Thai Law Firm Warns Foreign Corruption Charges On the Rise

Top Quote Global powerhouses the US and UK have signalled a clear intent to clamp down on corruption, particularly in emerging markets such as Thailand. New laws and greater enforcement powers will have a direct impact on multinationals with Thai interests, according to leading Thai law firm BSA Law. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) October 19, 2011 - Bangkok, Thailand - A more aggressive approach to tackling bribery and corruption has put multinational firms on notice, according to Thai business law experts BSA Law.

    The international law firm in Thailand believes new legislation and greater enforcement campaigns have signalled a clear intent by both the US and the UK to tackle corruption abroad, particularly in emerging markets.

    This has implications not only for UK and US firms but any multinational with business dealings in Britain or the United States.

    BSA Law spokesman and Thailand lawyer Apisakde Kongkangwanchoke said Thai-held and foreign-owned companies operating in the south-east Asian nation were already subject to Thai business law, in particular the Thai Penal Code. This Thailand law covers bribery, abuse of office extortion, corruption and extends to anyone caught acting as an intermediary where bribes are being offered.

    Mr Kongkangwanchoke said international firms with a business investment in Thailand and Thai-held companies were also subject to foreign laws.

    These include the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), which has been around since the 1970s but had only recently been given teeth through greater enforcement. The new UK Bribery Act 2010 has also come into play and has been described as one of the toughest pieces of anti-corruption legislature.

    "The US Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission have increased their investigations into bribery practices in the past decade, and this has resulted in a marked increase in prosecutions and indictments," Mr Kongkangwanchoke said.

    "What's really important to be aware of is that the UK Bribery Act extends to any company that does even a small part of its business in Britain."

    As a Thai law consulting firm, BSA Law has noted with interest that other foreign countries including European nations and Asian-Pacific neighbour Australia have also began launching foreign anti-corruption cases.

    "Australian-laid charges relating to alleged bribes paid to officials in Indonesia, Malaysia and Vietnam in order to secure bank note printing contracts highlight that other countries are beginning to get serious about their foreign anti-bribery responsibilities."

    Bribes may oil the wheels of business and give firms an advantage in winning contracts or other advantages but the stakes are getting higher.

    Thai business laws are just a small part of the legal landscape multinational firms must operate within and experienced corporate legal services in Thailand will need a broad understanding of international regulations when advising clients in this area.

    About BSA Law:

    For nearly 30 years, Bamrung Suvicha Apisakdi Law Associates (BSA Law) has focused on providing reliable legal advice and services to the Thai and foreign business community in Thailand. BSA Law seeks to provide international standards of legal services while retaining the customs of the Thai business culture.

    For more information please contact:

    Jim Byrne
    Business Advisor, BSA Law.
    Email: jim ( @ ) bsalaw dot co dot th

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