Trade Disputes in Thailand

Trade disputes can arise in many contexts. However, the most common trade dispute resolution methods are arbitration and litigation before Thai courts.

Arbitration is favored as a mode of dispute resolution in the energy, mining and infrastructure industries due to the preponderance of cross-border transactions. On average, out-of-court arbitration proceedings take more than a year to be resolved.


In Thailand, the court process can be lengthy and costly. As a result, parties should be cautious in expressing any compromise or settlement offers to avoid compromising their position and/or exposing themselves to liability for legal costs.

Similarly, plaintiffs should carefully assess the nature and extent of the defendant’s assets in Thailand and abroad before proceeding with any litigation. Otherwise, a monetary judgment may have little value as a remedy due to limited recoverable assets.

The Intellectual Property and International Trade Court plays an important role in safeguarding the rights of creative individuals and facilitating business partnerships by ensuring compliance with trade regulations and encouraging fair competition. The IP&IT Court’s jurisprudence also promotes legal certainty and consistency in intellectual property law in Thailand.


Arbitration is a method of dispute resolution used in trade disputes in Thailand. It involves a neutral third party making a binding decision that is enforceable in court. It is suited to many types of civil disputes, including disputes over commercial contracts and intellectual property rights.

The arbitration process is typically conducted in a private setting and all information and evidence can be kept confidential. This can be a major benefit for renowned businesses and public figures that do not want to jeopardize their reputations.

Baker McKenzie LLP’s team manages the entire arbitration process, from developing a case to appearing as counsel in local courts and enforcing or challenging the award. Wynn Pakdeejit, Pisut Attakamol, Suksawat Watewai, and Michael Ramirez are key members of the team. They have experience in disputes with state-owned entities and multinational corporations, and advise on a range of issues such as compliance and anti-corruption matters. They also act as defense counsel on directors and officers’ liability insurance claims.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

In the past, disputes that did not make it to arbitration were brought before courts of justice creating a backlog. To help alleviate this backlog, conciliation is now practised at the pre-trial conference stage by judges of the Court of Justice and other courts, such as the Central Labour Court, the Intellectual Property and International Trade Court, and the Juvenile and Family Court.

In contrast to litigation, conciliation is typically an out-of-court process, and it generally takes a year on average before a dispute is resolved by a tribunal. The disputing parties can also tailor the way in which the case is settled by selecting the arbitrators and arbitration institute, the seat of the tribunal, and whether a single or three-arbitrator tribunal will be used.

Our team of dispute resolution lawyers includes Surasak Vajasit and Pakpoom Suntornvipat who are experienced in resolving disputes in the context of both commercial matters and regulatory proceedings. They are skilled at drafting alternative dispute resolution clauses and in the negotiation of settlements.

Intellectual Property and International Trade Court

Thailand has an efficient legal system with specialised courts that are well-versed in intellectual property and international trade issues. The Central Intellectual Property and International Trade Court (the IP&IT Court) was established in 1997 to meet the challenges of fostering innovation, protecting creators’ rights, and upholding fair trade practices.

The Court aims to resolve patent disputes in a timely manner and promotes awareness of intellectual property laws and regulations through education programs, seminars, and workshops. It also provides technical advice to its judges.

KResearch believes the recent bilateral discussions may offer a friendlier alternative to litigation for settling DS371. However, unless the dispute is resolved within the reasonable time period allowed by the Dispute Settlement Understanding, it may ultimately end up in WTO panel and appellate proceedings.

Hearings in litigation cases can take up to a year or more to conclude in Thailand. The length of time varies depending on the complexity of the case and the number of short or long-term hearings.

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