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Watson Farley & Williams (Thailand) Limited has a global reputation for its track record in the shipping industry, however, the firm’s Bangkok office covers not only shipping and maritime law, but also handles transactions, regulatory work and disputes in the aviation and automotive industry. Alan Polivnick advises Uber on a range of commercial and regulatory concerns, and is also retained by various air carriers and trade organisations for his regulatory expertise. The group has noticed an increased appetite for transport and aviation start-ups. Indeed, a large team led by Polivnick assisted VietJet Air with all the regulatory, corporate and commercial issues of the establishment of the country’s newest airline. Covering the full-spectrum of industry work, the transport team also has experience in aviation leasing and finance. Kay Kian Tan is first-and-foremost an adept litigator, and he acts in damages claims in the maritime industry, but he also advises corporates on Thailand’s shipping laws and international trade matters regarding imports of commodities.

The shipping team at DLA Piper (Thailand) Limited has true specialism in disputes and regulatory matters. In addition to the contentious and regulatory expertise – bolstered by a deep knowledge of the insurance industry – the team also handles commercial and corporate work and chartering negotiations with government entities. Chanvitaya Suvarnapunya assisted clients such as EMAS Offshore (Thailand) and MMA Offshore with applications for foreign business licenses under specific vessel chartered agreements with PTT. Much in line with the Bangkok office’s focus, however, about 90% of the group’s work is contentious, and it is in that space that the shipping team particularly stands out. In 2016-2017, Peter Shelford has acted for P&I clubs, trade organisations, insurance companies and charterers in a range of disputes, covering passenger liability, sunken vessels and collisions and insurance contract disputes. Clients include Shipowners P&I Club, UK P&I Club and United Thai Shipping Corporation.

Led by founder and managing partner Pramual Chancheewa, Pramuanchai Law Office Co, Ltd has close ties with firms throughout the ASEAN region, and is regularly involved in the gamut of contentious and non-contentious shipping and maritime matters. Further, the lawyers have experience in aviation claims and are particularly skilled at handling shipping and aviation-related insurance claims. Deeply experienced in shipping, insurance and customs matters, Chancheewa handles dry and wet maritime disputes ranging from collisions, liability and pollution claims, in addition to a variety of shipping insurance matters. Other contacts focusing on transport work include Sken Kongkaew and litigators, such as Thanakrit Srirasa.

In one capacity or another, Tilleke & Gibbins finds itself involved in a variety of matters in the shipping and maritime, aviation and rail sectors. In the shipping and maritime space, Chinachart Vatanasuchart advises Seafarers’ Rights International on Thai cabotage laws and also acts on vessel transactions. Additionally, Michael Ramirez represents foreign law firms and P&I clubs, including Japan P&I Club and China P&I Club, in a variety of maritime disputes. Rail work has been ripe due to the government’s support for transport infrastructure, and David Duncan and Kitti Thaisomboon advised a subsidiary of a Swiss train manufacturer on a tender to the State Railway of Thailand for a heavy rail project. In the aviation sector, John Frangos is instructed by global aircraft leasing companies, and has been involved in multiple aircraft repossessions in 2016-2017. Other key clients include China Shipping (Bangkok) and Maersk Line (Thailand).

JTJB International Lawyers Co Ltd is instructed by a variety of clients in the shipping and maritime sector, including charterers, ship-owners, logistic companies, P&I clubs and shipyards, and has experience in complex flagging, transactions and chartering disputes. As an example, Naiyachon Tathong is acting for Asia Green Energy in defence of an arbitration claim in London, which involves a $2.2m chartering dispute with SK Shipping. Additionally, the team has acted for logistic companies such as Acutech and also receives vessel finance mandates. Bunnasomboon Chaiparinya is another notable contact in the practice group, and key clients include Bangkok Insurance, Zurich Australian Insurance, Futrans Ship Management and Daimon Shipping.

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