Types of Law Firms, Attorneys and Lawyers in Thailand
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The vast majority of Thailand's lawyers, law firms, government offices and courts are located in the capital city of Bangkok. There are also provincial courts outside of Bangkok and local attorneys providing services in a wide variety of practices in the provinces outside of Bangkok. Nevertheless, the vast majority of lawyers are in the Thai capital city. This concentration of lawyers in Bangkok is especially true in business and trade related cases, as Bangkok is not only the commercial center of Thailand but also the home to all the government Ministries. Further, Bangkok is home to Thailand’s Supreme Court, appellate courts and the Court of International Trade and Intellectual Property.

The types of Thailand lawyers practicing different areas of law detailed below provides a complete, comprehensive overview of the attorneys and law firms in Thailand. These various types of attorneys practice international law and/or serve foreign clients in Thailand. A short section is also included on lawyers that may be unlicensed and yet still offer legal services in Thailand.

Please see our page on Thailand lawyers for more information on law firms and attorneys based in Thailand.

International Commercial Lawyers

There are several international and domestic law firms employing lawyers practicing commercial, finance and trade law. Their clients are usually international corporations, public companies and larger domestic business concerns. These firms usually have foreign lawyers working alongside Thai attorneys with the Thai lawyers being bilingual and many having received advanced degrees abroad. After the 1997 financial crisis there was a great demand for bankruptcy and financial restructuring lawyers which led to an influx of international law firms setting up offices in Bangkok. As the restructuring work became completed, many of these international firms attempted to adjust their work load and staffing requirements to the existing market. This has proven difficult and many international firms have either downscaled or closed in Thailand.

Immigration Lawyers

In recent years, a number of foreign lawyers have established law offices in Thailand concentrating on Immigration law. Immigration law has traditionally meant in Thailand immigration to Thailand and the Thai visa process. What distinguished the current firms and their lawyers is that they concentrate on assisting Thai nationals to obtain visas to other countries, especially the US, UK, other European countries, Canada and Australia.

Family Lawyers

Family lawyers generally practice as solo practitioners, or work in small to medium firms. Due to large amount of foreign residents in Thailand, there is also a need for family lawyer specializing in international family law. This is a very specialized area and usually requires a lawyer with an understanding of different legal systems and the Law of Conflict of Law. Cases that are frequently handled by Thailand family lawyers include international prenuptial agreements, marriage registration divorce adoptions, guardianship and probate or inheritance cases. A Thailand lawyer can further assist with registering births of citizens born abroad.

Trade and Business Lawyers in Thailand

Domestic and foreign companies operating in Thailand require a Thailand lawyer to assist with company registration, intellectual property law, trademark registration and copyright issues. Non Thai nationals and international companies

starting businesses in Thailand often have special needs, as there are restrictions and specific laws that apply. Thailand lawyers assist with work permits, labor issues, Board of Investment applications, customs clearance and accounting and regulatory compliance services.

Real Estate Lawyers in Thailand

Thailand law restricts the ownership of Thailand land by non Thai nationals. There are spcial laws and procedures required for non-Thai persons. In family situations, issues of estate law and real estate law often become intertwined. Thailand lawyers assist condominium purchase in Thailand, advice on Thai property law, Thailand land leases and mortgages, and usufruct and habitation in Thailand.

Unlicensed Practitioners Offering Legal Services

Those seeking a lawyer in Thailand should understand the difference between licensed Thai attorneys, licensed foreign lawyers and persons falsely presenting themselves as attorneys. There are a number of foreign lawyers legally working in Thailand as Thailand law firm managers, liaisons, translators and experts in foreign law who are licensed in their home jurisdiction and are subject to the rules and procedures of their bar association. Foreign lawyers have passed scholastic requirements and ethics investigations and are obligated to conduct themselves professionally or could risk being disciplined.

On the other hand, due to the relatively loose regulatory system regarding foreigners working in Thailand, there are also foreigners posing as licensed lawyers hiding under a variety of guises and euphemisms. Frequently they will allude to being attorneys, having others make statements but never directly stating where they are licensed or what license they hold. A licensed lawyer, in contrast, will proudly state exactly what degree they hold and in which jurisdiction they are licensed.

The law is a fiduciary profession requiring a great degree of trust. Without the protection of a licensing body and an oversight organization, the profession provides a ripe opportunity for criminals posing as attorneys to take advantage of the attorney/client relationship and the trust it implies. A great many frauds and other crimes are perpetrated by individuals posing as professionals, whether they are bankers, stockbrokers, doctors, clergymen or lawyers. Check credentials.