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Baker McKenzie

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Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is a popular choice for local and multinational companies alike, which turn to the banking and finance group for advice in complex financing transactions. The firm's global presence means that much of the Bangkok team's work is cross-border in nature. Indeed, a multi-office team including Chaveewan Likhitwattanachai and Somika Phagapasvivat advised a lender on the provision of facilities to a Thai real estate company to finance its acquisition of a pan-European hotel portfolio. In another illustration of the firm's ability to coordinate high-value, cross-border work, Waranon Vanichprapa advised the lead arrangers and lenders on the $300m acquisition financing for BCPG, used in part for an investment in a geothermal business in Indonesia. Given the group's size and breadth, clients have access to specialists across the full range of finance matters. For example, Benja Supannakul has an active private wealth practice, in addition to her derivatives and debt capital markets experience, while Sawanee Sethsathira leads the project finance team, and Komkrit Kietduriyakul heads the specialised fintech sub-group. The financial services practice is headed by Kitipong Urapeepatanapong and Thinawat Bukhamana leads the broader banking and finance group. Kullarat Phongsathaporn made partner in 2018.

Leading individuals

Benja Supannakul - Baker McKenzie

Chaveewan Likhitwattanachai - Baker McKenzie

Komkrit Kietduriyakul - Baker McKenzie

Sawanee Sethsathira - Baker McKenzie

Thinawat Bukhamana - Baker McKenzie

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Capital markets
Capital markets - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

2018 was a year of continued growth for Baker McKenzie's capital markets group, which was marked by the promotions of Kowit Adireksombat and Kammalard Urapeepatanapong to partner. The team has comprehensive coverage of debt and equity matters, with complementary expertise in structured products and derivatives, where Komkrit Kietduriyakul and Benja Supannakul are names to note. The practice group often has a hand in the market's most significant IPOs, such as the recent offering of B.Grimm Power, in which Theppachol Kosol acted for Bualuang Securities, Kasikorn Securities, Phatra Securities, CIMB Securities and Deutsche Bank (Hong Kong Branch). Similarly, Primyadar Duangrat acted for the banks in relation to the IPO of Gulf Energy. Another key contact is Viroj Piyawattanametha, who assisted Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding and its treasury arm with a liability management exercise, which included a cash tender offer of existing notes and a parallel issuance of new money notes. Other names to note include Boonyaporn Donnapee and Kitipong Urapeepatanapong.

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Corporate and M&A
Corporate and M&A - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie 'truly understands the international perspective and the need for global consistency across markets’. Based in Bangkok, the team has the size and resources to handle large transactions in a range of sectors, with particular focus areas being healthcare, insurance and real estate. Under the leadership of Komkrit Kietduriyakul, the firm operates a successful venture capital and start-up sub-group, which closed several venture capital deals during 2017 and 2018. Kietduriyakul also oversees the fintech practice group, where he works alongside Benja Supannakul and Somika Phagapasvivat; the group assists fintech companies with matters including commercial contracts, M&A, competition law and employment. In 2017, major transactions for the corporate and M&A department included Theppachol Kosol advising Thai-German Ceramic Industry and four private companies on an amalgamation transaction to restructure its ceramic tile business; this marked Thaliand's largest-ever amalgamation exercise. Other key figures include Peerapan Tungsuwan, who stands out for her strong track record in the healthcare and pharmaceuticals sectors; Bangkok office chairman Kitipong Urapeepatanapong, who has a broad tax, corporate and financial services practice; and Suriyong Tungsuwan, who is active in M&A, labour, real estate and customs law. The 'commercial, practical and client-oriented’ Sivapong Viriyabusaya is also recommended, as is associate Elisa Lai.

Leading individuals

Peerapan Tungsuwan - Baker McKenzie

Theppachol Kosol - Baker McKenzie

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

The 'sophisticated and professional’ dispute resolution department at Baker McKenzie is notable not just for the size of the team – which includes almost 40 lawyers – but also for the breadth and depth of its litigation experience. With support from the firm's various global industry groups, the team is well-positioned to handle speciality disputes such as insurance, construction, IP and TMT litigation. Its strength in consumer protection and product liability is also a particular draw. Indeed, the group has considerable experience representing consumer goods companies and manufacturers in civil litigation and product recalls, and has quickly established itself as a go-to group in Thailand's nascent class action market. The team also stands out for its expertise in administrative law and government contracts, where Paralee Techajongjintana handles high-profile claims concerning government concessions, revocation of by-laws and environmental disputes. Chirachai Okanurak, Kanit Vallayapet and Wynn Pakdeejit jointly head the dispute resolution practice. Other key figures include Chaiporn Supvoranid, whose practice spans product liability, labour disputes and general commercial litigation. Anan Rattanatanawat and associate Teerapat Chanpiwat are also recommended.

Leading individuals

Chirachai Okanurak - Baker McKenzie

Kanit Vallayapet - Baker McKenzie

Wynn Pakdeejit - Baker McKenzie

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Dispute resolution: international arbitration
Dispute resolution: international arbitration - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has considerable experience in proceedings at the Thai Arbitration Institute (TAI), though its lawyers are also well-versed in the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) rules. Its sizeable team is equipped to handle a broad range of disputes, and it has a particularly strong track record in representing companies in the construction, transport and telecoms sectors. Moreover, it's multinational lawyers also have experience with the enforcement of arbitral awards in the Thai courts. US-qualified Timothy Breier represents international companies in disputes ranging from construction to compliance to restructuring, and Pisut Attakamol, who acts for large local and international companies, has played a lead role in many of the department's recent cases. The practice group is jointly headed by Wynn Pakdeejit, Kanit Vallayapet and Chirachai Okanurak.

Leading individuals

Wynn Pakdeejit - Baker McKenzie

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Insurance - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

The insurance department at Baker McKenzie is led by Sorachon Boonsong, who has over 27 years of legal experience. Under his leadership, the 20-lawyer team advises leading industry players on M&A, insurance portfolio transfers, and insurance and reinsurance regulatory compliance. The department has also developed an insurtech practice, which provides advice to insurance companies on new payment systems, data analytics and AI; Sivapong Viriyabusaya is a name to note in this space. Ampika Kumar is regularly sought out for insurance-sector M&A and other corporate transactions, and Sumet Orsirivikorn has expertise in reinsurance arrangements, distribution channels and foreign shareholding restrictions.

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

The IP practice at Baker McKenzie has strength across the board, although patents and transactional and commercial IP work were among the busiest areas during 2017 and 2018. The already sizeable group expanded further with the arrival of several new associates and patent specialists. In an illustration of its cross-border capabilities, the Bangkok team recently handled the global coordination of trade mark enforcement and brand protection strategy for an international company. Elsewhere, Dhiraphol Suwanprateep successfully represented a client in an appeal against the rejection of its trade mark registration by the Trademark Board. The team is also regularly instructed by multinational companies for customs interceptions and border enforcement strategies; for one household name company, Say Sujintaya and Chansin Tangburanakij handled 59 customs cases. Its media law practice is an additional draw; under the leadership of Sujintaya, the dedicated media and entertainment group advises film and TV companies on trade mark and copyright issues, as well as licensing, distribution and broadcasting. Senior associates making a mark in the team include Radeemada Mungkarndee and Siranya Rhuvattana.

Leading individuals

Dhiraphol Suwanprateep - Baker McKenzie

Say Sujintaya - Baker McKenzie

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Labour and employment
Labour and employment - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

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.

Leading individuals

Suriyong Tungsuwan - Baker McKenzie

Next Generation Partners

Nam-Ake Lekfuangfu - Baker McKenzie

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has a keen insight into major energy projects, having worked for all key parties to a transaction, from developers to contractors to financiers. It is regularly entrusted by leading players in the Thai energy and power market to handle large projects in the country, while its international office network makes it a popular choice for cross-border projects, particularly in the ASEAN region. Practice head Sawanee Sethsathira and Viroj Piyawattanametha acted for the sponsor on the financing of a gas-fired power plant, which involved a joint secured loan consisting of a project finance loan and a loan of revolving working capital. In the renewables space, recent highlights include Theerapab Punyasakhon’s advice to Gulf Chana Green on the financing for the development and construction of a wood waste biomass power project. Infrastructure projects also feature, and the team's participation in PPP projects in Thailand stands it apart in the market. Project finance expert Vit Vatanayothin has developed a notable renewables practice. Permsak Krairiksh has strong experience in project finance and acquisitions and is also a contact for aviation finance and leasing. At the senior associate level, active members of the team include Napas Na Pombejra and Chavapol Akkaravoranun.

Leading individuals

Sawanee Sethsathira - Baker McKenzie

Next Generation Partners

Napas Na Pombejra - Baker McKenzie

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Real estate and construction
Real estate and construction - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

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.

Leading individuals

Sorachon Boonsong - Baker McKenzie

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie maintains its position at the top of the market for complex restructuring and insolvency matters. Much of its work is led by the firm's dispute resolution team, which 'is superb at handling the complexities of Thai regulatory and contentious disputes for international clients’. The litigation partners also draw on the non-contentious and sector specific expertise of colleagues across the financial services, M&A, tax and industry groups. The team also stands apart thanks to its broad office network, which allows it to handle large, cross-border reorganisations and restructurings. Its ability to advise all participants – from debtors to trustees – illustrates the comprehensive nature of the practice. Recent highlights include representing the official receiver of a debtor in the recovery of funds held overseas; in the current stage of work, the client is tracing assets in the UK, which is complicated by statute of limitations issues and the complex status of the assets themselves. Recommended partners Wynn Pakdeejit and Paralee Techajongjintana are leading the advice. Piyapong Panyachiva is another contact in the department. His practice takes in debt restructuring and business rehabilitation, litigation and ADR.

Leading individuals

Paralee Techajongjintana - Baker McKenzie

Wynn Pakdeejit - Baker McKenzie

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TMT - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

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).

Leading individuals

Dhiraphol Suwanprateep - Baker McKenzie

Next Generation Partners

Pattaraphan Paiboon - Baker McKenzie

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Tax - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

The tax department at Baker McKenzie has a broad domestic, regional and international tax practice, which is highly regarded in customs and international trade work, and also has complementary expertise in wealth management. Acting for family businesses, private banks and high-net-worth individuals, the department has been particularly busy with complex tax litigation throughout 2017 and 2018. Panya Sittisakonsin is representing a client in litigation concerning duty reduction privileges with respect to Thai law and certain free trade agreements. On the transactional side, Aek Tantisattamo and Wittaya Luengsukcharoen recently advised a Thai company on the tax aspects of the acquisition and development of real estate in Japan, and Nopporn Charoenkitraj and Thananan Sangnuan assisted a financial institution with the tax aspects of a potential share acquisition. Kitipong Urapeepatanapong heads the tax group and also leads the financial services department.

Leading individuals

Kitipong Urapeepatanapong - Baker McKenzie

Panya Sittisakonsin - Baker McKenzie

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Further information on Baker McKenzie LLP

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Legal Developments by:
Baker McKenzie LLP

  • The New Turkish Code of Obligations: Important Changes for Leases of Residential & Business Premises

    For decades, the primary Turkish laws governing leases of residential and business premises have been the Law on Leasing Real Property dated May 27, 1955 (the “Lease Law”) and the Turkish Code of Obligations No. 818 dated April 22, 1926 (the “Obligations Code”). Both of these laws, however, will be repealed and replaced with the new Turkish Code of Obligations No. 6098 dated January 11, 2011 (the “New Obligations Code”), which will enter into force on July 7, 2012.
    - Esin Attorney Partnership

Legal Developments in Thailand

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