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Thailand’s legal scene is centred in Bangkok, which saw 2012 pass without major disruptions, allowing the economy to rebound significantly. The country’s stock market flourished in 2013, partly due to the loosening of regulations that govern stock listings, and led to an increased number of high-value IPOs.
Firms were busy handling the surge in Thai companies’ cross-border M&A activity and the launch of the country’s first infrastructure funds and REITs – a new addition to Thailand’s already thriving real estate market. High levels of outbound investment were maintained, with Singapore and Myanmar being the primary magnets, followed by Indonesia and Vietnam, bringing a steady flow of energy, projects and corporate instructions.
The strength of the economy led to fewer restructurings and insolvencies as well as a stable legal market. Baker & McKenzie has leading departments in virtually all practice areas, and three other international firms have dominant positions in the market: Linklaters, Allen & Overy (Thailand) Co, Ltd and Clifford Chance (Thailand) Limited. Local firms Weerawong, Chinnavat & Peangpanor and Chandler & Thong-ek Law Offices Limited impress in their respective areas of expertise (M&A, finance and capital markets for the former, energy and projects for the latter). Tilleke & Gibbins leads the chasing pack and retains its leading position in the IP market. Both Herbert Smith Freehills (Thailand) Limited and Watson, Farley & Williams (Thailand) Limited tower above others in litigation and arbitration mandates.
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