05 Mar 2014

14 lawyers from US Law Firm join Rajah & Tann’s Bangkok office

Rajah & Tann, South East Asia’s largest law firm, today announced that a team of 14 lawyers from a US law firm has joined its Bangkok office, Rajah & Tann (Thailand) Limited. 

The move involves three partners and 11 lawyers. They are a well-established and well-known team in the market with expertise in several practice areas, including banking and finance, mergers and acquisitions and capital markets, as well as dispute resolution and regulatory compliance in highly regulated industries such as telecommunications, tobacco, food & beverage, insurance and manufacturing. 

The team is headed by the highly respected Surasak Vajasit. Surasak's practice focuses on restructuring, arbitration and corporate. He is ranked by Chambers & Partners as an "Eminent Practitioner" for Banking and Finance and in band 1 for Insolvency & Restructuring. The Chambers editor noted his "rich experience in restructuring matters as well as corporate and financing transactions" and "his previous experience as a judge". It was further noted that he "is recommended by clients as a 'knowledgeable and prompt' counsel, and is respected by peers for his depth of ability". Surasak is also regularly called upon to represent multinational clients in complex litigation and to act as an arbitrator in international arbitration proceedings. 

The other partners joining him are Melisa Uremovic and Pakpoom Suntornvipat. 

Melisa Uremovic has more than 14 years of experience in Thailand, and this coupled with her knowledge of bilateral and multilateral trade agreements, trade and customs laws, gives her a unique ability to meet the complex needs of clients in various regulated industries. She is also able to draw on many years’ experience in both corporate M&A and dispute resolution matters to provide an effective bridge for clients experiencing investigations by Thai regulators. 

Pakpoom Suntornvipat is a litigator with more than 20 years’ experience assisting clients in complex criminal and civil litigation, as well as in arbitration proceedings. Pakpoom also has many years of experience in insolvency and restructuring proceedings, having represented clients in some of the largest restructurings in Thailand. 

Rajah & Tann's Bangkok office will now have a team of 30 lawyers with enhanced capabilities to provide full-support in large-scale litigation, transactions and investigations, and this will be beneficial to its impressive list of international, regional and local clients. 

Managing Partner Lee Eng Beng, SC, said: "We launched our Thai office in February 2012 with a group of six lawyers and this team has done extremely well and has overseen the expansion of the office to 15 lawyers within two years. With the addition of this new team of very talented lawyers, the size of the office will be doubled and will be able to provide a full suite of quality legal services to clients in Thailand. Moving forward, the Thai office will play a crucial role in working with our other subsidiary and associate firms in the region to support our clients across South East Asia." 

On teaming up with Rajah & Tann, Surasak Vajasit said: “I am proud to lead this strong and experienced group of lawyers into the next phase of Rajah & Tann’s expansion in Thailand. The combined team has incredible synergies and has a strong foundation on which to build: an ability to provide high quality legal services in all areas of law, an existing loyal client base, an unparalleled understanding of the local, regional and international markets, and a supportive head office that has proven its commitment to our growth in Thailand and the growth of the firm throughout the region. Above all, the welcome we have received has been amazing, and we are very excited and positive about our future success”. 

Rajah & Tann is the only regional law firm with physical presence and full-service capabilities in eight out of the 10 ASEAN countries. With this lateral move, it will now have a team of over 500 fee earners. 

Two weeks ago, Rajah & Tann announced a tie-up with LCT Lawyers, one of Vietnam’s leading full-service law firms, to create Rajah & Tann LCT Lawyers. The enlarged entity now has 25 lawyers in the three biggest cities in Vietnam - Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Da Nang. 

In 2013, the pace of expansion was equally accelerated. In Malaysia, Christopher & Lee Ong resulted from a merger involving three law firms bringing together 44 fee earners with full local law capability to undertake practically all areas of law in Malaysia. In Indonesia, Rajah & Tann signed a strategic tie-up with Assegaf Hamzah, Indonesia’s third largest law firm with 60 fee earners. 

These integrations in 2013 were preceded by the launch of Rajah & Tann Myanmar and R&T Sok & Heng Law Office in Myanmar and Cambodia, respectively. 

Rajah & Tann’s regional network also includes offices in China and Lao PDR, as well as regional desks focusing on Japan and South Asia.