BAKER & MCKENZIE has advised Durham Holdings Limited on the management of a new Shangri-La Resort on Thailand’s Phuket island.
The new 315-room resort, due to open at the end of 2008, will be situated on Bang Tao Bay beach on the west coast of Phuket.
Baker & McKenzie was involved in two distinct segments of the deal. Partner Graeme Dickson led the Sydney office in negotiating the management agreement with Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts, while partner Anurat Tiyaphorn led the Bangkok office in providing advice on numerous other structural aspects of the resort.
Dickson said the success of this deal is further evidence of Baker & McKenzie’s ability to act efficiently and cost effectively on multi-jurisdictional transactions, thanks to the firm’s strong presence in Asia.
“We have 14 offices in Asia and we have been involved in hotels and resorts for at least 20 years, so not only do we have lawyers on the ground in these areas, but we also have the expertise in those jurisdictions which we can access,” Dickson said.
Dickson also pointed to the international experience of the local Hotels, Resorts and Tourism Practice as another reason for the firm’s success when dealing with the particular demands of multi-jurisdictional deals.
“There are a number of difficulties. You are dealing with people who don’t necessarily have English as their first language. You are dealing with legal systems which can be significantly dissimilar to the British common law system we work under. You are dealing with time differences so if you are doing a deal in Thailand, by the time I’m ready to knock off they are just having lunch. And you need to work closely with a local counsel to ensure that the documents you’re working on are valid and enforceable in the local jurisdiction,” Dickson said.
The local practice has previous international experience in Indonesia, Thailand, New Zealand, Fiji, China, the Maldives, Tahiti and Malaysia.