In most countries, registered lawyers must follow an "ethical code". An ethical code are some regulations, rules that lawyers must follow and they are in place normally to protect the clients, to protect justice. It a lawyer fail to follow one of these rules, he or she can lose the license to practice law or have other penalties. There are normally committee and/or places where you can complain about the behaviour of a lawyer.
Thai lawyers are no exception but the rules here are simple, short and not very detailed. We did a NON-OFFICIAL translation of these rules. The translation was very difficult and we hope you will understand most of this text. Our goal is only to inform and please read the disclaimer below this page. This was still valid in 2011.
Ethic rules of Thai Lawyers in English. Regulation of 1986. (same document as previous, with unofficial translation)
Registered foreign attorneys must follow the rules of their own legal association, and normally even if they work abroad, they are subjects to the rules of their own country. But many foreign "lawyers" in Thailand are not lawyers and do not have a license to practice law. Even if a foreign lawyer is registered in his own country, in Thailand, he can normally not plead in Court for you. Foreigners are restricted to be "attorneys" in Thailand but that doesn't mean they are not qualify and can't work for a law firm. Any international law firm in Thailand do employ foreign attorneys, from Tilleke Gibbins, to Baker Mackenzie or Isaan Lawyers. Yes, I know, Isaan Lawyers is way smaller than these 2 others!
If someone writes "legal advisor", "legal consultant", or "director of X" or any title that is not "attorney", "lawyer", "barrister" under his name, you can be suspicious. Ask for their qualifications, experience, references. Attorneys have no problem to disclose their legal status, education and can easily provide you their license number. You can verify their status with their Bar Association if you wish, in Thailand or abroad.