Asia Business Law Journal names the country’s top law firms. Lim Miran and Putro Harnowo report

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aving endured testing times, Malaysia is banking on a rebound in corporate earnings with business activity gathering pace since the end of last year. Recovery in domestic demand and expansion in exports coupled with corresponding growth in insolvency and restructuring is expected to accelerate the economy with predicted growth of 5.5% to 6.5% in 2022.

On this cautiously optimistic note, the government is finalising its National Recovery Plan 2.0 to boost economic growth and put the country back on track toward its goal of becoming a high-income developed country by 2025. The central bank’s “Economic and Monetary Review 2021”, released in March, projects that all export-oriented services as well as electrical and electronics sectors are likely to be high performers this year.

Malaysia also leads in sustainable and responsible sukuk (Islamic bond) issuance, accounting for USD3.9 billion as of November 2021, according to the “Trending: Sustainable Responsible Investment in Malaysia and the Region” report by EY Malaysia and Capital Markets Malaysia, an affiliate of the Securities Commission Malaysia.

The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that came into force at the beginning of the year should also bring Malaysia closer to its main trading partners. However, economic fallout from the Russia-Ukraine conflict coupled with the ongoing pandemic continues dampening global trade.

As businesses continue to depend on legal professionals to navigate these challenging and often unpredictable times, Asia Business Law Journal presents the Malaysia Law Firm Awards 2022 recognising the country’s best over the past year. We have identified four law firms proven to be the best of the best in the country – and among them one firm has risen to the top as Law Firm of the Year.

We also recognise the Best New Law Firm; and in 22 other categories we have four winners, each of equal standing.

Law firm awards

LAW FIRM OF THE YEAR

CHRISTOPHER & LEE ONG

Christopher & Lee Ong was formed in 2013 by the merger of three law firms, Kamilah & Chong, Lee Ong & Kandiah and Christopher Lee & Co. Partners Christopher Lee and Lee Hock Chye first headed the firm as joint managing partners, and were succeeded by Yon See Ting and Ong Chee Kwan in 2019.

Since its establishment, the firm has forged a strategic alliance with one of Singapore’s big four firms, Rajah & Tann. Apart from its regional partnership, Christopher & Lee Ong is known to have strong and long-established working relationships with top international law firms, accountancy firms, forensic accountants and commercial investigators.

Many prominent and market leader lawyers have joined the firm in the past year to lead market-leading practice areas – including new co-head of restructuring and Insolvency practice Chua See Hua, new co-head of white-collar crime and investigations practice Shanti Geoffrey, and new co-heads of capital markets practice Annette Soh and Daphne Lam.

The firm has also developed a sustainability framework to ensure its activities align with and support UN Sustainable Development Goals and other local environmental, social and governance (ESG) frameworks.

Among most recent high-profile representations, the firm advised Malaysia mobile operator Digi.Com on equity market components of a proposed USD12.1 billion merger with its rival, Celcom Axiata. The firm also acted as Malaysian counsel for Swedish multinational home appliance manufacturer Electrolux on a multi-jurisdictional matter.

Last year, Christopher & Lee Ong also advised Edenor Technology, a joint venture between Malaysia investment holding company Mega First Corporation and 9M Technologies, on the sales and purchase agreement acquiring Malaysia operations of world-leading oleochemical manufacturer Emery Oleochemicals.

“Christopher & Lee Ong had a committed and dedicated team of partners and lawyers to provide high-quality legal advice on the business and legal implications of the deal, with speed and long hours, to enable the deal to be concluded successfully in the shortest time,” says Yeow Ah Kow, CEO of Edenor Technology in Kuala Lumpur.

“This M&A work involved the complex curving out of the Emery overseas subsidiaries and making its Malaysian operation and IT standalone before closure of the deal.”

Ashok-Kumar

In just a decade, Rahmat Lim & Partners has grown from humble beginnings with ten lawyers in Kuala Lumpur to one of the country’s largest corporate law firms, with more than 90 fee earners. The firm has been an integral part of Singapore’s Allen & Gledhill network since its inception in 2010.

Led by managing partner Azman bin Othman Luk, the full-service law firm handles a wide range of domestic and cross-border matters, including some of Malaysia’s most significant and complex transactions.

Most recent among these, the firm advised Malayan Cement on acquiring the MYR5.158 billion (USD1.2 billion) equity interests of ten companies and their respective subsidiaries involved in Malaysia’s cement and ready-mixed concrete business from YTL Cement.

In a landmark deal last year, the firm assisted Beijing Integrated Circuit Advanced Manufacturing and High-End Equipment Equity Investment Fund Centre (CGP Fund) in its consortium acquisition with Malaysian-based strategic partner Dagang Nexchange of Malaysia’s largest chipmaker, Silterra, from the sovereign wealth fund Khazanah Nasional.

The firm is also well known for its Islamic finance practice. Last year, it advised Infracap Resources, a special purpose funding vehicle of the Sarawak state government on issuance of Sukuk Murabahah of up to MYR15 billion (USD3.4 billion) based on the Islamic law principle financing all fees, costs and expenses associated with its state projects and strategic investments.

The history of Shearn Delamore & Co can be traced over a century back to 1905, when it was established as a two-lawyer practice. The firm has since become one of the biggest law firms in the country with more than 100 lawyers and 230 staff.

The full-practice law firm handles complex projects, transactions and matters including co-ordinating and managing cross-border transactions with foreign and international law firms. In 2020, the firm formed an alliance with leading Singapore firm Drew & Napier, and Indonesia’s Makarim & Taira S, to launch a blue-chip regional legal network named Drew Network Asia.

Continuing to grow with 29 new hires in the last year, the firm has assisted landmark projects including restructuring and reorganisation of the national airline along with corporate and financial services advising for cutting edge industries such as renewable energy.

The firm acted for Malaysia Aviation Group, parent company of national carrier Malaysia Airlines, and its group of companies over large-scale restructuring of debts involving about 75 domestic and international creditors.

In project financing, the firm acted for RHB Investment Bank and CIMB Investment Bank as joint lead arrangers and joint lead managers in the Islamic medium-term notes programme of up to MYR4.5 billion under the shariah principle of Murabahah by independent power producer Tanjung Bin Energy.

“We find Shearn Delamore & Co to be accessible, user-friendly and technically very good,” says Fiona Loughrey, partner and labour law specialist at Simmons & Simmons in Hong Kong. “We regularly work with lawyers of the firm, in particular Raymond TC Low. They are our go-to for labour and employment assistance in Malaysia.”

Fiona-LoughreySkrine is one of the oldest and largest law firms in Malaysia, founded in 1963 and named after founding partner John Skrine, with the support of partners Stanley Peddie, Peter Mooney, William Donald Bewsher and Chin Yoong Chong.

Today the firm of more than 100 lawyers is co-headed by managing partners Khoo Guan Huat, Phua Pao Yii, Siva Kumar Kanagasabai and Ashok Kumar Mahadev Ranai.

Strengthened with 48 partners across corporate, dispute resolution and IP divisions, Skrine is also supported by the international network of leading independent law firms, Lex Mundi – and is a member of the Pacific Rim Advisory Council, a global network of 30 top-tier independent law firms.

In recent challenging times Skrine acted for two creditors in Air Asia X’s restructuring – on Malaysian law aspects of the financing including foreign exchange control restrictions and approvals with the central bank, as well as negotiations on relevant terms of the facility agreement to which the Malaysian obligor was a party.

In a landmark project, the firm acted as Malaysian counsel for the lenders regarding a syndicated multicurrency revolving facility agreement of EUR200 million (USD213.6 million) granted to German semiconductor foundries X-Fab and its subsidiaries.

Nor Aida Othman, general manager, legal at Malaysia Airports Holdings in Kuala Lumpur, is impressed by the firm’s 24-7 availability, even by the most senior partners.

“We are comforted with their large support team from various practice areas and their ability to see an issue from different angles, which we never saw in the first place,” says Othman. “The Skrine team is a joy to work with – savvy, sprightly and sharp. The involvement of partners and associates shows that they want to give the best to clients.”

Zoey Low, loan monitoring and asset recovery team lead at Bank of China (Malaysia) in Kuala Lumpur, agrees about Skrine’s exemplary services.

“The team from Skrine is highly competent and dedicated,” says Low. “They are very responsive and willing to go the extra mile to ensure the bank’s interest is always protected.”

Nor Aida Othman

  • LIM CHEE WEE PARTNERSHIP

Litigation specialist law firm Lim Chee Wee Partnership was formed in 2020 by former Skrine partners Lim Chee Wee, Lee Shih and Kwan Will Sen. Having founded with eight lawyers, the firm has quickly grown to count 14 lawyers under Lee Shih’s leadership as managing partner.

In the past turbulent year for aviation, the firm has been busy advising various aircraft leasing companies, including restructuring of AirAsia X for debts amounting to MYR30 billion. In dispute matters, the firm has acted for prominent leasing companies including BOC Aviation, Macquarie Group and entities connected to Asia Pacific Aviation Leasing Group, as well as Rolls Royce and Aviator Capital.

The firm’s work quality is proven overseas by acting for Thailand’s Tipco Asphalt in two international arbitrations involving refusal to deliver cargo, involving a total loss of approximately USD63 million to the client.

Omar Mahmoud, managing director at private equity firm Creador in Kuala Lumpur, praises Lim Chee Wee for its key strength – making complex matters easy to understand.

“They quickly became a trusted adviser; a partner that made you feel their priority was to resolve the issue quickly, while still maintaining a clear focus on the commercial impact to our business,” says Mahmoud. “We were truly appreciative of how accessible they were as a team and how they worked alongside us to create a strategic plan to conclude a longstanding matter and reach an amicable outcome successfully.”

Ng Jern-Fei, a QC at London chambers 7BR, applauds Lim Chee Wee’s team as “the savviest and most experienced litigators in Malaysia I know”.

“Populated by a constellation of litigation stars, they have their clients’ backs at every turn and are a dream to work with,” Ng adds.

Ashok Kumar, director at Singapore law firm BlackOak, agrees. “Punchy, innovative and prepared to push the line,” says Ashok. “Both Lim Chee Wee and Lee Shih particularly stand out as individuals, but the firm has good strength across seniority levels.”

Established in 2015, Cecil Abraham & Partners is renowned for its expertise in dispute resolution, strengthened by experienced lawyers in domestic and international dispute resolution. The firm offers clients a wide range of comprehensive legal solutions, from strategic and preventive advice to representation in court, and commercial and investment treaty arbitration.

The firm has four partners and seven associates handling multijurisdictional disputes wherever parties may be based. Senior partner Cecil Abraham’s practice covers a wide breadth of areas including corporate and commercial, environmental, banking and securities, insurance, maritime, competition law and arbitration.

Chooi & Company + Cheang & Ariff was founded in 2018 from a merger of two mid-sized Malaysian law firms, Chooi & Company (established in 1962) and Cheang & Ariff (established in 1986).

Consolidating combined experience of more than 80 years, they joined forces with corporate, finance, dispute resolution and IP practices, serving clients with expertise in cross-border disputes. At the helm are managing partners Loh Siew Cheang and Christopher Leong, with re-enforcement from 31 partners.

The firm’s IP team has been involved in multiple large scale litigation matters in the past year – including representing Malaysia’s health care provider and pharmaceutical company Hovid in a patent infringement suit filed by American pharmaceutical multinational Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp, where Hovid also filed a counterclaim for patent invalidation.

Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill was formed in 2005 from a combination of Lee Hishammuddin, founded in 1995, and Allen & Gledhill, which was established in 1972.

With its long and complex history, it is no wonder that Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill has grown into one of the largest law firms in the country, with 88 lawyers and 22 partners. Six senior partners – Thomas ML Lee, Lim Heng Seng, Aznam Mansor, Lambert Rasa-Ratnam, Kumar Kanagasingam and Nitin Nadkarni – co-lead the firm with offices in Kuala Lumpur, Johor Bahru and Penang.

Dispute resolution is one of the practice areas in which the firm excels. Among notable representations last year, it successfully defended BMW Malaysia in a Court of Appeal claim for negligence and product liability. The firm also represented a director of Nautilus Tug & Towage to seek leave from the court to initiate statutory derivative proceedings under the Companies Act, 2016 against its management team and directors for breach of their statutory and fiduciary duties.

 

Adnan Sundra & Low was established in Kuala Lumpur in 1975 under the name of Mutalib Sundra & Low and has been operating under its current name since 1982. In 2018, the firm merged with two other boutique law firms, Khem Thadani and Putri Norlisa Chair, adding 16 lawyers.

The firm is currently headed by managing partner Deepak Sadasivan with the support of 33 partners, two consultants and more than 51 associates. Adnan Sundra & Low’s ability to deliver practical legal advice and customised solutions has earned the trust of many local and international clients in all key aspects of commercial law.

Albar & Partners opened its office in 1999, but its history can be traced back to 1981, when founding partner Syed Zaid Albar set up a law firm named Albar & Co. With more and more partners joining, the firm evolved and transformed into a leading law firm in Malaysia.

Led by joint managing partners Lily Tan Chea Li and Chung Swee Loong, Albar & Partners offers a full range of legal services covering banking and finance; including debt capital markets in sukuk and conventional bonds, and corporate and commercial advice on a wide array of high profile and complex transactions.

Malaysian lawyer Zaid Ibrahim founded Zaid Ibrahim & Co with just two staff in Kuala Lumpur in 1987. Over 35 years, the firm has grown into Malaysia’s largest private law firm with more than 170 lawyers at seven offices nationwide. The firm is also renowned for pioneering the ZICO Law network of leading independent law firms across Asean – extending to Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Ibrahim left the firm in 2008, initially to become a minister for legal affairs and judicial reform in the former prime minister’s cabinet, and subsequently a prominent politician.

One of Malaysia’s most highly regarded law firms is now led by managing partner Gilbert Gan, who also heads the corporate finance and securities practice.

Notable representation in the past year has included advising the joint lead managers in the government of Malaysia’s USD800 million 10-year and USD500 million 30-year sustainability sukuk, issued via a special purpose vehicle, Malaysia Wakala Sukuk.

The firm also acted as solicitors for the principal adviser, lead arranger and joint lead managers of the medium-term notes programme of MYR600 million established by 7-Eleven Malaysia Holdings.

Zul Rafique & Partners was formed in late 1999 in Kuala Lumpur by managing partner Zulkifly Rafique, who also spearheads the corporate department. In the past 12 months, the firm has hired a partner and 13 new associates across practice areas.

The firm has an outstanding banking practice, highly respected for handling complex debt restructuring, asset-backed securities, Islamic and project finance.

In Islamic finance, the firm acted as transaction counsel in Malaysia’s first sustainability-linked sukuk issuance under Yinson Holdings’s Islamic medium-term notes programme of up to MYR1 billion.

The firm also assisted Genting Malaysia and GENM Capital Labuan in their rule 144A/regulation S offering of 3.882% senior unsecured notes of up to USD1 billion.

  • ALBAR & PARTNERS
  • CHRISTOPHER & LEE ONG
  • KADIR ANDRI & PARTNERS
  • WONG & PARTNERS

Kadir Andri & Partners specialises in capital markets, banking and finance, and dispute resolution matters. The firm was originally established in 1976 by founder and senior partner, Abdul Kadir Kassim as Kadir Kassim & Co.

Discerning clients include government-linked entities, sovereign wealth funds, multinationals, financial institutions, investment funds and corporations across various industries. In the past 12 months, the firm advised on the disposal by Boustead Holdings of its 100% stake in cruise terminal operator Boustead Cruise Centre to Westports Holdings and Northport (Malaysia) via a competitive bid.

In a landmark deal, Kadir Andri & Partners also advised global private equity firm CVC Capital Partners on selling its Malaysia snack food subsidiary Munchy’s to Philippine consumer food company Universal Robina Corporation (URC).

“We have worked with Kadir Andri & Partners, in particular Samuel Hong, on many occasions, including the acquisition of Munchy’s back in 2018 and the recent sale to URC,” says Alvin Lim, Singapore-based senior managing director at CVC. “We have always found Samuel to be professional, commercial and insightful.”

Alvin Lim, Malaysia Law Firm Awards 2022Wong & Partners is a member of Baker McKenzie International and is renowned for advising clients across various practice areas. Established in 1998 in Kuala Lumpur, the firm has grown steadily under the leadership of managing partner Munir Abdul Aziz.

The firm recently bolstered its real estate practice with the hire of Tang Ai Leen as a partner, bringing her 20 years of experience advising notable local and foreign real estate businesses in the country.

Latest prominent representations include assisting insurance and asset management provider Generali Asia on a proposed MYR1.3 billion acquisition of shares of AXA Affin General Insurance and AXA Affin Life Insurance from AXA Asia, Affin Bank and several minorities.

  • CHRISTOPHER & LEE ONG
  • RAHMAT LIM & PARTNERS
  • SKRINE
  • TAY & PARTNERS

Corporate lawyer Tay Beng Chai founded Tay & Partners in 1989 in Kuala Lumpur and Johor Bahru and has been managing partner since its inception. The firm provides a full range of commercial services with a strong legal foundation and a touch of flexibility, responsiveness and personal rapport.

Last year’s appointment of Wong Mei Ying as a new partner in the corporate department has bolstered the firm’s trajectory in upcoming years. The firm’s dispute resolution and IP practices, in particular, are well known among legal professionals to be top notch.

In 2021, the firm’s dispute resolution team broke new ground by overturning and reversing the decision of the Court of Appeal at the Federal Court of Malaysia for Country Garden Danga Bay, a subsidiary of China property developer Country Garden Holdings, in a case involving award of compensation to one of the property purchasers by the housing tribunal.

  • CHRISTOPHER & LEE ONG
  • RAHMAT LIM & PARTNERS
  • RAJA DARRYL & LOH
  • SKRINE

Former magistrate Mah King Hock founded Mah King Hock & Co in 1964 as a sole proprietor advising on conveyancing, banking and finance law. Since changing its name to Raja Darryl & Loh in 1993, the firm has steadily morphed into a vibrant full-service firm,

Managing partner Chew Phye Keat currently leads the firm with the support of 23 partners and 49 associates. Through networking in the past few years, the firm has established links with professional and legal firms in other jurisdictions and hence provided clients with seamless international professional assistance and referrals.

Recently, Raja Darryl & Loh’s corporate and commercial team acted for the creditors of Malaysian Airlines and MAB Leasing in respect of the recent debt restructuring involving MYR16 billion (USD3.9 billion) of debts of the airline group.

  • ADNAN SUNDRA & LOW
  • MING & PARTNERS
  • SKRINE
  • TAY & PARTNERS

Ming & Partners was founded in 2020 by managing partner Keong Ming Wai with three other partners practising in different areas of commercial law, such as dispute resolution, corporate, conveyancing and IP. The firm’s dispute resolution department constantly handles IP, commercial and corporate litigation work, including strategising and representing clients in court and before arbitral tribunals.

The firm has also advised local and international cryptocurrency and non-fungible token (NFT) players, including NFT marketplace and decentralised finance platform operators. Recently, the firm represented a Malaysian-listed IT system and infrastructure developer in negotiating and finalising an unincorporated joint venture agreement with data centre operator Regal Orion to construct a world-class next-generation green data centre in Shah Alam.

  • CHOOI & COMPANY + CHEANG & ARIFF
  • CHRISTOPHER & LEE ONG
  • RAHMAT LIM & PARTNERS
  • SKRINE
  • AZIM TUNKU FARIK & WONG
  • GHAZI & LIM
  • RAJA DARRYL & LOH
  • SKRINE

Azim Tunku Farik & Wong was originally established in 1985 as Azim Ong & Krishnan by Zainal Azim, Ong Boo Kok and Vijayaram Krishnan. As the founding partners retired and more partners joined, the firm changed to its current name in 1999.

Senior partner Tunku Farik is a well-known specialist in insurance and reinsurance, including acting in international arbitration matters between insurers and reinsurers. The firm has had a deliberate policy of specialising in insurance law; including reinsurance, takaful (Islamic insurance) and retakaful (Islamic reinsurance).

Full-service law firm Ghazi & Lim was formed in 1992 to serve clients in corporate and company matters, banking, real estate and international matters. Members of the firm also liaise with governmental authorities regarding various licences and permits.

With offices in Penang, Butterworth and Kuala Lumpur, the 13 partners among 40 lawyers of the firm cover all disciplines and aspects of Malaysian legal practice, led by senior partner Ghazi Ishak.

Shook Lin & Bok is one of Malaysia’s oldest law firms, founded in 1918 by Yong Shook Lin and Tan Teow Bok. The firm expanded to Singapore in 1964 to create a pan-Asian law practice.

With a history of more than a century, Shook Lin & Bok is a renowned adviser to banks, financial institutions, exchanges and other regulatory bodies, listed and unlisted Asian corporations and multinationals.

Michael Soo leads the Kuala Lumpur office as managing partner and heads IP, IT and licensing departments. Altogether, the firm has 17 departments representing major practice areas that combine in a complementary and multidisciplinary practice, with the support of 19 partners.

Recently, the firm represented healthcare company Mylan Ireland in a patent invalidation action that would have had a significant impact on the worldwide distribution of its insulin product Semglee.

IP and dispute resolution specialist Gan Partnership launched in 2011 providing clients with legal advice from seven partners and 21 lawyers. The firm is renowned for its strength and experience in handling complex matters and providing solution-oriented legal services in a timely fashion.

Despite the pandemic, the firm has grown from strength to strength with new hires and wider access to a network of eminent international and local technical consultants and experts. Multilingual members of the team provide comprehensive and innovative solutions to clients spanning various industries.

Donovan & Ho was created in 2014 by Donovan Cheah and Shawn Ho as a boutique labour and employment law firm, which has since grown to serve more than 1,000 clients of numerous nationalities, quickly earning a solid reputation in the industry.

In addition, Donovan & Ho is well known for its efforts to educate the public about legal concerns – with more than a million people worldwide viewing some 400 free legal publications on its website.

MahWengKwai & Associates was established in 1985 by Mah Weng Kwai. With a strong reputation for civil and corporate litigation, arbitration and criminal matters, the firm is led by managing partner Raymond Mah, supported by six partners, one consultant and 20 senior associates and associates.

The firm’s breadth of expertise allows its lawyers to advise across multi-practice areas. The highly regarded employment department has been engaged in disciplinary procedures, termination, unfair dismissal, executive and severance agreements, labour relations and negotiations for multinational corporations.

MahWengKwai & Associates is a founding member of the League of Lawyers, a growing international network of law firms in 20 Asian and European countries.

“My experience with MahWengKwai & Associates was excellent,” says Eric Mak, resource administration – Asia Pacific at staffing company eTeam in Kuala Lumpur. “We contacted the firm just a few days prior to our first hearing over an employment dispute. Our attorney gave our case all the time and attention that was needed in response to the hearing in such short notice. Our case went through successfully.”

Nicole Liew, senior human resources manager at Hitachi Construction Machinery (Malaysia) in Kuala Lumpur, concurs. “They have demonstrated high levels of professionalism, responsive in addressing our concerns and recommending practical solutions that put our company’s best interest as a priority,” says Liew.

  • ALBAR & PARTNERS
  • CHRISTOPHER & LEE ONG
  • WONG & PARTNERS
  • ZAID IBRAHIM & CO
  • CHRISTOPHER & LEE ONG
  • LEE HISHAMMUDDIN ALLEN & GLEDHILL
  • RAHMAT LIM & PARTNERS
  • SKRINE
  • CHRISTOPHER & LEE ONG
  • JOSEPH & PARTNERS
  • SATIVALE MATHEW ARUN
  • TS OON & PARTNERS

Leading shipping and maritime law firm Joseph & Partners has been serving domestic and international clients for more than 25 years. Led by principal partner and founder Jeremy Joseph, the firm advises the full spectrum of stakeholders involved in the shipping industry including ship owners and charterers, protection and indemnity clubs, banks, international agencies, shipyards, marine insurance underwriters, governments and brokers.

Its lawyers deeply understand the market across various aspects of shipping and maritime laws, including working closely with clients to determine risk of threatened vessel arrest and secure vessel release. In addition, the firm also provides legal services on insurance, property and other commercial matters.

Based in Subang Jaya, boutique shipping law firm Sativale Mathew Arun was formed in 1990 to exclusively engage in admiralty and shipping practice. The firm’s clientele comprises protection and indemnity clubs and their members, ship owners, charterers, hull and cargo underwriters, and port operators.

Raj Sativale, the managing partner, specialises in marine pollution, offshore oil and gas, marine insurance and commodity disputes arbitration. The other partners, Arun Krishnalingam and Mathew Kurien, have a stellar reputation as shipping litigators in Malaysia, handling various disputes.

TS Oon & Partners opened its office in Kuala Lumpur in 2002 to assist international companies with their foreign direct investment needs. Managing partner Oon Thian Seng is well known for his skill and expertise in handling a wide range of shipping disputes, while another partner, Meiyen Tan, is recognised in restructuring and insolvency matters. The firm works closely on inbound and outbound matters across and beyond the region with Singapore law firm Oon & Bazul. As one of the few law firms in Malaysia with a dedicated shipping practice, TS Oon & Partners is recognised for its strengths in the maritime sector, bolstered by its lawyers’ capabilities and expertise to handle a full range of shipping issues across the region.

Full-service law firm Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership was established in 2020 by five former partners at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill, namely DP Naban, Rosli Dahlan, Saravana Kumar, Ooi Bee Hong and Ong Eu Jin. Supported by 11 partners and 36 associates, the firm is especially strong for tax and commercial disputes.

Clients and peers have acknowledged the firm’s tax litigation offering as first-rate – and one of the new heavy-hitting players in the disputes space. Many of the firm’s submitted cases were high-profile and widely reported. For example most recently, the firm represented Malaysian electricity multinational Tenaga Nasional in an additional MYR9 billion (USD2 billion) tax claim from the Inland Revenue Board, where the High Court ruled in favour of Tenaga Nasional.

  • CHRISTOPHER & LEE ONG
  • RAJA DARRYL & LOH
  • SKRINE
  • WONG & PARTNERS

The judging process

The winners of Asia Business Law Journal’s Malaysia Law Firm Awards 2022 were selected based on the votes, references and qualitative information received from in-house counsel and other legal professionals in Malaysia and around the world.

A voting form was posted on our website, inviting thousands of in-house counsel, lawyers at international law firms and other Malaysia-focused professionals to vote. At the same time, Malaysian law firms were asked to make submissions in support of their candidacy for the awards. These submissions, combined with research by Asia Business Law Journal’s editorial team, played a supporting role in the judging process.

All Malaysian law firms were automatically eligible for inclusion in the awards process. As always, there were no fees or any other requirements for entry.


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