Price Sanond - Lawyers in Bangkok, Thailand

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Longstanding relationships throughout Asia.

Long-standing counsel to major multinational corporations in Thailand.

Experience matters - one of Thailand’s oldest law firms.

An established practice representing major Japanese companies in Thailand.

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A fast-growing economy and a fast-changing business environment.

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Real Estate in Thailand

As a general rule (there are exceptions) foreigners cannot directly own land in Thailand. Indeed, criminal penalties (fines and imprisonment) potentially apply if a foreigner illegally owns property in Thailand . . . Faced with restrictions on land ownership, nominee arrangements are often proposed using Thai private limited companies or other structures. Such arrangements pose substantial risks . . .

Category: Property

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Introduction to Relevant Laws

The laws and regulations in this area are complicated and sometimes overlap. Further, consistent with the growth of the Thai economy and the emergence of a larger middle class, Thai law, custom and practice is changing rapidly in this area, particularly in the area of zoning and new requirements for environmental impact assessment reports.

Category: Environmental and Construction

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Mortgages and Other Forms of Security Under Thai Law

Security is collateral that is provided to guarantee fulfillment of an obligation. The obligation is often a debt, but this is not always the case. The term "mortgage" is often used interchangeably with the term "security". From the perspective of a creditor, the primary value of security is that a secured creditor should, in theory, be able to force a sale of the collateral and use the proceeds to pay the secured debts ahead of other creditors (although in many jurisdictions bankruptcy and reorganization proceedings often place limitations upon such rights). Security can take many forms; in some jurisdictions security interests are not only available against real estate, but also against inventory, accounts receivable, equipment and even intangible property such as intellectual property rights. The types of property that can be mortgaged in Thailand in comparison to other jurisdictions, however, are quite limited. In this article, we discuss some forms of security available in Thailan...

Category: Banking & Finance

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Thailand’s Product Liability Law and Consumer Case Procedures Act

The Product Liability Act provides that the plaintiff only carries the burden of proving that the damage was caused by a product in “ordinary use or storage”, and explicitly states that the plaintiff does not have to prove that the damage is due to an act of the business operator. There is no requirement that the plaintiff prove that the product forming the subject of the claim is an “unsafe product”.

Category: Consumer Protection and Regulatory Compliance

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Thai Business Structures

A private limited liability company is commonly used when a more permanent presence is needed in Thailand. Up until 1 July 2008, a private limited liability company was required to have at least seven shareholders. Starting 1 July 2008, a private limited company only requires three shareholders. A private limited liability company is managed by a board of directors responsible to the company's shareholders…

Category: Corporate/M&A

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Income Tax Reduced for Juristic Entities

On 21 December 2011, the Thai Government announced in Royal Decree (No. 530) B.E. 2554 the following reductions to juristic income taxes:

Category: Taxation

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Workplace Relations in Thailand

The climate for workplace relations in Thailand is generally very stable and hence favorable for foreign investors. Large-scale, acrimonious labour disputes are relatively uncommon in Thailand. Labour relations are, however, much more highly regulated than they are in countries such as the US. For example, Thailand does not have “at will” employment.  Thai labor law tends to be more prescriptive than U.S. labor law.

Category: Employment & Labour

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Securities 101

Thailand’s Securities and Exchange Act B.E. 2535 is the main source of securities legislation, and the Securities and Exchange Commission of Thailand (SEC) performs the functions of the capital market supervisory agency with the status of an independent state agency. Most large public companies in Thailand list their shares on the Securities Exchange of Thailand (SET), the country’s main securities exchange. Currently over 500 listed companies with a total market capitalization in excess of US$250 billion are traded on the SET.

Category: Securities

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Work Permit and Visa Rules in Thailand

Any foreigner working in Thailand must have a work permit before commencing work, and the definition of work is extremely broad. Work is defined as "engaging in work by exerting energy or using knowledge whether or not in consideration of wages or other benefits." Many foreigners find this broad definition of work counterintuitive because it can encompass such short-term activities as participating in a single business meeting.

Category: Visas & Work Permits

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Litigation & Arbitration in Thailand

Thai Courts will not enforce foreign judgments or forum selection (choice of court) clauses.  This can lead to some interesting and counterintuitive results when trying to negotiate the resolution of a dispute over a contract that has a forum selection clause that purports to provide a court outside of Thailand with jurisdiction over that dispute.

Category: Dispute Resolution

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What is the NBTC?

The Senate’s appointment of 11 members to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) in September of 2011 and the investigation into the appointment process by the Department of Special Investigations have attracted considerable media attention recently, but what is the NBTC and what are its powers and duties?

Category: Telecommunications

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Hotels & Hospitality Sector in Thailand

…various enterprises locally and from all over the world have already set up and operating in Thailand and additionally are in various stages of planning future new hotels, resorts, serviced apartments, timeshare structures, fractional ownership arrangements, condotels, destination or vacation clubs…In structuring any types of hospitality products, a wide variety of legal issues and processes arise and need to be addressed and implemented.

Category: Hotels & Hospitality

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Overview of Thai Bankruptcy Reorganization Law

Bankruptcy laws often require courts and parties to make hard choices. In a bankruptcy there is simply not enough money to satisfy everyone, and difficult decisions must be made about who gets what. In a bankruptcy, property is seized, reputations are ruined, contracts are dismembered and jobs are lost. Thai law only provided for the liquidation of bankrupt parties up until the late 1990s and this procedure was used very infrequently. Following the 1997 financial crisis in Southeast Asia,...

Category: Insolvency & Restructuring

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The Dodd-Frank Act: Whistle-blower Rewards in FCPA Cases

…but it [the Frank-Dodd Act] also permits whistle-blowers in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act ("FCPA") and securities fraud cases to claim a 10% to 30% reward in enforcement actions where the penalties recovered exceed U.S.$1 million.  Because penalties in several recent FCPA cases have been in the hundreds of millions of dollars, these provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act could have an important effect on FCPA enforcement.

Category: Anti-Corruption Laws

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Intellectual Property Rights

Thailand recognises intellectual property rights and, in general, intellectual property protection legislation is consistent with international practice . . . Thailand is a signatory to several international agreements and conventions pertaining to intellectual property rights. Despite this legislative framework for the protection of intellectually property rights, many intellectual property right holders complain about the effectiveness of enforcement practices in Thailand.

Category: Intellectual Property

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Investment Restrictions Generally

The most important law governing foreign investment is the Foreign Business Act (FBA). The FBA restricts "aliens" [foreigners, defined in terms of share capital] from engaging in an exceptionally broad range of business activities…The FBA imposes substantial penalties on both aliens and Thais who acts as "nominees" of an alien for purposes of violating the FBA, but provides no guidance on what constitutes an illegal nominee for purposes of the FBA.

Category: Investment Related Laws

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Final Text of TPP Expected in December

The final text of the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) deal is expected in early December.  For more information on the TPP, click here.

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New U.S Democratic Vice Chairman Says TPP Vote Unlikely Before Lame Duck

U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), a vice chairman of New Democrat Coalition, signaled Friday (Nov. 20) that he believes Congress is unlikely to vote on a bill to implement the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) until the lame-duck session in late 2016 because the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) is not expecting to release its economic analysis of the trade pact until mid-May and lawmakers face congressional primaries from March through September.

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Business Security Act Becomes Effective In July 2016

On 7 August 2015 the National Legislative Assembly (NLA) approved new legislation called the Business Security Act (BSA), which will come into force on 1 July 2016. The BSA is intended to provide Thailand with a form of personal property security interest and improve access to credit for the country's 2.8 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The BSA is somewhat similar to what is known as an “Article 9” security interest in the U.S., where it is estimated that about 60% of SMEs ...

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2015 Whistleblower Report Issued

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently issued its 2015 report to the U.S. Congress on the Dodd Frank Whistleblower Program. As reported on our site here, the Dodd Frank Act permits whistleblowers in Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and securities fraud cases to claim a 10% to 30% reward in enforcement actions where the penalties recovered exceed U.S. $1 million. Among the reports highlights: The number of tips on FCPA violations continues to increase. The 2015 report...

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PriceSanond at AMCHAM/BCCT Forum on Anti-Corruption Compliance

PriceSanond partner, Douglas Mancill spoke on the risks associated with the use of third party agents and other FCPA compliance issues at an event held by the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AMCHAM) held in collaboration with the British chamber of Commerce in Thailand on 19 October 2015.  To access his power point presentation, please click here.

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Siriwans Claim Innocence

The Bangkok Post reported on 9 November 2015 that: “[f]ormer Tourism Authority of Thailand governor Juthamas Siriwan and her daughter on Monday plead innocent at the Criminal Court to bribery charges in the Bangkok International Film Festival scandal.” Over five years ago, in September of 2009, two Americans, Gerald Green and Patricia Green, were found guilty of paying bribes to a senior Thai Tourism official to obtain lucrative contracts.  The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) reported that G...

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Somkid Upbeat on 2015 GDP

Deputy Prime Minister and chief economic strategist for Thailand’s National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), Somkid Jatusripitak, has predicted that the Thai economy could outperform official government estimates and exceed 3% for 2015, reports the Bangkok Post. Mr. Somkid referred to his economic team's stimulus measures over the last three months, the effects of which should be evident before the end of this year. The measures include lending by village funds, investment in local developme...

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Permission Now Required For Supreme Court Appeals

Unlike the Supreme Court in the U.S., Thailand’s Supreme Court has provided a right of appeal for most cases heard by the Thailand’s lower courts. In particular, any factual issue heard by the Court of Appeals would be entitled to Supreme Court review provided that the matter in controversy exceeded Baht 200,000 (for those cases involving money or property), and questions of law could be appealed directly to the Supreme Court with the permission of the court of first instance. But this is abou...

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Price Sanond, Bangkok