Not every conflict is resolved through the judgment of the court. There are some cases where it is resolved through peaceful means such as negotiation. In Thailand, there is a system called Alternative Dispute Resolution where parties can deal with their indifferences through negotiation and peaceful means. This is the simplest form of Alternative Dispute Resolution.  Typically, however, both parties choose to negotiate with the assistance of legal counsel. The main advantages to negotiation are that information and the proceedings are completely private and much less expensive, plus the process is faster than the other options.  If the parties cannot reach an agreement by themselves, they may ask their attorneys to conduct the negotiations on their behalf. Even if court proceedings have begun, counsel for the parties will usually continue to negotiate and, in many cases, reach an out-of-court settlement. Negotiation works well with many types of disputes, and a resolution can generally be arrived at without resorting to litigation.

Neutral Facilitator

All other forms of ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution) involve a neutral facilitator that is able to render an unbiased option in the resolution process. If negotiation does reach an impasse, a neutral third party may be brought in, creating a facilitated negotiation process. Even with the introduction of a third party, facilitated negotiation is still more informal than mediation.

Our ADR service

Although a client can choose to negotiate directly with the other party in the dispute, many decide to seek the services of a legal advisor. ADR specialists at Juslaws & Consult advise clients on how to best approach the negotiation in Thailand when it is appropriate to speak directly with the other party in the dispute, as well as many other techniques that will aid in reaching a satisfactory outcome. This includes, of course, what sort of compromise would be acceptable.

Negotiation is not binding in Thailand, although it is possible for both parties to the dispute to agree that a legally-binding contract is drawn up containing the details of the negotiated agreement. What this means is that if a party to the contract does not perform as stipulated in the contract, then the other party has the right to initiate legal proceedings.

Thailand Negotiation Style

Business negotiation across the world is dependent on local culture, and the situation in Thailand is no exception. It is essential for individuals embarking on a business journey in Thailand to understand the ins and outs of Thai culture and how it impacts the local business negotiation style.The society in Thailand is complex as many subcultures in the country impact behavior to such an extent that even leading scholars cannot accurately quantify and explain it. It is therefore extremely important to learn about Thai culture, including communication styles, before attempting to do business in the country. We will discuss some concepts here that could impact business negotiation in Thailand, but this list is not all-inclusive.

Nonverbal Communication

When it comes to understanding cultures in any permutation, it is essential to understand the degree of communication that is expected to take place in nonverbal form. More western-influenced approaches do not rely heavily on nonverbal communication at all and are more likely to be direct and detailed in their verbal communication; however, Asian and African cultures tend to rely quite heavily on nonverbal cues in communication and would not be so detailed in their verbal communication tactics.

Nonverbal communication involves the transmission of information through context as well as space and body language. Thai people, generally speaking, are quite aware of how they display emotions. Much like other cultures in Asia, they rely a lot on nonverbal communication as their verbal communication is indirect. This can be difficult for non-Thai business people to understand if they are accustomed to western-influenced approaches.Smiles are a large part of nonverbal communication in Thailand. There are believed to be around thirteen different ways to smile in Thai culture. There are sad smiles, teasing smiles, and polite smiles, some of these being more personal than others. Because so much of how Thai people communicate is subtle, they tend to be very aware of the body language of others as well.

The implications of such nuances can help you to better grasp Thai influenced business negotiations and the style that is expected for business negotiations in Thailand. This kind of communication is directly related to how a Thai person shows respect to another person. We have to understand and respect that culture and business etiquette are direct influences on business negotiations in Thailand.

Verbal Communication

Because Thai people are so reliant on nonverbal communication, they also tend to be very sensitive to the tone of voice that other people use in conversations. Behaviors that are common in western business negotiations can come across as a lack of maturity to Thai business negotiators. Control of emotional expression is essential in communications with Thai companies. Furthermore, people who are not familiar with Thai-influenced business negotiations could be confused by the indirect manner in which Thai people speak.

Kreng Jai

The Kreng Jai concept does not directly translate into English; furthermore, it can be difficult to explain to outsiders due to how highly contextualized the concept is. Generally, it refers to the action of withholding one's own ideas and desires because it might cause conflict or discomfort for another person. This is done to maintain a relationship. The concept underlines eight conducts:

- A reluctance to demand one's rights.
- Hesitation to evaluate the performance of supervisors or peers.
- A hesitation in passing an order on to, or giving instruction to, a person who has more experience or is older than themselves.
- Reluctance to show a contradictory opinion.
- Holding back or hiding anger or unhappiness when it might cause others discomfort.
- Hesitation to bother or disrupt others.
- Satisfy the desires and wishes of others.

Although Westerners tend to find the Kreng Jai approach frustrating, it is often employed in a business context and even in an international negotiation process. A large part of this intercultural communication style is related to conflict avoidance.


The leading religion in Thailand for centuries has been Buddhism. It is so prevalent that up to 95% of the population are Buddhist. It has thus had a significant impact on intercultural communication and on the daily lives of Thai people. Of the two branches of Buddhism, Theravada is must more popular in Thailand than Mahayana. This means that many Thai people believe strongly in Karma and other concepts related to Buddhism. One of these is that they should accept their place in the world. This even relates to the social class that a person is born into. This makes Thai people less likely to challenge their perceived place in society. This means that they are sensitive to the perceived place of another person within society as well and might question when the other person is perceived to be acting outside of their place.

Overall, Thai people tend to be soft-spoken and polite, even in their negotiating style.


Juslaws & Consult highly recommends this method when dealing with disputes in Thailand as during this process the two parties involved in the conflict work together to negotiate a solution between themselves.

Our attorneys recognize that litigation is a real possibility for a client faced with a dispute, but we always point out to our clients that sometimes the most suitable mechanism for resolving a conflict may not require court action. In addition to negotiation, the Juslaws & Consult ADR team in Thailand offers arbitration, mediation, and mini-trial alternatives when these methods are suitable. Please feel free to contact Juslaws & Consult for more information.

International Negotiation Tips

Be Prepared
International business negotiations can be tricky, so in order to make sure that you stay on track, it is essential to be well prepared for whatever might come up. Learn about strategies utilized in business negotiations and make sure that you understand what you are asking for and what the other company can realistically deliver. Do enough research on elements like prices, timelines, and previous similar agreements. Consider challenges and how they might differ outside of the business environment you are used to.

Be sensitive to Culture
Remember that a significant element of business negotiation is about relationship building which means that you need to be sensitive to the culture of the individual cultures you are interacting with. Negotiating style tends to differ significantly depending on the cultures that you are dealing with. Try to draw comparisons with other cultures before attempting any kind of negotiation. How does the culture react to small talk? Will they be comfortable openly discussing price? Do they form strong professional relationships, or do they keep coworkers at arm's length? Will they be open to admitting challenges?

Make sure you have adequate resources
Once you have done your research and prepared for your presentations and arguments, it is essential to further examine the situation so that you can identify what kind of resources you will need to make your argument effectively. Make sure that you have enough resources on the day, and bear in mind that conditions change sometimes, so contingency plans can come in handy; how will you proceed if there is no electricity?

Strive for a dynamic, reliable, and open working relationship with business partners
Especially if you are conducting business negotiations in Thailand or similar places, self-control and respect are the underpinnings to success. Being sensitive to the culture of the individuals you are working with is just as important as maintaining business relationships through which you can access the tactics and strategies of those you are trying to make agreements with. Understand also that sometimes personal relationships with individuals in international business negotiations will not be possible, but that does not mean that you cannot form a strong professional relationship with the people you are working with, even the decision-makers.

Be driven by integrity
The best way to achieve long-term success in business negotiation is through ethical business practices. Do not lie to decision-makers or try to butter them up. Keep negotiations clean, be honest and open about price, make agreements within the bounds of ethical practice, do your research so that you have a better idea of when the other management team might be trying to swindle you, and if necessary, engage with a lawyer, do not start a fight or return the unprofessional behavior.

Do not be too rigid
Be flexible in your business dealings. Companies might be in different phases of development which will mean that your initial plan might not work for the other company, but that does not mean that an alternative will not be possible.

Rely on realistic commitments
Examine the options that are available, be realistic about prices and do your research. Do not expect more from the other management team than what is possible; otherwise, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.

Confirm understanding
It is always important to be sure that you understand everything correctly. Misunderstandings can cause major problems in business. Make sure that you understand where a report focuses attention and what the findings of interviews conducted mean. Also, confirm your understanding of agreements with other management teams before you set anything in stone.

Prepare yourself for the case where negotiations might fail
Any type of negotiation can and will occasionally fail. Prepare yourself for that eventuality. Even attempting to make an alternative deal might not be successful.


Juslaws & Consult highly recommends this method when dealing with disputes in Thailand, as during this process, the two parties involved in the conflict work together to negotiate a solution between themselves.

Our attorneys recognize that litigation is a real possibility for a client faced with a dispute, but we always point out to our clients that sometimes the most suitable mechanism for resolving a conflict may not require court action. In addition to negotiation, the Juslaws & Consult ADR team in Thailand offers arbitration, mediation, and mini-trial alternatives when these methods are suitable. Please feel free to contact Juslaws & Consult for more information.