The International Business Center (IBC) – Making Thailand a Base for Regional Operations in Southeast Asia

The Thai government has offered tax, customs and employment incentives under various schemes for Regional Operating Headquarters (ROHs), International Headquarters (IHQs), Treasury Centers (TCs) and International Trading Centers (ITCs) to attract multinationals looking to set up a regional base of …

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Removing Some Service Activities from the FBA?

Foreign owned businesses in Thailand are restricted from engaging in various business activities by Thailand’s Foreign Business Act (“FBA”).  This restriction applies to about 50 types of businesses, including “service businesses”.  The term “service businesses” is interpreted broadly to include …

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Work Permit Law Revised

By: Ukrit Detsiri and Natcha Rattaphan In spring of this year the Thai government issued a decree to revise the law on foreigners working in Thailand (the “Work Permit Law”).  For many years, the foreign business community has complained about …

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A Practical Tip on Arbitration Clauses involving Thailand that allows you to Have Your Cake and Eat it Too

There is little dispute that international arbitration is the best way to resolve cross-border disputes.  A 2018 International Arbitration Survey carried out by Queen Mary University of London in partnership with the White & Case law firm demonstrates that international …

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Minimum Daily Wage Increased For 2018

The National Wage Committee approved a nationwide increase to the minimum daily wage which became effective on 1 April 2018.  The new wage rate varies by province as follows: Minimum Wage (Baht) Provinces 308 Narathiwat, Pattani, Yala 310 Amnat Charoen, Chaiyaphum, …

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DBD Lowers its Fees for Registering a Private Limited Company

Registering a private limited company in Thailand is multi-step process, with registration fees payable to the Department of Business Development (DBD) at the time of filing the Memorandum of Association (MOA) and when finalizing the registration.  These fees were based …

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DBD Proposes Amendments To Thailand’s Foreign Business Act – Déjà Vu For The Foreign Business Community

As reported in the Bangkok Post, Thailand’s Department of Business Development (DBD) is proposing to amend Thailand’s Foreign Business Act (FBA), purportedly to bring  it in line with changing economic conditions and to strike a balance between protecting Thai investors …

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The “Foreign” Component of FCPA Investigations

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) investigations typically involve third parties or subsidiaries located outside the US since most FCPA violations arise out of the activities of foreign third parties or foreign subsidiaries. But most guides on how to conduct FCPA investigations and …

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Lawyers Are Targets in FCPA Investigations Too

“I should have refused to draft the contract that we used for paying bribes.” – Former Keppel Offshore & Marine Ltd., In-House Counsel Jeffery Chow. Lawyers, particularly in-house lawyers, are supposed to be the first line of defense in preventing FCPA …

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Consumer Protection Board Shakes Up Thailand’s Residential Lease Market

To the delight of residential tenants in Thailand, the Consumer Protection Board’s “Committee on Contract” has issued a notification that will make certain residential leases much more lessee friendly.  Under the notification, published in the Government Gazette on 16 February …

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Registering Sounds as Trademarks

As part of recent amendments to the Trademark Act B.E. 2534 (A.D. 1991), sounds may be registered as trademarks in Thailand.  While there was a significant lag between enactment of the amendments and the creation of the relevant infrastructure at …

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Protecting Trademarks In Thailand Through the Madrid Protocol

Having to protect trademarks in multiple jurisdictions has historically been a headache for multinationals.  The Madrid Protocol for the International Registration of Marks has made the process easier by allowing applicants to file a single international application and pay a …

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Urgent Work Permit Requirements Revised

While it is relatively easy for foreigners to come to Thailand as tourists, potential issues often arise when they come for “work”,  which includes such activities as academic seminars, business meetings, or market research, just to name a few.  These …

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More Openings to Foreign Competition in Thailand’s Service Sector

Thailand’s Foreign Business Act (FBA) lists 21 categories of businesses in Annex 3 of the FBA where foreign majority ownership of such businesses is restricted because the government contends Thais are “not yet ready to compete with foreigners”.  This  list includes “other service …

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Employees Entitled To Voluntary Retirement at 60

By Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Suthasinee Neamsum Assisting individuals who reach retirement age has long been discussed.  Thailand has introduced a modest state pension scheme as well as saving incentives for employees in the form of welfare funds and provident funds.  An …

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Enhanced Protections For Consumers Targeted By Direct Sales and Marketing Operators

By Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Suthasinee Neamsum Amendments to Thailand’s Direct Sales and Direct Marketing Act (No.3) B.E. 2560 (2017) became effective on 14 September 2017. The new amendments make significant changes to the definition of “direct marketing” and impose additional duties and …

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Douglas Mancill to Speak at FCPA Conference in Singapore

PriceSanond’s Douglas Mancill will speak in Singapore at the 6th Annual Asia Pacific Summit on Anti-Corruption Compliance and Risk Management on 1 November 2017. Mr. Mancill will speak on Supply Chain Third Party Audits in Thailand. The speakers at this …

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New Customs Act Provides Some Relief for Importers

Importers have been clamoring for changes to Thailand’s customs laws for years, arguing against the severity of penalties for violation and lack of clarity in the appeals process.  After many years of debate and various draft proposals, a new Customs …

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Deemed Retirement Age Now 60 – Right to Statutory Severance

The Labor Protection Act of 1998, Section 118, (LPA) requires all employers in Thailand to pay severance to employees who are “terminated” by the employer without legal cause (as described in LPA Section 119).  The Thai courts interpret “termination” to include scenarios …

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Mergers in Thailand – Soon To Become Reality?

By  Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Sudthapa Thanathanya Thailand-based businesses looking to combine operations have been unable to take advantage of a tool found in many other jurisdictions – merger.  Instead, businesses have often been forced to choose from less attractive choices, such …

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Significant Changes in Store Under New Trade Competition Act

By Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Norrapat Werajong Trade competition in Thailand has been regulated under the Trade Competition Act B.E. 2542 (1999) (the “Current Act”), which has remained unchanged for almost twenty years.  On 7 July 2017, a new trade competition …

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Additional Changes to Civil and Commercial Code Proposed

By  Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Sudthapa Thanathanya The Thai Office of the Council of State has made further proposals to simplify corporate administration by proposing a bill to amend the Civil and Commercial Code (CCC), the main statute governing the incorporation and …

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FCPA Enforcement under the Trump Administration

There has been considerable speculation about how vigorously the Trump administration will enforce the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) given Trump’s past criticism of this law.  In 2012, Trump famously called the FCPA a “horrible law”.   But thus far senior …

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Online Company Registration Now Available

By Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Norrapat Werajong Thailand’s Department of Business Development (DBD) is gradually migrating its services to the digital environment.  Last year saw the introduction of electronic filing of the annual financial statements of private limited companies as discussed …

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New Alien Workers Law

The primary Thai laws and ordinances governing “aliens”, or non-Thai nationals, working in Thailand are the Alien Workers Act, B.E. 2551 (“Alien Workers Act”) and the Royal Ordinance on Bringing Alien Workers to Work with an Employer in the Kingdom …

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Finality of Awards: Investor-State Disputes. ICSID?

One of the key virtues of any dispute resolution mechanism is finality. Will the dispute resolution mechanism lead to a final result in a relatively short amount of time and avoid endless and expensive reviews, appeals and challenges?  If a …

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Electronic Filing of Thai Court Documents

By Auttasak Sulaiman and Sudthapa Thanathanya Filing court documents in Thailand has, until recently, required an in-person trip to the applicable court, which can be both time consuming and expensive for ongoing litigation involving multiple hearings.  While the Civil Procedure …

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Thailand’s New E-Work Permits Bring An End To Blue Books

By Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Suthasinee Neamsum Foreigners employed in Thailand are required to obtain an appropriate visa as well as a work permit.  Work permits are issued by the Ministry of Labor and take the form of a small, passport sized …

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Cabinet Approves Updates to Thailand’s Labour Relations Act

Thailand’s Labour Relations Act B.E. 2518 (1975) (“LRA”) governs the collective bargaining relationship between employers and employees as a group (such as employee unions or committees), not to be confused with the Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541 (1998) (“LPA”), which …

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Thailand’s Latest Efforts to Facilitate Business Operations – Bankruptcy Laws

By Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Sudthapa Thanathanya This is our third and final installment highlighting efforts of the National Council for Peace and Order (“NCPO”) to facilitate business operations in Thailand.   The NCPO issued order no. 21/2560 on 4 April …

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Thailand’s Latest Efforts to Facilitate Business Operations – Work Rules, Public Company Management, Social Security

By Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Sudthapa Thanathanya This is our second installment highlighting efforts of the National Council for Peace and Order (“NCPO”) to facilitate business operations in Thailand.  As mentioned in our first installment covering changes to the Civil and …

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Thailand’s Latest Efforts To Faciliate Business Operations – The Civil and Commercial Code

By Piyawannee Watanasakolpunt and Sudthapa Thanathanya In a move aimed to facilitate business operations in Thailand, the National Council for Peace and Order (“NCPO”) issued order no. 21/2560 on 4 April 2017 with immediately effect to amend provisions of the …

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Former TAT Gov & Daughter Receive Lengthy Sentences – Thai Film Festival Corruption Case

The former Governor-General of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, Ms. Juthimas Siriwan, and her daughter, Jittisopha Siriwan, were given lengthy prison sentences on 29 March 2017 in connection with kickbacks paid to procure contracts from Bangkok Film Festival from 2003 …

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Electronic Media And Corporate Governance – Thailand’s First Small Steps

One of the difficulties facing foreign investors in Thailand has been the requirement that shareholders (or their proxies) and directors be physically present at meetings for purposes of passing resolutions.  Circular resolutions, whereby the directors or shareholders pass a resolution …

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The Investment Promotion Act (No. 4) B.E. 2560

Originally, the Investment Promotion Act B.E. 2520 (A.D. 1977) (“the Investment Promotion Act”) was enacted because the economic situation in Thailand was affected by a world economic crisis. Under the Investment Promotion Act, a board of investment (the “BOI”) was …

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Amendment to the Computer Crimes Act & Section 20

Amendment to Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act (CCA) was approved by the legislature in December 2016 and published in the Government Gazette on 24 January 2017, so will officially become law in May 2017. Few laws have attracted so much controversy; more than 300,000 …

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Death Penalty for Some Corruption Cases in Thailand?

According to the Bangkok Post Thai officials convicted in corruption cases involving more than one billion baht could face the death penalty. Previous Thai legislation provided for the death penalty for officials convicted of bribery, but the Bangkok Post reports …

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Mandatory Provident Fund Coming in 2018?

Like many other countries, Thailand faces a demographic crisis where a rapidly aging population is belatedly preparing for a long post-retirement life.  By some estimates, the proportion of those over 65 will be 19.5 percent in 2030 and 25 percent …

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New Court Established To Assist In Thailand’s Fight Against Corruption

The Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Offences represents Thailand’s latest effort in its battle against corruption.  The new court, established under the recently enacted Act on the Establishment of Criminal Court for Corruption and Misconduct Offence B.E. 2559 (2016), …

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Rehabilitation Process For SMEs

The Bankruptcy Act has been amended to help small and medium size entities (SMEs) enter into the rehabilitation process in Bankruptcy Act No. 9 B.E. 2559 (2016) (“the amendment”), which became effective on 25 May 2016.  Debtor Various types of …

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Thai Anti-Corruption Law – An Overview

Douglas Mancill and Panpilai Issariyapruit Corruption has much the same effect on the development of a nation that cancer has on the life of a biological organism. Recognizing this, Thailand has various laws criminalizing corruption, recently enacted new anti-corruption laws …

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Severance Agreements and the FCPA

A recent U.S. Securities and Exchange (SEC) administrative proceeding against California based Health Net illustrates a challenge when documenting settlements with exiting employees in Thailand.  Heath Net used severance agreements that required employees to waive their rights to obtain monetary …

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FCPA: PriceSanond at BCCT/AMCHAM Anti-Corruption Conference

On 26 July 2016 PriceSanond’s Douglas Mancill spoke on the U.S. Foreign Corruption Act (FCPA) at a joint event of the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand and the British Chamber of Commerce in Thailand on anti-corruption laws. Mr. Mancill covered the …

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Brexit and Thailand

Most commentators and newspapers are predicting that while Brexit will affect the world economy generally, it will have little affect on the Thai economy specially.  Siam Commercial Bank Economic Intelligence Center had this to say about Brexit’s likely affect on the …

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Whistleblower Receives $17 Million Award From U.S. SEC

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it awarded $17 million award under its whistleblower program to a former company employee whose detailed tip “substantially advanced the agency’s investigation and ultimate enforcement action.” The award was the second largest since the …

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Agricultural Land Leases Off Limit to Foreigners

Amendments to the Agricultural Land Lease Act effective as of 30 April 2016 introduce a broad prohibition on “foreigners” from leasing land for agricultural purposes. The amendments define “foreigner” generally along the same lines as Thailand’s Foreign Business Act, with one …

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Thailand To Back Free Trade Area of Asia-Pacific (FTAAP)

While there has been much speculation over the past year as to whether or not Thailand would join the US-led Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), Thailand now appears to be favoring a more Asia-focused trade proposal known as the Free Trade Area …

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SEC Proposes Fast Track Scheme For Public Offerings

In an effort to streamline the public offering process for listed companies with good corporate governance records, the SEC has proposed a set of new rules that will be subject to public comment until 19 May. Under the new rules, those …

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More Government Control Over Online Content?

As reported in the Nation, the Thai legislature is considering possible amendments to Thailand’s Computer Crimes Act that would allow the government to remove content on blogs, websites and social media platforms such as Facebook and Line if deemed “inappropriate” …

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Labour Department Goes Paperless For Work Rules

Late last year, the Department of Business Development introduced an e-filing service for the filing of annual financial reports, as highlighted here.  The Department of Labour Protection and Welfare (the Labour Department) recently took similar steps for filing work rules …

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When Employees Leave: What Employers in Asia/Pacific Need to Know about Protecting Company Rights and Confidential Information

PriceSanond partners Andrew Wynne and Pramote Srisamai recently authored the Thai section of a publication based on a 2015 webinar presented by a representative group of the Asia/Pacific members of the Employment Law Alliance focusing on “When Employees Leave: What Employers …

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NBTC Sets Targets for 4G Auction

The National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC) has set targets to revise auction details for the 1800 and 900 megahertz spectrum in January 2015, and to make a new schedule for the auction in July 2015, reports The Bangkok Post. …

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NBTC Rejects DTAC’s 4G Proposal

DTAC’s request to develop its idle 25-megahertz band on the 1,800MHz spectrum to provide a 4G cellular service, has been rejected by the National Broadcasting and Telecommunications Commission (NBTC), reports the Bangkok Post. DTAC – Thailand’s second largest telecom – …

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Corporate Income Tax Reduced to 20%

The National Legislative Assembly passed an amendment to the Revenue Code reducing the corporate income tax rate to 20%. The reduction will start on the fiscal year beginning 1 January 2016.  The amendment is expected to be published in the …

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Trade Group to Propose Five-Year Professional Visa

In an effort to lure more highly skilled professionals to Thailand, the Joint Standing Committee on Commerce, Industry and Banking is reported to have prepared a proposal for five-year visas.  The Thailand Development Research Institute is also reported to be …

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Workplace Relations in Thailand

American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand 12 February 2016  Annual HR/Legal Update By: Pramote Srisamai and Douglas Mancill High Level Guidance on Thai Labor Law 1.       Generally The climate for workplace relations in Thailand is generally stable and hence favorable for …

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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 …

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New Article on Anti-Corruption Law in Thailand

Corruption has much the same effect on the development of a nation that cancer has on the life of a biological organism. Recognizing this, Thailand has various laws criminalizing corruption, recently enacted new anti-corruption laws and plans to expand the …

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Government Aims to Further Promote SMEs

In addition to its recent tax incentives targeting small and medium-size entities (SMEs) as reported here, the Thai government, through the Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion Committee, approved a nearly 2 billion THB budget to finance SME related projects. As …

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Tax Incentives Offered to Qualifying SMEs

Thailand has an estimated 2.8 million small and medium size entities (SMEs), with many having multiple financial accounts and which use with the smallest one used in order to understate tax liability. Effective as of 1 January, 2016, SMEs and …

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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 …

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Telecommunications Overview

Up until relatively recently, telecommunications in Thailand were mostly operated by the government via state-owned enterprises but increasingly the private sector has come to dominate, with the major state-owned telecom operators – the TOT Plc (formerly the Telephone Organization of Thailand) …

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Amendment to Machinery Registration Act

The Act amends the Machinery Registration Act B.E. 2514 (1971), as amended by the Machinery Registration Act (No. 2) B.E. 2530 (1987), by: allowing private individuals who are duly licensed by the Central Machinery Registrar to inspect machinery in connection …

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Amendments to the Building Control Act

The Building Control Act,  B.E. 2522 (1979) (the BCA) has been amended by the Building Control Act (No.5), which took effect on 28 August 2015. The most significant change concerns the liability of a building owner who does not provide building insurance …

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Expansion of Thai Anti-Corruption Laws

Recent amendments to the Organic Act on Counter Corruption, B.E. 2542 (the “Organic Act”) have expanded the scope of Thai anti-corruption laws (the “Amendments”). The provisions of the Amendments that are most important or have received the most press concern: …

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Single Shareholder Companies in Thailand?

Thai law historically required that a Thai private limited company have at least seven shareholders. In 2008, a change in the law reduced the minimum number of shareholders to three. However, even this reduced requirement can create problems for foreign …

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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 …

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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. …

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Service of Process – Thailand vs. U.S.

Civil lawsuits in almost 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 …

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