Clifford Chance Bangkok rebel just won’t go quietly

Wirot Poonsuwan, who was suspended in August last year over issues related to his contribution, has appointed Kaiser Saurborn & Mair to oversee his claims against Clifford Chance.

Poonsuwan has already launched a defamation suit against Bangkok partner Tim Jeffares, as well as demanding a £30m payoff.

However, Daniel Kaiser, the Kaiser Saurborn partner acting for Poonsuwan, confirmed that his client was considering bringing claims under New York law, but declined to comment on the details of the allegations.

Clifford Chance has also taken its own steps in retaining counsel and is understood to have appointed litigation heavyweight Roy Reardon at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

The Lawyer (13 January) first revealed that Clifford Chance had served notice on Poonsuwan, seeking his expulsion after rejecting a series of claims he made against the firm, including race discrimination and tax fraud, following his suspension.

Poonsuwan had also made allegations of timesheet padding, as well as demanding armed protection after accusing Clifford Chance of sending “gangsters” to his home address (although it is believed these ‘gangsters’ were actually motorcycle couriers).

It is understood that the firm is likely to press ahead with plans to expel its former partner – the first time in its history that Clifford Chance has taken such a step.

Poonsuwan first joined Clifford Chance in 1999 after the firm merged its Bangkok practice with Wirot International.

Clifford Chance declined to comment.