Litigation in Thailand
Can I engage your firm on a fixed fee basis for a civil or criminal litigation matter?
Generally, yes. If your matter is reasonably straightforward we can usually arrange to conduct the work on a fixed fee basis. If we believe your matter is complex, particularly urgent, high value, likely to be very time consuming or will necessitate the significant involvement of a Partner, it is likely that we will need to deal with the matter on an hourly rate basis. If your matter involves multiple jurisdictions, it is also likely that a Partner will need to be involved.
Please feel free to contact us for more information on fixed fees or hourly rates.
Will I need to execute a Power of Attorney (POA) for your firm to deal with my claim or matter?
Yes, Thai Courts require a properly drafted and executed Power of Attorney in order for a Thai lawyer to act on behalf of any party. In the absence of a POA, any claim or other matter will almost certainly be rejected.
How the document is drafted and executed will depend on the court and where the claimant or defendant is located. Generally, if a claimant or defendant resides outside Thailand, the document will need to be notarised and authenticated by the local Thai Embassy or Consulate. This can often be a lengthy process, particularly if the claimant or defendant is a legal entity (e.g. a company), so planning ahead is essential, particularly if the claim or matter is time sensitive.
Our firm can guide you through this process. Please contact us for more information.
Are there prescription periods (aka Statute of Limitations periods) for claims in Thai Law?
Yes, there are prescription periods that will affect the time within which a claim must be filed. Failure to comply with the relevant period of prescription will usually result in a claim being barred. Prescription periods vary significantly according to the type of claim being made.
Our firm can advise you on prescription and limitation issues. Please contact us.
How much are court fees for a civil claim in a Thai court?
Fees vary based upon the value of the claim and the particular court, but generally do not exceed 200,000 THB.
Please contact us if you need more information on court fees.
How long will it take for my claim or matter to be resolved?
The length of entire proceedings in a Thai court is difficult to predict, however the courts have, in recent years, become more efficient at case management and will endeavour to set consecutive hearing dates in order to create a continuous trial. A sensible rule of thumb would be a year for each stage of the proceedings: first instance to judgment; appeal, if necessary; and any further appeal if necessary; enforcement.
Labour disputes, which are heard in a specialist court, are often resolved more quickly than other civil disputes.
Are Interim Orders available in Thai Courts?
Yes, interim relief is available in Thai Courts, but in practice remedies are uncommon and can be difficult to obtain, particularly with regard to without notice injunctions or temporary seizure or attachment orders. The same applies for orders of Summary Judgment.
Orders for security for costs are more common and will usually be granted in practice if a claimant is not domiciled in or does not carry on business in Thailand or there is good reason to suspect that the claimant will seek to evade payment of costs in the event of losing the claim.
If you are a claimant domiciled outside Thailand and file a claim in a Thai court, you may be required to pay security for costs. Please contact us for more information.
How do I enforce a judgment by a Thai Court and do your fees include enforcement?
A Writ of Execution must be issued by the relevant court in order to enforce a judgment. The writ must be issued within 10 years of judgment and will generally order the seizure and sale of the debtor’s property and assets and attachment of the debtor’s rights of claim against third parties. Our fees for a claim in the court of first instance do not generally include enforcement or appeal, which are considered to be separate matters.
Please contact us for more details regarding fee structures.
Can I execute against assets outside Thailand with a Thai Judgment?
Thailand is not signatory to any reciprocal enforcement agreements and it would be necessary to issue separate proceedings in the relevant jurisdiction. We may be able to help you with this, particularly if proceedings need to be issued in the UK, the US or Australia.
Please contact us for more details.
Can your firm help with the enforcement of a foreign judgment in Thailand?
Thailand is not signatory to any reciprocal enforcement agreements and it would be necessary to issue a new claim in the Thai Court. A foreign judgment can however be used as evidence in any new claim.
We can help you with this. Please contact us for more information.
I am outside Thailand and have an inter-jurisdictional claim against a Thai defendant or a defendant domiciled in Thailand. Can your firm help with this?
Yes, we have a great deal of experience in dealing with cross-border disputes and understand the challenges of dealing with complex multi-jurisdictional issues. Equally, if you are based in Thailand and are facing a claim in a foreign jurisdiction, we may be able to help you with this.
Please contact us if you need help dealing with a cross-border dispute.
I am outside Thailand and need to serve foreign issued proceedings on a defendant in Thailand. Can your firm serve those proceedings?
The service of foreign proceedings is a complex issue and depends upon the rules of service in the relevant foreign jurisdiction. Please contact us if you need help with the service of proceedings issued outside Thailand.
I am a legal professional in a foreign jurisdiction and I need formal advice from an expert on Thai Law. Can your firm help with this?
Yes, we regularly provide formal expert advice on matters of Thai law to foreign legal professionals. We are very familiar with the requirements and standards on the provision of expert advice in several major jurisdictions and the advice provided will be of commensurate and appropriate quality.
Please contact us if you need an expert on matters of Thai law.
Can your firm help me with Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)?
Yes, we deal with many matters that involve some form of ADR, from mediation to full arbitration services. Arbitration procedures are well defined in Thai law and Thai Courts will enforce legitimate domestic and foreign arbitration awards (in the case of foreign arbitration awards providing they satisfy the requirements of the relevant conventions).
If you would like to mediate or arbitrate a dispute or your dispute is subject to an arbitration provision, please contact us for advice.
Can I engage your firm in relation to a civil or commercial litigation matter on the basis of a Conditional Fee Arrangement (CFA)?
Generally, no. The Supreme Court of Thailand has given some indication that it considers purely conditional fee arrangements to be ethically problematic. This includes arrangements related to personal injury or medical negligence claims. We may be able to conduct work on a ‘mixed’ CFA basis, or find other appropriate funding solutions providing we are satisfied that such arrangements are not likely to be considered in any way unethical.
Please feel free to contact us for more information on funding solutions.
Can I obtain insurance in Thailand for the legal costs of my claim?
Litigation insurance, including After the Event (ATE) insurance is uncommon in Thailand and most likely practically impossible to obtain. If you are based in a foreign jurisdiction, you may be able to obtain litigation insurance from a provider in that jurisdiction.
If you have a question related to litigation that is not addressed in this FAQ, please feel free to contact us.