Thailand

Benchmark Litigation Reviews

Dispute resolution
Hunton Andrews Kurth

International firm Hunton Andrews Kurth’s Bangkok office houses over 30 local and international attorneys, and it offers dispute resolution representation to its offshore and domestic clients. It has a well-coordinated pan-Asia and global network among its sister offices around the world, making it a go-to firm for multinationals in the Thai market.  

Counsel Apichart Phankeasorn is a seasoned litigator, particularly known in the restructuring and insolvency arena.  

The firm successfully defended German financial institution KfW Bankengruppe in a complex rehabilitation-related tort case initiated by Thai Petrochemcial Industry (TPI). The firm’s client was a member of TPI’s creditors committee.  

In a class action suit, the firm acted for Thai lending business Ngern Tid Lor (NTL) against customers who alleged NTL unlawfully charged them excessive interest rates.  

Key clients that worked with the firm this year are Ford Services Thailand, Thaicom, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley Asia, National Multimedia Group and YTL Construction.

LS Horizon

Regional firm LS Horizon has a respected dispute resolution practice helmed by four partners. It has a notable commercial and regulatory litigation track record.   

Key contacts at the firm are Prechaya Ebrahim and Lersak Kancvalskul. In addition to commercial disputes, Ebrahim focuses on labour and employment, and debt restructuring and rehabilitation, while Kancvalskul does banking litigation, insolvency and international and domestic arbitrations.  

The firm successfully represented Banpu, an energy company based in Thailand, in court proceedings related to a dispute with Thai and foreign entities over the development of a coal mine power project in Lao. The claims and counterclaims amounted to over $1.83 billion.  

The firm also advised plaintiffs Central Pattana and CPN Village in a high-profile and widely-reported case in relation to unlawful and wrongful act charges against the state-owned enterprise, Airport of Thailand (AOT). The matter relates to the entrance blockage of the Central Village Luxury Outlet near Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Aiport by the AOT.  

Other clients the firm counselled include the Stock Exchange of Thailand, Ayuthya and Lucky Global Corporation. 

Natipatana Law Office

Natipatana Law Office has been bulking up its dispute resolution group in line with an increasing caseload. Last year, it hired three new members including a senior consultant and two junior associates. Its arbitration, and government and regulatory practices are particularly noteworthy for a mid-sized firm.  

Five senior members cover the full scope of disputes work across a range of practice areas and sectors. For example, head of office Nuttawut Chinawong focuses on banking and finance, real estate, consumer protection and shipping matters, and director Nattaphol Chinawong specialises in media and entertainment, aviation and shipping, banking, and international law and human rights cases.  

Highlighting its experience in going to battle against government authorities, the firm represented former minister of education and Deputy Prime Minister Chaturon Chaisang as the plaintiff in a case against the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Chaisang was seeking the removal of a cancellation order of his passports, which were cancelled after a coup d’etat in 2014. The Central Administrative Court ruled in favour of Chaisang and the cancellation order was voided.  

The Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan engaged the firm to defend one of its nationals who was being requested by Thai officials to be extradited to India. The case involved highly sensitive international relations and international law issues.  

On the commercial litigation front, Kasikorn Thai Bank engaged the firm to defend all the members of its board of directors and senior-level executives in a litigation filed by Zenmao Technology over the alleged breach of a particular banking regulation.  

Finally, in a rare case revolving around the rights of gay marriage, the firm successfully represented a respondent in an inheritance litigation over the estate of his late American partner.  

The firm counts the Aqua Corporation, British Embassy and Sharp Thailand as key clients from the past year.  

Tilleke & Gibbins

Regional outfit Tilleke & Gibbins continues to dominate the tables in the dispute resolution sphere. From its commercial litigation strength to its prowess in contentious intellectual property, peers and clients confirm the firm deserves its top-tier status. The team is notable in the areas of arbitration, aviation, employment, energy, insurance, intellectual property, product liability, and trade and customs.  

Seven partners and one counsel lead the sizable dispute resolution practice. The main contacts are co-managing partner and dispute resolution director, Tiziana Sucharitkul and recently promoted partner and deputy director of dispute resolution, John Frangos.  

The firm successfully settled a dispute for its client, a major American film studio, in connection with a longstanding civil case filed against it by multiple plaintiffs, including two municipal governments. The charge against the client was that it did not fully restore the site where parts of a film were produced, leaving environmental damage. In another case, the firm was victorious for one of the world’s largest steel manufacturers in the enforcement of a Bt186 million complex UNCITRAL arbitral award.  

In addition to Frangos’ promotion, the group made several notable hires including insurance, shipping and international arbitration counsel Noppramart Thammaterradaycho from Siam Premier. Two attorneys, one from Lazada, bolster the firm’s litigious white-collar crime, labour and employment, insolvency, and trade and customs practices.  

INV Technologies, Honda Access Corporation, and Ajinomoto Thailand are a few of the clients the firm worked with in the past year. 

Chusert Supasitthumrong 

“I appreciate his English skills and his knowledge and experience in labour union negotiations and dealing with labour law issues and disputes.” 

“He knows the case in-depth and advises to the point.” 

Weerawong Chinnavat & Partners

Weerawong Chinnavat & Partners’ litigation and arbitration practice complements its market-leading transactional offerings. Its bench of seasoned litigators provides a comprehensive scope of dispute resolution services before all court levels and global arbitration institutions.  

Phisit Dejchaiyasak leads the firm’s dispute resolution practice group, which includes four other partners and three counsel. At the time of submission, the team also counted 22 associates and six paralegals.  

A showcase win for the firm was its defence of the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a major foreign creditor of the Thai Petrochemical Industry (TPI), against tort claims by major shareholders. The TPI insolvency case under the Central Bankruptcy Court was the highest value case in Thailand’s history, with a stake of more than Bt1.3 trillion.  

In the energy space, Weerawong successfully represented PTT, a state-owned oil and gas company, in a case brought by the Indonesian government at the Indonesian court related to the Montara oil spill in the Timor Sea.  

Key clients include Ananda Development, Mitsui Sumimoto Insurance, Nestle, Radisson Blu Hotel and Total Access Communications.