Event Report

Having to bring in extra seats to our event rooms is always a sure sign that the day is going well, and that is exactly the fortunate situation The Legal 500, in this case represented by head of Sales for Asia Ben Lovell and in-house legal research head Joe Boswell, found itself in at our Thailand GC Summit. With over 120 GCs in attendance and a schedule bursting with expert speakers ready to dispense their considerable wisdom, the atmosphere at the top of the conference was electric.

Starting proceedings was keynote speaker Sahachai Wibuloutai of PwC Mekong with a comprehensive keynote speech on the exciting world of NewLaw, followed by our first fireside chat. In this, hospitality expert Ben Hirasawa of BH2I was joined by Jesse Lieberman of Minor International to give a roundup of the Thai real estate and hospitality industry, opining on where things may be headed as the world – hopefully – gets over Covid.

Steven Burkill of Watson Farley & Williams, Jirasak Latada of Prime Road Power and Tigran Ter-Martirosyan of Accuracy then provided a thorough rundown of the current state of play in international disputes from a Thai perspective. Of particular note, this session outlined the possibilities that third-party funding provides, which the audience visibly found fascinating.

Thanathip & Partners’s panel on digital assets was tackled by Nat Boonjunwetvat, Nitchaya Vaneesorn (both from the hosting firm), Thitiwat Wisarath (Gulf Binance) and Santipap Charasphaew (Bitazza Company). A very hot topic now, especially given recent high-profile news articles featuring cryptocurrency handlers, the discussion went beyond a surface-level explanation of digital assets towards some of the less obvious applications of the new technology.

DFDL’s session on outbound Thai Investments featured three of their most-respected partners from Southeast Asia to discuss investments across the region. Kevin Hawkins provided the Vietnam perspective, while Nishant Choudhary fed in from his viewpoint as managing director for Myanmar. Regional tax head Jack Sheehan led the session, which was hugely impressive for the level of detail it packed into 50 minutes.

Moderated by The Legal 500’s Joe Boswell, the next session featured expert analysis from host firm Robert Walters’ Suchanasa Nantanapramoth and the thoroughly engaging and charismatic Tom Thomas of Agoda. Drawing on a comprehensive report on employment trends in Southeast Asia created by Robert Walters, the conversation moved from there on to general tips for talent management, and how to get the most out of an in-house legal team.

Finally, we moved on to our closing session alongside Thuraisingham International. Featuring Eugene Thuraisingham himself, and moderated by the firm’s Suang Wijaya, the session expertly utilised the vast experience and disarming charisma of our two expert in-house legal speakers, Dr Vincent Siaw of Thoresen Group and Supapohn Wonganan of Bookaway, to create a vibrant and highly educational session on a topic that is at the forefront of the minds of all in-house lawyers: crisis management.

As always, a huge thank you to our event partners, Watson Farley & Williams, Thanathip & Partners, Thuraisingam (International), DFDL, BH2I and Robert Walters, for making this all possible and for all their help in putting such a fantastic event together. Thanks also to everyone in attendance, especially our GC speakers, Tom Thomas, Supapohn Wonganan, Dr Vincent Siaw, Thitiwat Wisarath, Santipap Charasphaew, Jirasak Latada, Tigran Ter-Martirosyan, Jesse Lieberman and Sahachai Wibuloutai. We look forward to our next event in beautiful Bangkok, and to seeing our friends from the local in-house legal scene again.

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