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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Banking and finance
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Anchalee Limviriyalers - Allen & Overy (Thailand) Co, Ltd
    • Sarah Wilson - Allen & Overy (Thailand) Co, Ltd

Allen & Overy (Thailand) Co, Ltd has the size and resources to handle a range of large banking and finance transactions. The Bangkok-based group benefits from the firm's global network, which enables it to provide integrated international and local law advice across the ASEAN region. In particular, the team provides an 'exceptional level of service' in project finance transactions. One of the group's most notable highlights involves a first-of-its-kind project in Myanmar, where a team of lawyers from Bangkok, Yangon and Singapore – led by Bangkok managing partner Stephen Jaggs – is advising Total and Siemens on the financing aspects of a 1200MW LNG power project. In another cross-office effort, Jaggs and counsel Chris Burkett advised International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Asian Development Bank on the provision of financing for a mixed-use residential project in central Yangon. The team has also been active in acquisition finance, aircraft finance and non-performing loan (NPL) deals. In addition to cross-border bank financing, the team is recognised for its strengths in capital markets and M&A. The capital markets practice was bolstered in 2017 by the arrival of counsel Doungporn Prasertsomsuk from Clifford Chance in Bangkok. Counsels Anchalee Limviriyalers and Sarah Wilson are also key contacts in the banking group.

Baker McKenzie is a popular choice for local and multinational companies alike, which turn to the banking and finance group for advice in complex financing transactions. The firm's global presence means that much of the Bangkok team's work is cross-border in nature. Indeed, a multi-office team including Chaveewan Likhitwattanachai and Somika Phagapasvivat advised a lender on the provision of facilities to a Thai real estate company to finance its acquisition of a pan-European hotel portfolio. In another illustration of the firm's ability to coordinate high-value, cross-border work, Waranon Vanichprapa advised the lead arrangers and lenders on the $300m acquisition financing for BCPG, used in part for an investment in a geothermal business in Indonesia. Given the group's size and breadth, clients have access to specialists across the full range of finance matters. For example, Benja Supannakul has an active private wealth practice, in addition to her derivatives and debt capital markets experience, while Sawanee Sethsathira leads the project finance team, and Komkrit Kietduriyakul heads the specialised fintech sub-group. The financial services practice is headed by Kitipong Urapeepatanapong and Thinawat Bukhamana leads the broader banking and finance group. Kullarat Phongsathaporn made partner in 2018.

The 'excellent' banking and finance group at Linklaters is sought out by leading international and Thai financial institutions and corporates for assistance in complex financing transactions. From Bangkok, the team handles both domestic and cross-border transactions in the retail, energy and telecoms sectors, and has a particular geographic emphasis on the Greater Mekong Subregion. In a recent transaction involving the food and beverage industry, Wanwisar Nakarat acted for a group of lenders including Bangkok Bank and Krung Thai Bank in relation to the refinancing of an existing THB25.5bn bridge loan facility provided to certain alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage companies. Nakarat also worked alongside managing associate Soammaras Ratanavanich to advise a group of lenders on the provision of financing to a joint venture between PTT Global Chemical, Sanyo Chemical Industries and Toyota Tsusho in connection with the development of a polyether polyols plant to be located in Rayong Province. The firm's strong relationships with leading banks, combined with its extensive experience in corporate transactions, means it is also instructed in banking-sector M&A. Senior partner Wilailuk Okanurak’s practice spans banking, M&A and capital markets, and Pichitpon Eammongkolchai is noted for his 'depth of experience'.

Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners focuses on particularly high-value transactions in the areas of acquisition and project finance. The firm has a well-established roster of Thai corporate clients, many of which it assists with the corporate and financing aspects of their acquisition and investment activities abroad. Passawan Navanithikul, who has a proven track record in large financing transactions, recently advised ThaiBev on the financing aspects of its acquisition, through affiliated company Vietnam Beverage, of Vietnam's Sabeco Brewery. In the project finance space, Nattaporn Pengkul took the lead role in advising a wind power developer and operator on the THB37bn financing for five onshore wind farms; associate Pimkwan Subprasert worked alongside Pengkul on the project. Also of note is the team's lender-side work, where it has developed strong relationships with leading banks in Thailand and throughout the region. Additional contacts include corporate, banking and real estate finance specialist Chinnavat Chinsangaram, who is often involved in multi-lender and multi-jurisdictional real estate projects, and Weerawong Chittmittrapap, who is also recommended.

Chandler MHM Limited is known for its strong relationships with domestic and foreign banks, though it has taken steps to develop its borrower-side client base in recent years. Of particular note, the practice group was strengthened by the arrival of recommended partner Joseph Tisuthiwongse, who joined the team in 2018 from Clifford Chance (Bangkok). The banking and finance group has seen a high volume of energy project financing work, and is especially active in renewable energy projects in other ASEAN countries. Highlights included Tisuthiwongse advising The Siam Commercial Bank, Bangkok Bank, TISCO Bank and the Export-Import Bank of Thailand on the provision of financing for the development of a 650MW hydropower project in Laos. Senior partner Jessada Sawatdipong is another leading figure in the department; he advised the Singapore branches of Mizuho Bank and Standard Chartered Bank on the $1.95bn financing to ThaiBev to support its acquisition of a stake in Vietnam's Sabeco Brewery. Supattra Sathapornnanon and Pranee Klinratana stand out for their experience in cross-border project finance deals, and the department also benefits from its large pool of experienced associates including Nopamon Thevit Intralib.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP has an established client base of local and multinational banks, which are serviced by the team’s broad banking, finance and corporate and M&A offering. Given the firm’s reputation in the energy and infrastructure sectors, it is perhaps most active in complex project finance deals. Recent highlights included acting for Kasikornbank in connection with the bilateral financing for a biomass power plant to be developed by Pattani Green; Manida Zinmerman, for whom banking and finance is a key focus area, led the advice to Kasikornbank, working alongside associates Tanagorn Thimasarn and Thanyaporn Achariyawong. The same trio also advised Bank of Ayudhya on the provision of financing for the development of a mixed-use hotel and retail project in Bangkok. Also recommended is Stephen Bennett, who jointly heads the banking team with Zinmerman.

The ‘dedicated’ and ‘service-minded’ team at Norton Rose Fulbright stands out for its longstanding relationships with major financial institutions. It has a ‘strong background in project finance deals’ and is also active in acquisition finance and corporate finance. The team has considerable experience in cross-border transactions, where it works closely with colleagues across its office network in Asia and further afield. Corporate and finance specialist Somboon Kitiyansub heads the Bangkok office and handles a variety of banking, M&A and debt restructuring work. Tassanai Kiratisountorn and senior associate Chormas Premsirinirund  are also recommended.

Siam Premier International Law Office Limited’s banking and finance team is well-equipped to advise borrowers and lenders, and distinguishes itself in the market with its strength in financial regulatory compliance. Recently, the firm has been busy assisting clients with various bond issuances, which included advising a real estate company on the issuance of two series of secured bonds to be offered through private placement. The firm's highly regarded real estate practice is a significant advantage and ensures a regular flow of instructions in real estate finance transactions. Project finance also features among the team's workload, which included Suttiphat Khamsirivatchara advising an investor on refinancing agreements for two renewable energy projects. Khamsirivatchara has vast experience across a range of banking and finance transactions, with particular expertise in structured finance, derivatives and capital markets matters. Nithi Soomswasdi, who jointly heads the practice alongside Khamsirivatchara, brings to the team considerable financial regulatory expertise in addition to an active transactional practice. Torsakul Cunvong and Kanokon Worachanyawong are also recommended.

Leveraging an extensive presence across the ASEAN region, DFDL Legal & Tax has a strong focus on regional energy, infrastructure and real estate projects. Much of its banking and finance work occurs in the context of project and real estate finance, which continue to be active areas. In one example of its strength in cross-border project financing and development, a team led by Walter Heiser advised a sponsor on the financing aspects of what will be the largest multiple dam cascade hydropower project in Laos; that team also included China-desk head Ivy Liu and regional legal advisors Briana Olson and Kunal Sachdev. Other clients in the development finance space include local and international financial institutions, foreign law firms and a variety of corporate borrowers. Fintech, e-commerce and cryptocurrencies are additional areas of expertise, and are also areas in which practice head Vinay Ahuja has developed a particular niche. The department also draws on the expertise of Nipaporn Supha-Utchaichan and Rashane Leerabandhu, both of whom have broad experience in finance, projects and M&A.

DLA Piper (Thailand) Limited 'has experienced local and regional lawyers, who understand the clients' needs and are able to take a practical approach to get the ball across the line’. The Asia banking practice has expanded significantly in the last three years and the Bangkok team greatly benefits from the firm's regional presence, which ensures a regular flow of cross-border mandates. In one such deal, a cross-office team advised an Indonesian media company as borrower on a $250m refinancing facility arranged by three multinational financial institutions. Banks as well instruct the practice group in connection with situational advisory work and cross-border financing transactions. In another cross-office collaboration, the team advised Deutsche Bank on its $60m new money rescue financing for Australia's Paladin Energy; a deal which also illustrates the strength of the firm's special situations practice. The 'dedicated and commercially minded’ Timothy Tan heads the department and splits his time between Bangkok and Singapore.

R & T Asia (Thailand) Limited stands out for its extensive regional presence; with nine offices, it is well-equipped to handle complex transactions with an international component. Owing to its established client base of local and international banks, the group is particularly active for bank lenders, although it also has experience with borrower-side mandates. In recent work, Saroj Jongsaritwang advised the Thai branch of an international bank on the restructuring of a facility agreement with a Thai company, and also assisted a multinational financial institution with the provision of a THB800m loan to an automotive company. Jongsaritwang is also a key contact for ship finance, an area in which the firm has developed a particular niche. Other names to note include managing partner and former judge Surasak Vajasit and Piroon Saengpakdee, whose practice covers project development and finance, debt restructuring and insolvency.

Tilleke & Gibbins' financial services practice is noted for its 'very strong industry knowledge and legal acumen’. It is frequently instructed by leading foreign firms to advise on the Thai aspects of cross-border transactions. In one recent example, the team assisted a London-headquartered multinational firm with a Spanish client's multi-jurisdictional survey concerning the legal and regulatory requirements for offering certain types of financial derivatives and bonds in various markets. The group also handles financing transactions for borrower-side clients. In another cross-border mandate, a team led by Cynthia Pornavalai acted for a manufacturing company in relation to a loan agreement with an Australian bank. Additionally, the team has experience with investment transactions and M&A in the financial services sector, which included advising Taiwan's CTBC Bank on an acquisition of shares in LH Financial Group by way of a private placement. Santhapat Periera has notable experience in banking and finance, debt restructuring and investment transactions in Thailand and across Southeast Asia. Kobkit Thienpreecha is also recommended.

Thanathip & Partners Legal Counsellors Limited has established a strong borrower-side banking and finance practice, acting for local and foreign companies in a variety of industry sectors. It is also a popular choice for international law firms looking for Thai counsel on cross-border transactions. In one recent example, the banking team worked in conjunction with a US firm to advise Humanwell Healthcare on the Thai financing aspects of its acquisition of Ansell's sexual wellness business. Outside of its transactional workload, the group regularly advises clients on banking and e-payment regulations. Co-founding partner Arunee Mahathorn heads the practice. Thanathip Pichedvanichok is another contact.

Highlighted for its ‘professionalism’ and ‘global office network’, Watson Farley & Williams (Thailand) Limited is well-positioned to handle cross-border transactions. Banking and finance falls within the scope of its broader corporate practice, which focuses on project development and financing for energy projects. The team is particularly active in the renewables space, where recent highlights include practice head Christopher Osborne advising a developer on a project finance facility for the development of a wind farm in Thailand. Osborne also has experience with financing transactions in the media, telecoms and transportation sectors. In addition to its solid corporate client base, the team has acted for several bank lenders and, outside of project financing, has handled a range of acquisition finance and trade finance mandates.

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