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    • Piyaporn Thongsombat - Allen & Overy (Thailand) Co, Ltd

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With strengths not only in insolvency, but also in related areas such as tax, M&A and financial services, Baker McKenzie’s ability to ‘navigate tricky areas of Thai law’ is unequalled. In addition to its close working relationship with the firm’s other top-ranked departments, the restructuring and insolvency practice group acts for every type of deal participant in corporate and debt restructurings, distressed business transactions and contentious insolvency. Regularly operating together, Wynn Pakdeejit and Paralee Techajongjintana acted for a major creditor in the planned $455m business reorganisation of a real estate development company. Working for clients in bankruptcy, Pakdeejit and Pisut Attakamol assisted Panga and Son Company with the out-of-court resolution of its debt payment after the client had already entered into bankruptcy proceedings. Techajongjintana is also acting for a debtor on the restructuring of over THB1bn of debt arising out of the global financial crisis. The team also receives high-profile bank-side instructions and is advising a commercial bank on its option to financially support a major telecoms and engineering company after reorganisation proceedings had been completed, but were retroactively struck-out by the Supreme Court. Kitipong Urapeepatanapong is another contact in the practice group.

With specialists in finance, corporate matters and litigation, and a regional network with which the team regularly works, DLA Piper (Thailand) Limited has particular expertise in distressed debt purchases, domestic and cross-border creditor-debtor cases and bankruptcy. In one particularly topical matter, Timothy Tan and Chatchai Inthasuwan are acting for Tata Steel UK as a creditor in the court-driven rehabilitation proceedings of Sahaviriya Steel Industries involving debts totalling over $1.4bn; this represents the largest debt restructuring in Thailand since 1997. Working alongside the firm’s Hong Kong and Singapore teams, Tan is helping to advise the joint liquidators of the $1.3bn Platinum Partners Value Arbitrage Fund regarding the fund’s assets across Asia and Australia. The team is also advising a “white knight” investor on the debt restructuring and recapitalisation of Royal Chemie Group spanning six jurisdictions. Chanvitaya Suvarnapunya has experience in internal restructurings linked to potential bankruptcies. Suraphon Rittipongchusit and Supreedee Nimitkul left the firm.

Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners’ restructuring and insolvency team is instructed by debtors and creditors and regularly handles pre-litigation matters, contentious insolvency and out-of-court restructurings. In one of the largest ongoing reorganisations in Thailand, Weerawong Chittmittrapap and Suntus Kirdsinsap are advising a group of major creditors to Sahaviriya Steel Industries Public Company (SSI TH) on a THB60bn business reorganisation of SSI TH, and is also assisting the listed steel manufacturer with its reorganisation process. Alternately, Chittmittrapap is acting alongside Veeranuch Thammavaranucupt to represent Jasmine Public Company in five related cases concerning due payments, following the Supreme Court’s decision that the company’s 2013 business rehabilitation plan was not proper. The team is also involved in the $1bn business rehabilitation plan of Saha Farms Company and Golden Line Company Business, which involves applications for debt repayments totalling $18.6bn, submitted by a range of creditors including banks, labourers, traders, distributors and related companies and subsidiaries. Chinnavat Chinsangaram and Sakchai Limsiripothong are contacts in the department, and notable clients include Triple T Broadband Public Company and Ladprao Plaza Co.

The team at Allen & Overy (Thailand) Co, Ltd specialises in cross-border restructuring and insolvency, handling the gamut of related work, such as contentious insolvency, distressed financing and debt trading, out-of-court restructuring and recapitalisation. Given the firm’s sector specialisms, the restructuring and insolvency department is often instructed by leading financial institutions and also handles the largest restructurings and reorganisations in the media and telecoms industries. Indeed, led by Dumnern Subpaisarn, the team is advising the Asia Pacific branch of one of the world’s largest media companies as a creditor in the rehabilitation process of a domestic Thai TV-operator. Piyaporn Thongsombat is a senior associate in the disputes resolution group, who has extensive experience in contentious insolvency matters and Nithi Laophulsuk joined the firm as a partner, having previously served as head of legal and compliance at Standard Chartered Bank (Thai).

Linklaters has a strong reputation in many of Thailand’s leading industry sectors such as energy and petrochemicals, hospitality, infrastructure and telecoms and is instructed primarily by creditors in complex restructurings. Managing partner and practice head Pichitpon Eammongkolchai is acting for Sumitomo Corporation on the potential restructuring of a supply contract with Canadoil in connection with restructuring of Canadoil’s Thai assets and debts. Wilailuk Okanurak has extensive experience in restructuring and insolvency matters, which dates back to the 1997 Asian financial crisis; she successfully advised a major creditor on a claim against the distribution of a debtor’s estate, which resulted in a debt payment of THB4bn. Key clients of the department include Bain Capital and Standard Chartered Bank (Thai).

Mayer Brown JSM provides ‘commercially relevant advice directly from the appropriate partner’. The team has experience in distressed debt purchases and out-of-court restructurings, and is instructed by both debtors and creditors. Department head Maythawee Sarathai is ‘particularly good’ and acted for Standard Chartered Bank (Thai) on the reorganisation of debts in excess of $60m owed by Canadoil Pipe and Canadoil Asia; the team also assisted the bank with providing a short term loan to the indebted companies, so they could continue operation. Kesara Summacarava is an active senior associate in the practice group.

Norton Rose Fulbright has remained active in some of the largest restructurings in the Thai marketplace where it acts for corporate debtors and domestic and international creditors. Somboon Kitiyansub heads the Bangkok office and the restructuring and insolvency department, and acted for WP Energy Public Company on the corporate restructuring necessary for relisting on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET) following the merger between World Gas and Picnic Corporation, from which WP Energy was formed. Similarly, Kitiyansub assisted NFC Fertilizer Public Company with its corporate restructuring needed for relisting on the SET, after exiting its court sanctioned rehabilitation plan. Tassanai Kiratisountorn and of counsel Rittichai Ngodngam are additional contacts in the practice group.

Siam Premier International Law Office Limited is ‘a strong firm’ in the restructuring and insolvency space, and has recently been active in the banking, mining and steel manufacturing sectors. Bancha Wudhiprecha jointly heads the department and assisted Tongkah Harbour Public Limited Company with its submission for a THB2.34bn business reorganisation with the Bankruptcy Court, which was accepted and the client is now in the process of debt repayments. Conversely, department co-head Phasunsook Ayanaputra advised three major creditors in the THB2bn rehabilitation process of Panjapol Pulp Public Company and Panjapol Paper Company. Chatchavej Chitvarakorn is another contact in the practice group.

Watson Farley & Williams (Thailand) Limited’s restructuring and insolvency capabilities have continued to see increased workflow from new and existing clients in the aviation and shipping, manufacturing, financial services and insurance sectors. Jointly headed by Alan Polivnick and Christopher Osborne, the team has experience in acting for creditors and debtors in insolvency proceedings, debt restructuring and business reorganisations. Osborne is advising the majority creditors concerning rehabilitation proceedings in the Thai bankruptcy of SureTank, while Polivnick is acting for VietJet Air on the restructuring of shareholdings in its operational and holding companies. Senior associate Kulkanya Vorawanichar has experience in business rehabilitation and loan restructuring.

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