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Working across all of Thailand’s most heavily regulated employment sectors, Baker McKenzie handles every aspect of corporate labour and employment needs, from day-to-day advice to complex and pioneering litigation. In the non-contentious space, the team acts for many of the largest multinational corporates in Thailand, providing standalone advice and handling the employment aspects of cross-border corporate transactions and transfers. The contentious side of the practice is acting for clients such as a global energy company and a leading US auto manufacturer in two momentous matters concerning employee/employer relations in Thailand. Suriyong Tungsuwan heads the labour and employment group, while Chirachai Okanurak focuses on employment disputes in the litigation department. Tungsuwan has extensive experience in Thai labour laws and has counselled global corporates on labour relations, retirement schemes, employee benefits and regulatory compliance. Okanurak regularly handles the Thai aspects of large global downsizing efforts and is involved in one potentially market-shaping tort case concerning injunctive relief, outsourcing and multiple questions of termination. Clients of the department have included Bangkok Airways, Pfizer, Isuzu Motors Company (Thailand) and Deutsche Bank.

With a roster of loyal corporate clients, Tilleke & Gibbins has gained a reputation among international operators for providing contentious and non-contentious labour and employment services. The group’s work covers the gamut of corporate employment needs, from the initial rules and regulations, to collective bargaining, to risk management and, if necessary, litigation. Joint department head Pimvimol Vipamaneerut has ‘deep knowledge of Thai employment law and provides practical advice on how the law is applied in real-life situations’; she handles a wide range of advisory and transactional support work and provides employment advice to one of the world’s largest media conglomerates as well as to multiple international law firms. Vipamaneerut has extensive experience in large-scale employee transfers, labour protection, employment agreements and relevant transactional due diligence. Practice co-head Chusert Supasitthumrong specialises in collective bargaining and union negotiations and is representing a global manufacturer client in Central Labor Court concerning claims filed by 291 union-backed employees demanding modification of the client’s performance incentive programme. Additionally, the wider litigation team regularly acts for employers in civil and criminal employee dismissal cases. Hyundai Heavy Industries, Toyota Motor (Thailand), American Express and Honeywell Electronic Materical (Thailand) are among the department’s notable clients.

R & T Asia (Thailand) Limited has specialised partners working extensively on contentious and non-contentious labour and employment issues for domestic and international corporates. Given the firm’s reputation in the regulatory space and its experience in administrative and labour court proceedings, the team is often sought after for labour disputes, including mass terminations and redundancy exercises. The team also handles employee fraud, misconduct and corruption investigations and related litigation. Ittichai Prasongprasit successfully represented an offshore drilling group at first instance in multiple claims concerning unfair dismissals; the case is currently on appeal. Sui Lin Teoh has experience in contentious and non-contentious employment matters and also provides employment advice to international law firms in the Ius Laboris network, of which it is a member. Supawat Srirungruang and Saroj Jongsaritwang are additional contacts in the practice group. Piroon Saengpakdee joined the team from LS Horizon Limited.

The labour and employment practice group at Siam Premier International Law Office Limited handles the full-range of contentious and non-contentious work for corporates in the automotive, manufacturing and hotel and tourism sectors. In labour disputes, the team is instructed by corporates and employees alike, and is involved in high-profile cases. Rawat Chomsri is acting for two companies, Chai Talay Hotel and Erawan Hotel, in Labor Court proceedings that seek to revoke an order of the Social Security Office determining how an employee’s wage should be calculated for the purpose of social security contributions. The team, which includes associate Phatcharapon Sunlakawit, also advises clients such as Fisher & Paykel Appliances (Thailand) and Chevron (Thailand) on various contentious and non-contentious labour and employment issues. It is also providing labour law support to Isuzu Motors (Thailand) and is representing the client in an employment dispute with certain retired former employees.

Watson Farley & Williams (Thailand) Limited is recognised by international and domestic corporates as one of the few firms in the area advising across the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious labour and employment matters. On the non-contentious side, the team puts an emphasis on robust compliance programmes and pre-emptive action. Indeed, the team’s expertise has been recognised by clients such as Ophir Energy (Thailand), which has retained Ratthakarn Boonnua in a quasi-in-house role to assist with every aspect of its HR rules and regulations. Christopher Osborne acted for a renewable energy developer in connection with the closure of one of its divisions and its subsequent decision to outsource that work to a third party. Alan Polivnick is especially active in the transport and aviation sectors and advises air carriers and engineering companies on a litany of commercial and employment law issues. In the contentious space, the team has represented both corporates and executives in unfair dismissal claims.

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