Case Update: Director’s Breach of Fiduciary Duty Through Inaction

The Privy Council’s decision in Byers v Chen Ningning [2021] UKPC 4 reiterates certain key points of law on the director’s fiduciary duty to the company. A director who knows that a fellow director is acting in breach of duty or that an employee is misapplying the assets of the company must take reasonable steps to prevent that from happening.

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Case Update: Local Authority’s Assessment Rates is Not a Priority Debt in Liquidation

In the High Court decision of Re SG & Sons Sdn Bhd (grounds of judgment dated 10 February 2021), the Court has confirmed that the local authority’s assessment rates is not a priority debt in a winding up.
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Spartacus Order: Self Identification Order against Persons Unknown

A self-identification order, otherwise known as a Spartacus order, is an order to compel the unknown defendant to identify himself and provide an address of service.

In the ongoing case of Zschimmer & Schwarz v Persons Unknown, Ong Chee Kwan JC in the High Court granted Malaysia’s first-ever Spartacus order recently . You can access the grounds of judgment dated 13 February 2021 for the grant of the Spartacus order. Continue reading

Case Update: Federal Court to Decide If Unsecured Creditors Can Oppose Judicial Management

Lee Shih and Lynn comment on the Federal Court proceedings involving points of law on judicial management

The Federal Court in the case of Million Westlink Sdn Bhd will now decide on an important area on judicial management law. Whether unsecured creditors can appear in an application for a judicial management order and oppose the making of the judicial management order. Leave to the Federal Court was granted on 4 January 2021. Continue reading

Shareholders’ Say on Directors’ Pay: First Prosecution Due to Failure to Obtain Shareholders’ Approval

I read the news on the Companies Commission of Malaysia charging NWP Holdings Bhd for its failure to obtain shareholders’ approval for directors’ fees. This failure was for two financial years of 2017 and 2018. This charge relates to section 230 of the Companies Act 2016 (CA 2016), being a new provision requiring shareholders in a general meeting to approve the fees of the directors. Essentially, the shareholders having a say on the directors’ pay. This is the first reported prosecution involving this section. Continue reading

Case Update: Court of Appeal sets out key legal principles for retrenchments

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.

Retrenchment exercises have been a regular occurrence in the Malaysian industrial relations landscape for many years now. This looks set to continue deep into 2021, as employers respond to the challenges created by the on-going pandemic. Despite this prevalence, many employers often mishandle retrenchment exercises, with significant consequences.

The recent Court of Appeal (“the COA”) case of Ng Chang Seng v. Technip Geoproduction (M) Sdn Bhd & Anor [2021] 1 CLJ 365 usefully sets out some key legal and practical principles that all employers should consider when embarking on a retrenchment exercise. Among others, the judgment in the Ng Chang Seng case covered the following issues:

  1. What issues does the court consider when deciding whether the employer has proved a genuine redundancy?
  2. How can an employer justify not using Last-In First-Out (“LIFO”) for employee selection?
  3. Does an employer always have to retrench all foreign employees before retrenching Malaysian employees?
  4. Does the rehiring of some retrenched employees on a contract basis mean that there was no genuine redundancy?
  5. How much weight does the court give to non-compliance with the Code of Conduct for Industrial Harmony (“the Code of Conduct”)?

You can find all our previous posts on retrenchments by clicking on the tag here. Some of my earlier articles have been very popular and should prove useful:

  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. What you need to know about the law on retrenchment of employees (22 January 2016).

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