Lawyers in Thailand, and their licensing.


If you are looking for a lawyer in Thailand you need to understand the difference between Thai licensed lawyers, Foreign licensed attorneys, and persons calling themselves Lawyers.


In Thailand Foreigners are prohibited to be a lawyer by Foreign Employment Act (1978), Thus, they are unable to obtain Lawyer's License. Surprisingly, they can serve their clients as legal advisors, consultants, and coordinators in Thai law firms, while in other countries, all acts involve legal counseling are deemed to be an activity that only licensed lawyer can perform and prohibited non licensed to act in any circumstances. Anyone in Thailand can open a company with Legal Services as an objective without having any lawyer in a company, this results from loosely regulated law to control legal advisor business. There are various types of foreign national advisors who work for the Thai Law firm, some of them do not even hold a law degree or relevant experience.


In accordance with, Section 4 of Thailand Lawyers Act (1985), a lawyer is a person who officially registered with the Lawyers Council of Thailand and holds a lawyer license. To obtain the lawyer license in Thailand an applicant must be Thai, holds at least a Bachelor's Degree from an educational institution accredited by the Law Society, and be an extraordinary member of the Thai Bar Association. Obtaining Lawyer license is a long and difficult process that takes nearly a year. Also, about 55-70% of all applicants are failing the examination.


In Thailand, all the power to control lawyers belongs to the Lawyers Council of Thailand, which can be confusing to foreigners, since in most Western countries such power holds by the Bar Association. To explain it more clearly, unlike in many other countries a person can be a Member of a Thai Bar Association even without holding a Lawyer License, such extraordinary membership is available to any person who graduated from one of the listed universities, or who has passed the lawyer examination at the Lawyers Council of Thailand. While it is not necessary for every lawyer to pass the Bar examination, all lawyers in Thailand required to be registered as extraordinary members of the Thai Bar Association in order to be able to obtain the lawyer license.


The lawyers who seek a Barrister at law status, there is an Ordinary Membership in the Thai Bar Association, which can be obtained after special courses and complicated examination, only lawyers whose is holding Barrister status can apply for Assistant prosecutors or Assistant Judges in Thailand. Barrister at Law is the highest level of lawyer qualification in Thailand.


Thai Lawyer License allows practice the all areas of law in the kingdom, but there are special courses and examinations required to practice in the Juvenile and Family Thai Courts, Notary service, and Intellectual Property court.