Ratthakarn Boonnua



T: +66 2665 7800/7878
D: +66 2665 7806
M: +66 81 813 7567

EmailE: rboonnua@wfw.com

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Ratthakarn Boonnua

Summary Open

Ratthakarn is a Partner in the Dispute Resolution group. Over the past 20 years, Ratthakarn has served as lead trial lawyer in many high profile multi-jurisdictional cases. Ratthakarn specialises in international trade, commercial disputes, business crime, arbitration and employment law. He has vast experience in the maritime and insurance sectors and has acted as a legal expert witness in many international arbitrations, and English and Hong Kong High Court cases.

Ratthakarn is praised by the Legal 500 Asia Pacific and Chambers Asia Pacific as a leading practitioner and is highly recommended for dispute work. Ratthakarn sits as TAI arbitrator and often serves as speaker at various conferences. He is fluent in Thai and English.

Experience Open

    Ratthakarn’s experience includes:
    Dispute Resolution:
    • Advising PTT Public Company Ltd on a multi-billion Thai Baht claim under EPC Contract against Hyundai Heavy Industries and other sub-contractors. The dispute arose out of a gas pipeline leakage leading to the use of the higher priced bunker oil and the imported LNG to make up the shortfall.
    • Advising Thailand’s premier international energy company, on a multi-billion Thai Baht disputes in relation to gas sales with its Myanmar counterparts.
    • Advising Thailand’s premier international energy company on the termination of a US$7m contract with a software service provider.
    • Advising and acting for a major Ford Motor Company and its Thai affiliates on contingent business interruption claims arising out of the Thailand Floods in 2011. This insurance dispute against the insurer has been brought to Thai Court.
    • Acting for Salamander Energy, a leading British-based oil and gas exploration and production business whose activities are focused in South East Asia, on a number of labour disputes.
    • Representing and acting for a US-based charitable organisation on various legal aspects arising out of the embezzlement of the donated funds. The matters have been referred to various authorities in several jurisdictions including Thai, US and Cambodia.
    • Successfully representing the International Air Transport Association (IATA) in defending a THB260m claim brought by Accredited Agents in relation to the BSP programme.
    • Advising and acting for Monsanto, a world’s leading agricultural corporation, in employment law matters in its operation in SE Asia region.
    • Successfully representing and acting for Club Med Hotel in Phuket at Thai High Court on complex share and property disputes.
    • Acting for Gaphst Group of companies in various complex shareholders’ disputes (on civil and criminal aspects) concerning with the high-end Scoozi pizza business in Thailand.
    • Acting for a Thai Company in a US$300m arbitration in Thailand under UNCITRAL Rules. The dispute relates to the termination of Co-Manufacturing Agreement by a major European corporate and the private Thai company allege repudiatory breach with huge losses arising.
    • Acting for United Palm Oil Industry Public Co., Ltd., one of the biggest palm oil companies in Thailand, in a US$21m arbitration in Thailand under the ICC Rules. The disputes relate to the failures and defects of a boiler.
    • Acting for Prime Water against a well-known Thai producer of cultured milk products in an ICC arbitration arising from breaches of contractual obligations and the wrongful termination of Build-Own-Operate-Transfer agreement in relation to a Wasteswater treatment project.
    • Advising Outrigger Hotels, a Hawaii-based group of hospitality companies on the dispute arisen from the termination of a Hotel Management Agreement with the owners under the SIAC arbitration and appearing before the tribunal as a legal expert witness.
    • Acting for International Air Transport Association (IATA) in relation to a Credit Insurance dispute. The dispute is subject to the Thai Department of Insurance Arbitration Rules.
    • Acting for Bangchak Petroleum PCL, the second largest petroleum company in Thailand, in relation to a dispute arising out of banker charterparty. The dispute is subject to LMAA Rules.
    • Representing one of the largest rice exporters in Thailand in setting aside arbitral award under GAFTA rules in the Thai Court.
    • Advising Kaona Power Supply Co., Ltd., in relation to the explosion of a steam turbine supplied, installed and commissioned by Dresser including advising on arbitration process and high court proceedings against Dresser and the calling of relevant bank guarantees.
    • Advising a major Asia brewery company in a multi-jurisdictional dispute with a European brewery company in relation to termination of licence agents and shareholders agreements. The dispute is under ICC Rules arbitration.
    • Advising the claimants on the “WD FAIRWAY” case before the English High Court as an expert witness on a variety of Thai laws in accordance with marine insurance law, private international law, concepts of propriety rights, co-ownership, trust and subrogation under Thai laws.
    • Acting for the charterers and their Thai agents and subsidiary in a dispute arising out of a collision between two vessels in the Chao Phraya River which resulted in damage to the Bangchak Petroleum jetty no. 18F in court proceedings in the South Bangkok Civil Court to defend claims for approximately US$7m.
    • Advising one of the biggest Thai ship owners in a Maritime Transport dispute arising out of negligence of the Charterers’ agent.
    • Successfully representing the Thoresen Group in defending a complicated maritime case relating to B/L disputes at the Thai IP&IT Court.
    • Representing Armada Bulk Carriers for a multi-million US dollar claim against the biggest steel company in Thailand relating to charterparty disputes.
    • Advising and acting as Thai law expert witness in the Federal Court of Australia Victoria Registry relating to complex and several charterparties on the “GLOBAL HAWK” case.
    • Acting as legal advisor to a major Thai chemical products producer in the sale of its business to UK and Japanese investors.
    • Acting as Thai legal expert witness in the Hong Kong High Court for Chinese individuals and companies as major shareholders of a Thai Company against the minor shareholders who defaulted on settlement agreement.
    • Advising a major Thai group of companies (the processor of vegetables, fruits and palm oil) on various legal issues, including commercial contracts, trademark, etc. in the US.

Education Open

  • 1999: Institute of Maritime Law, Faculty of Law, University of Southampton, UK Certificate, Maritime Law Short Course
  • 1993: Qualified to practice (First Class licence)
  • 1992: Thammasat University, Bangkok, Thailand LL.B

Author/Speaker/Awards Open

  • How May the Thai Government Compensate the Limited Availability of Arbitration in Contracts Involving the State? – Singapore Institute of Arbitrators Newsletter
  • Prevention & Resolution of Disputes in Construction Contract Management, Construction Contracts Summit
  • Challenging Labour Regulatory Issues on Temporary Closing Down, Thailand Labour Law & Wage Updates
  • How to Structure & Manage Product Liability Risks & International Trade Contracts, Product Liability Law & Proactive Strategies Conference
  • Employment Legal Issues in M&A, Change of Employer & Transfer of Employees, Employment Law & Contracts and Labour Law Relations
  • Employment Law Updates on Mergers & Acquisitions and Business Transfer, Labor Law & Wage Updates
  • Cutting-edge Strategies for Managing Legal Aspects of a Company’s Labour Force and Latest Preventive Techniques to Avoid Unnecessary Lawsuits, Labor Law & Wage Updates
  • Arbitration in Thailand – What You Need to Know, Pacific Business Press In-House Congress Bangkok
  • Utilizing Arbitration for Commercial Dispute Resolution, Asia Business Forum, Negotiating, Drafting & Managing Commercial Contracts, Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Tax Rebate Fraud – Asia Business Forum: Corporate Fraud Risk Management & Fraud Control Strategies, Bangkok, Thailand
  • The Recognition and Enforcement of Arbitration Agreements in Thailand, Pacific Business Press In-House Congress Bangkok
  • Termination for Cause  – Asia Business Forum: A practical Approach to Structuring Employment Contracts in Thailand, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Challenging & Enforcing the Awards, Watson, Farley & Williams annual seminar on Arbitration
  • Ethics of Arbitrator, Faculty of Law, Ramkhamhaeng University, Bangkok, Thailand
  • Protecting Trade Secrets, Confidential Information and Intellectual Property in Your Organisation, Asia Business Forum: Employment Contracts, Bangkok, Thailand

Membership of Professional Societies Open

  • Registered Foreign Lawyer, Solicitors Regulation Authority, UK
  • Associate member, The Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, UK
  • Arbitration Committee, ICC Thailand
  • Thai Bar Association
  • Lawyers Council of Thailand

Employment Record Open

  • 2008 – present: Partner, Watson Farley & Williams
  • 2002 – 2008: Senior Associate, Watson Farley & Williams
  • 1996 – 2002: Associate, Tilleke & Gibbins International
  • 1992 – 1996: Associate, Pramuanchai Law Office Co.

Publications Open

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