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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Service of Process in Thailand and the U.S.

Civil lawsuits in most jurisdictions and cases start by filing a document often referred to as a complaint and then “serving” a copy of that document (and perhaps other documents) on the defendant. This is certainly true in Thailand and the U.S. But the manner in which service occurs in Thailand and the U.S. differs substantially and this can create major differences when deciding if litigation in a particular jurisdiction is worth the time and cost. To read more, please click here.

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Further Amendment to Guarantee and Mortgage Laws

The Civil and Commercial Code Amendment Act (No. 20) B.E. 2557 (Amendment No. 20), which became effective on 11 February 2015, reduced the potential liabilities of guarantors and mortgagors in Thailand, the effect of which is discussed here. Another recent draft amendment to the Civil and Commercial Code was approved by the National Legislative Assembly on 14 May 2015, and is due to take effect shortly upon publication in the Government Gazette. The latter amendment addresses the concern that ...

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Finishing Touches to TPP on the Horizon

A meeting of trade ministers from 28 to 30 July is expected to put the final touches on the five years of negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), as reported in the Economist.  The TPP is focused on tackling the rules that gum up the gears of global trade and setting new rules for global commerce, including rules on intellectual property, protection of labour rights, environmental safeguards, and limits on subsidies to state-owned companies, as well as providing a mechanism for allo...

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UK’s Serious Fraud Office Issues Annual Repot

The UK’s Serious Fraud Office (SFO) is an independent non-ministerial government department responsible for investigating and prosecuting cases of serious or complex fraud, bribery and corruption. As part of its annual report for the year ended March 31, 2015, the SFO reported that it has opened 16 new investigations.  The SFO achieved a conviction rate of 78% by defendant during the year, with 18 defendants in nine cases successfully prosecuted, and with a focus on bribery charges. The SFO...

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What a Difference Discovery Makes

Discovery under the U.S. federal and state law is broad, providing plaintiffs with a variety of tools to assemble evidence for their cases, such as depositions, requests for production of documents, subpoenas, and interrogatories (written questions) and requests for admissions. These measures can be employed before a trial. Moreover, the standard is broad. Discovery in the U.S. is permitted when a question or request is reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. I...

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4G Auction Uncertainties Persist

With Thailand's 4G auction scheduled for November 11, doubts remain over both the authority to hold the auction and the spectrum to be auctioned. The legal challenge of the Communications Authority of Thailand (CAT) to the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC)'s right to auction the 25 MHz of bandwidth on the 1800-MHz (4G) spectrum remains pending, with the Administrative Court yet to rule on the case. Meanwhile, the information and communication technology (ICT) minis...

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Price Sanond, Bangkok