Largest Law Firms in Malaysia 2019: Domestic and Foreign Firms

Last year, we featured the largest law firms in Malaysia. We continue with this feature this year and update the numbers for 2019. We total up the number of lawyers of each law firm, including the firm’s branch offices.

In summary, the largest law firm in Malaysia is Zaid Ibrahim & Co with 160 lawyers, spread across offices in Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru and Kota Bahru. In joint second are Skrine and Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill with 126 lawyers.

The headcount is based on the Malaysian Bar directory listing at the time of writing. All images are from the firms’ website. Continue reading

8 Observations on the Proposed Guidelines on Beneficial Ownership of Companies

On 8 November 2019, the Companies Commission of Malaysia (or SSM, being its abbreviation in Malay) issued its Consultation Document for the Guidelines for the Reporting Framework for Beneficial Ownership of Legal Persons. SSM has invited any comments by 4 December 2019.


I had written earlier about the global trends for the need for transparency in beneficial ownership details and also the existing Malaysian position in the Companies Act 2016.

Once these proposed guidelines on beneficial ownership are brought into force, they will bring much certainty in terms of the disclosure obligations on the part of companies, limited liability partnerships and businesses in general. This is a good step in strengthening the need for disclosure on beneficial ownership.

In the first part of this post, I highlight some of the salient changes being proposed for companies specifically. In the second part, I then set out 8 of my observations on the proposed guidelines in relation to companies. Continue reading

Book Review: Principles of the Law of Restitution in Singapore by Tang Hang Wu

I review Principles of the Law of Restitution in Singapore by Tang Hang Wu and published by Academy Publishing.

“It is clear that any civilised system of law is bound to provide remedies for cases of what has been called unjust enrichment or unjust benefit, that is to prevent a man from retaining the money of or some benefit derive from another which it is against conscience that he should keep. Such remedies in English law are generically different from remedies in contract or in tort, and are now recognised to fall within a third category of the common law which has been called quasi-contract or restitution.”

(The oft-cited passage of Lord Wright in Fibrosa Spolka Akcyjna v Fairbairn Lawson Combe Barbour Ltd [1943] AC 32 and which was referred to approvingly by the Federal Court in Dream Property Sdn Bhd v Atlas Housing Sdn Bhd [2015] 2 MLJ 441.)


Professor Tang’s textbook on the Principles of the Law of Restitution in Singapore is the first book dedicated to the law of restitution in Singapore. The book draws from leading decisions in Singapore and other Commonwealth jurisdictions to explain the fundamental concepts in the law of restitution. Due to the similarities in origin with the English law, this book is also highly relevant and useful for Malaysian practitioners. Continue reading

Malaysia Insolvency Conference 2019

On 20 November 2019, the Malaysian Institute of Accountants, the Insolvency Practitioners Association of Malaysia, and the Malaysian Institute of Certified Public Accountants will stage the Malaysia Insolvency Conference 2019.

It will be held at Connexion Conference & Event Centre @ The Vertical. The registration fee for members from MIA, IPAM, MICPA and the Malaysian Bar is RM1,000. Non-members fee is RM1,300.

Continue reading

Case Update: Federal Court Finds that Adjudication Only Applies Prospectively to Construction Contracts

The Federal Court in its grounds of judgment dated 16 October 2019 in Jack-In Pile (M) Sdn Bhd v Bauer (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd held that the Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012 (CIPAA) applies only prospectively to construction contracts. CIPAA came into effect on 15 April 2014. Therefore, CIPAA only applies to construction contracts signed after this date.

Prior to this decision, there were High Court and Court of Appeal decisions holding that CIPAA could apply retrospectively to construction contracts. So if there were unpaid amounts arising from pre-15 April 2014 construction contracts, contracting parties could invoke CIPAA, had obtained adjudication decisions and had enforced payment.

It is now uncertain what will be the impact of this Federal Court decision on already decided adjudication matters based on pre-15 April 2014 construction contracts. Continue reading