Rajah & Tann expands international arbitration practice with Bangkok partner hire

Former MoFo and HSF lawyer Vanina Sucharitkul will help grow the Singapore firm’s regional disputes coverage

Rajah & Tann expands in Thailand Shutterstock

Singapore firm Rajah & Tann has hired former Herbet Smith Freehills international disputes specialist Vanina Sucharitkul to bolster its regional arbitration practice.

Sucharitkul joins as a partner in Bangkok, bringing with her more than a decade of experience on investor-state dispute settlements, commercial arbitration and related litigation proceedings. Rajah & Tann said Sucharitkul’s mixed Thai and French heritage and US citizenship will bring a unique cross-cultural perspective to international disputes. She will work closely with the firm’s Singapore office, with a view to eventual relocation.

Kelvin Poon, senior counsel and head of the firm’s international arbitration practice, said: “[Sucharitkul’s] extensive experience and expertise in international arbitration will add a new dimension to our practice and enhance our ability to serve our clients’ needs globally.”

He added that the appointment comes “at a time when the firm is looking to grow our international arbitration practice. We are confident that her experience will help us achieve our goals.”

Sucharitkul started her career at Morrison & Foerster as a litigation and arbitration associate before moving to Herbert Smith Freehills, where she worked in Bangkok, Paris and Hong Kong until 2017. Since then, she has worked as a senior lecturer at Université Paris Descartes.

She is the current chair of the Thailand branch of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and has served as director of Arbitral Women for two terms, alongside Arbitra International’s Dana MacGrath during the latter's term as chair.

Sucharitkul was previously a member of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) for Thailand for nine years and remains a keen supporter of the ICC in its centenary year. The youngest member of the court on appointment in 2012, she praised the ICC’s success in attaining gender parity in membership of the ICC Court for International Women’s Day.

She wrote on LinkedIn: “I have witnessed the steady rise over the past six years in the number of female arbitrator appointments from 10.4% to 24.3%,” being proud to be part of an institution committed to gender diversity, but regional and generational diversity as well.

In addition to her counsel work, she sits as an arbitrator for disputes under the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, Asian International Arbitration Centre, Shenzhen Court of International Arbitration (SCIA), and Thai Arbitration Institute, as well as the ICC – a strong plus for her regional arbitral credentials.

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