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Covering the gamut of contentious and non-contentious employment issues, Baker McKenzie is among the leading law firms in the Thai labour and employment market. A high percentage of its instructions come from multinational companies seeking assistance with labour issues arising from their operations in Thailand. Of particular note, the group has seen a marked increase in workplace investigations and queries concerning outsourced workers. In the field of business protection, the team advises on the protection of confidential information and trade secrets, and the enforcement of post-employment restraints. Immigration also falls within the group's expertise, where it advises clients on employee mobility, inbound and outbound immigration and work permit issues. Additionally, dispute resolution partner Chirachai Okanurak is regularly involved in employment litigation. Okanurak is assisting the Thai subsidiary of a multinational company on a workforce reduction affecting 400 employees, some of whom have initiated claims with the labour courts. The employment department is led by Suriyong Tungsuwan, who has additional expertise in M&A, trade law and foreign bribery and anti-corruption investigations. The team also has a number of experienced associates including Nam-Ake Lekfuangfu and Theeranit Pongpanarat.

The 'exceedingly professional’ Tilleke & Gibbins has a broad employment practice that attracts a steady flow of instructions from household name companies across the TMT, consumer goods, transportation and financial services sectors, among others. Moreover, the group has significant dispute resolution capabilities, where it leverages the combined expertise of the employment and litigation departments to handle a range of employment disputes. In the contentious space, the team has been particularly active in employee fraud cases, unfair termination litigation and claims for allegedly unpaid overtime. Immigration is another area of expertise; the department advises multinationals on work permits, visas and permanent residence permits. Further, the firm is adept at handling the employment aspects of multi-jurisdictional corporate transactions and was recently instructed by a foreign law firm to assist with the Thailand employee transfer component of a global asset-for-share transaction. Trial and appellate lawyer Chusert Supasitthumrong acts for some of Thailand's largest employers in complex employment litigation. Also recommended are consultant Eric Meyer, and Pimvimol Vipamaneerut, who specialises in non-contentious employment matters.

R & T Asia (Thailand) Limited has established a strong reputation for employment matters in Thailand. Among its areas of strength are internal audits and investigations, where the team draws on its complementary knowledge of fraud, anti-corruption and competition law. Employment litigation is a particular strength, with highlights including Ittichai Prasongprasit defending an energy-sector client against multiple claims of unfair dismissal by foreign and local executive employees. In addition to Thai and English, Prasongprasit speaks fluent Japanese and often represents Japanese clients in Thailand. The team is equally adept in non-contentious matters and regularly assists clients with the review of employment policies and employment agreement templates. In addition to general commercial and insurance litigation, employment matters also constitute a significant part of Sui Lin Teoh’s workload; she advises Thai conglomerates and multinationals on terminations, disciplinary hearings and retrenchment, among other areas. Supawat Srirungruang, Saroj Jongsaritwang and senior associate Yingrak Treesaranuwattana are also active members of the team.

Siam Premier International Law Office Limited’s employment team is instructed by some of Thailand's largest corporates to advise on labour law and employment disputes. Indeed, the firm’s sizeable litigation department is one of its major advantages. Many of the team's litigators have experience representing domestic and international employers and employees in various employment disputes. Of note, Kong Suriyamontol and special counsel Chakrapong Boonchan are representing an individual in an unfair dismissal claim against a former employer; having successfully obtained a substantial award for the termination, the team is now pursuing further damages in the Supreme Court. Additionally, corporate partner Bancha Wudhiprecha has been assisting a cosmetic surgery company with the employment of full- and part-time medical specialists. The department was further strengthened by the arrival of senior consultant Sumit Masrungson from Chandler MHM Limited in January 2018; Masrungson’s expertise spans contentious and non-contentious labour issues. Practice head Rawat Chomsri complements her labour and industrial relations practice with ancillary knowledge of workplace health and safety, while associate Phatcharapon Sunlakawit, who specialises in employment law, has accumulated significant experience in labour disputes.

The employment team at Watson Farley & Williams (Thailand) Limited is regularly sought out for its specialist knowledge in the energy, natural resources, transportation and insurance industries, which are among the firm’s traditional areas of focus. In addition to advising Thai and multinational companies, the team also has an active practice representing senior executives. As would be expected from one of the country’s elite dispute resolution firms, the team has a broad and deep employment litigation offering. In the non-contentious space, Ratthakarn Boonnua advised a European energy company with operations in Southeast Asia on its employment policies and consultancy contracts, and Christopher Osborne assisted The Cabin Chiang Mai with the structuring of employee share option plans and work rules. Additionally, Alan Polivnick handles contentious and non-contentious employment matters and is especially strong in the insurance sector.

DLA Piper (Thailand) Limited has sought to expand its employment law capabilities, drawing on the expertise of multi-disciplinary lawyers from the corporate, litigation and regulatory departments to handle a host of contentious and non-contentious employment matters. The team advises on employee transfer issues in connection with its multi-jurisdictional M&A work, and also handles a spread of non-transactional labour law matters for its longstanding client base. For example, it advised a technology company on the review of its employment contracts in Thailand and the region, and assisted a client in the life sciences sector with a revision of its termination, harassment and data privacy policies. Further, Peter Shelford and Don Rojanapenkul have been involved in numerous labour court proceedings, and Chadaporn Ruangtoowagoon has handled a variety of employment advisory work.

ZICO Law has impressive employment law capabilities, with demonstrable expertise across a range of non-contentious matters, in which it regularly works alongside international law firms to assist with multi-jurisdictional mandates. In one recent example, the practice group advised a multinational company on the Thai aspects of a global HR compliance project. Elsewhere, the team has been acting for a Singaporean company in relation to its retirement provisions pursuant to the Labour Protection Act; it has also assisted the company with the relevant compensation calculations. Threenuch Bunruangthaworn, who has considerable experience in labour law issues, advises clients on the full spectrum of employment matters, including general compliance, employment policies, HR audits and employee terminations. Archaree Suppakrucha is an additional contact in the department.

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