Delivering a Talk on Resolving Boardroom and Shareholders Disputes

I will be delivering a webinar on Wednesday 10 February 2021 for the Companies Commission of Malaysia. It will be on Resolving Boardroom and Shareholders Disputes. I will also be incorporating the latest company law decisions.

The webinar will include the following topics: Continue reading

Case Update: Federal Court Decides on Threshold for Winding Up Based on Illegality

In Tan Keen Keong @ Tan Kean Keong v Tan Eng Hong Paper & Stationery Sdn Bhd & Ors and other appeals [2020] MLJU 2204 (grounds of judgment dated 17 December 2020), the Federal Court dealt with an important question of law for a just and equitable winding up.

What is the threshold for winding up a company based on allegations of illegality or breach of statute? Continue reading

Changes to the Industrial Relations Act from January 2021: Highlights and practical impact on employee exits

Some important changes to Malaysia’s Industrial Relations Act came into force on 1 January 2021, pursuant to the Industrial Relations (Amendment) Act 2020 (“the Amendment Act”). The changes heavily affect unfair dismissal claims — from the pre-trial conciliation process through to appealing an Industrial Court decision — and may significantly impact employee terminations.

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Case Update: Unfair dismissal due to poor handling of mutual separation agreement

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.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in constant pressure on employers across almost all industries. There have been widespread measures to manage the financial fallout from the global effects of the pandemic, including salary reductions, employee redesignations, retrenchments, and separation schemes.

It has become a common practice for employers to use Mutual Separation Agreements (MSAs) — which also go by various other names such as “settlement agreements”, “separation agreements”, and “termination agreements” — to bypass or shortcut the usual termination processes. Many employers, as well as employees, view MSAs as a “cleaner” way of ending the employment relationship — instead of feeling like s/he has been “sacked”, the employee can be made to feel that the exit is on his/her terms, and employers prefer the certainty of clearly documented and mutually-agreed terms.

However, it is not uncommon for MSA exits to be improperly handled, resulting in a successful unfair/constructive dismissal claim by an employee, and a high financial cost to the employer. Some of my earlier articles would also be relevant for readers interested in this topic:

  1. Retrenchments in Malaysia — some recent cases (29 May 2020).
  2. Case Update: Insufficient justification and improper handling of Voluntary Separation Scheme may give rise to unfair dismissal (20 March 2019).
  3. Case Update: Can an employee bring an unfair dismissal claim after accepting a severance payment? (16 November 2017).
  4. What you need to know about the law on retrenchment of employees (22 January 2016).
  5. Handling employee dismissals properly under Malaysian law (13 January 2016).

In this article, we will review the Industrial Court case of Thanasegaran C Munusamy v. Vale Malaysia Minerals Sdn Bhd (Award No. 1647 of 2020), where the employee, Thanasegaran (the Employee) had signed an MSA, but then lodged an unfair dismissal claim against the employer, Vale Malaysia (the Company).

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Case Update: Factors for Deciding Between Competing Liquidator Nominees

The High Court in Re Rentak Arena Development Sdn Bhd (In Liquidation); Ex Parte Spanland Sdn Bhd and Another Case [2020] MLJU 2133 (see the grounds of judgment dated 18 November 2020)  provided useful guidance on factors considered when there are competing nominees to be appointed as liquidator of a company.

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Branding, reputation, and compatibility with the legal profession — some quick thoughts

This is a compilation of a Twitter thread in which I shared my quick views in response to a post by my friend Fahri Azzat on his blog on branding, reputation, and lawyers: Branding and Reputation. I highly recommend you read his post and subscribe to his blog. You can also read my original thread by clicking here.

A delightful and thought-provoking read, eloquently expressed as always by my buddy Fahri / @LBminion1. And seemingly at odds with his earlier post about the future lawyer and embracing of technology. /1

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