5 things I learned from pupillage that law school didn’t teach me

Guest writer Janice Tan Ying has recently completed her pupillage, and has been retained as an Associate in one of the most well-regarded tax teams in Malaysia.

Call to the bar
An exuberant and fresh-faced Janice on the day of her Call to the Bar of England & Wales, before commencing pupillage in Malaysia. Post-pupillage photo not supplied for comparison of exuberance or freshness of face.

Pupillage. The budding legal eaglet’s nine-month rite of passage (read: baptism of fire) into a career at the Bar.

These nine months will shape and mould your career and personal development. Your pupillage period may be the springboard towards a flourishing legal career, or one that will (gasp shock horror!) turn you off practice permanently.

These are the five key takeaways that I have gleaned from my pupillage journey. They are by no means hard and fast rules, but are my personal take on some of the usual ‘how to’ advice dished out by lawyers.

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Case Update: Employer’s poor handling of workplace assault and harassment complaints amounts to constructive dismissal

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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.

Most employers are now aware of the importance of having clear policies and processes when it comes to handling complaints and disciplinary issues. It’s the norm for businesses hiring a reasonable number of employees to have in place various codes of conduct, guidelines, and policies.

Despite this, an employer that receives an employee complaint and acts on it could still be at risk of being deemed to have breached the terms and conditions of employment, or severed the employment relationship, due to shortcomings in how the complaint was handled.

The Industrial Court recently considered these issues in Justin Maurice Read v. Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) (Award No. 965 of 2017). In this case, the claimant (the Employee) had complained of being assaulted and harassed in the workplace. The Employee then claimed that the manner in which these complaints were handled by the company (the Employer) entitled him to claim to have been constructively dismissed.

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INSOL International’s Kuala Lumpur Seminar – 28 November 2017

INSOL International is the International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Professionals. It is a world-wide federation of national associations for accountants and lawyers who specialise in turnaround and insolvency.

INSOL International will be holding its first-ever event in Malaysia with its Kuala Lumpur One Day Seminar on 28 November 2017 at the KL Hilton.

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TheMalaysianLawyer.com is Two!

Two years ago, the first-ever post was published on TML to introduce this new legal blog to the world.

Since then, we have published more than 100 posts (this is the 134th!), including posts from several guest writers.

Through TML, we have had the privilege of meeting new people and being introduced to exciting and unique opportunities.

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Insights into Southeast Asian legal tech from CanLaw’s Su Wen Lee ahead of #LexTech17

The LexTech Conference 2017 will be held in Cyberjaya on 4 & 5 November 2017. Visit the event website for more information. TheMalaysianLawyer.com is a media partner of #LexTech17, and our readers can use the promo code LEXTECHTML when purchasing the tickets to enjoy a 10% discount.

Ahead of #LexTech17, we spoke with Su Wen Lee to gain some insights into the objectives behind the conference, and what attendees can expect. Su Wen is the Events Director of CanLaw Asia (one of the co-organisers of #LexTech17, together with Brickfields Asia College), and the Project Lead for the conference.

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Bankruptcy Amendments: The New Insolvency Rules and Voluntary Arrangement Rules

As I have updated in my earlier article, the amendments to the Bankruptcy Act have now all come into force on 6 October 2017. We should now all be referring to it as the Insolvency Act 1967, instead of the old Bankruptcy Act 1967.

As a reminder, the new term Insolvency Act 1967 still merely refers to individual insolvency or individual bankruptcy. It does not involve corporate insolvency. Further, even under the Insolvency Act 1967, it continues to refer to the act of bankruptcy and the bankruptcy order.

Going hand in hand with the renamed Insolvency Act 1967, there are now a host of new rules that come along with the Act. Continue reading

Case Update: Court of Appeal considers whether an employer can dismiss an employee for insubordination

Case Updates (FB)

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.

Insubordination is where an employee wilfully disobeys or ignores an employer’s legitimate instructions. Malaysia’s Industrial Court has established via many previous decisions that insubordination is capable of being a serious misconduct which is sufficient to destroy the employment relationship and justify a dismissal.

However, as is the case for employee misconduct in general, not all instances of insubordination will amount to just cause for an employer to dismiss an employee. The Court of Appeal considered this issue in Ngiam Geok Mooi v. Pacific World Destination East Sdn Bhd [2016] 6 CLJ 395.

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