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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

Thailand progresses its digital economy plan with the establishment of a Ministry of Digital Economy and Society (MDES), approved by the National Legislative Assembly.


The formation of the MDES followed the unanimous approval of legislation in June last year but was followed by censorship fears after the government proposed a separate bill, updated and published in January, to regulate the media.


Media associations, including the Thai Journalists Association and the National Press Council, convened to oppose the National Reform Steering Assembly’s controversial media regulation that requires journalists to obtain accreditation as licensed professional media workers.


In a joint statement issued in opposition to the bill, media organisations wrote: ‘This goes against the intent of Constitution (passed in the referendum last August) which promotes media self-regulation

without state interference. The bill in its present form will directly impact the media duty to scrutinize state power and the public right to know.’


The 2016 report by Freedom House highlighted: ‘Internet freedom declined in 2016 as the military leadership continued its efforts to codify censorship and surveillance powers through legislation,’


As the media censorship debates continue, Facebook is among media organisations responding to government concerns over content staying within parameters of local law, which does not allow the defamation of the royal family.



THAILAND

TIER 1

The Baker McKenzie team acts for clients across the copyright spectrum. Television production companies, online service providers and fashion houses form the firm’s diverse client base. Managed by co-head Say Sujintaya, the practice group advises on the licensing of intellectual property, distributorship arrangements and legal aspects of franchising.


Tilleke & Gibbins works with clients from the film, television and radio segments on intellectual property-related matters. Led by Piyanuj Ratprasatporn and Jeffrey J. Blatt, the team provides ongoing assistance to Google and has assisted Tata Communications on net neutrality and zero rating.


TIER 2

Hunton & Williams maintains leadership in the local legal market with dynamic media sector coverage that includes entertainment and sports. Bangkok-based lawyers work on transactions, negotiations and dispute resolution on behalf of clients around the world. Key practitioner Chinawat Assavapokee works closely with the team on e-commerce and telecommunications matters.  


LawPlus represents clients from the film and music industries, providing specialist advice on a range of copyright matters. The IP and IT department is managed by Prasantaya Bantadtan and Kowit Somwaiya who work with the wider team providing local and cross-border advice.


Present since 1990, Siam Premier International has established a leading position with separate departments for media, telecommunications and intellectual property. Daniel Q. Greif is the firm’s key practitioner advising on areas of contentious and non-contentious intellectual property and technology law.


TIER 3

International Legal Counsellors Thailand (ILCT) represents producers, presenters and actors. With a division dedicated to entertainment, the firm’s lawyers have extensive experience drafting motion picture contracts, including artist, modelling and presenter service contracts. The team also provides sector-related tax planning assistance.


With a digital media focus, the Rajah & Tann team has extensive experience advising on content license and distribution agreements. Rajesh Sreenivasan manages the TMT department, leading the team in its work with media regulators on behalf of its clients. The team is also recognised for its knowledge of data protection compliance.    


Formerly the Bangkok office of White & Case, Weerawong Chinnavat & Peangpanor

has become one of the largest independent law firms since its establishment in 2009. The practice specialises in intellectual property and works a range of cross-border cases handled by Sakchai Limsiripothong and the wider team.


TIER 1

Baker McKenzie

Tilleke & Gibbins


TIER 2

Blumenthal Richter & Sumet

Allen & Overy

Hunton & Williams

LawPlus

Siam Premier International


TIER 3

International Legal Counsellors Thailand (ILCT)   

Linklaters

Rajah & Tann

Weerawong Chinnavat & Peangpanor


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