Herbert Smith has poached Henry Uscinski, Couderts' head of international arbitration, to head up its new Bangkok office - set to open later this month.
Uscinski will spend half his time in Bangkok and the remainder in his Hong Kong base, where he will head Herbert Smith's international arbitration practice.
Jonathan Pyne, who rec-ently joined Herbert Smith from leading Thai securities firm Krungthai Thanakit, where he was co-head of inv-estment banking, will be based permanently in Bangkok. He will oversee the non-contentious side of the practice.
Both Herbert Smith and Allen & Overy announced plans last month to open in Thailand. Bangkok already plays host to Clifford Chance, Linklaters and Freshfields, all of which have been building up their offices in recent months.
David Willis, head of Herbert Smith's Asia region, said the Bangkok office would become an important base for the firm's regional dispute resolution team.
He said Uscinski had developed "one of the finest dispute resolution practices in the region".
In another Thai-related move, White & Case partner Kevin Murphy has been transferred to the firm's Bangkok office from Singapore.
In a statement the firm said Murphy's move was to support the Bangkok office's increasing debt restructuring work, that resulted from the depreciation of the Thai baht last year.