Overall, the Thai legal market remains robust. However, several notable developments have arisen out of May 2014’s political upheaval. Criminal and civil investigations into alleged government corruption have been initiated, which has been a source of work for Thai law firms. Secondly, lawyers have reported a downturn in M&A and joint ventures reaching completion and a reduction in inbound investment, with political instability cited as the primary factor. Despite this, the market remains stable, with this trend reportedly isolated to the second quarter of 2014. Inbound investments picked up in the second half of 2014 and early 2015 with companies from both the ASEAN region and Europe looking to establish operations in Thailand; Japanese and Chinese investors are particularly prominent. Thailand’s real estate, leisure, manufacturing, technology and telecoms industries remain strong as a result of the uptick in inbound investment, while there continues to be considerable interest in outbound investment in Myanmar.
The Thai government’s policy to increase the country’s renewable energy consumption has also provided fertile ground for instructions. There has been a noted increase in renewable energy project financing deals, with firms called on to represent investors, banks and developers. Thailand’s assent to the Madrid Agreement has heralded changes in the IP space, with the procedure to harmonise legislation underway.
The Thai market eagerly awaits the upcoming enactment of the Asian Economic Community (AEC), which will introduce the free movement of goods, services, investment, workers and capital throughout the Asia Pacific region. Despite doubts concerning the date of assent, it is due to be implemented from the 31st of December 2015.
Thai firms Weerawong, Chinnavat & Peangpanor and Chandler & Thong-ek Law Offices Limited continue to have a strong presence in the ranking. Among the international firms, Baker & McKenzie is particularly dominant and is perceived as the market leader in many areas, while Allen & Overy (Thailand) Co, Ltd also has a solid reputation.
Siam City Law Offices is now known as SCL Law Group.
Firms in the spotlight
Silk Legal is the go-to firm for every legal need in Thailand. Serving a Thai and international client base with a wide array of legal services, the firm has a proven record of deftly handling all manner of corporate law, commercial litigation, inbound investment, real estate transactions, due diligence, tax law, research, investigation and other matters.
LS Horizon Limited
LS Horizon is a regional law firm with offices in Thailand, Lao PDR and Myanmar and associated firms in Singapore and Phnom Penh, Cambodia, which is capable of delivering international quality legal services. The lawyers of LS Horizon have extensive experience in leading and handling landmark transactions in Thailand and other Asian countries.