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Baker McKenzie

25TH FLOOR, ABDULRAHIM PLACE, 990 RAMA IV ROAD, BANGKOK 10500, THAILAND
Tel:
Work +66 2 636 2000
Fax:
Fax +66 2 636 2111
Email:
Web:
www.bakermckenzie.co.th

Thailand

Banking and finance
Banking and finance - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is ‘excellent in every aspect: from client services to technical knowledge of the relevant issues’. Working alongside the office’s other top-ranked departments, the banking team often acts in the largest corporate, capital markets and development and construction transactions in Thailand. It is noted for its ‘close relationships with the US Securities and Exchange Commission’ as well as its knowledge of Thailand’s regulatory framework. The ‘accessible and commercially reasonable’ Chaveewan Likhitwattanachai has extensive experience in acquisition finance, and advised Kasikornbank and Mizuho Bank Nederland on the $680m financing provided to CPF Netherlands for a share acquisition of Stesha. Komkrit Kietduriyakul heads the structured finance sub-group and recently acted for United Overseas Bank (Thai) on the $48m financing provided to Siamgas and Petrochemicals for the acquisition of a Labuan company, a Burmese company and a Singaporean company. Kietduriyakul and the highly recommended Benja Supannakul also advise multiple global investment banks on various Thai regulatory issues. The team is instructed by all the usual suspects in the domestic lender market, such as The Siam Commercial Bank and Bangkok Bank, but also acts for international lenders including Bank of China, and borrowers such as B.Grimm Power. Sawanee Sethsathira heads the project finance group, while Thinawat Bukhamana heads the broader banking and finance department.

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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Corporate and M&A (including capital markets)
Corporate and M&A (including capital markets) - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

At Baker McKenzie, ‘the response is almost instant, the advice is professional and reaches client-concerns, and the team has a variety of skills’. In the wider corporate arena, the team is especially active in the healthcare and natural resources sectors, while in the capital markets space, the group has maintained its strong presence. Peerapan Tungsuwan, who ‘consistently exceeds client expectations’, recently acted for Asahi Glass Co on its THB17.8bn offer to acquire, through a purchase of shares from a Euronext-listed chemical company, a majority stake in a Thailand-based global plastic and chemical product manufacturer. Additionally, Sawanee Sethsathira is advising Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding on a $300m joint venture with PT Medco Power Sentral Sumatera, for the purpose of building and operating a gas-fired power plant in Indonesia. The capital markets team is regularly acting for issuers, underwriters and government entities. In one particularly standout matter, Theppachol Kosol advised Thailand’s Ministry of Finance and other various policy offices on the establishment, listing and domestic as well as international offerings of Thailand Future Fund – the country’s flagship infrastructure fund in accordance with the government’s push for investment in infrastructure assets. Other key contacts in the corporate and capital markets team include Kitipong Urapeepatanapong, Viroj Piyawattanametha and Suriyong Tungsuwan.

Leading individuals

Kitipong Urapeepatanapong - Baker McKenzie

Peerapan Tungsuwan - Baker McKenzie

Theppachol Kosol - Baker McKenzie

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Dispute resolution
Dispute resolution - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

The dispute resolution department at Baker McKenzie is among the largest in Bangkok, fielding litigators with experience in new areas of focus for Thailand, such as class actions, while also being able to draw on the expertise of any one of the firm’s other top-ranked departments to handle disputes in every industry sector. The team is particularly specialised in insurance, labour and administrative court disputes and is instructed by a host of major automakers in Thailand. Kanit Vallayapet is representing True Move in a recovery claim against the National Broadcasting and Telecom Committee (NBTC); he is also defending the domestic mobile operator in three separate, but related, claims brought by CAT Public Telecom Company, which the firm argues should have been filed against NBTC. Chairman of the firm’s Asia Pacific disputes group, Wynn Pakdeejit acts for various international aircraft manufacturing and leasing firms in cases involving breaches of contract by debtors while Chirachai Okanurak leads the construction, insurance and labour disputes sub-group. The department’s key clients include Deutsche Bank, Bangkok Expressway and Metro Public Company, Hyundai Heavy Industries, and BLCP Power.

Leading individuals

Chirachai Okanurak - Baker McKenzie

Kanit Vallayapet - Baker McKenzie

Wynn Pakdeejit - Baker McKenzie

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Intellectual property
Intellectual property - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

The IP group at Baker McKenzie is instructed by well-known clients across a range of sectors, and is particularly recommended for its expertise in trade mark portfolio management. The trade mark team is primarily instructed by American and Japanese corporates, and joint practice head Say Sujintaya acts for clients such as Harley-Davidson, handling enforcement matters and issues of online infringement. In the strictly non-contentious space, department co-head Dhiraphol Suwanprateep is advising a leading Thai home furnishings company, Index Living Mall, on its international expansion through franchising and licensing agreements; through this mandate, the team has also handled brand protection for the client. Aside from the portfolio management work, it covers patents, commercial IP and a range of enforcement matters. The department, which includes Chansin Tangburanakij and the ‘responsive and thorough’ Nont Horayangura, also represents clients in IP litigation. It has won some notable clients in 2016-2017, including Asahi Breweries, Dyson and Saban Brands.

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

Working across all of Thailand’s most heavily regulated employment sectors, Baker McKenzie handles every aspect of corporate labour and employment needs, from day-to-day advice to complex and pioneering litigation. In the non-contentious space, the team acts for many of the largest multinational corporates in Thailand, providing standalone advice and handling the employment aspects of cross-border corporate transactions and transfers. The contentious side of the practice is acting for clients such as a global energy company and a leading US auto manufacturer in two momentous matters concerning employee/employer relations in Thailand. Suriyong Tungsuwan heads the labour and employment group, while Chirachai Okanurak focuses on employment disputes in the litigation department. Tungsuwan has extensive experience in Thai labour laws and has counselled global corporates on labour relations, retirement schemes, employee benefits and regulatory compliance. Okanurak regularly handles the Thai aspects of large global downsizing efforts and is involved in one potentially market-shaping tort case concerning injunctive relief, outsourcing and multiple questions of termination. Clients of the department have included Bangkok Airways, Pfizer, Isuzu Motors Company (Thailand) and Deutsche Bank.

Leading individuals

Suriyong Tungsuwan - Baker McKenzie

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Projects and energy
Projects and energy - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s energy, chemical, mining and infrastructure and project finance department has ‘gained exceptional industry knowledge and expertise’ through longstanding relationships with lenders, project companies and government entities. Sawanee Sethsathira heads the practice group and assisted Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holding Public Company with the establishment of a joint venture with PT Medco Power Sentral Sumatera for the development and operation of a 275MW gas-fired power plant in Indonesia. She is also involved in mandates in the conventional and renewable energy sectors, and is acting in relation to further developments to sections of the Bangkok public transport system. Vit Vatanayothin acted for B.Grimm Power, as sponsor, and Xenamnoy and Xekatam Hydropower Company, as project company, on the financing of the Xenamnoy 2 and Xekatam 1 power plants in Laos; as with any cross-border Laos-facing energy project, there were considerable hurdles concerning the size of the financing and issues of state concession, but this was also the first hydro-power project financing in Laos that was governed by Thai law. Theerapab Punyasakhon is particularly ‘knowledgeable’ in the project finance space, and Viroj Piyawattanametha is another key contact in the department. Additional clients include Tokyo Gas Company, and Siamgas and Petrochemicals.

Leading individuals

Sawanee Sethsathira - Baker McKenzie

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

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie is highly regarded in the Thai real estate market, and is known for advising lenders and development companies from the initial acquisition or investment stage, through to the final development. The department acts for a majority of the country’s REITs, and in 2017 assisted with the formation of a particularly large, multi-jurisdictional REIT that will have implications for the Thai REIT market once finalised. Similarly, the team advised City Development Co on the THB4.8bn sale of the Exchange Tower building to Tprime REIT, a newly established REIT listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand (SET). Sorachon Boonsong heads the department and advised NYE Estate on its joint venture with MINOR Group for the THB1.6bn leasehold redevelopment of the Sriboonruang Building and surrounding land, totalling about 9,600sqm. In 2016-2017, the group saw increased activity in the retail sector and Duangkamon Amkaew acted for Boutique Group on the sale of a community mall to a group of Japanese investors. In the residential space, Wittaya Luengsukcharoen advised Proud Residences as the developer of a six-building condominium project in central Bangkok. Additional clients include Pruska Real Estate, Pace Development Group, Singha Estates and Hong Kong Resort Company.

Leading individuals

Sorachon Boonsong - Baker McKenzie

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Restructuring and insolvency
Restructuring and insolvency - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

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.

Leading individuals

Paralee Techajongjintana - Baker McKenzie

Wynn Pakdeejit - Baker McKenzie

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TMT
TMT - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Acting for household name online companies, TV broadcasters and telecoms providers, Baker McKenzie’s IT and communications department handles a wide variety of work, but has a particularly strong regulatory offering. In 2016-2017, the team has assisted internet providers and tech manufacturers with a range of licencing issues and has provided Thai regulatory advice to universally familiar internet-related services companies. Department head Dhiraphol Suwanprateep has extensive experience in the regulatory framework governing the Thai telecoms industry, and also handles commercial contract and licencing work. He is at the forefront of the evolving Thai regulatory regime surrounding cloud computing. Nont Horayangura is instructed by a host of banking, software and telecoms companies.

Leading individuals

Dhiraphol Suwanprateep - Baker McKenzie

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Tax
Tax - ranked: tier 1

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s specialised tax group advises on the transactional work the firm undertakes, but the team also has expertise in wealth management and tax planning for corporates and high-net-worth individuals and, moreover, prides itself on its formidable contentious tax practice. In one particularly high-value matter, Panya Sittisakonsin acted for Boon Rawd Brewery in the tax structuring aspects of its cross-border acquisition of a 25% stake in Masan Consumer Holdings and a 33% stake in Masan Brewery for $1bn. Sittisakonsin also acted alongside Nopporn Charoenkitraj to represent NMB-Minebea in a Supreme Court case, in which the team was able to convince The Revenue Department of Thailand to waive surcharges on unpaid tax for companies with more than one Board of Investment certificate. The department has also acted for clients such as 3M Thailand and Pepsi-Cola (Thai) Trading in customs and excise cases, which are particularly challenging cases in Thailand, given the country’s customs assessment procedures. Principal partner Kitipong Urapeepatanapong is a key contact.

Leading individuals

Kitipong Urapeepatanapong - Baker McKenzie

Panya Sittisakonsin - Baker McKenzie

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Thailand: Dispute resolution

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

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie’s disputes department includes a number of partners with experience of arbitration proceedings under the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) and Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) rules, but the team is particularly active in the Thai Arbitration Institute (TAI). In 2016-2017, it has been involved in various contract disputes, insurance claims and tax issues, and has also handled a litany of enforcement matters. Timothy Breier is a US-qualified litigator with the group and focuses on bankruptcy, construction and contract disputes. Pisut Attakamol works across a range of sectors and is representing a multimedia company in defence and subsequent counterclaims concerning a failure to pay licensing fees and taxes. Kanit Vallayapet specialises in administrative disputes, while Wynn Pakdeejit and Chirachai Okanurak are also key contacts in the department. Clients have included BLCP Power, AXA Insurance and Deutsche Bank.

Leading individuals

Wynn Pakdeejit - 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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