Interview with: Dej-Udom Krairit, Founder & Managing Director
Dej-Udom & Associates Attorneys-at-Law | View firm profile
Managing Director Dej-Udom Krairit explains how Dej-Udom & Associates is adapting to clients’ changing needs in Thailand and the ASEAN region.
What do you see as the main points that differentiate Dej-Udom & Associates Attorneys-at-Law from your competitors?
While Bangkok has a wealth of legal firms and professionals, many of them specialize and don’t offer a full range of legal services. Dej-Udom & Associates is proud to be a full service law firm that provides partner-led counsel in the areas of Litigation, Intellectual Property, Immigration & Employment, Corporate Services, Taxation, and Investment. We deliver in-depth legal services to clients that value expert counsel, astute representation, and prompt attention. Our clientele is varied and we don’t concentrate on any one market segment. We work with foreign investors and multinational companies doing business in Thailand, but also have a strong client base of Thai individuals, enterprises and SET listed companies. When I founded the firm over 30 years ago, I wanted to create a boutique Thai law firm with an international networking system, and since its establishment, the firm has flourished and grown into a full service law firm that is attractive to Thai and foreign clients. Additionally, my goal, then and now, has been to encourage young Thai lawyers to look outside Thailand and pursue international and cross-border practices. I also want Thai lawyers to diversify away from pure litigation law. Most legal practices in Thailand are based on litigation and over 60% of that is criminal. I want today’s lawyers to get involved in legal practices that look to the future of business in Thailand and cover all sectors of society.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
First is our immigration and relocation services practice. We are finding that many companies are outsourcing their work permit and visa needs to global relocation service providers. As we are the Thailand agents for many of these relocation service providers, our immigration practice keeps expanding. Additionally, work permits and visas will continue to pose challenges for companies doing business in Thailand and expert advice and service will always be needed.
Our intellectual property (IP) practice will also continue to grow. With the modernization of Thailand’s trademark law, trademark applications from foreign and Thai companies continue to rise.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
To better serve our client base, we have sought out partners with local expertise or who have specialized knowledge in different fields. This has allowed us to expand our practice and better accommodate requests from our clients.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
Yes, especially database technologies. For the firm, we are creating an online database that will allow clients to access all of their documents and follow the progress of a case. For our IP department, databases allow us to get faster turnaround with clients. Now, trademark searches with Thailand’s Department of Intellectual Property can all be done online. For patents, more citations are available as is advice on how to distinguish from a prior invention.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
For our patent practice, commercialization is becoming increasingly important and adds value to both the firm and what we can offer clients. A client comes to us with a basic idea of device to patent. We assess the chance of a successful patent and provide a recommendation on the possible courses of action. This includes exploring how to successfully commercialize/monetize the patented device. We also help them to technically improve the device to increase the chances of patentability. We then draft the patent application and complete the application process.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
Yes, we believe that clients want a long-term, stable relationship with their law firm. Dej-Udom & Associates celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2016 and we have many well-satisfied clients who have been with us for years. We intend to keep delivering the same high-value services that have made us a success. We plan to keep growing in the coming years and continue to build on our strong assets and significant achievements.