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Thailand > Real estate and construction > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Real estate and construction
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

The busy and bouyant real estate department at Baker McKenzie has an impressive transactional practice and also assists leading real estate and retail companies on their day-to-day matters. The sizeable team is supported by the firm's highly ranked insurance, M&A and banking and finance groups. Sorachon Boonsong heads the department and oversees its major transactions; he is well versed in a range of property developments, including hotels and resorts. Duangkamon Amkaew is another leading practitioner in the group, with experience in a host of real estate matters and a particular specialism in hospitality projects and REITs. She and Chaveewan Likhitwattanachai advised Bhiraj REIT Management Company on the launch of BOFFICE, a REIT listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET), investing in mixed-use real estate projects in central Bangkok. Elsewhere, a team led by finance expert Wittaya Luengsukcharoen and capital markets specialist Theppachol Kosol acted for a Thai real estate developer in the purchase of six hotels located across four countries.

Covering the gamut of property matters, DLA Piper (Thailand) Limited is a well-known name in the Thai real estate market and is regularly instructed by some of its leading participants. The firm's full-service offering is of benefit for clients seeking a one-stop-shop to cover the full life cycle of their real estate projects. In recent trends, it has seen an increased appetite for joint ventures between Thai and international developers. Other work spans real estate acquisitions, finance and property and construction litigation. Among practice head Dusadee Jittasaiyapan’s recent workload was his advice to Virgin Active on its development of high-end fitness clubs at various shopping malls and office buildings in Thailand. Jittasaiyapan worked alongside senior associate Supranee Arjjit on the project. The pair also worked as part of a multi-disciplinary real estate and litigation team to assist East Water Group with various land and construction matters connected with its projects, including potential disputes arising out of its supply and design agreements with contractors.

The busy and buoyant real estate practice at Siam Premier International Law Office Limited is led by experienced partner Chatchavej Chitvarakorn. Much of the team's work in recent years has focused on real estate acquisitions and projects in Bangkok's central business district, and Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC)-related land acquisitions. In addition, it has maintained its active market share for hotel and tourism-related real estate developments. A multi-disciplinary team of corporate, M&A and real estate lawyers assisted Japan's Mitsui Fudosan with the due diligence for land acquisition for the development of nine condiminium projects. The team also acts for a number of large Thai companies; for one of the country's largest conglomerates, it advised on potential share acquisitions in two hotels. Senior associate Ajjima Kanokmaneechotikul plays key roles on the department's major transactions, where her background in banking and finance is of benefit. Special counsel Sawat Sangkavisit is another name to note.

The real estate group at Watson Farley & Williams (Thailand) Limited is noted for its ‘regional expertise’, ‘timely responses’ and ‘practical and sensible advice’. The team is especially active in the hotels and leisure segment, advising on luxury hotel and condominium projects. Beyond this sector, it advises on a host of developments, from industrial to commercial to residential, often representing developers. High-net-worth individuals also make up a substantial part of its client base, turning to the team for assistance with the purchase of high-end premises in Thailand. Leading players in the renewable energy sector also seek out the team for contentious and non-contentious property and construction matters. In recent work, Alan Polivnick advised a UK property developer on the establishment of an office in Thailand, including the acquisition of premises and fit-out of a new office and showroom, and Christopher Osborne advised a client on the due diligence and acquisition of a greenfield site for the development of an energy project. ‘Practical and commercially savvy’ senior associate Lyle Andrews ‘sees through the nonsense and concentrates on the critical issues’ and ‘pushes for the most appropriate outcome’.

Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners handles a range of real estate, engineering and construction projects, and with a full-service offering, it is able to draw on the expertise of its capital markets, banking and M&A lawyers to provide a well-rounded service to its real estate clients. Weerawong Chittmittrapap and Panuwat Chalongkuamdee acted for Dusit Thani Group on a joint venture mixed-use real estate development project which will include residences, retail and office spaces and a large green space. The firm’s contentious practice is of particular note; combining its real estate expertise with its top-tier litigation capabilities, it is able to take on complex construction disputes, including arbitration and administrative court proceedings. Real estate M&A also features. Corporate and capital markets specialist Khemajit Choomwattana is another member of the team and has a prominent practice in property funds and REITs. Chinnavat Chinsangaram has left the firm to work at the Public Legal Aid Foundation.

The experienced real estate team at Blumenthal Richter & Sumet Ltd acts for multinational corporations, institutional investors, private equity funds and entrepreneurs. Practice head Robert Schuler brings over 20 years of experience in the region's real estate and real estate finance markets. He has developed particular expertise in the hospitality, leisure, recreation and tourism sub-sectors. He works alongside Ittinant Suwanjutha, who handles property finance deals and corporate and M&A. Among the department's recent work was its representation of a US retail property developer in the establishment of a joint venture with a Thai company for the development of outlet malls in several provinces in Thailand. Elsewhere, the team advised an investment firm and real estate company on the development of two hotels in popular tourist regions in the country. The firm is a member of global firm network Interlaw, and Schuler is the exclusive member, for real estate and project finance in Thailand, of professional services network IR Global.

Chandler MHM Limited established a significant REITs practice with the hire of senior associate Tananan Thammakiat and a group of associates from Charin & Associates. Thammakiat and her team advise on the establishment and capital increases of REITs and property funds for public offering (PFPOs) and also work with partners in the firm handling a range of real estate projects and M&A. Susumu Hanawa is another name to note; he has broad experience in real estate investments in Southeast Asia, often representing leading Japanese developers. Lender-side work also features, with recent highlights including Jessada Sawatdipong, Pranee Klinratana and Thammakiat's representation of four banks on the financing for the development of six luxury condominium projects in Bangkok.

DFDL Legal & Tax's real estate team excels in hotels and hospitality projects and M&A. In addition to Bangkok, the firm has offices in Phuket and Ko Samui, which give it proximity to resort and hospitality-related projects on these islands. Paul Volodarsky, who is the managing director of the latter two offices, acts for buyers, developers and investors, and also counts leading hotel chains among his clients. Among a busy workload is his representation of the developer in a project that, once completed, will be one of the largest luxury villa developments in Ko Samui. The team also stands out for its track record in agricultural projects, both in the cultivation and processing stages. The team also assists clients on market entry into Thailand, including the tax and real estate aspects; in recent work, tax director Jonathan Blaine assisted a Canadian corporation on establishing a base in Thailand.

The 'prompt, professional and proactive' team at Linklaters maintains a focus on high-end real estate transactions, channeling its leading banking, finance and corporate practices to handle a range of real estate finance and M&A deals. The Bangkok team is active in real estate projects in Thailand, though much of its work has a cross-border element. For example, in recent work, Wanwisar Nakarat and managing associate Charuchat Fongmanee, both of whom come highly recommended, advised The Siam Commercial Bank on its provision of a THB1bn long-term loan to a Thai agricultural equipment company for an investment into a commercial real estate project in China. On the M&A side, managing partner Pichitpon Eammongkolchai acted for a hotel chain on the acquisition of shares in two companies which own hotels in Thailand from a UK company. In addition to banks and hotel groups, the team is also instructed by major property developers.

LS Horizon Limited has accumulated significant experience in the hotels and hospitality segment, often advising on hotel management agreements as well as acquisitions and disposals. The team is also adept in transactions and developments involving serviced apartments and residential, commercial and mixed-use property. Past work has included advising an engineering and construction company on the sale of land in a prime location in Bangkok, and assisting a company in the manufacturing sector on the operation of a factory. The team is also equipped to handle construction litigation. Sunpasiri Sunpa-a-sa heads the department, which also counts a number of asset managers among its clients.

Tilleke & Gibbins’ practice covers the construction, real estate and hospitality sectors, where its clients include international corporations and financial institutions. Its busy M&A department ensures a steady flow of work; real estate lawyers work alongside corporate colleagues to advise on the property aspects of transactions. In a recent example, Charunun Sathitsuksomboon advised the Thai subsidiary of a Japanese company on the acquisition of a Thai company, which required advice on a factory acquisition, land requirements and industrial approvals. Cynthia Pornavalai heads the department, which also includes Chaiwat Keratisuthisathorn, who is an expert in property acquisitions.

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