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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

Thailand’s digital economy has grown rapidly, reaching USD16 billion in the past year and prompting legislative changes to data protection law, to become effective in May 2020, and to cybersecurity law.


A report published by Maybank Kim Eng, titled Disruption Watch #7: Thailand’s Digital Revolution, highlights the country’s internet economy growing from USD6 billion in 2015 to USD16 billion in 2019.


As part of measures to strengthen its internet economy, Thailand introduced its new Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA) as part of a broader shift in data perception and accountability.


The new rules are largely based on Europe’s GDPR, now in force for almost two years.


Other legislative developments include the introduction of the Cybersecurity Act, published in May 2019 and effective the same month. The law allows the authorities to monitor and access private data without a court order.

The act allows the state-led National Cybersecurity Committee ‘to summon individuals for questioning and enter private property without court orders in case of actual or anticipated serious cyber threats.’


The law has been criticised by internet companies and business groups, who describe it as “cyber martial law”. Jeff Paine, Managing Director of the Asia Internet Coalition, raised concerns about the implications of the law.


In a statement, Mr Paine commented: ‘he law’s ambiguously defined scope, vague language, and lack of safeguards raises serious privacy concerns for both individuals and businesses, especially provisions that allow overreaching authority to search and seize data and electronic equipment without proper legal oversight.’


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.


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.


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 Andrews Kurth 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.  


Present since 1990, Siam Premier International has established a leading position with separate departments for media, telecommunications and intellectual property. The firm’s practitioners advise on contentious and non-contentious intellectual property and technology law.s


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

LawPlus

Tilleke & Gibbins


TIER 2

Blumenthal Richter & Sumet

Allen & Overy

Hunton Andrews Kurth

Siam Premier International


TIER 3

International Legal Counsellors Thailand (ILCT)   

Linklaters

Rajah & Tann

Weerawong Chinnavat & Peangpanor


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