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  1. Corporate and M&A
  2. Leading individuals
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Allen & Overy (Thailand) Co, Ltd has notable corporate and M&A capabilities in its Bangkok office, while its expansive geographic footprint provides it access to key jurisdictions in the Asia Pacific region and beyond. The team has benefited from Thailand's highly active market for inbound and outbound M&A, having handled a wide range of corporate transactions in 2017 and 2018. In an illustration of its cross-border strength, a team of lawyers from five offices, including Suparerk Auychai in Bangkok, assisted Thai retail conglomerate Central Group with the establishment of two joint ventures with JD.com and its affiliate JD Finance. Auychai was also instructed by HAVI Group to advise on the sale of a 75% stake in HAVI Logistics to ThaiBev Logistics. Further, counsel Chris Burkett, who has experience working in London and Yangon, has advised public and private companies on M&A, joint ventures and general corporate matters, and counsel Noparat Kaewsringarm is also recommended for M&A and capital markets work.

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.

Linklaters’ reputation as a leading M&A firm is well established. Its clients include leading Thai and international companies, many of which have longstanding relationships with the firm spanning ten years or more. Leveraging its international footprint, the firm is well-positioned to advise on cross-border transactions, and also benefits from the input of overseas colleagues in Thailand-facing transactions. In one recent matter, a team of lawyers from four offices, including Wilailuk Okanurak in Bangkok, advised a bank on a 15-year bancassurance agreement with an international insurance group. The team is also active outside of the financial services space, with other highlights including Pichitpon Eammongkolchai advising a hotel chain on the acquisition of shares in two companies owning hotels in Thailand. Moreover, the firm has established itself as a thought leader in trade competition law and merger control. Counsel Sutthipong Koohasaneh is active in public and private M&A, joint ventures, foreign investment and trade competition issues. Counsel Sonya Kalnin is also recommended.

The highly regarded corporate and M&A department at Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners has played a role in some of the largest corporate deals in Thailand and throughout the region. Recently, this has included advising ThaiBev on the acquisition by Vietnam Beverage (an associated company of ThaiBev) of a 53.6% stake in Sabeco Brewery, and also acting for PTTEP in relation to its acquisition of a 22.2% stake in the Bongkot project from Royal Dutch Shell; the latter deal increased PTTEP's overall stake to a majority shareholding. On the sell side, Panuwat Chalongkuamdee advised Rexel on the disposal of its Southeast Asia operations to private equity firm American Industrial Acquisition Corporation. Further, the firm's knowledge of acquisition financing, environmental law, competition and IP allows it to provide comprehensive service from the initial stages of a transaction to post-acquisition issues. Renowned senior partners Weerawong Chittmittrapap and Veeranuch Thammavaranucupt jointly head the corporate department. Senior partner Chinnavat Chinsangaram, Sunyaluck Chaikajornwat and Samata Masagee are also among the team's leading practitioners.

Chandler MHM Limited had a busy 2017-2018 marked by heightened levels of M&A in industry sectors including real estate and tourism. While M&A constitutes a large part of the practice, the team also handles a range of commercial and regulatory work. Already well-positioned to assist Japanese clients with their investments into the country, the firm further strengthened that particular niche through its merger with Japanese firm Mori Hamada & Matsumoto following a long period of close integration. Seiji Akimoto, in particular, is a popular choice for Japanese companies in M&A. Cross-border work is a mainstay for the department; Ratana Poonsombudlert and Jutharat Anuktanakul advised a foreign sovereign wealth fund on a joint venture for the development of a real estate project in various Asian countries. In terms of personnel developments, Joseph Tisuthiwongse joined the firm in 2018 from Clifford Chance (Bangkok), Pranat Laohapairoj has been promoted to counsel, while Prisna Sungwanna and Supasit Boonsanong left to establish a new firm. David Beckstead has joined as of counsel from Tilleke & Gibbins.

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP was formed in 2018 following the merger of legacy firms Hunton & Williams and Andrews Kurth Kenyon. In Bangkok, the corporate department is headed by Stephen Bennett and Manida Zinmerman, each of whom have a proven track record in M&A and other corporate mandates. The firm stands out for its energy and infrastructure practice, where recent highlights include Edward Koehler and Chumbhot Plangtrakul advising Electricity Generating on the sale of a 49% stake in Masin-AES to SMC Global Power. Cross-border work is a regular feature of the practice. Indeed, a cross-office team including counsel Richard Savage in Bangkok advised a US company on the formation of a joint venture with an Asian group and also handled related share acquisitions by its Thai subsidiary. Counsel Wongsakrit Khajangson maintains a broad practice that covers M&A, debt restructuring and commercial disputes.

The corporate and M&A department at Siam Premier International Law Office Limited is the firm's largest, comprising partners and associates with substantial experience in corporate and commercial transactions, FDI, joint ventures and corporate restructurings. It has a proven track record in domestic M&A, and also serves as Thai counsel in multi-jurisdictional transactions. In a recent example, Chatchavej Chitvarakorn and Kanokon Worachanyawong acted as local counsel to a Swedish company on the acquisition of a 49% stake in a Thai med-tech company. The department's regular clients also rely on it for day-to-day corporate and commercial advice; Bancha Wudhiprecha, for example, advises a retail company on corporate matters and various commercial issues such as licensing and permitting. In other ongoing work, Wudhiprecha is acting for a media company in connection with the potential acquisition of a 20% stake in a Thai listed company. Linda Osathaworanan is another leading practitioner in the team and is regularly instructed by domestic and multinational companies.

Thanathip & Partners Legal Counsellors Limited is well-equipped to handle a range of corporate and M&A deals, and has particular experience in transactions involving listed companies. The team is also regularly instructed in cross-border deals. In one standout matter, Thanathip Pichedvanichok and Chawaluck Sivayathorn Araneta advised a family on the sale of shares in Thai Storage Battery to a subsidiary of Hitachi Chemical, which required merger filings in Germany and Austria. Domestic work has included Pichedvanichok advising Power Solution Technology on the acquisition of an equity interest in Biggas Technology. The department benefits from a number of experienced senior associates including Nitchaya Vaneesorn, Nat Boonjunwetvat and Kornjan Tangkrisanakajorn, the last of whom has developed significant capital markets expertise.

The 'very efficient and service-minded’ team at Tilleke & Gibbins 'always keeps the clients' needs in mind’. Though its client base spans a range of industry sectors, the team has particular strengths in the luxury goods and automotive sectors. In particular, the firm is a popular choice for international companies and law firms, which instruct the corporate team to handle the Thai aspects of multi-jurisdictional deals. Working alongside a law firm in Taiwan, Cynthia Pornavalai assisted CTBC Bank on the acquisition of a 35.7% shareholding in LH Financial Group. Additional contacts include practice head Piyanuj Ratprasatporn, who is 'refreshingly straightforward and practical in her advice’; Kobkit Thienpreecha, whom clients have marked as a 'go-to guy’; and Charunun Sathitsuksomboon, who is 'exceptionally responsive and level-headed’. At the pre-partner level, Nutavit Sirikan and the 'very fast and reliable’ Kasma Visitkitjakarn are also recommended. Athistha Chitranukroh was promoted to partner in January 2018. David Beckstead has moved to Chandler MHM Limited.

The corporate department at Blumenthal Richter & Sumet Ltd has an active M&A practice and is perhaps best known for advising foreign companies acquiring, establishing and investing in operations in Thailand. It also handles a range of non-transactional corporate and commercial issues for its clients, which are active in various sectors including automotive, real estate and TMT. John Formichella is a name to note in the TMT space, having established a strong track record in technology-sector transactions. Andreas Richter, who heads the practice, is instructed by foreign law firms and multinational corporations in relation to regional investment projects and other corporate deals. In one recent matter, Richter and Stefan Riedl advised a German company on certain post-acquisition issues, which included the entire business transfer of the acquired company. Corporate and commercial partner Ruengrit Pooprasert advises on cross-border M&A, FDI, employment and competition law. Senior associate Siripen Kulworakulpitak is another key member of the team.

The regional M&A team at DFDL Legal & Tax includes Thailand-based lawyers with local and international experience, who benefit from the support of colleagues based in other ASEAN countries. The firm's China and India desks, both of which are led by Bangkok-based partners, are additional draws for Chinese and Indian investors. The China desk in particular was strengthened by the hire of Oliver James Ting in March 2018, who re-joined the firm from an in-house position in Beijing. Energy, mining and infrastructure-related M&A is a mainstay, with recent highlights including the firm advising Royal Dutch Shell on the sale of its stake in the Bongkot natural gas field to PTTEP; this matter was handled by a cross-office team including Thailand managing director Audray Souche, Kraisorn Rueangkul and legal adviser Prateep Lumrungruang. Other names to note include Rashane Leerabandhu, who has over 30 years of legal experience, and Nipaporn Supha-Utchaichan, who is noted for her 'crystal clear, objective and practical advice’.

Known for its ability to handle high volumes of M&A globally, DLA Piper (Thailand) Limited often plays a role in multi-jurisdictional transactions, and is noted for its ability to manage complex, high-value deals. Healthcare, insurance, transport and construction are particular sector strengths, though the team maintains a varied workload of transactions across numerous industry sectors. In one highlight, a cross-office team advised Aetna on the acquisition of Bupa Thailand; the department also assists companies seeking to enter the Thai market. Of counsel Chadaporn Ruangtoowagoon advised a client in the healthcare sector on the formation of a new entity in Thailand, which included advice on related employment issues. Corporate and real estate expert Dusadee Jittasaiyapan heads the practice group.

Benefiting from an extensive international office network, Norton Rose Fulbright is regularly involved in cross-border corporate transactions. In 2017 and 2018, the corporate group picked up a number of new clients and maintained active relationships with many of its longstanding clients, which include major multinational corporations and banks. The team has particular strengths in the areas of power, renewable energy and infrastructure, and many of its recent corporate deals have taken place in these sectors. The team also handles M&A in the TMT and real estate sectors. Somboon Kitiyansub and senior associates Haruethai Boonklomjit and Aimsarin Jirasatapananon are names to note.

R & T Asia (Thailand) Limited is active in highly regulated sectors, with a particular emphasis on TMT. Though its broad corporate practice encompasses M&A, capital markets, projects and competition, it is perhaps best known for its regulatory expertise, which attracts a steady flow of instructions from local and international companies. Moreover, the team has a standout practice in trade and customs, where Melisa Uremovic is a name to note. Uremovic also advises clients on competition, data privacy and anti-bribery, and has assisted corporates with establishing business operations throughout the ASEAN region. Managing partner Surasak Vajasit has over 30 years of experience advising public and private companies on corporate and financing transactions; Nattarat Boonyatap specialises in FDI, with particular experience in the automotive, hospitality and financial services sectors; and Supawat Srirungruang is a key contact for regulatory compliance, administrative law and M&A. Telenor and Nam Lik 1 Power Company are among the department's clients.

Watson Farley & Williams (Thailand) Limited handles a mixture of inbound and outbound transactions, and is also notable for its litigation capabilities. Much of the team’s focus is on M&A, though it also assists clients with commercial and regulatory work. This is particularly the case in the aviation sector, where the firm has a market-leading practice. Indeed, aviation companies seek out the team’s advice in transactional, regulatory and contentious matters. The practice group has also seen recent growth in the insurance, technology and pharmaceutical sectors. Acting for one longstanding European client, Christopher Osborne is assisting with the negotiation of various commercial contracts for an infrastructure project in Singapore. In an illustration of its real estate and corporate expertise, a team led by Alan Polivnick advised a UK property group on the establishment of a Thai representative office, which included advice on a property acquisition and on the appropriate business structure within the confines of the Foreign Business Act. Kulkanya Vorawanichar is a key senior associate, who often plays a role in the team’s major transactions.

Peter Burke heads the practice at Axis Consultants (Thailand) Limited, which advises clients on corporate transactions, corporate governance and regulatory matters, and has additional knowledge of employment law, banking and restructuring. Sector strengths include consumer goods, manufacturing and technology. Senior associate Swangchit Tricharoenwiwat is an active member of the team.

Bangkok International Associates is an internationally focused firm that is well-versed in cross-border transactions, where it is instructed by international companies in a range of industries. It also maintains strong relationships with leading law firms in Asia, Europe and North America. The group's broad business law service covers corporate and M&A, banking, property and taxation. In recent years, the firm has also expanded its litigation and arbitration capabilities and now handles a range of complex commercial disputes. The team includes Thai, British, Australian and American lawyers including Stephen Frost, Kasama Jirananda, Damrong Manosak and Peter Church.

Charin & Associates had a busy year in 2017, handling a range of corporate transactions of varying sizes. Its clients in this space include private and public companies in numerous sectors including manufacturing, services and infrastructure. Of late, the team has expanded its work for family offices, for which it handles a range of corporate and commercial work. The firm also has an active real estate and REIT practice, where it acts for developers, retail companies and hotel chains. Managing partner Charin Satchayan heads the team, and Benjaporn Puttinan and Vilasinee Wisutthiphon are key associates.

Having opened its Bangkok office in 2017, Kennedys has quickly established itself in the Thai market with the recruitment of corporate and commercial law expert Supreedee Nimitkul from DLA Piper (Thailand) Limited, and senior associate Tassanu Chutikanon from Baker McKenzie, who is particularly active in the oil and gas sector. The pair recently advised the purchaser on the acquisition of a US company with a wholly owned Thai subsidiary, which included advice on the post-acquisition corporate restructuring. The team is also equipped to handle corporate and commercial disputes, business reorganisations and debt restructurings. Other clients include Atlantic Mills and China Smartpay.

Corporate and M&A has long been a focus area at LawPlus Ltd. and the firm has continued to invest heavily in the corporate department with a number of hires and promotions in 2017 and 2018. Indeed, the firm hired corporate partner Kanjana Suthiprapa and senior associate Kachon Vannakun from Chandler MHM Limited, and also promoted Naddaporn Suwanvajukkasikij and Usa Ua-areetham to partner. The team has been busy with a number of acquisitions and joint ventures, and has also advised on various shareholder agreements, corporate contracts and business formations. In one recent mandate, Suwanvajukkasikij and Ua-areetham advised a multinational company on the registration and licensing issues arising from the establishment of its operations in Thailand. Managing partner Kowit Somwaiya is another name to note.

Operating from Thailand and Singapore, Respondek & Fan Ltd cooperates with law firms in China, South Korea, Japan and Vietnam to provide an integrated regional service. With a focus on large European companies from various industry sectors, the department is instructed by clients such as Falck Global Assistance, Qiagen, Stada Arzneimittel and Daimler. Outside of M&A, the team’s workload includes advising on commercial contracts and on the establishment of business operations in Thailand and elsewhere in the region. Practice head Andreas Respondek also has expertise in labour law and has established a reputation for assisting high-level directors in employment matters. Nane Somruetai Wisalaporn and Prapasiri Sorapan are active associates in the team.

The Capital Law Office Limited runs a 'very reliable and responsive' corporate and M&A practice, which receives regular instructions from a longstanding client base and has also attracted a number of new clients. Over the past two years, the team has seen a marked increase in work loads and client demands and has expanded its team accordingly, having recently hired Patraporn Milindasuta from Kiatnakin Bank and Pakdee Paknara from Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners. In one real estate-sector deal, Paradorn Leosakul advised property developer UCity on the acquisition of all of the assets of Unicorn Enterprise, a subsidiary of BTS Group. In another buy-side mandate, a team led by Chatri Trakulmanenate advised Thai Plaspac on the acquisition of businesses of Indian company Sunrise Containers. Voraluck Worachuttharn and Karnpitcha Kongkiattiwong are experienced senior associates in the practice group.

ZICO Law handles a huge variety of corporate and M&A matters that often demand ancillary advice on labour and employment law. The department has also developed a TMT practice, which advises technology companies on fintech, cloud data services and e-commerce regulations, and also assists those clients with investments and acquisitions. The Bangkok team is particularly suited to handle multi-jurisdictional matters, where it benefits from its access to the firm's network of offices across the ASEAN region. The team recently advised a multinational company on its establishment in Thailand and on the subsequent launch of a smart digital hub. In another matter, the department assisted a used car company with obtaining a business license in Thailand and advised it on numerous commercial contracts. Key figures include Threenuch Bunruangthaworn, whose practice covers corporate, commercial, competition and labour law, and Archaree Suppakrucha, who advises on domestic and cross-border corporate and banking transactions.

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