David Lyman

David Lyman

Title: Chairman
Company: Tilleke & Gibbins
Location: Chongnonsi, Yannawa, Bangkok, Thailand

David Lyman, Chairman at Tilleke & Gibbins, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Lawyers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in landmark cases and high-stakes matters.

An icon of the Thailand legal market, Mr. Lyman represents a diverse client base in landmark cases and high-stakes matters. Mr. Lyman provides straightforward, practical advice to multinational corporations and SMEs on foreign direct investment, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance, and anti-corruption issues. Also known as an innovative thinker, Mr. Lyman is widely regarded as the go-to lawyer for cases involving extraordinary facts. From representing foreign journalists accused of defamation, to setting a precedent for determining compensation in wrongful death cases, to locking horns with the Royal Thai Navy over the rights of maritime treasure hunters, to defense work in labor matters, and murder, Mr. Lyman is first and foremost an advocate.

Mr. Lyman’s advocacy extends beyond strictly legal matters to creating a better environment for business and a cleaner environment for future generations. As Founder, in 1975, of the then Prime Minister of Thailand’s Foreign Investment Advisory Council (now the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand), a past President and decades-long serving Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce in Thailand (AMCHAM), a current Senior Advisor to AMCHAM’s Board of Governors, and a current Director of the Board of the AMCHAM Thailand Charitable Foundation (a position he has held for more than a decade), Mr. Lyman has regularly represented the interests of American and foreign investors in high-level meetings with members of the U.S. and Thai governments. A dedicated conservationist, a former submarine officer with the U.S. Navy, and one of Thailand’s first certified Scuba Divemasters, Mr. Lyman was a founding member of the Thailand Business Council for Sustainable Development in 1996, is on the Board of the Thai Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, and has served on many committees to advance environmental protection. He and his wife, Tongtae, own one elephant and five dogs.

Mr. Lyman spent 15 years in the uniform of the U.S. Navy. During his first four years, he was a midshipman. His first ship was a minesweeper. Then, over the next nine years, he was in the U.S. Navy Submarine Force, active and reserve. Mr. Lyman is also an advocate on the world stage. He has held key positions at The World Economic Forum’s Davos Annual Meeting for 18 years, in the International Chamber of Commerce’s Commission on Corporate Responsibility and Anti-Corruption since 1996, and on the Advisory Council of the International Crisis Group during 2003-2013. He also currently serves on the Board of Governors at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, his alma mater, during 2011-2017. He is a founder of the Thailand branch of the International Chamber of Commerce, and served on its Board from 1999 until 2017, currently holding the position of Advisor to the Board. He was a member of the original Board of Directors of Lex Mundi, the world’s leading law firm network.

An avid proponent of good business practices, Mr. Lyman is entrusted with maintaining the firm’s high profile and stature in the community as its Chief Values Officer (CVO). Among his duties as CVO, Mr. Lyman is responsible for keeping the human side of an organization functioning on the course of honest, wise, responsible, legal, and accountable business and professional practices. In his practice, Mr. Lyman combines a passion for the law, with all of its political, economic, and social implications, with a deep devotion to Thailand. As a mark of his dedication, he has received the Thai Suan Luang Rama IX Commemorative Coin, presented by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn in 1988, a Miniature Cartridge Pouch Pin of the First Infantry Regiment, the King’s Own Bodyguard in 2003, the “Phra Dulyathipat” Badge, awarded by the Council of the Judge Advocate General’s School in 2014; an Apostolic Blessing imparted by the Pope, His Holiness Francis, on the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Father Ray Children’s Home in Thailand in 2014; and an award in 2016 bestowed by Thailand’s National Legislative Assembly for devotion to help and protect abandoned animals.

In November 2018, Mr. Lyman received the American Embassy Gold Award, delivered by Mr. Greg Wong, the then U.S. Commercial Counselor. According to Mr. Wong, this award has only been given 3 times before by the embassy. The award is from the American people for Mr. Lyman’s services to, for and on behalf of the Thai people and the American community in Thailand over many years.

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