Case Update: Court Protection for Judicial Managers, Being Officers of the Court

Pang Huey Lynn writes about this novel decision where a party filed a suit against a judicial manager.

The High Court in the case of Demeter O&G Supplies Sdn Bhd v Datuk Stephen Duar Tuan Kiat (as judicial manager of Scomi Oiltools Sdn Bhd and Scomi KMC Sdn Bhd) (grounds of judgment dated 30 November 2021) allowed the judicial manager’s application to strike out the civil suit filed against him.

One of the key issues was whether a party could file a suit against a judicial manager without first obtaining permission from the judicial management court.

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Case Update: Proprietary Injunction against Bitcoins Held by Persons Unknown

In the English High Court case of Mr Dollar Bill Limited v Persons Unknown and two others [2021] EWHC 2718 (Ch), the Court granted a proprietary injunction against approximately 3.7 bitcoins (approximately GBP 105,000) and certain discovery orders against the two cryptocurrency exchanges, Binance and Huobi. Continue reading

Webinar on Latest Developments in Company Law: 2021 Review and 2022 Forecast

On Tuesday 25 January 2022, I will be speaking at the CLJ Law webinar on ‘Latest Developments in Company Law: 2021 Review and 2022 Forecast‘.

This is a free webinar but with prior registration. You can register for the Zoom link here.

We will highlight and discuss leading cases and developments in the past year with regards to company law. We will touch on issues significant to directors’ duties, the conduct of meetings, shareholders’ disputes, and other corporate litigation trends.

We will discuss current trends, lessons learnt, and possible developments in company law for 2022.

Case Update: A guide to how the Industrial Court assesses sexual harassment complaints

In this Case Update series, I share summaries of recent Malaysian court decisions to explore the current approach taken by the courts when deciding on employment-related issues. You can find all the posts in the series by clicking here, including case updates on other legal areas by TheMalaysianLawyer co-founder Lee Shih.

Sexual harassment in the workplace is a topic that has recently attracted a lot of attention and discussion. While most Malaysian employers have been relatively slow to respond, we have seen an increased focus in the past year from businesses and employers seeking to understand the often complex issues relating to workplace sexual harassment. There continues to be a noticeable increase in momentum of employers putting in place anti-harassment policies and processes, learning how to handle sexual harassment complaints, and ensuring that employees attend external and internal education and training sessions.

As I pointed out in my 2022 employment law forecast (See: “Employment law: 2021 review and 2022 forecast”), this focus on addressing workplace sexual harassment is expected to intensify in 2022, particularly with the increasing public discourse, and in view of Malaysia’s first specific sexual harassment legislation expected to be passed in the first half of the year (See: “Malaysia’s Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill tabled in Parliament”). In November 2021, the government shared that 775 sexual harassment cases had been reported and investigated by police — it’s clear that this is only the tip of the iceberg, and we will see more cases surfacing as awareness and education continues.

While the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act and the “Tribunal for Anti-Sexual Harassment” will provide a new specific avenue for sexual harassment complaints, in the context of the workplace, there has already been some recourse for employee-victims, and scope for employers to take action. Sexual harassment is a workplace misconduct punishable by termination, and victims of sexual harassment who can show that an employer had not properly handled a complaint could potentially claim to have been constructively dismissed (See: “Case Update: Employer’s poor handling of workplace assault and harassment complaints amounts to constructive dismissal” for one example). Of course, as already mentioned, as there has only recently been proper awareness and education in relation to workplace sexual harassment, over the years too many employee-victims have suffered in silence.

With the increase in sexual harassment complaints in recent years, the Industrial Court has had the opportunity to refine and clarify its approach in handling such cases. Sexual harassment can be very complex, as there are many types of sexual harassment. Evidence can also be controversial, as many instances of sexual harassment take place in private, without witnesses. To review the current position of the Industrial Court when it comes to adjudicating sexual harassment complaints, we will look at the recent case of AH v. Cagamas Berhad [2021] 4 ILR 284. This case update will cover the following topics:

  1. How the law defines sexual harassment.
  2. The burden of proof in sexual harassment misconduct.
  3. Are witnesses or corroboration necessary for sexual harassment cases?
  4. Does a delay in making a sexual harassment complaint render the claim invalid?
  5. Is “it was just a joke” a valid defence?
  6. Examples of what constitutes sexual harassment.

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Initial Litigation Offering (ILO) – Litigation Funding Meets Crypto Blockchain Crowdfunding

The Initial Litigation Offering or ILO – with something as simple as a website page or an app, anyone could potentially invest money to fund the costs of litigation. The investor is issued an ILO token, secure on the blockchain, as a share of the potential returns from the litigation. The ILO tokens themselves can be traded and sold on.

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Case Update: Disregard or Discount Related Creditors’ Vote in a Scheme of Arrangement

The High Court in Re Top Builders Capital Berhad and others (No. 2) [2022] MLJU 1 (grounds of judgment dated 5 January 2022) has set out several important points for the sanction of a scheme of arrangement. Some of these issues have been decided for the first time under Malaysia law.

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