Advised a Hong Kong-based news magazine on a commentary that the then Thai government considered bordered on lèse majesté in the early 2000s. A settlement was achieved after the magazine, following David’s counsel, had issued an apology for “inadvertently offending Thai sensibilities.”
Diploma, Parker School of Foreign & Comparative Law, Columbia University
JD, Hastings College of the Law, University of California
BSEE, Duke University
An icon of the Thailand legal market, David Lyman represents a diverse client base in landmark cases and high-stakes matters. David provides straightforward, practical advice to multinational corporations and SMEs on foreign direct investment, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and anti-corruption issues. Also known as an innovative thinker, David is widely regarded as the go-to lawyer for cases involving extraordinary facts. From representing foreign journalists accused of defamation, to setting a precedent for determining compensation in wrongful death cases, to locking horns with the Royal Thai Navy over the rights of maritime treasure hunters, to defense work in labor matters, and murder, David is first and foremost an advocate.
David’s advocacy extends beyond strictly legal matters to creating a better environment for business and a cleaner environment for future generations. As Founder, in 1975, of the then Prime Minister of Thailand’s Foreign Investment Advisory Council (now the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand), a past President and decades-long serving Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AMCHAM), a current Senior Advisor to AMCHAM's Board of Governors, and a current Director of the Board of the AMCHAM Thailand Charitable Foundation (a position he has held for more than a decade), David has regularly represented the interests of American and foreign investors in high-level meetings with members of the U.S. and Thai governments. A dedicated conservationist, a former submarine officer with the U.S. Navy, and one of Thailand’s first certified Scuba Divemasters, David was a founding member of the Thailand Business Council for Sustainable Development in 1996, is on the Board of the Thai Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and has served on many committees to advance environmental protection. He and his wife, Thassaneeya, own one elephant and five dogs.
David spent 15 years in the uniform of the U.S. Navy. During his first 4 years, he was a midshipman. His first ship was a minesweeper. Then, over the next 9 years, he was in the U.S. Navy Submarine Force, active and reserve. David is also an advocate on the world stage. He has held key positions at The World Economic Forum’s Davos Annual Meeting for 18 years, in the International Chamber of Commerce’s Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-Corruption since 1996, and on the Advisory Council of the International Crisis Group during 2003-2013. He also currently serves on the Board of Governors at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. He is a founder of the Thailand branch of the International Chamber of Commerce, and has served on its Board since 1999. He was a member of the original Board of Directors of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading law firm network.
An avid proponent of good business practices, David is entrusted with maintaining the firm’s high profile and stature in the community as its Chief Values Officer (CVO). Among his duties as CVO, David is responsible for keeping the human side of an organization functioning on the course of honest, wise, responsible, legal, and accountable business and professional practices. In his practice, David combines a passion for the law, with all of its political, economic, and social implications, with a deep devotion to Thailand. As a mark of his dedication, he has received the Thai Suan Luang Rama IX Commemorative Coin, presented by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in 1988, a Miniature Cartridge Pouch Pin of the First Infantry Regiment, the King’s Own Bodyguard in 2003, the “Phra Dulyathipat” Badge, awarded by the Council of the Judge Advocate General’s School in 2014; an Apostolic Blessing imparted by the Pope, His Holiness Francis, on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Father Ray Children’s Home in Thailand in 2014; and an award in 2016 bestowed by Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly for devotion to help and protect abandoned animals.