Employment

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

Kasma Visitkitjakarn

T:+66 2653 5542

E-mail

Consultant
Bangkok

Kien Trung Trinh

T:+84 4 3772 5567

E-mail

Associate
Hanoi

Kitti Thaisomboon

T:+66 2653 5539

E-mail

Associate
Bangkok

Michael Ramirez

T:+66 2653 5794

E-mail

Consultant
Bangkok
Yangon

Michael K. Lee

T:+84 8 3936 2069

E-mail

Partner
Ho Chi Minh City

Naoki Hieda

T:+66 2653 5540

E-mail

Consultant
Bangkok

Noppadon Treepetchara

T:+66 2653 5791

E-mail

Associate
Bangkok

Nuanchun Somboonvinij

T:+66 2653 5800

E-mail

Associate
Bangkok

Penrurk Phetmani

T:+66 2653 5509

E-mail

Associate
Bangkok

Pimvimol (June) Vipamaneerut

T:+66 2653 5588

E-mail

Partner
Bangkok
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Date Title
June 21, 2011

The BigChilli Magazine Interviews David Lyman

David Lyman

The BigChilli, a Bangkok-based lifestyle magazine, recently interviewed David Lyman, Chairman & Chief Values Officer of Tilleke & Gibbins. The interview highlighted the background...

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February 15, 2011

Kobkit Thienpreecha Presents at AMCHAM Annual Thai Labor Environment Briefing

Kobkit Thienpreecha

Each year, the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand puts together a panel of experts to update AMCHAM members on the current labor law environment in Thailand. As part of this year’s event,...

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June 27, 2011

Oxford Business Group Launches The Report: Thailand 2011

David Lyman

In the wake of 2010’s political unrest and with upcoming national elections on the horizon, the climate for business and foreign direct investment in Thailand remains uncertain. The Report:...

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August 2, 2011

Asian Legal Business Ranks Tilleke & Gibbins as a Top Employment Practice in Vietnam

Asian Legal Business has ranked Tilleke & Gibbins as a leading Employment Law Firm in Vietnam in the magazine’s inaugural Asia Employment Law Firm rankings feature. The rankings are a...

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August 9, 2011

Tilleke & Gibbins Featured in Vietnam Business Forum

Thomas J. Treutler, Michael K. Lee

Vietnam Business Forum, a weekly magazine published by the Vietnam Chamber of Commerce and Industry, featured Tilleke & Gibbins in its edition for August 1-8, 2011. This was a special...

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Date Title
June 29, 2007

Permanent Resident: To Be or Not To Be

Kobkit Thienpreecha

Similar to typical “how to” questions such as how to buy a house or condo or how to set up a business, how to acquire permanent resident status has become a question frequently asked by foreign...

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July 13, 2007

Temporary Cessation of Operations

Chusert Supasitthumrong, Tiziana Sucharitkul

If an employer needs to temporarily cease operations wholly or partially for any reason other than force majeure, Thailand’s Labor Protection Act allows for the possibility of cessation of...

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October 19, 2007

Doing Business in Vietnam

John King, Thomas J. Treutler

On the heels of its 2006 entry into the WTO, Vietnam’s economy continues to show high growth and is generally considered the second fastest growing economy in Asia behind China. This article...

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November 23, 2007

Liability and Compensation for Injury

Nuanchun Somboonvinij

When a person directly causes injury to another through negligence, it is clear that liability is attributed to the wrongdoer and the injured person may claim compensation from the wrongdoer....

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December 4, 2007

Primer for Foreign Investors

Piyanuj (Lui) Ratprasatporn

Foreigners in Thailand derive their legal rights primarily from the domestic laws of Thailand. There are certain rights that are reserved only for Thai citizens, but this is not unusual as all...

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