Desmond Hughes, Co-Founder and Senior Partner LLM FCIArb
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

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.

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


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


Vice-Chair of CIArb Thailand Branch

2018-2020, 2020-2023

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


Fellow of Chartered Institute of Arbitrators


CIArb Asia Pacific Diploma in International Arbitration


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


College of Law – Professional Legal Skills


Qualified Solicitor England and Wales


Trainee Solicitor – KLegal/Mcgrigors


Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice – University of Westminster


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


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

Solid Presence in Asia

Desmond has operated and owned his own law firm in Thailand for 20 years. He has been an owner and Senior Partner of Hughes Krupica for 10 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 international arbitration events and also property events in Bangkok, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia 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 the former Chair of the International Chamber of Commerce (“ICC”) to Thailand ADR and Arbitration Commission for a 3 year term 2020-2023  having been the Vice-Chair for 2 years immediately prior. He is also a Commission Member of the ICC Commission for ADR and Arbitration attending global events and remains a Commission Member of the ICC Thailand ADR and Arbitration Commission.

Desmond is also the former Vice-Chair of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (“CIArb”) Thailand branch and a registered panel arbitrator on the panel of the Thai Arbitration Institute (“TAI”).

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.


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 invested in medical tech start-ups; overseen the tech-formation of Hughes Krupica and implemented various tech systems and applications to improve working practices. He also built the firm’s website, his own personal website and once worked with a developer on an app for predicting litigation fees in Thailand. Desmond embraces new modern tech tools and enjoys the philosophy behind tech and artificial intelligence policies.


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 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.


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

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 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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