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Hughes Krupica: Using your mind to filter for REAL legal information

  Boat Lagoon

Currently, ‘fake news’ and misleading information is a serious global phenomenon that various state authorities are trying to redress by intervening in the actions of private companies who use data within their systems and business models. The recent U.S. intervention in the handling of data by Facebook, Inc., as well as other countries such as Singapore and the UK, demonstrates how important information is in our daily lives and how important that it be handled correctly.

Unfortunately, when many authors of articles containing legal information commit fingers to keyboard, the constraints of space and time, or the underlying motive for writing the article, can result in confusion for readers and, more widely, the market.

It is this confusion that has lead to fundamental misinterpretation, oversimplification or – at worst – ‘fake information’ being provided to non-lawyers.

The following topics are those in which I believe there exists the most conflicting and unclear body of information for readers or internet users:

  1. The real meaning in law of a 30-year registered lease in Thailand
  2. The meaning and purpose of a promise to carry out a legal act in the future, but not register such act, such as a ‘lease renewal’
  3. The extent to which the law regulates consumer rights in a condominium
  4. Whether or not an individual, group of people, or a rental programme operator needs a hotel license
  5. The actual meaning of a developer promoting it has ‘EIA’ approval, and understanding that approval to do something is not evidence that something has been done or that laws and regulations have been complied with
  6. The real meaning, from the perspective of the Thai authorities, various Government departments and enforcement bodies (such as the Department of Special Investigations) of ‘nominee shareholders’ relating to the circumvention of restrictions on the conduct of certain businesses under the Foreign Business Act, and the restrictions in the Land Code relating to ownership of land in relation to non-Thais
  7. The practical consequences of not having a Thai will in Thailand relating to specific Thai matters, and the real work an executor of an estate has to carry out, dealing with the administratively difficult procedures of banks and other parties in relation to the wishes of a deceased person and the interests of beneficiaries
  8. Understanding what actually happens in a Thai civil court and the process for preparing information, making submissions, what the style of advocacy comprises, the system of law including appeals, the manner in which costs are dealt with in judgments and enforcement. 

If I were a ‘layperson’, non-lawyer, and searched for information on these topics, I would be no closer to getting a conclusive or helpful answer than when I thought of the question, without actually discussing the matter with qualified competent advisers.

There are also many legal articles written that are simply designed to ‘scare’ or worry readers into consulting lawyers, which overall has a detrimental affect on investment behaviour and approach.

A good market is a market that operates with a minimum of interference, has the backing of a regulatory system, but can also be self-regulating subject to checks and balances. However, the ideology of a good market cannot be imposed over a market that has inherent weaknesses.

When you read legal articles insisting that your entire investment may be at risk “now”, or that what you bought isn’t real, or that you have little or no legal rights, keep calm and, if you are so inclined, make a cup of tea and consider further the purpose of the dissemination of the article.

I’m not suggesting that there is never any cause for concern in relation to legal matters which may affect investments, but I strongly recommend that all information out there is subject to a strong degree of scrutiny and skepticism, to at least the same degree you would apply to a news article on your newsfeed, before any hasty actions are taken, at your expense.

By Desmond Hughes, Senior Partner of Hughes Krupica.
Hughes Krupica is a law firm which specialises in Real Estate; Construction; Hospitality; Corporate; Commercial; Personal Injury; Dispute Resolution; and Litigation, operating in Bangkok and Phuket, servicing clients in relation to their business activities in Thailand and in other regions of Asia.

GPS coordinate: 7.962140, 98.385884

 Contact info:

Hughes Krupica Consulting (Bangkok) Co. Ltd

Phuket Office:
23/123-5 Moo 2, Kohkaew Plaza, 
The Phuket Boat Lagoon, Tambon Kohkaew, Amphoe Muang, Phuket 83000
Tel:+66 76 608 468 

Bangkok Office:
179 Bangkok City Tower, Fifth Floor,
South Sathorn Rd, Sathorn, Bangkok 10120
Tel: +66 2 872 173

[email protected]

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