David Lyman

Chairman & Chief Values Officer
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T: +66 2653 5597
F: +66 2653 5678

Practices

Office

Language

English

Education

Diploma, Parker School of Foreign & Comparative Law, Columbia University

JD, Hastings College of the Law

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 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 a past President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AMCHAM), a Senior Advisor to AMCHAM's Board of Governors, and 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 a certified Scuba Divemaster, David was a founder 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 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 in 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.

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 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, and the “Phra Dulyathipat” Badge, awarded by the Council of the Judge Advocate General’s School in 2014.

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  • Proved that our client was innocent in the critical appeal of a criminal case. The court of first instance ruled that our client, the head of a company commissioned to tow a historical submarine from Europe to Asia, committed fraud and assessed a lengthy term of imprisonment. We zealously appealed this judgment. Our persuasive arguments led the appellate court to conclude that our client’s innocence was proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

  • Counseled a credit card company on guidelines for business courtesies (such as meals, events, and gifts) to be extended to foreign officials.

  • Advised a U.S. transportation company on their dealings with the Royal Thai Army during the course of a government procurement contract.

Datesort icon Title
December 17, 2014

Americans in Thailand: New Book Features Insight on the Lyman Family and Other Prominent Expats

David Lyman

Sponsored by Tilleke & Gibbins, Americans in Thailand, a fascinating account of Americans’ impact on Thailand over the past two centuries, has been published by Editions Didier Millet. From...

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November 12, 2014

Asialaw Profiles 2015: Tilleke & Gibbins’ Thailand Team “Highly Recommended” in Nine Practice Areas

Placing our firm at the pinnacle of the Thai legal market, Asialaw Profiles 2015  has ranked Tilleke & Gibbins as a “Highly Recommended” firm in nine practice areas. The rankings, which are...

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November 3, 2014

Bangkok Post: David Lyman Comments on Proposed Foreign Control Restrictions

David Lyman

The Thai government has issued a new proposal to restrict foreign control over joint-venture companies in Thailand. The change, which would be made to the Foreign Business Act—an Act governing...

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September 22, 2014

David Lyman Interviewed by the Bangkok Post Newspaper on Post-Coup Administration

David Lyman

Now that the dust has settled following General Prayuth Chan-ocha’s military takeover of Thailand’s government, all eyes are now on the post-coup administration to see whether its promises of...

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September 16, 2014

ICC FraudNet Bangkok Conference on Fraud, Asset Recovery & Cross-Border Cooperation

David Lyman, Thawat Damsa-ard

On October 17, Tilleke & Gibbins will be cohosting the ICC FraudNet Bangkok Conference on Fraud, Asset Recovery & Cross-Border Cooperation. This English-language conference will bring...

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January 23, 2014

Viewpoint: The Thai Political Conundrum – Early 2014

David Lyman

Like so many of us here in Thailand, Thai and foreigner alike, for the past several months I have been observing, listening, watching, and reading about the protests against the seated government of...

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March 20, 2013

Lex Mundi Guide to Doing Business in Thailand 2013

Published by Tilleke & Gibbins in association with Lex Mundi, the Guide to Doing Business in Thailand  provides a comprehensive overview of the legal environment for investors entering the...

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September 5, 2012

The Report: Thailand 2012 – Legal Framework

The Report: Thailand 2012, published by Oxford Business Group, provides an in-depth analysis of different sectors of the Thai economy. Tilleke & Gibbins contributed the legal section of the...

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August 23, 2012

The World Economic Forum Comes to Bangkok

David Lyman

For two thought-provoking days—May 31 to June 1, 2012—Bangkok played host to the 21st World Economic Forum on East Asia, a first for Thailand. The arrangements for the event, which was staged at the...

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January 4, 2012

Lex Mundi Guide to Doing Business in Thailand 2012

This guide provides a detailed overview of doing business in Thailand. Topics covered in the guide include investment, import and export regulations, exchange controls, tax, requirements for...

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