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Warathorn Wongsawangsiri

Warathorn Wongsawangsiri

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Warathorn is one of the leading disputes lawyers in Thailand.

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Experience

Warathorn has been consistently ranked as one of the most recommended and highly regarded dispute resolution lawyers in Thailand by Legal 500 and Who's Who Legal.

He is a seasoned litigator with over 15 years of experience in Thailand and other Asia region countries. He has successfully advised and represented major corporations and conglomerates in many of the country's most complex and high-profile commercial dispute matters.  

He specialises in advising and representing clients on contentious issues with international elements.  He has worked extensively and closely with clients throughout the entire dispute resolution processes including Thai court litigation, domestic and international arbitration (TAI, SIAC and HKIAC) and mediation.  He has also advised clients in administrative law, bankruptcy and rehabilitation, class action, corporate and commercial, corporate governance and director liability, corporate investigations and compliance projects, concession, shareholders dispute, and product liability. 

Warathorn's expertise spans across a broad spectrum of industries, including aviation, banking and finance, construction and engineering, consumer product, energy (oil and gas and renewable), government and public sector, health care, hotels and real estate, insurance, transportation and logistics, and telecommunications and media technology.

Warathorn is also a facilitator of the Thai Institute of Directors (IOD) Director Certification Program and Director Accreditation Program.  He is also a guest lecturer at several national law schools. He is the author of the Thailand chapters of The International Arbitration Review (The Law Reviews 2015-2018) and the Dispute Resolution Law Guide (LexisNexis 2018).

Waranthorn's experience includes advising:

  • a major mobile service provider in Thailand on the revocation of the resolutions of the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission (“NBTC”) rejecting  interim measures for protection of subscribers after expiry of its concession with the state owned telecommunication company  before the Central Administrative Court. The company won the case because the Central Administrative Court suspended the application of the resolutions of the NBTC
  • the state-owned oil and gas company and one of the largest corporations in Thailand, in connection with a civil case in Indonesia and a class action law suit in Australia in relation to an oil spill in the Montara oil field in the Timor Sea
  • the state-owned oil and gas company in the largest market capitalization on the Stock Exchange of Thailand as a result of the corporatization and privatization of the Petroleum Authority of Thailand. In the Supreme Administrative Court, the client succeeded in having a suit attempting to de-list and privatize it dismissed. This high-profile win helped to prevent severe damage to the structure of Thai capital markets
  • a subsidiary of the largest insurance group in Japan and worldwide in successfully defending a THB 2.154 billion complex litigation claim (approximately USD 69 million) made by a major multinational automobile company, the plaintiff. The court of first instance dismissed all of the plaintiff’s claims. This case also set the precedent that an insurance claim in relation to business operations is a civil case, rather than a consumer case, thereby shifting the burden of proof to the plaintiff and barring claims for punitive damages
  • a major Thai conglomerate in an international arbitration under the rules of the International Chamber of Commerce concerning shareholder disputes over the acquisition of shares in a major renewable energy business in Thailand. The disputed amount was more than USD 350 million (THB 12,250 million)
  • a multi-national real estate investment company based in Macau in relation to the enforcement of a Singapore International Arbitration Center award in Thailand. The award was valued at USD 200 million (approximately THB 7 billion) and was in relation to a contractual dispute with a group of entities forming a multi-business company in South East Asia
  • a subsidiary of the world’s largest food and beverage company in court proceedings in Thailand for the enforcement of an international arbitral award
  • a publicly listed construction company in a dispute arising from the wrongful termination of a subcontract agreement in relation to the construction of a UHV plant project. The total amount of damages claimed was approximately THB 350 million (USD 10 million) (2017)
  • a subsidiary of a global petroleum exploration and production company in arbitration arising from a joint operating agreement entered into in connection with a concession in the Gulf of Thailand granted by the Ministry of Energy. The total amount of damages claimed was approximately THB 1 billion (USD 28 million)
  • one of the largest property development companies in Phuket, Thailand in relation to a contract dispute at the Singapore International Arbitration Center and the Thai Court
  • the owner of a luxury office building and hotels in Myanmar in an international arbitration in Hong Kong in relation to a hotel management agreement
  • Thailand’s largest mobile and telecommunication public company in an arbitration claim for payment of THB 31.158 billion (approximately USD 985 million) for concession fees. The claimant is a former state enterprise of the Thai government. The client won the arbitration case.

*Experience gained prior to joining Herbert Smith Freehills

Accolades

  • "Responsive and proactive in identifying issues and anticipating the next steps." Chambers and Partners, 2019
  • Future Leader, Most Highly Regarded, Who’s Who Legal: Litigation, 2018
  • Recommended Lawyer, Dispute Resolution, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, 2017-2019
  • Up and Coming Lawyer, Dispute Resolution, Chambers and Partners, 2018
  • Asian Legal Business top 40 Under 40 lawyers in 2017
  • Member of the new Young SIAC (YSIAC) Committee at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)

 

Background

Fluent in Thai and English, Warathorn Wongsawangsiri was admitted to practice in 2004. He received a bachelor's degree in law (Frist Class Honours) from Chulalongkorn University and masters' degree in law (Honours) from Northwestern University School of Law in the United States. 

Warathorn is qualified as a Thai Barrister-at-Law and is a current member of the Thai Bar Association.