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    Lifestyle Curators for Thailand + Southeast Asia

    Wise Advice

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    With personal touch regarded as its core strength, Harvey Law Group ‘does not see borders, it sees possibilities’

    by Christopher Scott Dixon

    Many of life’s important decisions involve aspects of the law and one particular firm has enjoyed a lasting reputation for the quality of its services and advice to clients. Harvey Law Group (HLG), established in Canada in 1992, has grown steadily since then and has set up a number of offices around the world including several across Southeast Asia.

    French-born Bastien Trelcat is the managing partner for Thailand and Myanmar, and brings to the firm an outstanding legal career and much experience in a range of countries including in his native France and China.

    HLG focuses on two main areas: pure legal services such as company incorporation, employment and commercial law; and a category it has been specializing in since 1992 — Investment immigration. “Also known as mobility,” Bastien explains, “this essentially means that in return for a certain amount of money invested into a country’s economy, you receive the right to reside, permanent residency, or citizenship in that country.”

    Canada was the first country to conceive and implement this program and it is obviously an attractive prospect for those with the capital to invest and live long-term overseas. Nowadays, the US investment program – known as EB5 – leads the market in terms of destination as the minimum investment is currently set at USD500,000 against a 10 years’ residency. France and UK have also very attractive residency programs. Cyprus, St Kitts & Nevis, Dominica and Grenada offer citizenship by investment programs for those in need of traveling frequently. Thailand is also regarded as one of around 20 countries where the Immigration program is both applicable and appealing.

    The majority of the Bangkok office’s clients are French or Canadian companies, many of which already have operations here and in addition, wealthy local and South East Asian entrepreneurs.

    Dealing with complicated and sensitive legal matters in different countries can raise problematic cultural and communication issues. However, Bastien feels Thailand is more conducive to conducting such transactions than most.

    “Thai people are very familiar in interacting with foreigners and historically, English judges sat in Thai courts with their local counterparts in the 19th century, so they are already aware of many legal terms,” Bastien explains further.

    It is also felt that there is a stronger sense of efficiency and general infrastructure in Thailand. This, allied with the quality of life, makes the country more enticing for those with the financial clout and the desire to expand their markets and settle here.

    The business of law is as competitive as any other and the fact HLG has expanded to nations as diverse as Burma, St. Kitts & Nevis, and the United Arab Emirates is ample testimony to their absolute professionalism and the solidity of their relationships with clients on a global scale.

    Bastien stresses the importance of being readily available to clients not just at the start of the process but right to the very end, which is not the norm for many in his position. Personal touch is regarded as core strength.

    Future branches in Singapore and Indonesia are planned as HLG continues to progress.As its handbook states, “we don’t see borders, we see possibilities.”