Clifford Chance strikes a deal with former Bangkok partner

Clifford Chance has finally settled its acrimonious dispute with former Bangkok managing partner Wirot Poonsuwan.

The first-ever partner to be expelled from the partnership, Poonsuwan had rejected Clifford Chance’s previous attempts to settle the multimillion pound legal wrangle.

However, as first revealed on www.thelawyer.com, an agreement, the terms of which are undisclosed, was finally reached last Monday evening (13 October).

In a prepared statement, Clifford Chance said: “Wirot Poonsuwan and Clifford Chance/Clifford Chance Thailand Limited announced today that disputes between them have been resolved.

“Wirot Poonsuwan has withdrawn his claim for defamation against Clifford Chance partner Tim Jeffares, and has waived any other claims. Clifford Chance/Clifford Chance Thailand have agreed to make a payment to Wirot Poonsuwan, the amount of which remains confidential.”

Discussions about Poonsuwan’s contribution to the firm began in 2001, but came to a head in August of last year, when Clifford Chance suspended him with full pay.

As revealed by The Lawyer on 13 January, Clifford Chance then served notice seeking Poonsuwan’s expulsion.

He was officially expelled from the partnership, effective from 31 March this year.

The former partner had initially demanded a £30m pay-off and made a series of claims against Clifford Chance alleging, among other things, race discrimination and tax fraud, and claiming that the firm was sending “gangsters” to his house.

He launched a criminal prosecution against Bangkok partner Tim Jeffares for defamation.

Clifford Chance responded by appointing star litigator Roy Reardon of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett to defend the claims.