You Want to be a Commercial Litigator? Here are 10 Tips

Recently, a young lawyer asked me for advice on how to generally switch practice areas to move into litigation. From my brief advice, I thought it would be useful to set out and expand on my tips. I write this especially from the lens of a commercial litigator.

These tips are shaped by my personal experience. Please feel free to suggest more tips in the comments section and where we can learn from other lawyers’ experiences.

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The 10 Amendments to the Rules of Court 2012

 

I set out the ten amendments to the Rules of Court 2012 (ROC 2012) which comes into force on 15 December 2020. Some of these changes include service of court papers by electronic means, virtual hearings, and the restrictions on adjournments of trials. There are also minor additions to the Rules of the Court of Appeal 1994 (see the Rules of the Court of Appeal (Amendment) 2020) and to the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 (see the Rules of the Federal Court (Amendment) 2020).
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12-Step Checklist for Drafting Court Papers

This post is taken from and expanded from a note I circulated to my team. This is a 12-step checklist I impose on my lawyers whenever they draft their court papers.

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#1. Sample Precedent from the Firm / Colleagues

As a starting point, we may ask for a sample precedent from colleagues. That’s fine as an initial step but we must adopt all the other following steps.

#2. Read Atkin’s Forms and Bullen & Leake

Compare with the English Atkin’s Forms. The English civil procedure rules changed significantly post 1999 so if the application is  based on civil procedure rules rather than a specific area of the law, go and look back at the older version of Atkin’s. Also read the English Bullen & Leake & Jacob’s Precedent of Pleadings. Both Atkin’s and Bullen will have useful comments and notes, and references to cases.

#3. Read Malaysia Atkin’s Forms and Bullen & Leake Malaysia

Then read the Atkin’s Court Forms Malaysia and Bullen & Leake & Jacob’s Malaysian Precedents of Pleadings. Continue reading