SSM National Insolvency Conference 2017: Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency under the Companies Act 2015

On 3 October 2017, the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) is holding the SSM National Insolvency Conference 2017 entitled ‘Corporate Restructuring & Insolvency under Companies Act 2016: A Paradigm Change’. I have been involved in the organising of the sessions and it promises to be a very interesting conference. The registration fee is RM700.

I will be speaking and moderating Session 2 on ‘Corporate Rescue Mechanism: How It Will Work’. Joining me will be Mohamed Sufyan Mohamed Mokhtar from SSM and  Victor Saw of PwC.

Under the Companies Act 2016, the corporate rescue mechanism is made up of corporate voluntary arrangement and judicial management. Although the corporate rescue mechanism provisions have not been brought into force yet, it is anticipated that these provisions will come into effect by May 2018. In the meantime, the new draft Corporate Rescue Mechanism Rules are close to being finalised as well.

In our Session 2, the speakers will be fleshing out the application of the corporate voluntary arrangement and judicial management through factual scenarios. That should assist in seeing the practical implementation of these new mechanisms.

The other topics covered at the National Insolvency Conference are:

  • The World Bank’s Perspective on Debtors’ and Creditors’ Rights.
  • New Guidelines in Striking Off of Companies and Asset Management of Dissolved Companies.
  • Impact of the Companies Act 2016 on Winding Up.
  • What It Takes to Become an Insolvency Practitioner.

The full brochure and registration form can be found here.

 

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Case Update: High Court rules entitlement to back wages limited to unexpired duration of fixed-term contract

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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.

The issue of calculating back wages due to an unfairly dismissed employee has become fairly settled, at least when it comes to the upper limit of the award. The Second Schedule of the Industrial Relations Act states:

1. In the event that backwages are to be given, such backwages shall not exceed 24 months’ backwages from the date of dismissal based on the last-drawn salary of the person who has been dismissed without just cause or excuse.

However, the recent High Court case of Malayan Banking Bhd v. Mahkamah Perusahaan Malaysia & Anor [2017] 2 CLJ 70 considered a unique scenario, where the employee was dismissed while under a probationary period as part of a fixed-term contract. The Second Schedule of the Industrial Relations Act provides the following in respect of probationers:

2. In the case of a probationer who has been dismissed without just cause or excuse, any backwages given shall not exceed 12 months’ backwages from the date of dismissal based on his last-drawn salary.

The applicant (the Employer) applied to the High Court for an order to quash the decision of the first respondent (the Industrial Court). One of the issues that the High Court had to consider in this case (which is the issue we will focus on in this case update) was whether the second respondent (the Employee) should only have been entitled to back wages for the unexpired portion of her fixed-term contract (which was 5 months and 17 days), and not the 12-month maximum provided in the Industrial Relations Act for probationers.

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Case Update: Factors considered when determining whether a resignation is forced or voluntary

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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.

It is common for employers to opt to negotiate a mutual separation or voluntary resignation when handling a potential dismissal. This could arise where there is a misconduct, unsatisfactory performance, or possible redundancy. Many employers take the view that is better for both parties to sit down and agree on the separation instead of the employer unilaterally exercising its rights under the law and risking a dissatisfied employee bringing an unfair dismissal claim.

However, what happens where an employee resigns following discussions with the employer, and later claims that this resignation was forced, or obtained under duress or pressure from the employer, and therefore that he was in fact unfairly dismissed?

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MAICSA Annual Conference 2017: Three Questions Raised

On 12 September 2017, I was invited to be a speaker at the MAICSA Annual Conference 2017. This was on the Plenary Session 2 on Companies Act 2016 – Key Insights and Implications for Directors/Shareholders. It was moderated by my co-author and chartered secretary, Kenneth Foo.

Having delivered my presentation, there were interesting questions from the floor as well as through my interactions with the audience members. I thought it would be useful to highlight 3 of the questions I received. They are an indication of the issues still concerning practitioners and companies . Continue reading

Case Update: Can an employee be dismissed for misconduct off-the-job and outside office hours?

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.

The general position in Malaysian employment law is that the conduct of employees outside of the office and in their personal time is not relevant to the employment relationship. However, out-of-office misconduct may in some circumstances be serious enough to justify an employer taking disciplinary action against the employee, including dismissal.

The Industrial Court recently considered this issue in Sebastian Matthias Boehme v. Siemens Malaysia Sdn Bhd (Award No. 667 of 2017). Siemens, the Employer, terminated the Employee’s services following complaints received regarding the Employee’s behaviour at a hotel bar outside of office hours.

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DLA Piper’s updated Guide to Going Global series — Malaysia content

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I’m delighted to share that the DLA Piper Guide to Going Global series has recently been updated.

This series includes the Employment practice area, and I provided the Malaysia content for this section.

The Employment guide has information on 56 jurisdictions. DLA Piper is one of the largest law firms in the world, but does not have a Malaysia office, and I am the sole Malaysian contributor in the series.

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Case Update: Malaysia’s Court of Appeal Confirms Power to Set Aside a Winding Up Order

In the Court of Appeal’s grounds of judgment dated 10 August 2017 of Gan Bee San v Malayan Banking Berhad, the Court of Appeal allowed an appeal and set aside a winding up order. The decision confirms the growing list of appellate authorities where the Court has the inherent jurisdiction to set aside a winding up order. The brief facts are below.

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