructuring and insolvency practice.

Global law firm DLA Piper launched in Bangkok in 2004 and is currently led by country managing partner Waranon Vanichprapa.

Vanichprapa was appointed as head of the firm’s finance, projects and restructuring practice in Asia in 2023, and has more than 20 years of experience advising financial institutions and multinational corporations on complex financing and restructuring transitions as well as bankruptcy issues.

As a firm, DLA Piper has expertise in acting for corporate entities and individuals on complex business reorganisations, troubled company M&A, and debt restructurings, among other things.

  • CLYDE & CO
  • DLA PIPER
  • KPMG LAW
  • SIAM PREMIER

The Bangkok office of Clyde & Co, which forms a key part of the UK firm’s regional network of around 350 legal professionals, provides insurance advice to local and international insurers and reinsurers, along with litigation and arbitration services.

Among those on the ground is legal director Sorawat Wongkaweepairot, who specialises in insurance and reinsurance, as well as arbitration and commercial litigation. Partner Ian Johnston, admitted as a solicitor in Hong Kong and the UK, specialises in providing insurance advice to local and international insurers and reinsurers and major hospitality and construction companies, as well as in arbitration.

KPMG launched end-to-end legal services arm KPMG Law in Thailand in early 2020 as an addition to its audit, tax and advisory services. In 2022, some law firms and teams from the ZICO network joined KPMG’s network of firms under an agreement that saw a team of lawyers joining more than 50 legal professionals at KPMG Law in Thailand.

KPMG Law regularly advises insurers on supervisory law and, in the area of insurance contract law, the firm assists both policyholders and insurers in examining complex cases.

Established in 1990, Siam Premier is an independent Thai law firm founded by Phisud Dejakaisaya and Surakiart Sathirathai. Led by managing partner Chatchavej Chitvarakorn, who has more than 20 years of experience advising on areas including corporate M&A, antitrust and competition, the firm runs a robust insurance practice regularly acting for global and major local general insurers and reinsurers, life insurers, brokers and agents.

The insurance team has extensive experience advising global insurers on Thai market entry and exit, and has developed close working relationships with the Office of the Insurance Commission. Chitvarakorn has advised foreign insurers and subsidiaries of global insurance companies operating in Thailand on their investment strategies, corporate restructuring and other legal matters.

Ananda Intellectual Property is an intellectual property law firm managed by European, US and Thai partners with a strong reputation for its expertise in intellectual property litigation.

The firm’s intellectual property litigation team regularly represents clients in trademark, copyright and patent infringement cases heard at various levels of the Thai court system, including the supreme court. The team, led by managing partner Franck Fougere, also handles cases against the Department of Intellectual Property, with assistance from senior intellectual property litigator Nuttakorn Sorakun, who is a partner of Ananda Intellectual Property’s associate corporate partner firm, Orbis.

Herrera & Partners is a Bangkok-based law firm that specialises in corporate and litigation. Led by managing partner Jose Herrera, the firm has a team of Thai and international lawyers who advise a clientele of small startups, foreign governments and large Forbes 100 companies operating in Thailand or Southeast Asia.

Herrera has a team of patent and trademark lawyers as well as litigators with expertise in enforcing intellectual property rights in Thailand covering trademarks, patents, design and copyright.

Based in Bangkok, Satyapon & Partners has a team of more than 25 attorneys specialising in all aspects of intellectual property and headed by managing partner Satyapon Sachdecha. The Bangkok-based intellectual property firm runs a litigation team that has a long history of defending clients in Thai courts, including the country’s supreme court.

Consisting of lawyers including Sachdecha and partner Kritsana Mingtongkhum, the firm’s litigation team represented a Japanese Fortune 500 company in 2019 against one of the biggest local manufacturers of competing products in the largest patent seizure in the country to date.

With a pedigree dating back to 1947, Domnern Somgiat & Boonma specialises in patents, trademarks, intellectual property enforcement and copyright, among other areas.

Based in Bangkok, the firm’s team of partners specialising in intellectual property litigation includes Rutorn Nopakun, who has advised both foreign and domestic clients on intellectual property litigation both in civil and criminal cases. Senior lawyer Chalermphong Jitkuntivong is regarded as one of Thailand’s leading intellectual property litigators. During his more than three decades of experience, Jitkuntivong has acted in many landmark lawsuits that have since become established precedents in the intellectual property field.

Dej-Udom & Associates, headed by managing director Dej-Udom Krairit, offers a wide range of legal services covering corporate law, immigration and employment, intellectual property, litigation, investment and taxation, among other areas.

The firm runs an intellectual property department that offers a full suite of services covering all aspects of intellectual property rights in Thailand, including prosecution ranging from copyright, trademarks, domain names, trade secrets, geographical indicators and patents.

ILCT is a full-service Thai firm led by managing director and senior partner, Jayavadh Bunnag, who specialises in advising on commercial and natural resources laws including minerals, oil and gas, and energy. He also acts as an arbitrator and counsel in both domestic and international arbitrations.

The firm’s intellectual property practice group, which was established in 1966, is supported by a team of 23 intellectual property practitioners comprising patent specialists and attorneys. Together, the team advises on matters from prosecution and litigation to due diligence and portfolio management.

ILAWASIA is a new-generation, full-service Thai law firm based in central Bangkok, which has expanded to include offices in Myanmar, Cambodia and Laos since it was established in 2011. The firm has also been continuously expanding at home, having hired experienced M&A partner Tanadee Pantumkomon from Tilleke & Gibbins. To strengthen its corporate and commercial practice, the firm also introduced legal services for M&A, major projects and energy in November 2023.

As a full-service commercial law firm, SCL Nishimura & Asahi has been providing legal services in a wide range of fields, in collaboration with its Tokyo office and other Japan and overseas outfits. Such services range from client expansion, development and withdrawal to companies investing in Thailand and other Southeast Asian countries.

Besides advising on corporate expansion and withdrawal, the firm has been investing in its labour practice and provides services related to the review and revision of work regulations to ensure compliance with the Labour Protection Act and its amendment.

Hideshi Obara, a partner and Bangkok office co-representative, has been widely involved in labour issues in addition to other corporate areas including joint ventures and acquisitions in Southeast Asian countries, with a focus on Thailand.

Since opening its doors in 2023, IAS Advisory has doubled the size of its office space and added eight lawyers to a team that has already begun to be recognised as go-to counsel for real estate, corporate and M&A work.

One area in which the firm has been very active is litigation, successfully landing mandates from domestic, regional and global companies in cases involving litigation of construction, logistics and digital currency matters, among others. In one, the firm assisted the subsidiary of a delisted company with a claim for THB250 million in compensation from a major oil explorer in Thailand for unfairly terminating contracts.

Lexpertise Law Firm was established in July 2023, and is led by managing partner Nandana Indananda, a former Tilleke & Gibbins partner. Since then, the Bangkok-based firm has expanded to cover a broader range of areas, including arbitration, data compliance, cybersecurity and intellectual property litigation.

It has a team of experienced lawyers specialising in dispute resolution through litigation, arbitration and mediation, covering commercial, construction, intellectual property, labour and employment disputes.

  • BAKER MCKENZIE
  • BH2I
  • HUNTON ANDREWS KURTH
  • SRPP

BH2I is a corporate, real estate and hospitality legal and consultancy firm with offices in Thailand and Singapore, which was founded by its managing partner, Benjamin Hirasawa, who has decades of experience in the corporate and real estate sectors of those countries as well as Myanmar. BH2I has advised its core multinational company clients on transactions in more than 30 jurisdictions in the past year, including each of Asean’s 10 member states.

Hirasawa specialises in advising private equity, real estate and hospitality companies in Asia, North America and the Middle East on various types of transactions, including foreign direct investment and M&A.

Miles Fenley, a director at Montpelier Estates in Singapore, comments: “Excellent advice; efficient and swift responses. Tailor-made advice specifically attuned to my legal needs. Indepth knowledge with creative solutions to complex issues.”

SRPP is an independent law firm in Thailand established in 2019, and managed by founding partners Passawan Navanithikul and Panuwat Chalongkuamdee. Over the years, it has been recognised for its achievement in practice areas including banking and finance as well as corporate and M&A.

The Bangkok-based firm has a team of lawyers with experience dealing with matters and corporations in the private equity and venture capital space. For example, Chositar Daecharux, a Thailand-admitted partner, represented electrical equipment distributor Rexel Group in the sale of its Southeast Asian operations to private equity firm American Industrial Acquisition.

Operating from its Bangkok home base for more than 45 years, Blumenthal Richter & Sumet is an independent law firm with licensed Thai, European and US attorneys, including partner Andreas Richter, who has been with the firm since 1996. The firm specialises in advising on a wide range of practice areas including real estate, project finance, banking and finance, M&A, and commercial arbitration.

Led by partners including Robert Schuler and Ira Blumenthal, the firm runs a robust real estate and construction practice advising clients including multinationals, institutional investors and private equity funds on transactions involving different types of real estate assets. Such transactions range from hotel and resort development projects and condominiums to industrial acquisitions, construction loans and real estate workouts.

The firm’s real estate and construction services also cover matters from property acquisitions and disposals linked to the Thailand Board of Investment and the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand land ownership rights.

Pramuanchai Law Office, led by senior partner and managing director Pramual Chancheewa, has developed expertise in advising on a wide range of shipping and maritime-related cases. These matters cover various commercial laws, marine and non-marine insurance, and shipping and aviation claims, including those related to collusion and oil pollution.

As the founder, Chancheewa has participated in the drafting of shipping, maritime, transport and insurance laws in Thailand, as well as many local insurance policies including fire insurance, inland cargo and a carrier’s liability.

  • ALLEN & OVERY
  • BAKER MCKENZIE
  • HUNTON ANDREWS KURTH
  • LINKLATERS

Founded in 2002, LawAlliance comprises a team of Thai tax specialists headed by Piphob Veraphong, a former partner at Linklaters and Baker McKenzie, and an honorary professor at Chulalongkorn University. The Bangkok-based firm’s practice covers multiple aspects of tax law including tax-driven corporate reorganisation, tax audits and dispute resolution, and excise and customs.

Oil and gas is another of the firm’s practice areas, representing major oil and gas concessionaires in Thailand, and advising on transactions involving the industry as well as related disputes involving petroleum income tax, for example.

LawAlliance’s team also advises on taxation legal issues involving a variety of industries, including trade, power, automobiles, health, telecoms and transportation. The firm provides tax advice to companies in different industries on structured finance, securitisation, transfer pricing, and domestic and international securities offerings, among others.

Singapore-based Rajah & Tann, one of Southeast Asia’s largest law firms, has a team of about 60 lawyers covering a wide range of Thai legal matters, including civil, criminal and administrative proceedings, international and domestic arbitration, government investigations and compliance.

The Thai office is highly rated for representing clients in regulated industries such as telecoms – an area in which Rajah & Tann excels, together with technology and media. Thailand-based partner Supawat Srirungruang, for example, specialises in advising telecoms and tech companies on traditional and emerging areas including fintech, crypto-currencies, e-commerce and e-payments.

Working alongside Srirungruang, Melisa Uremovic is deputy managing partner for Rajah & Tann in Thailand. With more than 20 years’ experience in the country, her practice focuses on highly regulated sectors including telecoms and e-commerce.

Silk Legal, led by founder and managing partner Jason Corbett, has been expanding rapidly, having successfully launched offices in New York and Dubai, and with plans for new outfits within Thailand. Most recently, the Bangkok-based law firm set up an office in the Dubai International Financial Centre to expand its digital asset practice. The firm aims to extend its legal services to clients in key jurisdictions, particularly in areas of strength that include fintech, banking and finance, and restructuring and insolvency.

Silk Legal has been building more capacity in the blockchain and tech space, advising clients on compliance, licensing and other matters on distributed ledger technology, cryptocurrencies and fintech.

One of the firm’s services is helping companies comply with the Thai Securities and Exchange Commission’s licensing requirements for establishing a cryptocurrency exchange, brokerage or dealership.

The judging process

The winners of Asia Business Law Journal’s Thailand Law Firm Awards 2024 were selected based on the votes, references and qualitative information received from in-house counsel and other legal professionals in Thailand and around the world.

A voting form was posted on our website, inviting thousands of in-house counsel, lawyers at international law firms and other Thailand-focused professionals to vote. At the same time, Thailand law firms were asked to make submissions in support of their candidacy for the awards. These submissions, combined with research by Asia Business Law Journal’s editorial team, played a supporting role in the judging process.

All Thai law firms were automatically eligible for inclusion in the awards process. As always, there were no fees or any other requirements for entry.

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