Somsak – A reader is awaiting answer to ‘Songkran Troubles
– How to react?’

I have always been fascinated in Thailand by advice columns all over the place – usually in newspapers – where people with problems are invited to pose their questions to the resident lawyer – and get an answer for free.

This is because I come from a country where, during most of my early days in journalism, lawyers were actually forbidden to advertise their services and the Bar Council was horrified at the American approach.

These resident lawyers of course dispense advice for free – though of course nothing is for free. The idea is to garner business for themselves by a higher profile projection.

Controversial American Drew Noyes used to do it at his Pattaya Times with his ‘Ask Drew Noyes column’. He used it once as a basis for a diatribe against me – this was after the famous ‘wanker’ question posed by the now legendary Mangus Evans. Noyes of course was revealed as, er,  not a lawyer.

Ask Drew Noyes

Recently started their own ‘Ask the Lawyer’ page and of course the more cynical would view this as business related.

The lawyer they have chosen is Somsak Chopaka of Siam Firm Inter Laws. I do not know who dreams up these names for legal firms in Thailand.  Somsak has also done a legal advice column for the Pattaya People the paper read by most of foreigners who need lawyers in Pattaya.

As you can see below – when I checked today – he still seems have a lot of questions to answer. He must be on holiday or otherwise engaged.

Siam Firm Inter Laws used to be on the British Embassy lawyers list but the company was taken off last year.  There was a complaint from a British citizen but I cannot go into its nature.

This is a typical reply from the Embassy in these sort of situations.

“Thank you for your consular enquiry and I’m sorry that you have had an unsavoury experience using a lawyer on the Embassy lawyer’s list.

 As I’m sure you will appreciate, we try very hard to maintain a list of well-established Thai law firms with a good track history. We take complaints, such as yours, very seriously and I will be raising this matter with HM Consul. 

We of course make it clear that we as an embassy cannot guarantee the quality or integrity of any lawyer who appears on our list, but consideration is always taken when we receive legitimate complaints to remove such practices from our lists and publications”.

I should stress that Siam Firm Inter Law is on the US Embassy list and probably also of other missions in Bangkok and of course there is no suggestion that they it is unsavoury. It’s possible he just does not get on well with certain Brits. I can understand that.


  1. Who doesn't find it annoying we have to pay large sums for somebody just to interpret the law for us. The laws in most countries are written in archaic terms that can be very ambiguous. Language is constantly evolving with daily usage but legal language has been conservative and static for centuries.

    Legal language uses outdated grammar and sentence structures. It also tends to use improper or non-standard punctuation, passive voice, and awkward pronoun references. It is wordy, turgid, and impersonal.

    Legal language suffers from the use of archaic vocabulary, from an excessive use of jargon and technical terms without the definitions that the layperson requires. It uses everyday words while giving them extraordinary connotations and meanings without defining those special meanings. It also clings to foreign words, especially French and Latin.

    A good book to read is – The Cartel – Lawyers and Their Nine Magic Tricks – Evan Whitton – 1998

    It can be read here

    From the last chapter "How the Cartel Obstructs Reform"

    In England, the reason for the failure of all efforts at a rational codification of law were due to the successful resistance against such rationalisation offered by the great and centrally organised lawyers' guilds, a monopolistic stratum of notables from whose midst the judges of the High Court are recruited … they successfully fought all moves towards rational law which threatened their material position.

    – Max Weber, 1915

    Nothing has changed in 100 years!!!

  2. I notice One Stope Legal Services has elected to sponsor Thaivisa's "Marriage/Divorce" and 'Realestate" sub forums. I guess this is where all the rich pickings are.

  3. Hi Andrew, it is Howard From Howard Law Thailand again. I will now be fielding legal questions from readers in my new column Ask Howard, in an unregistered scrap of paper that I will call The Pattaya Official Newspaper. I am also currently writing a book with a Chonburi Judge about extortion and fraud laws in Thailand. The fool thinks I am a real lawyer who attended Dukes University. It will be a good oppurtunity for me to get some photos with some influential people to attract 'clients."
    I attended the law seminar by Thaivisa at Pattaya city hall which qualifies me and all the others who attended to now become lawyers with law offices in Pattaya.

    At Howard Thai Law I will be offering services that I have no education in, in a language I can not read or understand. I have attended a law seminar in Thailand, but spent most of the time on the phone pretending to talk with officials. Just a reminder to your 14 readers of the services that us Pattaya fake lawyers can offer.
    The Howard Thailand Law office has 17 Thai attorneys. Well, sort of. We have used this many defending our personal cases, but they keep leaving. We will occasionally use a real lawyer and then charge clients only about 10 times more.
    Services at Howard Thailand Law office, Jomtien Complex will include
    300,000 thb++ for divorces where both parties agree. ++ may include additional charges of 2.5 million thb, money that the client's wife did not need anyway.
    Contacting old school friends over Facebook to invite them over to Thailand in order to sell them outrageously overpriced condos.
    Jump in photos with influential people, claim to be their adviser and best friend, and name drop to protect yourself.
    Come in with your family for a 90 day visa, which we will ensure we get to you at least 2 days before it expires for only 100,000 thb.
    Attend Duke University and receive a journalism degree that they do not provide which will also somehow qualify you to become a doctor, a lawyer or an investment banker.
    Write a book with a Judge on libel laws and Andrew Drummond.
    Avoid the clampdown reported in the Pattaya Times, don't put property in your wife's name. You can put it in my wife's name instead. The common law wife, that is. My real wife doesn't talk to me anymore.
    Avoid paying those pesky ex wives for the children's food and clothing that you father. In Thailand and in your home country.
    Sell homes for the poor to tourists as luxury sea view condos complete with imaginary tennis courts and swimming pools.
    Take out newbies and set them up with underage prostitutes so you then have something over them if they later get upset when you rip them off.
    Punch your wife in the face and spit on her on numerous occasions, then we will go down to the preschool where she works and scare all the children, then try and run her over.
    Company set ups with no tax returns. Ever.
    Do accounting services for clients, advise them that they had better pay the large tax bill or face foreclosure, then provide a false receipt and pocket the money.
    Take money for closing clients companies but then resell them instead.
    Sell your company through Howard Law Thailand, many times over.
    Divorce is our specialty, done many, and even 1 or 2 for clients. We will even use your nickname on the paperwork.
    Sell bogus shares. No problem, pretend you are a doctor.
    Deny sexual harassment claims of staff. Get a little taste. Sitting in an office all day watching porn, pretending to talk with officials is not considered sexual harassment at Howard Thai Law.
    Approach language schools and demand work permits.
    Have pests deported.
    Libel specialists. We will win one soon, one day, maybe.
    Resumes. Be the person you always dreamed of being, but never could be.
    Copy employers client lists and avoid those embarrassing public apologies in newspapers to people who really do have influential friends.


    Get on the Channel 3 news and in the Thai Rath with your wife and top Bangkok policemen.
    Gag the media reporting of your arrests.
    Find out where and when social events are being held and our crack photographers will get that shot for your office wall to impress future marks. Photoshop specialists.
    Attend expat meetings to scout for vulnerable people new to the Land of Smiles.
    Sky diving lessons, without the plane and without having to jump.
    Lose condo deposits to corrupt officials.
    Print a phonebook with numbers copied from a former employer, hand out free copies and call yourself a best selling author.
    We can set up fake names to attack enemies and avoid the courts.
    Sell shares for millions, never pay any dividends apart from a fake press pass and cheap jacket.
    Trick pensioners into selling their houses for peanuts.
    Set up Tsunami donation tins on Walking Street and pocket the money.
    Official Sex Websites and Blowjobs for officials. And flowers.
    Meet Thai University Girls.
    Stalk ceremonies and creep up behind female Prime Ministers, tell people she asked you for advice,and then write them a letter claiming to represent expats. Hand delivered of course.
    Spread rumors about your wife and claim others started them to gain sympathy and discredit.
    Start a newspaper, call the owner of a 1 man blog a wanker, have the newspaper closed down for lies and then start many numerous 1 man blogs. My daughter even has a blog.
    Beg Culture Ministers for cash for Pattaya sexpats.
    Start children's charities with your friends charged with raping children but not make a single bahts contribution of your own money, but present other peoples money as your own to get the credit. Don't even pay your membership.
    Get voted out of the club that you started.
    Film sex acts with minors and sell them to perverts over the net in the USA.
    Edit out film when telling lies about Thaksin. Don't want to film that.
    Patent the cure for AIDS.
    Stop oil leaks.
    Attract investors to open a “ 7-10" store in Thailand that will never happen
    Con people that you will build a marina in North Carolina.
    Tell expats to invest with you to take over the “ Old Flamingo Hotel” on Soi 5, but never do it.
    Hoodwink suckers into giving you money to buy the 27th floor of Markland, but never do it.
    Tell potential investors you went floors 15 & 16 at Channel 3 Bldg in Bangkok to sound important.
    Develop the 2nd floor of Tops and abandon it once people have opened their businesses there.
    Bullshit people that you will take over all of the shop houses built next to Royal Garden.
    Start a radio station and TV station. Call it Big Tits TV and radio.
    Brag about building high rise condos in the Tops parking lot, but not do it.
    Sell investment loans on Lumpini Towers studios miles from any tourist areas based on renting it out for a prices more expensive than the Hilton.
    Extort local businesses.
    Our friendly Filipino unqualified staff are waiting to take your money, lock the door on your way in. Come in even if you just want to use our phones and computers to anonymously attack OUR enemies.
    PROTECT YOURSELF NOW, FREE BLACK AND COKE for all repeat customers
    Howard Thailand Law, the most credible, loved, handsome fake lawyer in Thailand.

  5. I think it's great Drew Noyes is still being allowed to advertise on Thai Visa.

    If nothing else, it demonstrates that Thai Visa is more interested in taking on an advertiser rather trying to protect it's members.

    Well done Thai Visa!

    I wonder what the forum will do if Drew Noyes is convicted of extortion?

    I'm looking forward to seeing the headline here!

    "Known Conman and Thai Visa Advertiser Convicted Convicted of Extortion!"

    1. You know what will happen, the old man will gather his boys (moderators not the young waiters) and instruct them to block all discussion and ban anyone who posts on the subject more than once.

  6. I remember once seeing Thai Visa claim 70,000 members. I see this as total bullshit. The fact they don't let people unsubscribe means everybody who has joined since they came into existence, including all those people who have used multiple profiles, are probably being counted as members.

    The fact is you see the same dozen or so people posting on most forums. I've never seen a site that crams so much advertising onto a page. The guy who runs it must be a total money whore and if he doesn't even pay the moderators it shows he must be a total wad as well. I asked to be removed as a member years ago and they said it was "not their policy to allow unsubscribing" I hope they get their arse sued off for letting a professional scammers like Noyes sponsor a forum.

    All the people who have been cheated by Noyes should get a class action going against them.

    P.S I checked out Noyes's Facebook page and he has reposted all his photos taken where he has jumped into photos with officials and Royals. He looks about as welcome as a turd in a swimming pool judging by the looks on their faces. Instinctively they'd know they were in the presence of a psycho.

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