The Legal 500 - Asia Pacific (2019)
Banking & Finance - Tier 3
Corporate and M&A - Tier 3
Dispute Resolution - Tier 2
Labour and Employment - Tier 2
TMT - Tier 2
Surasak Vajasit - Banking and Finance, Corporate and M&A
Next Generation Lawyer:
Yingrak Treesaranuwattana - TMT
Banking and Finance
R & T Asia (Thailand) Limited stands out for its extensive regional presence; with nine offices, it is well-equipped to handle complex transactions with an international component. Owing to its established client base of local and international banks, the group is particularly active for bank lenders, although it also has experience with borrower-side mandates. In recent work, Saroj Jongsaritwang advised the Thai branch of an international bank on the restructuring of a facility agreement with a Thai company, and also assisted a multinational financial institution with the provision of a THB800m loan to an automotive company. Jongsaritwang is also a key contact for ship finance, an area in which the firm has developed a particular niche. Other names to note include managing partner and former judge Surasak Vajasit and Piroon Saengpakdee, whose practice covers project development and finance, debt restructuring and insolvency.
Corporate and M&A
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.
At R & T Asia (Thailand) Limited, customs and excise litigation is a traditional focus area. Indeed, the dispute resolution team, which has experience in a wide range of customs and trade matters, achieved a number of successes in 2017 and 2018. Melisa Uremovic has an active practice in customs disputes, with a specialism in cases involving highly regulated products such as alcohol, tobacco and automotive parts. Anchored by senior partner Surasak Vajasit, who has served as an arbitrator in International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) proceedings, the team is also adept at arbitration. Other areas of strength include tax, employment and administrative litigation. Sui Lin Teoh has practiced at domestic and international firms and is instructed by international companies in complex commercial disputes, often with an emphasis on employment law. Pakpoom Suntornvipat has experience in shareholder disputes, debt restructuring and insolvency, while Supawat Srirungruang’s broad practice spans telecoms, competition law, anti-bribery and regulatory compliance. Ittichai Prasongprasit’s Japanese language skills ensure a regular stream of instructions from Japanese clients involved in disputes in Thailand.
Labour and Employment
R & T Asia (Thailand) Limited has established a strong reputation for employment matters in Thailand. Among its areas of strength are internal audits and investigations, where the team draws on its complementary knowledge of fraud, anti-corruption and competition law. Employment litigation is a particular strength, with highlights including Ittichai Prasongprasit defending an energy-sector client against multiple claims of unfair dismissal by foreign and local executive employees. In addition to Thai and English, Prasongprasit speaks fluent Japanese and often represents Japanese clients in Thailand. The team is equally adept in non-contentious matters and regularly assists clients with the review of employment policies and employment agreement templates. In addition to general commercial and insurance litigation, employment matters also constitute a significant part of Sui Lin Teoh’s workload; she advises Thai conglomerates and multinationals on terminations, disciplinary hearings and retrenchment, among other areas. Supawat Srirungruang, Saroj Jongsaritwang and senior associate Yingrak Treesaranuwattana are also active members of the team.
Technology and telecoms are longstanding areas of expertise at R & T Asia (Thailand) Limited, and the firm is regularly sought out by leading players in these sectors. In particular, it is a popular choice for e-commerce and e-payment service providers, which turn to the team for advice on Thailand's regulatory framework, licensing issues and reporting requirements. Its contentious practice is also of note. Supawat Srirungruang has a busy TMT practice; he is currently advising a telecoms company on concessions and services agreements with trade partners, suppliers and state enterprises. Transactional work also features; senior associate Yingrak Treesaranuwattana took a key role in advising JD.com and JD Finance on joint ventures with Thai retailer Central Group for investment in e-commerce and consumer finance businesses in Thailand. Elsewhere, Saroj Jongsaritwang advised a household name client on e-payment issues.