Desmond believes in growing and developing his legal services business with care to ensure maintenance of standards whilst delivering in a timely manner. Law firms should take note of the successes of their clients as well as competitors and always improve their workforce; systems; strategies and products.
Desmond’s connects well with business people, because he is a businessman himself. Desmond has plenty of time for courteous and driven individuals and for corporates.
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 having embarked upon a long term course of continual studies to complement his arbitration and dispute resolution experience with the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and also now enrolled on the King’s College LLM program – International Corporate and Commercial Law.
Solid Presence in Asia
Desmond has operated and owned his own law firm in Thailand for 14 years. He has been an owner and Senior Partner of Hughes Krupica for 4 years.
Unique Qualifications and Experience
Desmond is a qualified UK solicitor having practised in the real estate department at a large regional law firm based in London. Over 14 years in Thailand Desmond has developed his own skills and his law firm’s practice areas specifically in relation to real estate; hospitality; dispute resolution; corporate and commercial. Desmond also passed the Hong Kong Overseas Lawyers Qualification Examinations in Hong Kong in 2012 after a stint of business activities there in conjunction with further study to enhance his CV.
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.
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 as often found in mixed use developments. Desmond can therefore and 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 purchasers.
Dispute Resolution / Arbitration
Desmond has also developed the firm’s arbitration and dispute resolution practice. He passed his Diploma in Asia Pacific International Arbitration in 2016 and worked with Hughes Krupica’s Senior Arbitration Consultant, Victor Smith, a Chartered Arbitrator, as co-counsel on over 25 arbitration cases as of early 2017.
Phuket and Bangkok
Desmond is primarily based in Phuket but is in Bangkok an average of two to three times per month to deal with Bangkok client matters and to assist with operational matters.
Partner Presentation Activities
Desmond has spoken prolifically at events across Asia, the Property Expo’s in Singapore; Hong Kong; Malaysia; Bangkok and Phuket. He has also spoken in other forums in relation to hospitality sector legal issues; delivering updates on property law and commercial issues in Thailand.
Business Acumen and Entrepreneurial Background
Invested in and sold businesses
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 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 the success of the entire transaction, which Desmond handled in relation to the legal aspects of the sale.
Sale of Legal Services Stake
Desmond invested in a one location small law firm in Bangkok in 2003 and then oversaw and lead that firm’s transformation into a regional 5 office law firm with over 70 staff. Desmond sold his stake to his existing partners and then 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 development of Hughes Krupica’s systems.
Expert Advice as a Director to a High End Luxury Property/Hotel Operation
Desmond sat on the board of directors of a management company for a high end residential estate, Trisara, in Phuket for 8 years; and also participates and assists certain real estate projects with their owner committee and juristic committees, by either sitting on the committee, or advising the committees.
Desmond plays tennis regularly and receives coaching at Advanced Level from an ITF qualified coach which may have partially rubbed off onto his technique. His fluctuating fitness levels and size means he has to tailor his game accordingly.
Desmond particularly enjoys all forms of dining from fine dining at a Chaine de Rotisseurs event, ranging from trying out the latest new restaurants in and around Thong Lor, Bangkok where his Bangkok residence is situated and further afield, to enjoying the local flavours and tastes in authentic modest and simple environments.
Desmond has a whisky collection currently exceeding two hundred bottles of everything from Single Malts – common and rare; unusual Bourbons and Ryes and at a push will make a cocktail from his supping whiskies.
Occasionally Desmond will indulge in a spot of fishing although he fully admits to being a fair weather fisherman and would prefer a well stocked lake to a 4 day wait for one catch.
Currently Studying: LLM, King’s College London, 2017 to 2019/2020
Fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
CIArb Asia Pacific Diploma in International Arbitration – 2016
Overseas Lawyers Qualification Examination (OLQE) – Hong Kong Law Society – 2012
College of Law – Professional Legal Skills – 2002
Qualified Solicitor England and Wales – 2001
Trainee Solicitor – KLegal/Mcgrigors – 2000 – 2001
Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice – University of Westminster – 1998 – 1999
LLB (Hons) Law 2:1 – University of Westminster – 1995 – 1998
Wilmington Grammar School for Boys, Kent, U.K. – 1988 – 1995