Breach of Contract in Thailand

Contracts are essential to commercial success, but sometimes they break down due to unforeseen circumstances. Navigating breach of contract disputes in Thailand requires a careful blend of legal principles, negotiation strategies and cultural awareness.

Most breach of contract cases resolve through informal methods like mediation or arbitration, facilitated by neutral third parties. However, if these fail, litigation may become necessary.

Defining a Breach

Contracts are an essential part of any business deal in Thailand. But sometimes a person or company fails to follow the terms of an agreement, causing problems for everyone involved. This is called a breach of contract. In such cases, legal action is often needed to collect debts and/or damages from the guilty party.

Remedies for contract breaches typically involve monetary compensation aimed at returning the injured party to the position they would have been had the contract not been breached. This compensation can include costs associated with repairing the damage, lost profits and any other consequential losses related to the breach. In some cases, courts may also award stipulated damages, which are established in the contract and commonly align with consequential losses.

Understanding the Thai legal framework and seeking legal advice during contract negotiation and drafting stages can help prevent contract disputes and ensure favourable resolutions when they do arise. If negotiations and alternative dispute resolution methods are unsuccessful, the court system in Thailand, including specialized commercial courts, handles breach of contract cases.

Remedies for Breach

The most common remedy for breach of contract is damages. This can include monetary compensation for any losses incurred due to the breach, such as loss of profits, cost of performing the contractual obligation, and any other related costs. In some cases, a party may also seek specific performance, which is a court order requiring the breaching party to complete the contractual obligations.

Many contracts include provisions for mediation and arbitration as alternative dispute resolution mechanisms. However, if informal methods do not succeed, the injured party can file a lawsuit in Thai courts.

A successful lawsuit can lead to a favorable judgment awarding the injured party their desired remedies. But successfully navigating the legal system requires an understanding of the local culture and Thai legal frameworks. This includes considerations such as the importance of face-saving, which emphasizes preserving dignity and avoiding embarrassment. A lawyer can advise on strategies to best achieve a favourable result in light of the local context.

Informal Methods of Dispute Resolution

Dispute resolution methods such as mediation and negotiation offer informal means to settle disputes outside formal court processes. These approaches focus on voluntary agreement between parties facilitated by a neutral mediator. Legal counsel can help clients navigate informal dispute resolution services and provide guidance during negotiations or court proceedings. They can also assist in evaluating and assessing the merits of breach of contract cases.

Arbitration is another popular method of resolving contractual disputes in Thailand. This approach allows disputing parties to submit their dispute to a panel of impartial arbitrators that will resolve the case according to Thai arbitration laws.

If a party experiences a material breach of contract, they may be entitled to damages to compensate for their losses. Additionally, they may seek specific performance that requires the breaching party to fulfil their contractual obligations. A non-breaching party may also choose to rescind the contract, which effectively cancels all contractual obligations. They can then pursue payment for the work they have completed (quantum meruit). In some cases, contracts may include liquidated damage clauses that specify a pre-determined amount of compensation in the event of a breach.


In cases where informal methods of dispute resolution are unsuccessful, parties can resort to formal legal action in the courts. Litigation is a time-consuming and expensive option that provides a binding court decision.

Litigation can result in a variety of legal remedies for breach of contract, including damages and specific performance. Damages are a monetary award designed to compensate the non-breaching party for losses that are a direct result of the breach. Specific performance is a court order requiring the breaching party to fulfill their obligations.

Breach of contract disputes can have significant impacts on individuals and businesses in Thailand. Understanding the legal framework, types of breaches, available remedies and resolution methods is crucial for both individuals and companies seeking to protect their interests in contractual relationships. In many instances, proactive legal counsel and alternative dispute resolution methods can result in efficient and satisfactory resolutions without the need for lengthy and costly litigation. Contact us today for more information about how our firm can assist with your Thai litigation matters.

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