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Editorial

Index of tables

  1. TMT
  2. Leading individuals
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Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Baker McKenzie has established itself as a go-to firm for regulatory advice in the TMT space, and is also a leader for cross-border transactions, including M&A. In light of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and Thailand's draft Personal Data Protection Bill (PDPB), the team has seen a high volume of queries from clients on data protection and privacy, where it has an established reputation. Practice head Dhiraphol Suwanprateep is a leading practitioner in IT and telecoms and as such is regularly instructed by household name companies in these sectors. The team is also sought out by leading financial services, automotive and retail companies, among others. Nont Horayangura advised a major game developer on regulatory, distribution and licensing issues. For one longstanding client, Suwanprateep and Horayangura have been providing advice on licensing requirements, consumer protection and e-commerce registration. Senior associate Pattaraphan Paiboon has notable experience in telecoms, having previously worked at the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC).

The TMT practice at Tilleke & Gibbins covers the gamut of issues that industry participants face, with extensive experience in commercial and regulatory issues, M&A and litigation. The team enjoys longstanding relationships with leading technology and media companies, many of which have global operations. It also benefits from cooperation with the firm's market-leading IP practice. Among its recent busy workload was David Duncan’s advice to a prepaid and payment solutions company on regulatory and contractual issues connected with its prepaid gift card business in Thailand. The TMT team is led by Jeffrey Blatt, who draws on over 35 years of experience advising high-profile clients from Asia and the US. Athistha Chitranukroh is a key contact for technology-related transactions and is recommended. Attorney-at-law Nutavit Sirikan also receives praise. Corporate and commercial expert Piyanuj Ratprasatporn is another contact.

Allen & Overy (Thailand) Co, Ltd has a notable track record in telecoms and media-sector transactions, where it is instructed by leading industry participants. Many of the team's instructions come from multinational companies, which seek its advice in cross-border deals. A cross-office team including practice head Suparerk Auychai acted for Thailand's Central Group in two joint ventures with China's JD.com and JD Finance. Elsewhere, a Bangkok team led by Auychai acted for Singtel in the sale of its stake in ICT service provider CS Loxinfo to Advanced Wireless Network. Through Dumnern Subpaisarn, who is now a senior consultant with the firm, the group also has litigation capabilities. He is currently acting for a mobile phone operator in an environmental case before the Supreme Court, the first case of its type in Thailand. Wipanan Prasompluem left for Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP.

Noted for its 'excellent response times’, the TMT group at Blumenthal Richter & Sumet Ltd is highly sought after by leading international firms and industry-leading companies. In particular, 'well-informed and practical’ department head John Formichella is regularly instructed by international companies looking to enter Thailand's digital and emerging technologies market. His regulatory expertise takes in complex and quickly developing areas such as data privacy, cloud services, e-commerce and geo-hosting services. The team is also equipped to advise on software development projects, systems integrations and data centre outsourcing. Through an instruction from the German office of a leading global firm, Formichella advised a company on Thai telecoms laws related to telematics technology, working alongside senior associates Isarapa Leeratanasiri and Naytiwut Jamallsawat. The same team advised a Singapore-based company on obtaining a telecoms license from the NBTC.

The multi-disciplinary TMT team at DLA Piper (Thailand) Limited acts for local and international technology and telecoms companies. It draws on the expertise of IP lawyers at the firm to provide a well-rounded service, advising on marketing, distribution, licensing, data protection and privacy, among other areas. A team that included senior associate Pattama Jarupunphol advised a multinational telecoms conglomerate on various legal issues concerning Inter-Operator Tariff roaming in Thailand. The firm's impressive dispute resolution capabilities are another distinguishing feature. In a recent case, Peter Shelford acted for a broadcasting company in high-value litigation against a Thai company. Don Rojanapenkul is an additional contact for contentious matters. Other clients include Telstra, Commvault and LINE Plus Corporation. Dusadee Jittasaiyapan took over as practice head following the passing away of Chanvitaya Suvarnapunya.

Technology and telecoms are longstanding areas of expertise at R & T Asia (Thailand) Limited, and the firm is regularly sought out by leading players in these sectors. In particular, it is a popular choice for e-commerce and e-payment service providers, which turn to the team for advice on Thailand's regulatory framework, licensing issues and reporting requirements. Its contentious practice is also of note. Supawat Srirungruang has a busy TMT practice; he is currently advising a telecoms company on concessions and services agreements with trade partners, suppliers and state enterprises. Transactional work also features; senior associate Yingrak Treesaranuwattana took a key role in advising JD.com and JD Finance on joint ventures with Thai retailer Central Group for investment in e-commerce and consumer finance businesses in Thailand. Elsewhere, Saroj Jongsaritwang advised a household name client on e-payment issues.

Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners’ extensive telecoms-sector experience is underpinned by the firm’s market-leading corporate, litigation and finance practices, ensuring strong workflows in this area. The TMT group also counts media and entertainment companies among its clients and has developed an active fintech practice, where it provides advice to multinational technology companies on Thailand’s regulatory environment. Telecoms service provider Jasmine International is a significant client; in recent work, Passawan Navanithikul assisted it on a THB8.5bn facility granted by The Siam Commercial Bank to be used for refinancing and on-lending to its group companies. In M&A, a team led by senior partner Weerawong Chittmittrapap acted for an investment company in the purchase of 50% of the total shares of a media and TV company. On the contentious side, highlights included Rapinnart Prongsiriwattana’s filing of a successful motion to lift an injunction against assets of a mobile operator, another of the firm’s key clients. The department is co-led by telecoms expert Veeranuch Thammavaranucupt and Samata Masagee, who has an impressive track record in corporate transactions for TMT companies.

The fintech team at DFDL Legal & Tax sits within the broader banking and finance department. It provides an extensive range of services to internet, technology and financial services companies, from licensing and IP to data privacy and employee agreements. The group has also seen an uptick in work from e-commerce companies. Much of its work is cross-border and multi-disciplinary in nature, requiring close cooperation between the firm's offices. In a recent example, Vinay Ahuja and Kraisorn Rueangkul worked alongside colleagues in Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines to advise Gobi Partners on the Series A funding round of logistics platform start-up Deliveree. Ivy Liu is another name to note; she regularly advises China-based technology companies with operations in Thailand. In recent work, she advised a Chinese cloud computing and network security solutions company on legal and compliance issues relevant to its Thai subsidiaries.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP’s prowess in corporate, capital markets and finance transactions attracts companies from myriad industries, including TMT. Its clients in this space include Rabbit LINE Pay, Fastwork Technologies and the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA). The latter sought assistance from Manida Zinmerman on a major project and the negotiation of various procurement contracts. Zinmerman also acts for financial institutions and venture capital firms in investments and acquisitions in the TMT sector. For example, she recently advised Beacon Venture Capital on the acquisition of shares in software solutions company FlowAccount. Stephen Bennett is another key contact. He recently advised an international internet company on payment models under its internet platforms. Senior associate Somruetai Noppornprom advises telecoms companies on a host of commercial and corporate transactions.

Linklaters has an impressive track record in corporate, financial and capital markets transactions in the technology and telecoms sectors. Its expertise in infrastructure funds is a major draw for telecoms companies looking for new sources of capital raising. Wanwisar Nakarat and managing associate Soammaras Ratanavanich advised SCB Asset Management and the Digital Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund on a THB12.898bn loan with syndicated lenders to finance the acquisition of additional telecoms assets. Elsewhere, Nakarat acted as legal advisor to The Siam Commercial Bank on the negotiation of an unsecured THB700m loan facility between it and the True Internet Data Center. In addition to its transactional work in the TMT space, the team has also invested in its thought leadership, presenting on legal and regulatory issues in the sector. Wilailuk Okanurak heads the department, which includes counsels Sonya Kalnin and Sutthipong Koohasaneh.

The TMT team at Watson Farley & Williams (Thailand) Limited receives praise for its ‘positive attitude’ and ‘efficiency’. It remains active in the technology space, and has seen an uptick in cryptocurrency-related queries from new and longstanding clients. It is regularly involved in multi-jurisdictional work, with recent examples including its advice to an online gaming company on its global franchising arrangements for the expansion of operations in Asia. TMT-sector litigation is a major strength at the firm; here, highlights included Ratthakarn Boonnua’s representation of a multinational company against a Thai company in a dispute arising out of a marketing campaign. For a new client, a team led by Alan Polivnick provided advice on licensing and regulatory requirements for the operation of e-payment and e-wallet systems. Recommended practice head Christopher Osborne has a broad practice that takes in corporate and commercial advice in the media and telecoms sectors.

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