AIAC Webinar – Statutory Rescue: Whether Introducing a COVID-19 Act Can Save the Economy?

On Friday 8 May 2020, I will be moderating a webinar organised by the Asian International Arbitration Centre. The title is “Statutory Rescue: Whether Introducing a COVID-19 Act Can Save the Economy?” This is a free webinar and you can email: [email protected] to register for the Zoom webinar or you can view it on AIAC’s Facebook page.

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Lawyers Propose a Remote Hearing Protocol

A group of Malaysian lawyers drafted a Remote Hearing Protocol setting out a proposed protocol to conduct remote hearings during the movement restrictions in Malaysia. The paper hopes that it can be used as a road map for conducting hearings and trials remotely, and to be used as a guide for the Judiciary and the Bar in the future.

I touch on three points in the Remote Hearing Protocol. I highly recommend reading the protocol in full. You can download the Remote Hearing Protocol over here.

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Company in Distress: Insolvency Issues relating to Employees

Under Malaysia’s movement control restrictions and with COVID-19, companies are facing cash-flow issues and financial difficulties. With the employers facing such difficulties, the employees may also face salary cuts (for example, see this news report) or retrenchment. Companies may then slip closer towards financial distress and may have to pursue restructuring and insolvency options. This article sets out the insolvency issues relating to employees.

I set out the different scenarios where a company in distress may pursue a scheme of arrangement, apply for judicial management, end up placed in receivership or is compulsorily wound up. I touch on how these scenarios will affect the rights of employees. Continue reading

Companies Winding Up Protection Takes Effect (Updated)

In my earlier post, arising from COVID-19, I had written about the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) providing seven reliefs for companies. One of them is a temporary winding up protection for six months and the increase to the debt threshold to above RM50,000 in the statutory demand.

First, the Minister of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs (being the relevant Minister under the Companies Act 2016) has now exercised his powers under section 615 of the CA 2016 and gazetted the Companies (Exemption) (No. 2) Order 2020, which I will refer to as Exemption Order No. 2. This provides for the six-month period to respond to a statutory demand.

Second, the Minister has also issued the direction under section 466(1)(a) of the CA 2016 to prescribe the threshold amount to above RM50,000.

Please note that Exemption Order No. 2 has revoked the earlier Companies (Exemption) Order 2020, which I will refer to as the Exemption Order No. 1.
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The Effects of COVID-19 on Fraud and Asset Recovery Globally

FraudNet is an international network of independent lawyers who are the leading civil asset recovery specialists in each country. It has been ranked by Chambers Global as the world’s leading asset recovery legal network.

FraudNet has now put up a global guide on the effects of COVID-19 on fraud and asset recovery. You will be able to click on each country to get access to that country’s write-up. I am the Malaysian member of FraudNet, and I reproduce the Malaysian chapter below. Continue reading

On BFM: Standalone COVID-19 Act is the Right Way Forward

This morning, I was invited by BFM Radio to share my thoughts on whether Malaysia should have a specific COVID-19 Bill. This is similar to the approach taken by Singapore. I also shared generally on how legal practice has been affected by the movement control restrictions and how it is important to leverage on technology.

I set out below some of the questions and my answers, and you can  tune in to the BFM podcast (the BFM website requires free registration) for the full discussion. Continue reading