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Dispute resolution

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1
    • Wipanan Prasompluem - Allen & Overy (Thailand) Co, Ltd
    • Udomsak Sukarawan - Allen & Overy (Thailand) Co, Ltd
    • Pathorn Towongchuen - Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners

Who Represents Who

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The dispute resolution department at Baker McKenzie is among the largest in Bangkok, fielding litigators with experience in new areas of focus for Thailand, such as class actions, while also being able to draw on the expertise of any one of the firm’s other top-ranked departments to handle disputes in every industry sector. The team is particularly specialised in insurance, labour and administrative court disputes and is instructed by a host of major automakers in Thailand. Kanit Vallayapet is representing True Move in a recovery claim against the National Broadcasting and Telecom Committee (NBTC); he is also defending the domestic mobile operator in three separate, but related, claims brought by CAT Public Telecom Company, which the firm argues should have been filed against NBTC. Chairman of the firm’s Asia Pacific disputes group, Wynn Pakdeejit acts for various international aircraft manufacturing and leasing firms in cases involving breaches of contract by debtors while Chirachai Okanurak leads the construction, insurance and labour disputes sub-group. The department’s key clients include Deutsche Bank, Bangkok Expressway and Metro Public Company, Hyundai Heavy Industries, and BLCP Power.

Litigation is arguably what the Bangkok-based team at Watson Farley & Williams (Thailand) Limited is best known for. Comprising 12 internationally qualified lawyers and eight Thai-qualified lawyers, it has ‘great industry knowledge’ of the insurance, energy, aviation and shipping sectors. Indeed, Ratthakarn Boonnua is representing Ford Motor Company in a $69m claim against its insurer regarding a business interruption arising out of the country’s 2011 floods. He also successfully defended The Bangchak Petroleum Public Company in claims worth THB731.6m brought by one of the client’s distributors alleging breach of distributorship agreements. Alan Polivnick is instructed by myriad transportation companies and is assisting Uber with handling the arrest of a number of the company’s drivers in light of the country’s push to restrict Uber’s services. Kay Kian Tan, who is active in a number of insurance disputes, international arbitration specialist Steven Burkill, and senior associates Lyle Andrews and Tossaporn Sumpiputtanadacha are other key contacts. Poonsub Can Co and Gordon Lake are also clients.

Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners’ six-partner litigation team is the largest practice group at the firm and focuses on white-collar crime, tort law and complex commercial litigation often involving government agencies. The team is especially active in telecoms and labour disputes, and is involved in one of the first proper class actions in the country’s history. Though it is not an international firm, the disputes group also handles international arbitration and regularly works alongside well-known American and Singaporean law firms. Phisit Dejchaiyasak is the department’s ‘very experienced’ practice head and is involved in several arbitration claims concerning the construction, installation and operation of telecommunications services. The ‘calm, yet forceful’ Sakchai Limsiripothong specialises in litigation involving fraud and white-collar crime and is instructed by clients such as Fitness First (Thailand), Cyklop Group and Coats GmbH. Rapinnart Prongsiriwattana leads a team, which includes Warathorn Wongsawangsiri, that is representing Total Access Communication in several matters in the Administrative Court. The department is supported by ‘detailed and meticulous’ associates such as Rachata Champathong. Pathorn Towongchuen was promoted to partner in 2017. The group’s varied clients include American International Assurance Company, Export-Import Bank of the US, Aditya Burla Chemicals, and PTT.

Given Allen & Overy (Thailand) Co, Ltd‘s strong reputation in the Thai telecoms market, it is not surprising that the litigation team is regularly involved in high-profile disputes and regulatory investigations in the telecoms sector; however, the team also has experience of labour disputes, contract litigation and even competition, the last of which is an uncharted area in the Thai market. Practice co-head Dumnern Subpaisarn is acting for Advanced Info Service in arbitration with a state-owned telecoms company concerning whether the client is in breach of an applicable concession agreement. He is also acting for Ek-Chai Distribution System, which operates Tesco Lotus, in a first-of-its-kind case brought before the Trade Competition Commission by Big C Super Center, accusing the client of unfair market practices in the launch of its marketing campaign. Nithi Laophulsuk joined the firm from Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) and now jointly heads the Thai disputes team. Piyaporn Thongsombat and Udomsak Sukarawan are active senior associates in the department. Additional key clients include Fox Networks Group Asia Pacific, Turner Broadcasting System Asia Pacific, Deutsche Bank and PTT.

DLA Piper (Thailand) Limited focuses on complex cross-border litigation and regulatory matters spanning a range of industries, but is particularly well-known for handling disputes in the insurance, IP and tech, aviation and real estate and construction sectors. As one of the firm’s major strengths, the Bangkok team has specialists in all areas of litigation, arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Managing partner Peter Shelford assisted a member of one of the world’s largest aircraft leasing companies with obtaining a repossession order of two jet engines, which represented the first time the Thai courts granted such an order on engines that were already installed on an aircraft. Shelford is also representing Diebold Nixdorf in seven separate claims against the Thai Customs Department concerning import duties and other taxes on certain ATM machines; the team has won two of these claims, which are now pending in the Supreme Court, while five claims are ongoing at the time of publication. Of counsel Don Rojanapenkul and Chanvitaya Suvarnapunya are additional contacts in the litigation and regulatory department, while notable clients include FWD Insurance, Yum! Restaurants International and HKR International. Suraphon Rittipongchusit joined Kennedys in 2017.

Herbert Smith Freehills (Thailand) Limited’s Thai disputes team is best known for representing domestic and international clients in cross-border disputes and securing the enforcement of international arbitral awards. The group is headed by Chinnawat Thongpakdee, who is representing one of the world’s largest tobacco companies in a claim against the Thai government regarding the legality of requiring graphic health warnings on cigarette packaging. Working alongside the firm’s London office, he is also acting for a major financial institution in relation to the distressed sale of debt in a Thai entity. Additionally, the disputes group has experience in construction and employment disputes. It has seen several personnel changes in 2016-2017 as counsel Emi Rowse joined from the firm’s Hong Kong office, while Surapol Srangsomwong retired, and Somboon Sangrungjang and Gavin Margetson both left the firm.

The service provided by LS Horizon Limited’s disputes resolution team is, by some clients’ measure, ‘above the standard of many Thai firms’. With experience in commercial litigation and ADR, it has strengths across a number of sectors, but is especially active in banking and finance, real estate and construction disputes. The department is jointly headed by Prechaya Ebrahim, who specialises in labour and employment law, Lersak Kancvalskul, who focuses on insolvency and bankruptcy, and administrative court specialist Wanchai Yiamsamatha. In one precedent-setting matter, Yiamsamatha, ‘one of the most valued legal advisers in Thailand’, acted for the Stock Exchange of Thailand and its board of directors in a Central Administrative Court case brought by Scan Global regarding the delisting of shares in a public limited company. Kancvalskul assisted Bali Hai Co, a luxury condominium project company, with its filing for rehabilitation with the Central Bankruptcy Court. Ebrahim is instructed by clients such as Banpu Public Company, Nation Multimedia and Sojitz Corporation regarding a variety of commercial disputes.

Though the firm is perhaps best known for its extensive experience in civil and criminal customs and excise litigation, R & T Asia (Thailand) Limited is also active in regulatory investigations and administrative court procedures involving environmental claims, telecoms disputes, labour and employment claims and trade law. Melisa Uremovic represented Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation in Thai safeguard proceedings and then in review proceedings regarding the import of non-alloy hot-rolled steel, while Supawat Srirungruang acted for one of Thailand’s largest telecoms providers in administrative court and in separate arbitral proceedings. Ittichai Prasongprasit was involved in a piece of tax litigation that is now pending before the Supreme Court and Pakpoom Suntornvipat has experience in shareholder disputes and restructuring and insolvency matters. Sui Lin Teoh is another contact in the disputes group and managing partner Surasak Vajasit is an experienced arbitrator in International Chamber of Commerce proceedings. Coca-Cola (Thailand), Standard Chartered Bank (Thai), Toyota Motor (Thailand) and Philip Morris (Thailand) are among the department’s notable clients.

Siam Premier International Law Office Limited has actively invested in its dispute resolution team, which is now one of the largest departments at the firm. It has built a reputation acting for corporates in insurance, construction, government projects and employment litigation. In one of the group’s standout matters, department co-head Kong Suriyamontol successfully represented NVPSKG Joint Venture in two claims against the Pollution Control Department regarding payment for construction of the Samut Prakarn Wastewater Management Project. Suriyamontol also acted for Green Architecture and Engineering Company as claimant in construction arbitration proceedings. Techatat Udomsiri jointly heads the practice group and is defending the world’s largest fully integrated natural rubber company, Sri Trang Argo-Industry, in civil and criminal proceedings for alleged fraud. Managing partner Phisud Dejakaisaya has extensive experience in banking, investment and commercial litigation and is acting for Thai Takasago Company in the Central Administrative Court in a case concerning the unlawful termination of a construction contract. Rawat Chomsri, Noppramart Thammateeradaycho and Chakrapong Boonchan are other notable contacts in the department.

Tilleke & Gibbins’ dispute resolution team is active not only in domestic civil litigation and arbitration, but also regularly appears in specialty courts involving corruption, white-collar crime, labour, customs and tax disputes. Indeed, Chusert Supasitthumrong represented Stanley Works before the Labor Relations Board regarding union employee claims that they were terminated for exercising their right, under the Labor Relations Act, to submit a labour demand. Supasitthumrong and John Frangos have also been involved in several product liability claims in 2016-2017. In the aviation space, Frangos is instructed by various global aircraft leasing companies in relation to aircraft repossession proceedings. Showcasing the department’s customs and criminal law expertise, a large team including Thawat Damsa-ard is acting for a household name tobacco manufacturer in two separate criminal customs claims for which it could be held liable for nearly $2.9bn. Michael Ramirez is a key contact in the firm’s regulatory and anti-corruption team and is instructed by clients such as Western Digital, while Aaron Le Marquer and Ittirote Klinboon have extensive experience in insurance claims and professional negligence.

Apisith & Alliance Ltd’s litigation department ‘not only possesses in-depth knowledge about the workings of the Thai legal system, but they are able to explain that system in ways that are understandable to non-Thai clients’. Although it is historically strong in trade matters, the group has expanded its practice to include domestic civil litigation and international commercial arbitration. Playing to its strengths, the department, which is led by Apisith John Sutham, acted for Deestone Group/Svizz One Corporation in US International Trade Commission proceedings regarding the importation of tires from China and Thailand, alleging a design patent infringement. The team is often instructed by Chinese clients and recently acted for Shenzhen Yitoa in a THB1bn contractual dispute with Thailand’s Office of Basic Education Commission (OBEC) concerning the non-performance of the OBEC in a computer tablet project.

Hunton & Williams has a broad range of sector experience and is regularly involved in cross-border commercial disputes and administrative court proceedings. Given the wider firm’s global reputation, the Thai disputes team finds itself acting for some of the world’s largest financial institutions, such as JP Morgan Chase and Morgan Stanley Asia. Manida Zinmerman and Apichart Phankeasorn defended Digital Phone Co in three cases in the Central Administrative Court regarding compensation allegedly due to CAT Telecom for the client’s use of CAT’s telecoms network and equipment during a protection period for end-users. In one of Thailand’s most notable ongoing disputes, the team is acting as co-counsel to Ford Services (Thailand) in defence of a civil lawsuit and petition for a class-action, which would be among the first proper class actions in Thailand’s history. Richard Savage, who has experience in US litigation, and Wongsakrit Khajangson are also recommended.

The disputes resolution and litigation team at LawPlus Ltd. represents Thai and international clients in a wide range of matters such as IP infringement, tax cases, commercial recovery and bankruptcy, product liability and labour disputes. Led by Kowit Somwaiya, the team has recently been involved in a cyber-fraud case against a Thai transportation company, and also represented a household name US consumer goods manufacturer in a piece of patent litigation.

International arbitration

Index of tables

  1. Dispute resolution: international arbitration
  2. Leading individuals

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

Find out which law firms are representing which International arbitration clients in Thailand using The Legal 500's new comprehensive database of law firm/client relationships. Instantly search over 925,000 relationships, including over 83,000 Fortune 500, 46,000 FTSE350 and 13,000 DAX 30 relationships globally. Access is free for in-house lawyers, and by subscription for law firms. For more information, contact


Baker McKenzie’s disputes department includes a number of partners with experience of arbitration proceedings under the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) rules, but the team is particularly active in the Thai Arbitration Institute (TAI). In 2016-2017, it has been involved in various contract disputes, insurance claims and tax issues, and has also handled a litany of enforcement matters. Timothy Breier is a US-qualified litigator with the group and focuses on bankruptcy, construction and contract disputes. Pisut Attakamol works across a range of sectors and is representing a multimedia company in defence and subsequent counterclaims concerning a failure to pay licensing fees and taxes. Kanit Vallayapet specialises in administrative disputes, while Wynn Pakdeejit and Chirachai Okanurak are also key contacts in the department. Clients have included BLCP Power, AXA Insurance and Deutsche Bank.

Of the 20 dispute resolution lawyers in Watson Farley & Williams (Thailand) Limited’s Bangkok office, 12 are internationally qualified, making it one of the largest Thai-based teams of ‘competent and qualified experts’ in international arbitration matters, ‘from partner to associate level’. The department receives regular training with London-experienced QCs and is perhaps the most active Bangkok-team in international arbitration centres throughout the region. In one recently commenced matter, Steven Burkill is representing ARS International in SIAC proceedings, worth $70m, regarding a breach of confidentiality agreement. Similarly, Burkill is involved in multiple Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC) claims regarding breach of contract. Kay Kian Tan, a ‘highly competent litigation expert’, is representing an energy company in an ICC arbitration case, which is governed by Chinese law, in a supply and construction dispute with a Chinese contractor. The team is also involved in obtaining recognition and enforcement in Thai courts of a Grain and Free Trade Association (GAFTA) arbitral award. Ratthakarn Boonnua as well as senior associates Lyle Andrews and Tossaporn Sumpiputtanadacha are also key contacts.

Though the Bangkok office is going through a period of regrowth, DLA Piper (Thailand) Limited remains active in arbitration proceedings in a range of forums, including ICC, SIAC, China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC) and TAI. Managing partner Peter Shelford has expertise in insurance, investment and regulatory matters, and has been involved in arbitral proceedings regarding energy pricing and construction, and has also handled enforcement matters. The department’s key clients include Diebold Nixdorf, FWD Insurance, Global Procurement Pty and Yum! Restaurants International (Thailand). Chatchai Inthasuwan retired in 2017, though the team has recruited a number of new junior-level lawyers and is investing in a period of training and organic growth. Suraphon Rittipongchusit joined Kennedys in 2017

Herbert Smith Freehills (Thailand) Limited has built a reputation in Bangkok for its formidable dispute resolution team, which is regularly involved in TAI, United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and ICC arbitration proceedings. The department is headed by Chinnawat Thongpakdee, whose practice focuses on Thai-based disputes for international and domestic corporates; his recent work has included disputes concerning sensitive government matters, tax and customs law and contractual issues. Expanding its geographic reach, the Bangkok office regularly works alongside colleagues in the firm’s Hong Kong and Singapore offices, incorporating partners such as Alastair Henderson. The group took on two associates and of counsel, Emi Rowse; however, various practitioners have left the firm in 2016-2017, including Surapol Srangsomwong, who retired, Daniel Woods, who moved to the firm’s London office, and Gavin Margetson, who is now regional head of international arbitration at Berwin Leighton Paisner LLP.

Respondek & Fan Ltd has an active track record in ASEAN and European arbitration centres. Having qualified in the US and Germany, Andreas Respondek is the primary contact and he splits his time between the Bangkok and Singapore offices. In 2016-2017, he has been involved in arbitration proceedings in the HKIAC and ICC. The team recently filed arbitration proceedings in the ICC in Paris on behalf of an automotive systems and technology company. Similarly, Respondek is acting for a global supermarket chain in relation to damages claims against a Chinese manufacturer in an action in the HKIAC.

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