Firm Profile > Baker McKenzie > Bangkok, Thailand

Baker McKenzie
25TH FLOOR, ABDULRAHIM PLACE
990 RAMA IV ROAD
BANGKOK 10500
Thailand

Banking and finance Tier 1

Baker McKenzie's banking and finance team handles a wide variety of lending work, including project finance, and is also experienced in private banking, bank regulation, and fintech. Thinawat Bukhamana heads up the team, and has recently focused on acquisition finance in relation to publicly listed companies, representing both the banks and the buyers. Chaveewan  Likhitwattanachai led several of the team's standout transactions, having recently acted for KASIKORNBANK in the provision of financing for the construction and development of the Samyan Mitrtown misex use project. Sawanee Sethsathira heads the project finance group and has been involved in PPP projects including the sky train and the underground mass transit. Komkrit Kietduriyakul leads the office's structured finance group and is routinely involved in complex debt offerings and derivatives transactions. Waranon Vanichprapa displays a specialism in export credit financing, bank lending and cross border financing. Somika Phagapasvivat is another notable name, working on financing for infrastructure funds and more recently delving into the area of fintech. Kullarat Phongsathaporn is another name to note in the fintech space, where she has particular experience of e-payment matters.

Practice head(s):

Kitipong Urapeepatanapong; Thinawat Bukhamana; Sawanee Sethsathira; Komkrit Kietduriyakul

Other key lawyers:

Chaveewan Likhitwattanachai; Waranon Vanichprapa

Testimonials

‘The team has real passion to understand what clients really need, and  the ability to understand the practice and nature of the industry.’

‘Associate Papon Charoenpao and partner Somika Phagapasvivat have been very active in assisting clients in all  matters.’

‘Easy to work with, very professional and clear communicators.’

‘The team is resourceful and understands client’s needs.’

‘They are knowledgeable and give practical solutions.’

Key clients

The Siam Commercial Bank

KASIKORNBANK

Capital markets Tier 1

Baker McKenzie's capital markets practice handles complex financing transactions for headline corporate clients. Kitipong Urapeepatanapong heads the capital markets group, while Komkrit Kietduriyakul leads the derivatives and structured finance team. In addition, the firm has developed a strong venture capital and start-up company practice, which has generated a fair amount of high-quality IPO deals. Funds and infrastructure are other key workflows for the team and Theppachol Kosol is a name to note here. Other key figures in the team include structured finance specialist Benja Supannakul and the 'exceptional' Primyadar DuangratKowit Adireksombat and Viroj Piyawattanametha are also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Kitipong Urapeepatanapong; Komkrit Kietduriyakul

Testimonials

‘Baker’s capital market team is very unique, experienced and always provide practical solutions.’ 

‘Baker McKenzie has the ability to provide a total solution, including tax advice, litigation advice, capital market to clients.’

‘Primyadar Duangrat is the most stand out legal adviser in the industry with exceptional experience and legal knowledge.’

Key clients

Minor International

Yoma Strategic Holdings

Siam Commercial Bank

Thai Oil Public

Singha Estate

Prime Road Group

Proud Real Estate

Banyan Tree Holdings

Corporate and M&A (including capital markets) Tier 1

One of the strongest corporate teams in Bangkok, Baker McKenzie is regularly involved in the market's largest public and private M&A, corporate restructuring mandates, and securities transactions. Moreover, the firm's international network is a steady generator of high-quality instructions from  regional and multinational corporates, which often turn to the team for complex cross-border corporate work. The department is jointly led by by Sorachon Boonsong, who has expertise in FDI, post acquisition integration, and a raft of regulatory issues, and Jakkarin Bantathong, who advises multinational clients on cross-border acquisitions and commercial transactions. Peerapan Tungsuwan co-heads the firm's Japan advisory group and specialises in assisting major Japanese corporations with their expansion in Thailand. Also recommended is Sivapong  Viriyabusaya, who has experience of corporate transactions in the insurance, real estate and energy sectors.

Practice head(s):

Sorachon Boonsong; Jakkarin Bantathong

Other key lawyers:

Customs and international trade Tier 1

Baker McKenzie's practice has strengths in customs matters and the enforcement of WTO rules as well as wider regional trade agreements, acting for government entities, international corporations, and local companies. Pornapa  Luengwattanakit has experience of a wide variety of trade, competition, and cross-border commerce issues, while Panya Sittisakonsin has particular expertise in customs and supply chain work. He successfully represented Siam Toyota Manufacturing in civil tax litigation concerning the correct classification of imported goods. Also recommended is Suriyong Tungsuwan, who has experience of custom disputes and regulatory requirements.

Practice head(s):

Pornapa Luengwattanakit; Panya Sittisakonsin

Other key lawyers:

Dispute resolution Tier 1

Baker McKenzie's disputes group has a broad range of expertise across a number of key areas, including construction, IP, insurance and financial services, among others. The practice group is jointly headed by Chirachai Okanurak, who has experience in a variety of civil claims, including construction matters, and Kanit Vallayapet, who handles commercial and administrative disputes. Another key figure is managing partner Wynn Pakdeejit, who has developed considerable cross-border experience, having led the firm's Asia Pacific disputes team from 2014 to 2017. Senior associate Pumma Doungrutana is an experienced litigator in the Thai courts, covering insurance, international trade and general commercial disputes.

Practice head(s):

Chirachai Okanurak; Kanit Vallayapet; Wynn Pakdeejit

Key clients

Deutsche Bank AG

PTT Group

Noble Development Company

General Motors (Thailand)

Bangkok Expressway and Metro

AXA Insurance Co

Boonrawd Group

Dispute resolution: international arbitration Tier 1

Baker McKenzie's international arbitration practice has handled disputes in the construction, insurance, and banking and finance sectors in domestic and regional arbitration forums. The team is jointly headed by Chirachai Okanurak, who is well-versed in ICC and UNCITRAL proceedings and Kanit Vallayapet, who has decades of experience in arbitration. Wynn Pakdeejit is experienced in the Thai Arbitration Institute and also has experience in enforcement proceedings, having recently acted to enforce an LCIA award in a Thai court.

Practice head(s):

Chirachai Okanurak; Kanit Vallayapet; Wynn Pakdeejit

Key clients

Bangkok Expressway and Metro

PTT Group

Hyundai Heavy Industries

True Move

True Corporation

General Motors Thailand

Deutsche Bank AG

Insurance Tier 1

Baker McKenzie is active in the life and non-life insurance industries, advising insurers, reinsurers and financial institutions on regulatory and compliance issues, asset management and insurance portfolios. The team is jointly headed by Sivapong Viriyabusaya, the principal practitioner working on insurtech, regulatory issues and insurance M&A, and Sorachon Boonsong, an 'experienced' practitioner noted for 'understanding how the regulators think'. Ampika Kumar has worked on M&A, corporate restructuring and commercial contracts in the insurance sector, and the 'hard working' Sumet  Orsirivikorn is noted for handling reinsurance arrangements with insurance agents and brokers. Senior associate Amnart Pitakgorn works on regulatory matters, insurtech and reinsurance arrangements.

Practice head(s):

Sorachon Boonsong; Sivapong Viriyabusaya

Other key lawyers:

Ampika Kumar; Sumet Orsirivikorn; Amnart Pitakgorn

Testimonials

‘Friendly and knowledgeable team and good partner engagement. A great team.’ 

‘Sorachon Boonsong is experienced and understands how the regulators think.’

‘Extensive knowledge in Thai insurance industry, able to understand our complexity. Have a network with both insurers and the Office Insurance Commission.’

Intellectual property Tier 1

Baker McKenzie is involved in a broad range of trade mark, copyright, and patent-related work, including portfolio management, registrations, commercial transactions and litigation. The team is jointly headed by Say Sujintaya and Dhiraphol Suwanprateep and includes Tanakrit Tangburanakij , who has established a well-known infringement and anti-counterfeiting practice, working with customs officials and other law enforcement agencies, and Nont Horayangura, who has handled a variety of IP litigation in the tech and telecoms space. Rising star senior associate Praewpan  Hinchiranan has been recognised for her brand enforcement practice.

Practice head(s):

Say Sujintaya; Dhiraphol Suwanprateep

Other key lawyers:

Tanakrit Tangburanakij; Nont Horayangura

Testimonials

‘They have strong business acumen and give solid and practical solutions.’

‘They make the effort to understand our business and how we want solutions to be provided.’

Key clients

Apple Inc.

AstraZeneca

The Body Shop International Limited

Bose Corporation

Bridgestone Corporation

British American Tobacco

Brooks Brothers Group

Caterpillar

Estee Lauder Cosmetics

Ford Global Technologies

Labour and employment Tier 1

Baker McKenzie advises on contentious and non-contentious labour and employment matters, including compliance, complex business restructuring matters, and employment litigation.'Outstanding' practice head Suriyong Tungsuwan has three decades of experience in labour and employment matters such as executive compensation, employee benefits, labour relations and outsourcing. Pisut Attakamol focuses on employment disputes in the Thai labour courts, and Chaiporn Supvoranid has experience in labour union disputes, corporate compliance work, and fraud investigations. Associate Nam-Ake Lekfuangfu is noted for his work in immigration and gender pay gap issues.

Practice head(s):

Suriyong Tungsuwan

Key clients

Bangkok Airways

Projects and energy Tier 1

Baker McKenzie is active throughout Southeast Asia, and its Thai projects and energy team has benefitted from the development of the Eastern Economic Corridor, which has generated high-quality work in a range of infrastructure mandates in the energy, power, mining and petrochemicals sectors. In the project development space, practice head Sawanee Sethsathira has particular experience in PPP projects, having been involved in the first sky train project in Thailand. Viroj Piyawattanametha has a record of acting for financial institutions and banks in project finance transactions, and Theerapab Punyasakhon is noted for project finance and project development work. Also recommended is senior associate Napas Na Pombejra, who has experience in energy project finance.

Practice head(s):

Sawanee Sethsathira

Testimonials

‘The firm has a good reputation in Asia. Especially in China, Singapore, Hong Kong and Thailand with reliable and responsive lawyers.’

Key clients

The Siam Commercial Bank

Kasikornbank

Real estate and construction Tier 1

Baker McKenzie is a key firm in Thailand for real estate and construction matters, with expertise in REITs, project development, infrastructure funds and environmental regulations. Practice head Sorachon Boonsong has particular expertise in REITs-related work and is a key contact at the firm for cross-border investment and acquisition deals. Duangkamon Amkaew is also known for her real estate expertise, which includes experience of cross-border property acquisitions and regulatory matters. Also recommended are  Wittaya Luengsukcharoen, who specialises in real estate finance, and Sumet Orsirivikorn, handles cross-border M&A in the hotel, property management, and wider real estate sectors.

Restructuring and insolvency Tier 1

Baker McKenzie acts for creditors and debtors in complex and often cross-border restructuring and reorganisation mandates and high-value disputes. The team is jointly led by Chirachai Okanurak and Kanit Vallayapet, both of whom have experience in corporate and debt restructuring work. Another key figure is managing partner Wynn Pakdeejit, who is instructed by major Thai banks in various insolvency and recovery proceedings. Paralee Techajongjintana, who has expertise in financial restructuring and bankruptcy litigation, is also recommended.

Practice head(s):

Wynn Pakdeejit; Chirachai Okanurak; Kanit Vallayapet

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Baker McKenzie has strong experience which is required for the nature of this practice.’

‘Wynn Pakdeejit and Paralee both provided good solutions for the legal issues.’

‘Responsive to clients and have a deep knowledge.’

Key clients

Credit Suisse AG

Bangkok Commercial Asset Management

Bank of China (Thai)

Pacific Alliance Operating Fund LP

All Season Property

Tax Tier 1

Baker McKenzie advises on foreign tax credit rules, transfer pricing provisions, structuring estates and tax disputes. Kitipong Urapeepatanapong acts for multinational corporates and large domestic companies in tax planning mandates, and Pornapa Luengwattanakit has expertise in tax and customs in a variety of sectors in the Thai market. Panya Sittisakonsin handles investment structuring and corporate tax planning, and also has experience in tax disputes. Also recommended is Aek Tantisattamo, who is a contact for outbound investment matters and transfer pricing.

Practice head(s):

Kitipong Urapeepatanapong; Pornapa Luengwattanakit; Panya Sittisakonsin

Other key lawyers:

TMT Tier 1

Baker McKenzie provides comprehensive service in licensing deals, regulatory compliance matters and disputes in the TMT sector. Practice head Dhiraphol Suwanprateep advises on commercial contracts, data privacy and regulatory frameworks for key technology and telecoms clients, while Pattaraphan Paiboon advises on a range of compliance matters, including cloud computing and IT security. On the more junior end, senior associate Kritiyanee Buranatrevedhya has experience in data privacy, analytics, and blockchain transactions, and associate Siranya Rhuvattana is also recommended.

Transport Tier 3

Baker McKenzie is especially active in government transport projects, where it advises lenders, financial institutions, sponsors and government agencies. The team is jointly headed by Suriyong Tungsuwan and Sawanee Sethsathira. Also recommended is Viroj Piyawattanametha, who acted alongside Theerapab Punyasakhon for Gulf Energy Development as the bidder in relation to the concession for the Laem Chabong Port Phase 3 project. The 'knowledgeable' Permsak  Krairiksh is the firm's go-to contact for all aviation transactions, including aircraft financing and operating leases.

Practice head(s):

Suriyong Tungsuwan; Sawanee Sethsathira

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘They have good knowledge on transport practice, in particular, the aviation law. They can provide very good legal and commercial advice. Their negotiation is very professional.’

‘Permsak Krairiksh is very good lawyer, knowledgeable and his explanations are very clear. He provides a good service to us.’

Key clients

Bangkok Bank

The Siam Commercial Bank

Krung Thai Bank

ADB

General Motors (Thailand)

Bangkok Expressway and Metro

Please visit https://www.bakermckenzie.com/en/ to know more about our Firm.


When It Comes to People

We are committed to diversity and inclusion in our people, support and development of their talent, and dignity and safety in our workplaces. Baker McKenzie also is a signatory to the UN Global Compact, a voluntary global initiative in which we have committed to align our policies and operations with ten principles in the areas of human rights, fair labor, the environment and anti-corruption.

Diversity and Inclusion

Baker McKenzie was founded on the idea of diversity. From our earliest days, we have strived to nurture a respectful, inclusive environment that encourages diverse individuals to thrive personally and professionally as full contributors to the success of the Firm and the clients we serve. We do not permit or tolerate discrimination in our workplaces. This means:

  • All personnel decisions must be: a) respectful of differences among employees and potential employees, b) based on factors relevant to their ability to perform the work they are, or would be expected to do, and c) in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations.
  • This includes decisions related to the recruiting, hiring, assignment, compensation, training and development, promotion and dismissal of personnel, as well as other terms and conditions of employment.
  • Applicable local laws, which we follow, vary, but differences that we strive to overlook in personnel decisions include race, color, creed, religion, citizenship, national origin, ethnicity and/or cultural background, age, sex, gender, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, marital status, pregnancy and disability.

While our approach to diversity and inclusion is multi-faceted, three areas where we have specific policies are:

Ethnic & Cultural Diversity

Ethnicity means different things in different countries, so a single approach to ethnic and cultural diversity is ill-advised. This is why we build practices from the ground up, taking local cultural sensitivities into consideration wherever we practice law. Despite the challenges, we have a strong desire to address a lack of equity around the world and encourage each of our offices to define race/ethnic diversity in a way that suits their local culture, politics, clients and business environment.

Gender Diversity

We believe women must be leaders at all levels of our Firm. We seek to foster women leaders in our senior global roles but we are also focusing on ensuring that women are leaders of our most significant client relationships. Since 2012, we have adopted a gender policy designed to encourage the recruitment and retention of more women, and provide greater opportunities and support for women to assume leadership roles. At the partner level, we have set gender diversity aspirational targets – we are working to ensure that women comprise at least 40% of local/national partners and at least 30% of principals and those in leadership positions.

LGBT Diversity

Everyone should feel comfortable in the workplace, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity and expression. We are committed to creating and maintaining an open and supportive working environment. This includes equal opportunity for advancement and development within the firm regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, and the equal provision of benefits to same and opposite sex partners or spouses.

We have made great strides in encouraging equality in our Firm and in engaging in these crucial conversations on a global basis. Our seven basic principles include:

Principle 1. Establish high-level corporate leadership for gender equality;
Principle 2. Treat all women and men fairly at work – respect and support human rights and non-discrimination;
Principle 3. Ensure the health, safety and well-being of all women and men workers;
Principle 4. Promote education, training and professional development for women;
Principle 5. Implement enterprise development, supply chain and marketing practices that empower women;
Principle 6. Promote equality through community initiatives and advocacy; and
Principle 7. Measure and publicly report on progress to achieve gender equality.

Peerapan Tungsuwan, Partner

Peerapan Tungsuwan, Corporate M&A Partner and Head of Healthcare & Life Sciences at Baker McKenzie based in Bangkok, shared her insights and experience in building her industry-focused practice and helping major corporations in Healthcare and Life Sciences in particular navigating challenges in this highly regulated industry.

What has been your greatest achievement, in a professional and personal capability?

I played a significant role in establishing Baker McKenzie’s healthcare-focused industry group and being a founding member of the Global Healthcare and Life Sciences industry group. It was relatively new for legal services business at the time to have industry experts providing legal services for a particular industry. I also was named a practice group leader of the year twice in a row. Later on Baker McKenzie’s Asia Pacific Healthcare and Life Sciences industry group was established and I was head of the group from 2007 – 2013. During that time I invested in building up and strengthening this industry group regionally and locally by leading a number of initiatives to bring together a core team of healthcare-focused lawyers around the region that collaborate to deliver industry sound advice and services to clients seamlessly as a one stop service. One such initiative is the AEC Healthcare Harmonization task force which involves  has led to a strong collaboration of the firm’s healthcare practitioners and growing recognition of the capabilities of the healthcare practice of Baker McKenzie in Asia Pacific as a go-to law firm in AEC harmonization. At the local level, I pioneered the establishment of an in-house  Regulatory Affairs Services to assist clients with FDA-related advice  to position clients at a comparative strategic advantage and enhance their opportunities to thrive in Thailand’s growing pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors. I would say this is a unique offering that differentiate us from other firms in Thailand.

What do you do differently from your peers in the industry?

Our goal is to be a trusted adviser to our clients. We invest time and efforts in building long term relationships with our clients. We don’t just give legal advice, we always balance our advice with commercial practicality and find solutions to them. We believe this is what our clients ultimately look for in a legal adviser – to be a problem solver.  We add value to our services, always keeping our clients  up to date on changes affecting their businesses and discuss with them ideas and solutions to help our clients proactively manage risks and exploit growth opportunities. We make sure we deliver advice that is strategic and commercial. Thanks also to our network of 77 offices around the world, we have the unique capability to provide our clients with counsel, when and where needed, as well as coordinating cross-border assistance in a timely and efficient manner, saving our clients much time and costs.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I believe you have to be true to yourself. I don’t let other people’s expectations define who I am. However, when you are starting out and young, it can be a tough thing to do. I just would remind my younger self to keep believing in yourself  and continue to be yourself. Perhaps also to strike a better work-life balance.

When I was a young associate,  I had to recognize and work on my weaknesses. The experience made me a fighter. I now teach our young associates to work on their weaknesses but not to lose their self-confidence. Work on your weaknesses and do not run away from problems. Appreciate your strengths because those are your wings.

I never give up on people.

Can you give me a practical example of how you helped a client add value to the business?

Not only for one specific client, but for all clients in the Healthcare industry, we always strive to give more than legal advice. Apart from ensuring our advice is always commercially sound, we add values by regularly organizing seminars and webinars discussing legal developments and industry trends. This represents a beneficial and value-added platform for exchanging insights among the industry experts. We have assisted many well established Thai companies with strategic expansion, drawing upon our network and keeping the clients up to date on changes affecting them in jurisdictions they operate to help the clients proactively manage risks and exploit growth opportunities. As one example of being a trusted advisor, during the major flooding crisis in Thailand, we successfully assisted one of our long terms clients with foreign shareholding restriction issue during the time of great difficulties for the client’s business, earning lasting trust from the client whom we still continue to assist many years after.

Within your sector, what do you think will be the biggest challenge for clients over the next 12 months?

As for macro trends, we will see pricing pressure continue to be one of the challenges of the healthcare industry, particularly the growth in generic and biosimilar markets. Digitalization of healthcare has seen new players in telemedicine and digital delivery of healthcare and strategic alliances with those outside the traditional healthcare sector. Tech companies entering healthcare space are leading traditional pharma and medical devices companies to collaborate and invest in technology to bring more innovations. With the explosion of innovations, regulations sometimes cannot keep up and the players need innovative advice.

 

Healthcare sector continues to be scrutinized by enforcement agencies so compliance will continue to be an important.