Bar Council finally reverses its own ban; allows law firms to use virtual offices

Malaysia’s Bar Council (“BC”) today announced, via Circular 324/2021 to its members, that after more than six years, it is finally reversing its own ban on law firms operating via virtual offices.

This issue first arose in March 2015, when the BC suddenly issued a Circular immediately banning lawyers from practising through virtual offices. The BC asked lawyers to “cease such operations with immediate effect” and warned that “the Bar Council may take disciplinary action against lawyers who are reported to be operating through virtual offices”. The ban was put on hold temporarily as a group of lawyers requested a discussion with the Legal Practice Committee, but in August 2015 the BC made a firm decision to ban the practice.

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Judicial Management Trends After Three Years: Part 3

Lee Shih and Peyton Teo complete this three-part series on key trends in judicial management in Malaysia. 

We complete the final part on the trilogy on trends in judicial management (JM) cases in Malaysia. This article covers the making of the JM Order, the opposition to the judicial manager candidate, and issues post the JM Order.

You can also read Part 1 and Part 2 of this series.

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Judicial Management Trends After Three Years: Part 2

Lee Shih and Peyton Teo continue with key trends in judicial management in Malaysia. 

We continue with Part 2 of a three-part series on the key trends in judicial management (JM) cases in Malaysia.

In Part 1, we had covered the reported cases on JM, the debtor and creditor applicants for JM, a Labuan company applying for JM, public listed companies, and the need for full and frank disclosure.

We continue with other issues arising from Malaysia’s JM cases.

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Judicial Management Trends After Three Years: Part 1

Lee Shih and Peyton Teo summarise some key trends in judicial management in Malaysia. 

Introduction

Judicial management (JM) is part of Malaysia’s corporate rescue mechanisms that came into force on 1 March 2018. Three years on, we set out the JM trends in our three-parter series of articles.

JM is a court-supervised rescue mechanism aimed at rehabilitating financially distressed companies. A court-appointed insolvency practitioner is empowered to manage the distressed company’s affairs, business and property. This insolvency practitioner is known as a judicial manager.

Once appointed, the judicial manager would prepare and table a statement of proposal for the creditors to vote on. The purpose of this is to either resuscitate the company and to continue as a going concern or alternatively, work towards a more advantageous realisation of the company’s assets than in a winding up for the benefit of its creditors.

The filing of a JM application triggers an automatic moratorium on all legal proceedings against the company. This gives breathing space to a financially distressed company to focus on its restructuring efforts to pivot back towards financial viability.

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Case Update: Restraining Order Extended to Guarantor Company and Sanction of Scheme of Arrangement

The High Court in the case of Re Sentoria Bina Sdn Bhd (grounds of judgment dated 9 July 2021) dealt with scheme of arrangement issues. First, that a restraining order could extend to the corporate guarantor of the applicant’s company. Second, the case dealt with the principles for sanction of a scheme of arrangement.

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Malaysia Insolvency Conference 2021: Legal and Practical Trends

Today was the second day of the Malaysia Insolvency Conference 2021. I had a very engaging session with my fellow speakers, Alex Chiang of Rodgers Reidy and Eddie Goh of Deloitte. The session was titled Lessons from Recent Landmark Cases. The session was a blend of practical issues and legal changes from recent court decisions.

At the session, I promised to set out a summary of the cases and legal principles I referred to. I set them out here.

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