Herbies bolsters Bangkok for corporate refocus

Herbert Smith has signalled its renewed confidence in Thailand with the appointment of Rashane Leerabandu as head of corporate and commercial in Bangkok.

The firm scaled down its Thai offering to focus on dispute resolution and construction following a scandal in 1997 that led to head of regional arbitration Henry Uscinski being imprisoned for five years for falsifying tax returns.

Herbert Smith has since focused on contentious work in Bangkok. However, the firm has now renewed its focus on corporate and commercial work due to client demand.

Bangkok managing partner Alastair Henderson said: “This is a tremendous step forward for the firm in Bangkok, reflecting our confidence in this market.”

Leerabandu, a Thai national who previously headed PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Thai corporate and mergers and acquisitions practice, is to build the firm’s corporate and commercial team to increase its presence in the region.

Herbert Smith, whose key Thai clients stem from the energy and natural resources sector, will also use Leerabandu’s appointment to offer corporate and commercial capability in Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam.