Desmond Hughes, Co-Founder and Senior Partner
I strive to complement my Clients’ business skills and strengths by providing a different lens on potential risks, costs and outcomes. A strategy can be optimized by collaboration.
  • ICC Thailand Commission on ADR and Arbitration: Chair – 2020-23
  • LLM International Corporate and Commercial Law – King’s College London - 2020
  • Real Estate – Project Structuring and Transactions
  • Hotels – JVs, Investment, Acquisitions, Disposals, Asset Management Arrangements
  • Corporate/Commercial – Corporate Governance, JVs, Commercial Contracts
Philosophy

Desmond believes in balancing the growth of Hughes Krupica with regard to the clients that it and its team serves, a sense of meaningful work and development, evolution of internal organisation structure to create efficiencies suitable for an SME, continuous learning within and outside the field of law and promoting sustainable and responsible Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance through business and community endeavours.

Growth and Sustainability
Environmental, Social and Corporate

Desmond subscribes to the theory and practice that lawyers should develop their thought and analysis to reflect the global and multilayered interplay between domestic law, international law, “hard” and “soft” law regimes and be able to advise clients on how to navigate modern business issues.

Global and Multilayered Interplay
Navigate Modern Business Issues

Desmond’s connects well with business people, because he is a businessman himself and believes that one of the key qualities of an advising partner is empathy aside from legal technical abilities. Desmond highly values courtesy and has plenty of time for polite and driven individuals and for corporates.

Empathy
Courtesy and Politeness

Desmond will gladly handle and manage a complex set of investment transactions but will also pepper his year with smaller transactions to ensure all of his skills are still sharpened. He is also not averse to further education and study recently acquiring his Masters of Law at King’s College London.

Lifelong Learning
Education is continuous
Education

2020

LLM International Corporate and Commercial Law, King’s College London

2019-21

Vice-Chair of CIArb Thailand Branch

 

2018-2020, 2020-2023

Chair of ICC Thailand ADR and Arbitration Commission, formerly Vice-Chair

2016

Fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators

2016

CIArb Asia Pacific Diploma in International Arbitration

2012

Overseas Lawyers Qualification Examination (OLQE) – Hong Kong Law Society

2002

College of Law – Professional Legal Skills

2001

Qualified Solicitor England and Wales

2000-2001

Trainee Solicitor – KLegal/Mcgrigors

1998-1999

Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice – University of Westminster

1995-1998

LLB (Hons) Law 2:1 – University of Westminster

1988-1995

Wilmington Grammar School for Boys, Kent, U.K.

Qualifications/Work-Experience
Solid Presence in Asia

Desmond has operated and owned his own law firm in Thailand for 17 years. He has been an owner and Senior Partner of Hughes Krupica for 7 years. During that time Desmond has been responsible for ensuring that the legal teams working with and for him are paid, motivated, trained and provide value to clients.

Real Estate

Desmond has always retained his real estate practitioner skills and can assist developers with start to finish legal structuring and legal sales contract structures with tailored advice on complex regulatory issues often found in mixed use developments. Desmond will often assist with the full range of sales and disposals of real estate by one off or serial property investors. Desmond’s client base in real estate ranges from high net worth individuals including Forbes List clients to holiday maker turned property investors.

Speaking Prolifically

Desmond has spoken prolifically at events across Asia including numerous Property Expos in Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Bangkok and Phuket.

He has also spoken in other forums in relation to hospitality sector legal and commercial issues, dispute resolution, real estate and asset management.

Desmond organises various presentations in arbitration and dispute resolution further to his involvement in the dispute resolution community.

Sale of Legal Services Stake

Desmond invested in a one location small law firm in Bangkok in 2003 and then oversaw and led that firm through a management, client service and location transformation into a regional 5 office law firm with over 70 staff. Desmond sold his stake to his existing partners in 2013 and subsequently launched Hughes Krupica with Robert Krupica and Pongsak Daengkaew who both left Desmond’s former firm with him.

Desmond extensively knows the weaknesses and strengths of different operational management systems and strategies in law firms in the region and has applied his learning to the ongoing development of Hughes Krupica’s systems and market position.

Professional Advisor at Trisara

Desmond sat on the board of directors of the management company at Trisara for approximately 8 years, which was responsible for the asset management of villas and interaction with the hotel operations, budget and performance measurements, employment of staff and allocation of resources. Desmond oversaw with key owner input the transformation of the management structure to an ‘umbrella structure’ across all phases of the project, merging contractual and legal frameworks to accommodate the change.

Dispute Resolution Arbitration

Desmond is currently the Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) to Thailand ADR and Arbitration Commission for a 3 year term as of February 2020 having been the Vice-Chair for 2 years immediately prior.

Desmond is also the current Vice-Chair of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (“CIArb”) Thailand branch, a registered mediator at the Thailand Arbitration Center (“THAC”) and involved in various arbitration development and training activities.

Sale of Media Business

Desmond invested in Ensign Media in 2010 which was the owner of the Thailand Property Awards and the Property Report a Regional Asia property industry business to business and business to consumer magazine. Ensign, under the leadership of the CEO, Terry Blackburn, went on to develop into a strong regional Awards Event business with Awards taking place in almost every important property destination in Asia. This business was sold for an undisclosed sum to Property Guru in 2016. Property Guru subsequently became a client of Hughes Krupica, indicating post-transaction success, which Desmond had handled.

Hospitality

Desmond has overseen large-scale hotel investment acquisitions and disposals requiring precise coordinated management of his legal team for due diligence and use of his own contract skills in relation to the full set of agreements ranging from letters of intent; full share or asset sale and purchase agreements; hotel management agreements and the finance and security agreements when bank leverage is involved. Desmond applies his corporate and commercial skills when joint ventures are involved which often require a strong but levelheadedness to manage and a local knowledge of cultural issues which can affect a deal.

Medical Software Co-founder

Desmond  invested in a co-founded enterprise in 2018 which specialised in medical software CRM systems with its first seat of incorporation in Singapore and a client base in multiple jurisdictions across a range of medical service providers. This business was a small enterprise providing a platform for management and tracking of work processes and case handling for referrals into a medical service providers client base. The business was scaled down after the principal relocated. The software development and IP remain vested with the founders.

Interests
DESMOND LIKES SAILING BUT IS NOT A SAILOR

Desmond has benefitted greatly from his corporate lifelong membership of the Phuket Yacht Club (formerly the Ao Chalong Yacht Club), by learning how to wind the winch and enjoy the skills of the Captain and other teammates onboard. Desmond has been fortunate to enjoy many sailing regattas over the years, and fairly frequent motor yacht cruises on his clients and friends’ vessels around the region.

DESMOND LIKES EXPLORING CUISINE

Desmond particularly enjoys all forms of dining from fine dining at a Chaine de Rotisseurs events, sampling Michelin restaurant creations in Thailand, Europe and elsewhere, or keeping things delicious and simple – shophouse noodles; market and hawker food, and home made broths being a favourite.

DESMOND PLAYS TENNIS WITH AN ITF COACH

His fluctuating fitness levels and size means he has had to tailor his game accordingly, ranked at an approximate level of PTR 4.0 to 4.5,  and with brisk strategies he can hold his own against for a short while only against some junior high level ranked regional players.

Desmond's Social Networks
MORE TEAM MEMBERS

I have combined my legal training and experience with a broader set of skills including biochemistry to enable wider scientific thinking to be a key strength of my advice. My European, American and Asian professional and life experiences enable me to use a comparative approach to assist clients navigate international and domestic legal systems

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Robert Krupica
Co-Founder and Senior Partner

I understand the interplay between client objectives and the framework of the Thai legal, regulatory and cultural system. I will identify the optimum method of applying a law in practice and deal ethically with challenges

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Pongsak Daengkaew (Oad)
Co-Founder and Partner

The courtroom is where I feel comfortable and where I perform. I ensure that I am well prepared, briefed and adopt a team approach before I commence proceedings

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Wittawas Oungan (Champ)
Litigation of Counsel

I pride myself on my international mindset, track record of transaction closing successes and my ability to emphathise and communicate with our diverse client base. I seek to continually sharpen my skills and mind through experience in a wide range of commercial tasks. My entrepreneurial nature is evident in my dealings

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Sirikwan Tan (Bee)
Senior Associate

I prefer a no-nonsense direct approach to case analysis. I will honestly and candidly assess prospects of success and address weaknesses in a case submission and advocacy plan. Phuket is my territory and I understand this arena

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Prawit Roektalang (Prawit)
Litigation of Counsel

I believe in precision and diligence in research to optimize the basis on which solid reliable legal advice is provided. I have widened my approach to understand the interaction between domestic and international legal systems and enjoy the daily challenge of new client challenges to address

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I have been solving problems in difficult bureaucratic and regulatory oriented environments for many years. This requires me to combine my legal knowledge and pragamtism to complete tasks professionally and in a timely manner. I am reliable, dependable and trustworthy

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I strive to develop the internal financial systems of Hughes Krupica to ensure it can operate in a digital and tech driven environment so that the owners and managers can keep the company stable, secure with good information to plan strategies and direct the company

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I enjoy the challenge of solving the difficult translator dynamics between Thai and English, English and Thai. I practice my skills on a daily basis and have devoted my professional and free time to further study of my craft

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