Tier 1 rankings in all major practice areas

Weerawong C&P has received Tier 1 rankings for all major practice areas in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific in the 2018 edition.

WCP is the only independent Thai law firm to be recognized as Tier 1 in Banking and Finance, Corporate and M&A, Capital Markets, Dispute Resolution, Projects and Energy, Restructuring and Insolvency, in addition to recognition of the firm’s extensive experience in Real Estate and Telecommunications, Media and Technology.

Banking and Finance - Tier 1

Through its long-standing presence in the Thai marketplace, Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners is regularly instructed by borrower-side clients in what are among the largest corporate transactions in Thailand. However, the team is also instructed by banks, and Veeranuch Thammavaranucupt acted for Credit Suisse on the $500m financing to Wide Broad Cast to finance the subscription of shares in the rights offering of True Corporation Public Company. On the borrower’s side, Thammavaranucupt acted alongside Passawan Navanithikul to advise the majority shareholder of Jasmine International (JAS) in relation to the provision of THB43.56bn in credit facilities from The Siam Commercial Bank for the purchase of up to 100% shares and warrants in JAS. Similarly, Navanithikul acted for Berli Jucker (BJC) on the €3.2bn bridge facilities provided by a consortium of international lenders and the THB88bn facilities for tender offer for a 58.56% stake in Big C Supercenter; this transaction marks the largest-ever acquisition financing in Thailand. The team is also involved in project finance transactions and Nattaporn Pengkul assisted GEP (Myanmar) with the $48m financing of the first phase of its 220MWdc solar power plant in Minbu, Myanmar. Chinnavat Chinsangaram is another key contact in the practice.

Leading individual Chinnavat Chinsangaram
Next generation lawyer Nattaporn Pengkul

Corporate and M&A (including Capital Markets) - Tier 1

Clients of Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners consider its ‘working style and product to be on par with quality law firms in the US and UK’. Indeed, the firm is often acting with foreign firms including Latham & Watkins LLP, White & Case and Slaughter and May, especially in capital markets matters requiring foreign securities capabilities. On the equity side, Veeranuch Thammavaranucupt acted for WHA Corporation on the corporate restructuring and subsequent spinoff and IPO of WHA Utilities and power; the regulatory approvals needed for this deal were exacting, as this represented the first utility provider to be borne of a non-utility parent company. In the debt space, the team advised Bangkok Mass Transit System on its issuance of THB22bn in senior unsecured debentures in multiple tranches, for the purpose of financing the electrical and mechanical systems of new extensions to the Bangkok Sky Train (BST). Jointly led by Weerawong Chittmittrapap, the corporate team finalised a landmark M&A in 2016, having advised Berli Jucker Public Company on its THB204.3bn acquisition of a nearly 100% stake in Big C Supercenter, in a deal that is expected to alter the retail landscape in Thailand. Patcharaporn Pootranon and Chinnavat Chinsangaram are key contacts in the practice. The firm hired a team led by Khemajit Choomwattana from LS Horizon Limited while Peangpanor Boonklum left for an in-house role.

Leading individual Weerawong Chittmittrapap

Dispute Resolution - Tier 1

Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners’ six-partner litigation team is the largest practice group at the firm and focuses on white-collar crime, tort law and complex commercial litigation often involving government agencies. The team is especially active in telecoms and labour disputes, and is involved in one of the first proper class actions in the country’s history. Though it is not an international firm, the disputes group also handles international arbitration and regularly works alongside well-known American and Singaporean law firms. Phisit Dejchaiyasak is the department’s ‘very experienced’ practice head and is involved in several arbitration claims concerning the construction, installation and operation of telecommunications services. The ‘calm, yet forceful’ Sakchai Limsiripothong specialises in litigation involving fraud and white-collar crime and is instructed by clients such as Fitness First (Thailand), Cyklop Group and Coats GmbH. Rapinnart Prongsiriwattana leads a team, which includes Warathorn Wongsawangsiri, that is representing Total Access Communication in several matters in the Administrative Court. The department is supported by ‘detailed and meticulous’ associates such as Rachata Champathong. Pathorn Towongchuen was promoted to partner in 2017. The group’s varied clients include American International Assurance Company, Export-Import Bank of the US, Aditya Burla Chemicals, and PTT.

Leading individual Phisit Dejchaiyasak,
Next generation lawyer Pathorn Towongchuen

Projects and Energy - Tier 1

Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners has particular strength advising public and private companies involved in major transport infrastructure projects and, having assisted the State Enterprise Policy Office in drafting the new PPP legislation, the projects team has intimate knowledge of a key project structure in a market ripe for infrastructure investment. In one of the department’s flagship matters, Weerawong Chittmittrapap is acting for BSR Joint Venture, which comprises BTS Group Holdings, Sino-Thai Engineering & Construction and Ratchaburi Electricity Generating Holdings, on the construction and subsequent 30 year operation PPP agreement with Mass Rapid Transit Authority for two upcoming lines on the Bangkok public transit system. The practice’s PPP expertise extends to regulatory compliance and contentious work: Chittmittrapap advised Port Authority of Thailand on its rights and obligations under PPP contracts, and the litigation team represents clients caught in EPC and PPP contract disputes. In the energy space, Passawan Navanithikul advised GEP (Myanmar) on the $48m project financing for the first phase of its solar power plant in Minbu, Myanmar. The team also handles a litany of corporate and capital markets work for energy and construction companies.

Restructuring and Insolvency - Tier 1

Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners’ restructuring and insolvency team is instructed by debtors and creditors and regularly handles pre-litigation matters, contentious insolvency and out-of-court restructurings. In one of the largest ongoing reorganisations in Thailand, Weerawong Chittmittrapap and Suntus Kirdsinsap are advising a group of major creditors to Sahaviriya Steel Industries Public Company (SSI TH) on a THB60bn business reorganisation of SSI TH, and is also assisting the listed steel manufacturer with its reorganisation process. Alternately, Chittmittrapap is acting alongside Veeranuch Thammavaranucupt to represent Jasmine Public Company in five related cases concerning due payments, following the Supreme Court’s decision that the company’s 2013 business rehabilitation plan was not proper. The team is also involved in the $1bn business rehabilitation plan of Saha Farms Company and Golden Line Company Business, which involves applications for debt repayments totalling $18.6bn, submitted by a range of creditors including banks, labourers, traders, distributors and related companies and subsidiaries. Chinnavat Chinsangaram and Sakchai Limsiripothong are contacts in the department, and notable clients include Triple T Broadband Public Company and Ladprao Plaza Co.

Leading individual Weerawong Chittmittrapap

Real Estate and Construction - Tier 2

As one of the largest firms in Bangkok, Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners is able to field large cross-disciplinary teams to handle the gamut of property and real estate matters. In the hospitality sector, Weerawong Chittmittrapap and Panuwat Chalongkuamdee are acting for Dusit Thani and Central Pattana as joint venture partners for the development of a mixed-use project, valued at roughly THB30bn. Chittmittrapap is also advising BDMS Public Company on the THB10.8bn acquisition of land and property assets from Park Nai Lert Hotel; this represents the largest acquisition in Thailand of land and property without actually acquiring the related business. In the hotel sector, the team also handles contract disputes, including construction disputes, and has acted for clients such as Pacific Phuket. Chinnavat Chinsangaram and Chusak Suwanpuchai are additional contacts in the practice group.

TMT - Tier 2

The partners at Weerawong, Chinnavat & Partners have extensive experience in the telecoms industry and leverage that experience in a range of corporate transactions, from shares transactions and corporate financing to purchasing commercial advertisement rights. Additionally, Rapinnart Prongsiriwattana is representing DTAC in a significant case in the Administrative Court involving telecoms concessions and public-private contract law. In the corporate finance space, Passawan Navanithikul acted for Jasmine International in obtaining a THB6bn facility agreement from Siam Commercial Bank for the expansion of its broadband business. Chinnavat Chinsangaram also advised Taobao China Holding (a member of the Alibaba Group) on its $1bn acquisition of a controlling stake in Lazada Group, which required navigation through complex cross-border regulatory and licensing issues in areas such as digital payment. Phisit Dejchaiyasak has represented telecoms providers in disputes and Veeranuch Thammavaranucupt has a valuable background in the telecoms sector.

The Legal 500 is one of the largest and most reputable legal ranking publications in the world. The team researches and analyses the strengths of law firms in over 100 jurisdictions. The purpose is to help corporate counsel find the right advisors through law firm rankings and editorials. The rankings highlight the firms that are providing the most cutting edge and innovative advice to corporate counsel.

 

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