Employment

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Contacts
T: +84 24 3772 5567
T: +855 23 964 210

T: +66 2056 5995
T: +66 2056 5995
T: +95 1 255 208

Business conditions, labor sentiment, and new opportunities evolve swiftly in the growing economies of Southeast Asia. Tilleke & Gibbins helps employers navigate these shifting legal landscapes by providing advice on labor law and employment matters that is timely and time-tested, innovative and practical.

Our first goal is to help employers formulate long-term, yet flexible, strategies on conditions of employment, staff restructuring, labor-management relations, and other critical employment issues. By helping employers create a positive work environment, we help companies save recruitment and litigation costs, react to changing labor conditions, and attract and keep talented employees.

When conflict cannot be avoided, Tilleke & Gibbins brings or defends our clients’ employment claims in court. We combine the strength of our dispute resolution and litigation team with the expertise of our employment attorneys.
     
We offer the following services: 

  • Strategic Employment Advice: Conditions of employment, work rules and regulations, employment agreements, benefit plans, executive compensation, labor protection, workers’ compensation, social security, provident funds, and safety issues (contact: Pimvimol (June) Vipamaneerut)
  • Commercial Transactions: Issues related to labor expansion, contraction, and integration due to mergers, acquisitions, and restructuring (contact: Chinachart Vatanasuchart)
  • Labor-Management Relations: Conflicts in the workplace, strike management and control, lockouts, and labor demands (contact: Chusert Supasitthumrong)
  • Immigration: Work permits, visas, and permanent residence permits (contact: Piyanuj (Lui) Ratprasatporn)
  • Employment and Labor Litigation: Enforcement of restrictive covenants related to competition and trade secrets, termination of employment claims, and sexual harassment claims (contact: Sasirusm B. Chunhakasikarn)

Read about some of our recent victories below. We have:

  • Assisted a client in its global restructuring, which required a reduction in the headcount of its Thai operations. The client sought our expertise in reducing the number of employees, while avoiding the potential for litigation relating to unfair termination. We crafted a multi-tiered solution involving voluntary resignation packages that employees would happily accept. As part of this solution, we advised the client on strategies for communicating with its employees regarding the restructuring. Ultimately, the client met its goal in headcount reduction and continues to operate in Thailand.

  • Developed a restructuring strategy to effect proportionate employee terminations at the intermediate management level for a  multinational financial services company. The restructuring would also give greater responsibility to senior managers. This created the dual objectives of (1) negotiating fair severance packages for intermediate-level management personnel in the face of strict labor laws and (2) imposing greater work requirements on senior-level managers without incurring claims of effective termination. We were successful in implementing the changes without any employee objection, and today our client’s employee culture is much improved.

  • Negotiated a favorable settlement of a highly contested termination of a company director involving our client, the director, and the company of the spouse of the director. The dispute included two criminal cases and two civil cases (one of which involved a claim of THB 20,000,000). We successfully gathered evidence of the director’s misconduct and leveraged that evidence to secure a favorable settlement for our client.

  • Prevailed in a highly publicized termination case wherein the client sought court permission to terminate the president of a labor union based on her television appearance while wearing a controversial T-shirt. The president maintained that she had given such interview on her own time and that her actions were protected by the Constitution. Although she was supported by many NGOs, the court ruled in favor of our client.

  • Defended a leading apparel company in a THB 50,000,000 labor claim and in a criminal case brought against the client’s director. We prevailed in both claims brought by the client’s former HR manager.

  • Advised a global telecommunications company on various labor and employment matters. Among them, we helped this client to rationalize a broad range of global employment policies. In addition, we consulted on the many issues inherent to multi-jurisdictional expatriate employment matters.

  • Concluded a case involving an employee safety allegation by a governmental authority against a multinational corporation.

  • Planned the layoff of approximately 1,000 persons and created a multifaceted strategy to manage the response of the employees and the labor union. The labor union mounted a strong challenge to our client’s activities. Nonetheless, we successfully responded to the opposition and completed the downsizing of the company without any employee claim.

  • Represented a manufacturer in negotiations with a labor union on strike. We successfully negotiated the terms of a collective bargaining agreement (CBA) and, thus, expedited the conclusion of the strike. In the CBA, we secured favorable terms for our client and the return of certain management rights.

  • Advised a leading high-tech company on HR matters, including drafting labor contracts, registering new staff members, preparing documents for employment termination, and registering staff resignations.

  • Prevailed in a labor dispute wherein a managerial-level employee claimed that he had been wrongfully terminated and sought severance and other monetary entitlements. Representing the employer, we proved that the employee had in fact resigned from the company.

  • Planned and executed the layoff of 1,900 employees. Thereafter, 279 of the affected employees submitted claims against the client in the total amount of THB 300,000,000. We successfully proved that our client had cause to terminate its employees and that such was done fully within applicable Thai law, resulting in judgment in our client’s favor. This was a high-stakes matter because, if we had lost the labor cases, the approximately 1,600 additional employees would have filed claims totaling approximately THB 2,000,000,000. We also act as ongoing labor compliance counsel.

  • Obtained a favorable judgment for the Thai affiliate of a leading animal health company in a case filed against a group of former executives who left to work for our client’s chief competitor. We secured this successful result even though there is still debate among Thai legal scholars as to whether noncompetition clauses are fair to employees.

  • Advised a multinational computer components manufacturer in Vietnam on the labor and workforce implications of its acquisition of a key supplier’s manufacturing facilities.

  • Consulted an international logistics services company in Vietnam on employee transfer and retention issues arising from the acquisition of its logistics services subsidiary.

  • Advised, negotiated, and successfully concluded several executive separations for numerous top-tier companies in Vietnam. 

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Namesort icon Position Office

Anake Rattanajitbanjong

T:+66 2056 5510

E-mail

Associate
Bangkok

Chalermpol Intarasing

T:+66 2056 5809

E-mail

Associate
Bangkok

Chinachart Vatanasuchart

T:+66 2056 5688

E-mail

Partner
Bangkok

Chitchai Punsan

T:+66 2056 5779

E-mail

Associate
Bangkok

Chusert Supasitthumrong

T:+66 2056 5793

E-mail

Partner
Bangkok

David Duncan

T:+66 2056 5538

E-mail

Consultant
Bangkok

David Mol

T:+855 23 964 210

E-mail

Consultant
Phnom Penh

Doan Ngoc Tran

T:+84 28 3936 2060

E-mail

Associate
Ho Chi Minh City

Ittirote Klinboon

T:+66 2056 5798

E-mail

Associate
Bangkok

John King

T:+855 23 964 210

E-mail

Partner
Phnom Penh
Bangkok
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Date Title
March 24, 2011

Michael K. Lee Speaks on M&A, Reorganizations, and Labor Law

Michael K. Lee

On March 24, 2011, in Ho Chi Minh City’s Legend Hotel Saigon, our Michael K. Lee, Department Head – Corporate/Commercial, presented on “Obligations Under Labor Law in Case of Mergers, Acquisitions...

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April 28, 2011

Kobkit Thienpreecha Speaks on Immigration and Foreign Business Issues

Kobkit Thienpreecha

On April 27, 2011, Kobkit Thienpreecha, an attorney-at-law in the firm’s corporate services group, gave a presentation on “Immigration Act and Foreign Business Act” at the Dusit Thani Hotel,...

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February 9, 2011

Tilleke & Gibbins Names New Partners

Alan Adcock, Nandana Indananda, Thomas J. Treutler

Tilleke & Gibbins, the largest independent law firm in Thailand, proudly announces the appointment of Alan Adcock, Nandana Indananda, and Thomas J. Treutler as Partners of the firm.

...

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July 30, 2007

Easing the Pain of Job Loss

Sasirusm (Roll) B. Chunhakasikarn

Focusing on the role played by labor protection laws to aid unemployed workers, this article in the Bangkok Post features comments from Sasirusm Chunhakasikarn, a Tilleke & Gibbins...

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October 16, 2007

Directors of Thai Companies Liable for Software Copyright Violation

This article warns directors of Thai companies about their potential liability if their employees violate copyright laws. Tilleke & Gibbins partner Edward Kelly warns directors to be proactive...

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Date Title
April 25, 2006

Yesteryear – Bangkok in 1956: What Was It Like When AMCHAM Thailand Was Founded?

David Lyman

In this text of a presentation for the 50th anniversary of the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand, David Lyman reflects on the changes he has observed in Thailand in the 50 years since...

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February 9, 2007

Employee Discipline for Businesses: Navigating the Thai Legal Landscape

Chusert Supasitthumrong, Michael Ramirez

Most employers make their best efforts to ensure that discipline of employees is legal and made for legitimate reasons. Despite their best efforts, however, employers frequently find themselves at...

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April 6, 2007

Work Permits 101: A Guide for Foreigners

Alongkorn Tongmee, Pimvimol (June) Vipamaneerut

As the title implies, this article is a primer for foreigners on the basic requirements for working in Thailand. It describes the requirements for obtaining a work permit and the punishments for...

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June 4, 2007

Handling Labor Disputes: How Employers Should Deal with Union or Employee Demands

Chusert Supasitthumrong

With Thailand enjoying steady economic growth these past few years, many companies have reached or surpassed their targeted profits. When businesses make more profit, employees also earn more...

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June 4, 2007

Non-Competition Contract Enforcement

Sasirusm (Roll) B. Chunhakasikarn, Tiziana Sucharitkul

Non-competition clauses are often inserted in employment contracts by employers for many reasons. But perhaps the main reason is to ensure that should the employee leave employment, the employer’s...

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