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DLA Piper (Thailand) Limited

Work +66 2 686 8500
Fax +66 2 670 0131

Dr Chanvitaya Suvarnapunya

Work +66 2 686 8552
DLA Piper LLP (US)

Work Department



Dr Chanvitaya is a Partner is the Corporate team, based in DLA Piper's Bangkok office. He advises on a broad range of commercial issues, including Thai taxation, commercial contracts, mergers and acquisitions, securities, labour law, corporate law, arbitration and litigation. He also advises on tax planning and customs issues. He has acted for major international companies, state enterprises and major corporations in Thailand.


English, French, Thai.


Thai Bar Association; The Law Society of Thailand; Law Society of England & Wales; Chartered Institute of Arbitrators; Franco-Thai Chamber of Commerce; Royal Bangkok Sports Club.


University of Caen, France; University of Wisconsin at Madison, USA; Thamasart University, Thailand.


Corporate and M&A (including capital markets)

Within: Corporate and M&A (including capital markets)

Acting primarily for large, international clients, DLA Piper (Thailand) Limited’s corporate group is regularly involved in global-scale acquisitions, and is well known in the Thai market for its work in the telecoms, pharmaceuticals and insurance sectors. Department head Chanvitaya Suvarnapunya has extensive experience in domestic and international M&A and acted for Menzies Aviation in relation to the proposed acquisition of ASIG for $202m – this matter involved assets in four continents and the corporate team also handled the equity rights offering linked to the acquisition. The group regularly works alongside the firm’s top-ranked real estate practice; it is advising Henxing Property (Thailand) on a 100% share acquisition of NT Group Property, which required both corporate and property due diligence. Moreover, the team has acted for property funds and various tech and healthcare corporates in 2016-2017. Counsel Chadaporn Ruangtoowagoon and Timothy Tan, who splits his time between the firm’s Bangkok and Singapore offices, are recommended. Supreedee Nimitkul left the firm to join Kennedys newly opened office in 2017.

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Dispute resolution

Within: Dispute resolution

DLA Piper (Thailand) Limited focuses on complex cross-border litigation and regulatory matters spanning a range of industries, but is particularly well-known for handling disputes in the insurance, IP and tech, aviation and real estate and construction sectors. As one of the firm’s major strengths, the Bangkok team has specialists in all areas of litigation, arbitration and other forms of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Managing partner Peter Shelford assisted a member of one of the world’s largest aircraft leasing companies with obtaining a repossession order of two jet engines, which represented the first time the Thai courts granted such an order on engines that were already installed on an aircraft. Shelford is also representing Diebold Nixdorf in seven separate claims against the Thai Customs Department concerning import duties and other taxes on certain ATM machines; the team has won two of these claims, which are now pending in the Supreme Court, while five claims are ongoing at the time of publication. Of counsel Don Rojanapenkul and Chanvitaya Suvarnapunya are additional contacts in the litigation and regulatory department, while notable clients include FWD Insurance, Yum! Restaurants International and HKR International. Suraphon Rittipongchusit joined Kennedys in 2017.

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Restructuring and insolvency

Within: Restructuring and insolvency

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.

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Within: TMT

DLA Piper (Thailand) Limited is particularly experienced in obtaining licensing and other operational rights for clients in the tech and telecoms sectors. The integrated IP and TMT group works across various industry sectors and has been especially active for air carriers and aircraft-related telecoms providers in 2016-2017. Chanvitaya Suvarnapunya heads the practice group and has been instructed by clients such as Expedia, Telstra Corporation and LINE Plus Corporation. Working alongside its dispute resolution department, the firm has also seen recent growth in the number of contentious matters it undertakes. Indeed, the litigation team was successful in defending a claim bought against its software developer client regarding a banking systems project. Pattama Jarupunphol is an active senior associate in the team and Supreedee Nimitkul left the firm to join Kennedys.

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Within: Tax

DLA Piper (Thailand) Limited provides ‘clear and pragmatic advice’ in non-contentious tax structuring and optimisation, as well as tax disputes, including those involving customs and excise duties. The Bangkok team regularly works alongside its regional colleagues, and is led by Chanvitaya Suvarnapunya, who has particular experience in the tax aspects of large cross-border M&A. In 2016-2017, Suvarnapunya has provided tax advice to regional investment managers, manufacturers and professional services firms. On the contentious side, Peter Shelford successfully represented Diebold Nixdorf in two claims brought by the Thai Customs Department regarding the import duties and taxes imposed on certain ATM machines; in addition to these two claims, there are five more ongoing claims. Notable clients include St Jude Medical, Cognizant Technology Solutions and ACI Worldwide (Thailand).

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Within: Transport

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.

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Legal Developments by:
DLA Piper LLP (US)

  • Sentencing guidelines for corporate manslaughter

    In February 2010 the Sentencing Guidelines Council (the SGC) issued definitive guidelines to courts on imposing appropriate sentences for corporate manslaughter and health and safety offences causing death. The SGC states that fines imposed on companies found guilty of corporate manslaughter should not fall below £500,000, while fines in respect of health and safety offences that are a significant cause of death should be at least £100,000. Crucially, the SGC declined to provide for a fixed link between the imposed fine and the turnover or profitability of the offending company.

    - DLA Piper UK LLP

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