Who We Are
Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill is one of the largest law firms in Malaysia and has been providing personalised legal representation since 1902. While our size and long heritage assure clients that they are in capable hands, we have also proven to be an adept and dynamic partner in their affairs. We think out of the box and provide novel solutions that are different from others.
Our deal experience includes major corporate and commercial transactions associated with or materially impacting social, economic and financial developments in Malaysia. We have also acted on some of the most difficult and complex cases in which the decisions have significantly shaped the laws of the country. Our clients range from government authorities and companies, conglomerates, financial institutions and multinational corporations to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), start-ups and private individuals.
We have advised or led on contentious and non-contentious matters in jurisdictions outside Malaysia or requiring foreign law advice. As the only firm in the country to be selected as a member of Multilaw and Interlaw, each of which is an international network of prominent independent law firms, we have access to over 8,000 lawyers in more than 150 cities worldwide.
We are consistently ranked as one of the leading law firms in the country by prestigious industry publications such as Chambers Asia Pacific, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Asialaw Profiles and IFLR1000.
A journey over 100 years in the making
- 1902, Allen & Gledhill was founded in Singapore.
- 1959, Allen & Gledhill Malaysia was set-up.
- 1972, Allen & Gledhill became an independent law firm, with practices based in Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor.
- 1993, Lee Hishammuddin was founded by a team of dynamic lawyers.
- 2005, partners of Lee Hishammuddin and Allen & Gledhill combined their strengths to form the present firm.
Today, we are based in Kuala Lumpur with branches in Johor Bahru and Penang.
CHAMBERS ASIA PACIFIC 2021
CHAMBERS ASIA PACIFIC 2020
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2021
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020
Hall of Fame
Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 2021
Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 2020
Asialaw Profiles - 2021
ASIAN-MENA Counsel ‘IN-HOUSE COMMUNITY FIRM OF THE YEAR in MALAYSIA’ - 2021
Asia Pacific Legal 500 (2021)
Dispute Resolution - Tier 1 Lambert Rasa-Ratnam leads the dispute resolution practice at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill. Split into three sections: general commercial, banking and insolvency, and construction/real estate, it counts BMW and PricewaterhouseCoopers within its client portfolio. Specific areas covered include: breach of contract, debt recovery, fraud, insolvency and foreign-seated arbitration. Notably, the firm pursues these matters for major companies in sectors such as construction, energy, real estate (it recently defended Sunway Real Estate Investment Trust in a 'tort of conversion' case) and telecoms. Key lawyers: Nitin Nadkarni (international arbitration), Kumar Kanagasingam (banking), SM Shanmugam ('an amazing lawyer') and Darshendev Singh (infrastructure). Rosli Dahlan has departed to form Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership.
Islamic Finance -Tier 1 Representing clients such as Standard Chartered Saadiq and HSBC Bank Malaysia, the Islamic finance team at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill handles issues such as commercial papers and medium term notes. Directed by Weng Hwee Tay, known for his expertise in Musharakah, it also features Megat Hizaini Hassan, a partner adept at facilitating substantive complex multi-billion ringgit issuances. A recent highlight concerns the firm's role in advising RHB Islamic Bank on the review and revision of its standard legal documentation. Notably, this is utilised for the bank’s home financing products (Commodity Murabahah Term Financing-i and Equity Financing-i) and ensures compliance with the regulations issued by Bank Negara Malaysia.
Labour & Employment - Tier 1 The labour and employment team at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill is led by Heng Seng Lim and Dato Thavalingam C. Thavarajah. Providing clients with compliance advice on legislation and common law rights, it also reviews policies and documentation, covers managerial prerogatives, and counsels on trade disputes and collective agreements. The client portfolio features a substantive number of Fortune 500 companies as well as family-owned enterprises and non-commercial entities. Shariffullah Abdul Majeed advises on the dismissal of senior employees and internal investigations while senior associate Amardeep Singh is recommended for immigration law and the management of foreign workers.
Real Estate & Construction -Tier 1 Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill offers a full service real estate and construction practice, acting on both contentious and non-contentious matters. The firm's client base consists of developers, contractors, financiers and institutional investors. Weng Hwee Tay is leading the team and working on real estate transactions, joint ventures and development projects, with over twenty years of experience in the field. Nitin Nadkarni is a key figure in the practice, with a focus on international arbitration, and handling construction, engineering and infrastructures disputes across Asia and Europe.
IT & Telecoms (TMT) -Tier 1 Known for her role in establishing the National Digital Identity framework, IT expert Adlin Abdul Majid heads the TMT offering at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill. Notable for its regulatory advice in telecoms, the team also handles related litigation and arbitration on behalf of major industry leaders. In addition, it handles outsourcing matters affecting the IT sector and increasingly covers fintech and cloud computing issues. Moreover, the firm addresses legal issues pertaining to both GDPR and the Malaysian Personal Data Protection Act. These include data processing agreements as well as cross-border transfers of personal information. FG. Vijay Kumar is experienced in disputes and recently represented Webe Digital in a multi-part defamation suit.
Antitrust and Competition - Tier 2 TMT and government expert Adlin Abdul Majid orchestrates the antitrust and competition offering at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill. Providing clients with specialist advice on both the Competition Act 2010 and self-regulated industries, it regularly acts for key players in the automobile, financial and telecoms sectors. Eunice Chan Wei Lynn complements the team with dedicated experience in franchising and distribution alongside a strong track record in related IP matters. Recent work highlights handled the legal aspects of mergers and acquisitions as well as product distribution.
Banking and Finance - Tier 2 With a specialist focus on real estate and construction, Weng Hwee Tay directs the banking and finance offering at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill. The team handles work for major lenders and covers areas such as: syndicated loans, club deals, project finance, bankruptcy and restructuring. Led by the 'knowledgeable and efficient' Weng Hwee Tay, it also includes cross-border expert Bella Chu Chai Yee, a partner with substantive experience in the real estate industry. A recent case concerns its work for Hang Seng Bank in respect of a USD150 million facility agreement made available to Citychamp Watch & Jewellery Group Limited. Notably, Eu Jin Ong departed for Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership in February 2020.
Capital Markets - Tier 2 Led by the 'knowledgeable and efficient' Weng Hwee Tay the capital markets team at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill handles a broad spectrum of sector issues. Specifically, this includes: major debt offerings, (both conventional and Islamic), bond offerings, medium term note programs and sukuk issuances. A recent standout case is its work for Sabah Credit Corporation on amendments to its Islamic Commercial Papers and Medium-Term Notes Programmes. The offering is complemented by the skills of Megat Hizaini Hassan, a renowned expert in Islamic finance as well as the 'knowledgeable and efficient' partners Tay Weng Hwee and Bella Chu Chai Yee.
Corporate and M&A - Tier 2 Counting the Malaysian Airline System and AEON Credit Service as key clients, the corporate and M&A offering at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill is headed by capital markets expert Weng Hwee Tay. The team handles issues such as joint ventures, corporate reorganisations, private equity investments and foreign direct investment in addition to its general advisory work. Raphael Tay is said to have 'vast knowledge of the automotive industry' and has a significant track record in restructuring matters. Ooi Bee Hong recently departed for Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership.
Intellectual Property - Tier 2 Both Malaysian and international clients are served by the intellectual property team at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill. Its expertise spans media law, franchising, and licensing as well as patent, and copyright disputes. It undertakes matters such as pursing ex-parte injunctions and other court proceedings through to cases before the Trade Marks Office. It counts Samsung, McDonald’s and Apple among its client base. In particular, it recently focused its efforts on concluding a case for Philip Morris where it successfully prevented infringing goods from leaving Malaysian waters. Eunice Chan Wei Lynn and Chew Yi Hsien are the key names to note. Bahari Yeow Tien Hong and Zhi Jian Lim have departed for Gan Partnership.
Tax - Ranked: Tier 2 Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhills practice has a 'great working knowledge of tax affairs in Malaysia.' The group advises on tax audits, transfer pricing cases and disputes. Co-team lead Nitin Nadkarni is notable for his dual tax advisory and tax disputes experience, having worked in the area for over two decades. He is active in multiple industries and several jurisdictions including Korea, Vietnam and Singapore. Jason Tan Jia Xin has appeared before all the courts of Malaysia on anti-dumping cases and tax appeals.
Asia Pacific Legal 500 (2020)
Dispute Resolution - Tier 1 Led by 'experienced and capable partners', Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill's dispute resolution team handles a full range of contentious matters including commercial disputes, banking and insolvency litigation, and construction and real estate disputes with clients benefiting from it being 'part of a seamless, multi disciplinary firm'. With a breadth of experience across civil and commercial litigation and arbitration proceedings, Lambert Rasa-Ratnam heads up the practice which includes: Nitin Nadkarni, who heads the international arbitration team, and Kumar Kanagasingam who is highlighted for banking and insolvency disputes. Other names to note include 'persuasive and quick thinking' capital market and securities litigator SM Shanmugam — who is 'a formidable figure both in and out of the courtroom' — and Darshendev Singh who handles a range of litigation and alternative dispute resolution with a particular focus on those relating to construction, engineering, oil & gas, and infrastructure projects.
Intellectual Property - Tier 1 The intellectual property team at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill benefits from 'subject matter experts' who provide 'fast responses, customized service and flexible arrangements'. The group handles a full range of IP matters and counts telecoms, tobacco and automotive among its sector specialisms. The 'outstanding' practice head Bahari Yeow's expertise spans non-contentious matters and IP disputes, while Zhi Jian Lim focuses on litigation, and Eunice Wei Lynn Chan combines IP protection and portfolio management experience with commercial, competition, and regulatory expertise – particularly in the pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and food sectors – in advising on non-contentious matters.
Islamic Finance -Tier 1 Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill's Islamic finance team is a popular choice for domestic and international financial institutions and counts United Overseas Bank, RHB Islamic Bank and Mapletree Investments among its clients. Weng Hwee Tay – who has been particularly active in advising foreign funds and banks on mezzanine financings – heads up the practice which includes Megat Hizaini Hassan, who has a breadth of experience in advising lenders on project finance transactions, restructuring projects and debt issuance.
Labour & Employment - Tier 1 The 'very professional and efficient' employment and industrial relations team at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill provides 'sound technical legal advice' on a range of compliance, contractual, contentious matters. Its impressive client roster includes major Malaysian companies and multinationals, such as CIMB Bank and Samsung Electronics. Practice head and 'good strategist' Heng Seng Lim is highlighted particularly for corporate advisory work while Thavalingam Thavarajah focuses on employment disputes. Other names to note include Shariffullah Abdul Majeed who has particular industrial relations experience and senior associate Amardeep Singh attracts praise for being 'a good communicator'.
Real Estate & Construction -Tier 1 The real estate and construction team at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill offers a full-service to its real estate sector clients and combines real estate development and transactions expertise with corporate and disputes capabilities. The team is jointly led by corporate and commercial partner Weng Hwee Tay and Nitin Nadkarni who specialises in international arbitration. Other names to note include Bella Chai Yee Chu and Darshendev Singh for transactional and contentious matters respectively.
Tax - Ranked: Tier 1 The tax team at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill is known for handling high-value tax disputes relating to transfer pricing, sales and services tax, capital allowance, withholding tax, tax incentives and customs valuation, and is particularly active in bringing tax appeals before the Special Commissioners of Income Tax. The group is also instructed in non-contentious and advisory matters. Aznam Mansor, who focuses on advising private clients, anti-money laundering and civil tax recovery-focused partner Bahari Yeow.
IT & Telecoms (TMT) -Tier 1 The TMT group at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill expertise spans the IT and telecoms sector, with capabilities to handle regulatory, compliance and licensing advice, transactional matters as well as project finance and dispute resolution. Practice head Adlin Abdul Majid is a key name for transactional and regulatory matters, while G. Vijay Kumar handles a range of telecoms and IT disputes; Bahari Yeow also focuses on IT disputes. The team's fintech expertise has been further strengthened by the arrival of Raphael Tay Choon Tien from Chooi & Company and Cheang & Ariff. Associate Thong Xin Lin has particular telecoms and communications sector regulatory expertise.
Antitrust and Competition - Tier 2 The competition practice at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill focuses on advising international clients investing in Malaysia on compliance matters and attracts praise for being 'willing to go the extra mile'. Adlin Abdul Majid assists clients with a range of compliance issues, while Eunice Chan Wei Lynn's broad expertise extends to advising clients on competition considerations relating to licensing of intellectual property.
Banking and Finance - Tier 2 The 'very experienced' Weng Hwee Tay leads the team at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill, which acts across the range of banking and finance matters, including syndicated loans, project and asset finance, bankruptcy and restructuring and bank branch establishment. The practice has a particular strength in transactions, primarily acting for lenders, which include international institutions such as HSBC and Standard Charted alongside domestic banks such as Maybank, CIMB and AmBank.
Capital Markets - Tier 2 The capital markets practice at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill has experience of assisting clients with the full range equity and debt issuances; the group has been advising on an increasing volume of IPOs in Malaysia and continues to be particularly active in Sukuk issuances. Head of the corporate team, Tay Weng Hwee, is a name to note in the equity space and Megat Hizaini Hassan focuses on Islamic finance.
Corporate and M&A - Tier 2 Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill's 'solution-oriented' corporate and M&A team counts large Malaysian corporates, including Sapura Energy and UEM Sunrise, as well as international companies with activities, or establishing interests, in Malaysia. It has experience across a breadth of sectors and has recently seen an uptick of work in the infrastructure and insurance sectors. Practice head Tay Weng Hwee handles a full range of corporate and commercial transactions. Raphael Tay, who joined the team from Chooi & Company and Cheang & Ariff, brings a breadth of corporate experience and has recently been particularly active in the fintech sector.
Asia Pacific Legal 500 (2019)
Dispute Resolution - Tier 1 Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill's department is well known for its formidable strength in depth. 'Sharp, skilful, knowledgeable articulator' Andrew Chiew, who along with Sean Yeow and Kumar Kanagasingam specialises in banking disputes, acted for AmBank Islamic Bank and PricewaterhouseCoopers in a financing dispute and an insolvency dispute respectively. Persuasive SM Shanmugam in corporate and securities litigation, Darshendev Singh in projects and energy, G Vijay Kumar in TMT disputes, and Nitin Nadkarni in arbitration, including international arbitration. Lambert Rasa-Ratnam is 'a trusted litigation authority'. The 'hardworking' Ho Ai Ting, who specialises in real estate and corporate disputes and provides 'detailed advice', made partner in 2018.
Intellectual Property - Tier 1 Peopled by 'many good, experienced, very friendly lawyers', the practice at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill is led by the 'helpful, knowledgeable' Bahari Yeow, who 'explains complex matters in an easily understandable manner'. Yeow and the 'resourceful, efficient, accommodating' Lim Zhi Jian, who made partner in 2018 and is 'committed and solution-driven', go 'above and beyond' and 'think outside the box'. The 'attentive, dedicated' Eunice Chan Wei Lynn is especially strong in franchise- and competition-related IP. Data protection expert Adlin Abdul Majid heads the group jointly with Yeow. Clients of the team include Philip Morris, Apple, Orange and Panasonic.
Islamic Finance - Tier 1 The team at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill is led by Tay Weng Hwee, who is 'especially good at devising practical solutions to issues'. The 'readily available' Megat Hizaini Hassan, who is noted for his industry knowledge, frequently acts on Islamically structured loans and debt capital markets issuances.
Labour & Employment -: Tier 1 Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill's team is 'committed to quality', 'examines matters thoroughly from all sides' and 'does everything possible to make the client succeed'. The full-service practice is led by the 'knowledgeable, meticulous, clear-sighted' Lim Heng Seng and the 'astute' Thavalingam Thavarajah; Thavarajah defended ExxonMobil Exploration & Production Malaysia against a multimillion-dollar claim relating to overtime pay for offshore oil-rig employees.
Real Estate & Construction - Tier 1 Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill's department provides 'the best solutions for the client's needs', and has 'good industry knowledge'; real estate transactions, construction and contentious work are all areas of deep experience. Tay Weng Hwee heads the transactional team. Ho Ai Ting is 'prompt and hardworking'; the 'really helpful' Bella Chu Chai Yee, who is 'able to work around non-straightforward situations', is commended for her 'attention to detail and risk evaluation'; and Darshendev Singh 'always delivers in a timely fashion'. Chu acted for UEM Sunrise on various transactions, including joint venture and land acquisition matters, and advised Koh Brothers Group on its subsidiary Changi Properties' joint venture with the Tang Group of Companies. Other clients include S P Setia, Malaysian Pacific and China General Nuclear Power Group. Nitin Nadkarni is recommended for construction disputes.
Tax - Tier 1 With superb strength in depth and an excellent client base, the team at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill handles the full range of tax work. Clients include Atlan Holdings, Carlsberg Brewery Malaysia, Cititower and the Commonwealth of Australia.
IT & Telecoms (TMT) - Tier 1 Commended for 'always providing useful strategies and insights', the 'renowned' team at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill has 'good knowledge of industry dynamics' and 'always focuses on clients' long-term interest'; it 'examines matters thoroughly from all angles'. The practice handles the full range of TMT matters, and counts high-profile companies such as Telekom Malaysia among its clients. Fintech is an increasingly active area for the firm. 'Very effective, impressive litigator' Bahari Yeow can 'explain complex legal matters in layperson terms', the 'highly competent, technically accomplished' Adlin Abdul Majid is 'a strong, helpful leader', and the 'attentive' G. Vijay Kumar is 'highly versatile and solution-driven'. Senior associate Thong Xin Lin is also recommended.
Antitrust and Competition - Tier 2 The 'very professional' full-service practice at Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill has excellent strength in depth, with highly active partners as well as 'associates who respond effectively to clients' needs'. The five-lawyer team's client base comprises mostly foreign clients, though large government-linked companies such as Telekom Malaysia also instruct the group on antitrust matters. TMT expert Adlin Abdul Majid heads the practice and Eunice Chan Wei Lynn are also active in the space.
Banking and Finance - Tier 2 Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill has excellent multi-jurisdictional capabilities, and handles financial restructuring as well as project, asset and corporate finance and syndicated loans; it is praised for its 'industry knowledge'. The team is led by Tay Weng Hwee; its clients include Kenanga Investment Bank, Mapletree Investments and CIMB Bank. Megat Hizaini Hassan is a 'readily available' Islamic finance expert. Cindy Sim is a 'responsive and thorough' associate. Bella Chu Chai Yee made partner in 2018.
Corporate and M&A - Tier 2 With particular experience in foreign direct investment, and growing expertise in the insurance and infrastructure sectors, Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill's full-service department has excellent strength in depth. Group head Tay Weng Hwee and corporate real estate expert Bella Chu Chai Yee acted for HSS Engineers on its purchase of engineering consultancy firm SMHB, and advised Owens & Minor on the Malaysian aspects of its purchase of Halyard Health's Surgical & Infection Prevention business. Steven Tee joined from Rahmat Lim & Partners in August 2017; Aaron Gerard Sankar is another name to note.
CHAMBERS ASIA PACIFIC (2021)
Dispute Resolution – Band 1 Standout disputes team, drawing on a strong bench of high-quality litigators. Its diverse expertise spans company, banking, insolvency and real estate cases, as well as construction disputes. Also often represents clients in domestic and international arbitration. Particularly adept in handling financial services regulatory cases, as well as corporate investigations and civil prosecutions. Regularly acts for leading Malaysian and foreign clients in a variety of sectors, including energy, finance, automotives, telecommunications and engineering. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
- "the lawyers are well versed in their respective areas of specialisation, quick to respond and accessible at any time. They are accommodative not only in respect to the services engaged, but also often providing other valuable services, such as seminars and talks."
- "is very well resourced, which lends confidence in terms of the continuity of its support."
Work highlights: Acted for Sunway Real Estate Investment Trust on a defence of abandonment claim filed by the former owner of an office building, shopping centre and hotel against the client.
Notable practitioners: Andrew Chiew Ean Vooi has a solid litigation practice with expertise in banking disputes, as well as restructuring and insolvency matters. One client notes that "he is very eloquent and, when preparing for hearings, he is always inquisitive and covers a lot of ground.". G. Vijay Kumar frequently works for large corporations on a range of litigation and arbitration, including contractual disputes. One client appreciates that he is able to "work out a comprehensive legal strategy, paying attention to clients' needs." Another interviewee notes that he "possesses excellent analytical and reasoning skills, is orally articulate, has sound judgement and is creative in resolving commercial disputes.". Lambert Rasa-Ratnam maintains his position as a leading litigator, acting for prominent clients on a range of professional negligence, land and M&A-related cases. One client describes him as "a calm and collected strategist whose points and arguments are holistic, well thought out and on point." Another client notes that his "commitment shines through and he is eminently qualified with the appropriate domain knowledge and compelling litigation experience.". Nitin Nadkarni is a pre-eminent practitioner specialising in multi-jurisdictional construction arbitration. One client describes him as "meticulous and commercially minded," whilst another commentator calls him a "standout individual" in the market. Sean Yeow particularly focuses on banking and insolvency disputes, often representing Malaysian entities. He is also active on matters relating to real estate. SM Shanmugam has a broad practice in corporate and securities litigation, including civil prosecutions. One interviewee describes him as having "excellent in-depth knowledge and experience in civil litigation, as well as being accessible and accommodative, which is a complete package." Another source appreciates his "people skills and ability to think outside the box. His advice is always focused on practical solutions beyond the legal aspects."
Employment & Industrial Relations – Band 1 Leading employment practice, typically representing employers in both contentious and non-contentious matters. Regularly represents clients in litigation, including unfair dismissal cases, as well as advising on issues such as employee transfers, redundancies and trade union matters. Often active on cases involving judicial review applications as well as assisting clients with internal investigations and audits. Advises domestic and international clients from numerous sectors, including finance, aviation, TMT, energy and retail. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
- "excellent level of service provided and response time."
Work highlights: Represented the United States of America in relation to an unfair dismissal appeal by an ex-employee of its Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
Notable practitioners: Lim Heng Seng has a market-leading practice, frequently advising employers on unfair dismissal cases, as well as employment advisory. A market commentator describes him as "very specialised."
Real Estate – Band 2 Recognisable presence in this space, providing a full-service real estate offering. Regularly advises property developers on joint ventures to develop mixed-use, industrial and residential developments. Also handles distressed asset transactions in the real estate sector, alongside related insolvency and dispute resolution mandates.
Work highlights: Advised KL South Development on the MYR10.8 million sale of all retail units at VERVE Suits KL South to Ruju Properties.
Notable practitioners: Bella Chu Chai Yee is establishing a strong reputation in the real estate space in Malaysia, frequently advising on land acquisitions and disposals, as well as lease matters. She acts for Malaysian property developers and landowners, as well as foreign entities. Tay Weng Hwee has a robust practice advising on the sale of real estate, often as part of insolvency proceedings. His clients often include major liquidators and receivers.
Tax – Band 2 Notable tax practice often active on disputes, regularly handling high-profile tax appeals and judicial review applications on issues such as GST, customs and transfer pricing. Also assists clients with tax audits in Malaysia. Acts for leading international clients from a range of sectors, as well as local corporates. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
- "tax matter experts who build relationships with clients."
Work highlights: Represented Aeon Credit Service in its judicial review application to challenge a decision by the Inland Revenue Board to tax the client over MYR96 million.
Notable practitioners: Nitin Nadkarni and Jason Tan are key contacts for the practice.
Technology, Media, Telecoms (TMT) – Band 2 Respected team with strong knowledge of the Personal Data Protection Act and the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Act. Its expertise includes telecommunications and IT disputes, as well as regulatory issues concerning outsourcing agreements, cloud systems and media. Advises foreign and Malaysian entities, including telecommunications providers, technology companies, financial institutions and government entities. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
- "the partners are subject matter experts and are able to provide assistance and services at short notice. They are experienced, calm, collected and knowledgeable."
Work highlights: Advised the Communications and Multimedia Forum of Malaysia on conducting a review of its existing General Consumer Code.
Notable practitioners: Adlin Abdul Majid is "a subject matter expert in personal data protection, telecommunications and regulatory compliance," according to a source. She is a well-regarded TMT practitioner with a broad practice, often acting for regulatory bodies as well as corporates.
CHAMBERS ASIA PACIFIC (2020)
Dispute Resolution – Band 1 Standout disputes team, drawing on a strong bench of high-quality litigators. Its diverse expertise spans company, banking, insolvency and real estate cases, as well as construction disputes. Also often represents clients in domestic and international arbitration. Particularly adept in handling financial services regulatory cases. Regularly acts for leading Malaysian and foreign clients in a variety of sectors, including energy, finance and engineering. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
- An interviewee asserts: "Their partners across departments have a good rapport and conscientiously work as a seamless team to provide the right services to match their clients' needs." This source adds that "they have a veritable arsenal of senior partners and consultants."
- A further client extols their "ability to identify issues, provide holistic recommendations and deliver as promised."
Work highlights: Represented the Malaysian United Indigenous Party in a judicial review application to quash the Registrar of Societies' dissolution order against it, which would have revoked the party's registration ahead of Malaysia's general election in 2018.
Notable practitioners: Andrew Chiew Ean Vooi is recognised for his handling of banking and shareholder disputes. He also specialises in insolvency cases and acts for Malaysian and international clients from a range of sectors. G. Vijay Kumar focuses on commercial cases, including shareholder, director and professional negligence disputes, often acting for Malaysian corporates. A client notes: "He picks out nuances and details, highlighting how we should approach matters. He is willing to listen and give advice at the right time," and that "his advocacy is superb." Lambert Rasa-Ratnam is a leading litigator who is highly regarded by clients for "his wealth of experience." Also active on arbitration cases, he receives instructions on mandates that include land, director, contractual and professional negligence disputes. Nitin Nadkarni is a highly experienced lawyer, with one source noting that "he is very articulate and knowledgeable about construction." He often acts for clients in the energy and engineering spaces and is regularly engaged on international arbitration proceedings. Sean Yeow is well placed to handle insolvency and banking disputes. A client says that "he exhibits strong business acumen and is always able to provide effective legal solutions," adding: "We derive immense comfort and reassurance from dealing with him."
Employment & Industrial Relations – Band 1 Leading employment practice, typically representing employers in both contentious and non-contentious matters. Regularly represents clients in litigation, including unfair dismissal cases, as well as advising on issues such as employee transfers, redundancies and trade union matters. Often active on cases involving judicial review applications. Advises domestic and international clients from numerous sectors, including finance, aviation, TMT, energy and retail. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
- A client reports: "They always keep us updated on the latest developments in our matters and provide timely feedback to our queries." This source adds: "Their services are highly sought after given their wide areas of legal expertise."
- Another interviewee appreciates the firm's provision of "business-friendly advice."
Represented Samsung Electronics in defence of a claim brought by three former employees for unjust dismissal.
Notable practitioners: Lim Heng Seng has an excellent market reputation, assisting clients with workforce structuring and other employment advisory matters, as well as dismissal cases. One client comments: "He is very professional and patient, and his advice is practical, pragmatic, and business-focused." Thavalingam Thavarajah has extensive experience in employment disputes, representing clients in trade union and unfair dismissal cases. A client lauds him as "the country's premier specialist," describing him as "pragmatic, very experienced, extremely knowledgeable and very well known in the industrial courts."
Tax – Band 1 First-rate tax practice, highly regarded for its team depth and high-profile clientele. Especially strong on disputes, regularly handling high-profile tax appeals on issues such as income and withholding tax, as well as transfer pricing. Also offers commendable advisory services, including on GST and SST regulations. Acts for leading international clients from a range of sectors, as well as local corporates. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
- Clients praise the team's depth, commenting: "They are a high-quality team with good depth, and they are very client-focused and responsive."
- Another interviewee commends the firm's "very professional and highly efficient" approach.
Work highlights: Represented Shell Business Service Centre in a transfer pricing dispute, relating to its judicial review application to the High Court of Malaysia against a notice of assessment between 2011 to 2013 raised by Malaysia's Inland Revenue Board.
Intellectual Property – Band 2 Respected team handling litigation and advisory matters for a range of domestic and international clients. Especially knowledgeable of personal data protection issues, with strong expertise in the TMT space. Its diverse coverage spans trade mark, copyright and breach of confidential information disputes, as well as franchising agreements and patent applications. Its clientele includes leading names in the technology, consumer goods and healthcare sectors. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
- A client notes: "They are meticulous in providing their services and are able to grasp the issues at hand. They are very fast in giving feedback."
- Another source adds: "They do not merely advise on the law, but are also committed to solving business problems."
Work highlights: Acted for Philip Morris on obtaining an urgent ex parte injunction to restrain infringing goods from leaving Malaysian territorial waters.
Notable practitioners: Bahari Yeow is often engaged by leading global and domestic brands on trade mark infringement cases, IP portfolio management and IP searches. Clients note that "he is creative and efficient, providing comprehensive and well thought-out advice." Lim Zhi Jian handles trade mark and patent matters, including infringement cases and portfolio management. Interviewees say he is "friendly, approachable, experienced and knowledgeable."
CHAMBERS ASIA PACIFIC (2019)
Dispute Resolution – Band 1 Standout disputes team, drawing on a strong bench of high-quality litigators. Its diverse expertise spans company, banking, insolvency and real estate cases, as well as construction arbitration. Particularly adept in handling financial services regulatory cases. Regularly acts for leading domestic and international clients in a variety of sectors, including energy and finance. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
- "Their partners exhibit an exceptional sense of professionalism, are very knowledgeable in terms of law and process, and enjoy a strong rapport with clients. They have an unparalleled breadth of expertise and experience, combined with their willingness to go above and beyond."
- "a particular strength of the firm is its advocacy skills in court and its quality of written submissions,"
- "ability to foresee issues and strategise well."
Work highlights: Represented AmBank Islamic Bank against claims by TRW Square and Boulevard Plaza, which concerned the legality of MYR400 million loan facilities provided by the client to the companies. Acted for Securities Commission Malaysia on an insider trading case, which concerned activities by a former director of a public listed company.
Notable practitioners: With over 30 years of experience, Nitin Nadkarni is frequently cited as a leading figure for construction disputes. Especially active on international arbitration, he specialises in engineering, infrastructure and energy mandates, alongside a range of general commercial cases. Lambert Rasa-Ratnam heads the firm's dispute resolution practice and has extensive experience acting as both a litigator and arbitrator. He handles a range of civil and commercial matters, including banking, insolvency and administrative disputes. Andrew Chiew Ean Vooi often handles litigation in the areas of banking and insolvency, with knowledge of both conventional and Islamic finance matters. He also focuses on company disputes and advises both Malaysian and foreign clients. Sean Yeow is recognised for a focus on litigation in the finance sector, as well as insolvency and contractual disputes. Clients appreciate that he is "practical and provides explanations that are easily understood."
Employment & Industrial Relations – Band 1 Leading employment practice, typically representing employers in both contentious and non-contentious matters. Regularly represents clients in litigation, including unfair dismissal cases, as well as advising on issues such as employee transfers, redundancies and trade union matters. Advises domestic and international clients from numerous sectors, including finance, TMT, energy and retail. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
- "They are very technically knowledgeable and provide practical advice on how to overcome the various challenges we faced."
Acted for ExxonMobil Exploration & Production in a high-value claim regarding employee overtime payments. Defended CIMB Bank against a claim of constructive dismissal brought by its former head of direct investments.
Notable practitioners: Lim Heng Seng is well regarded for his broad employment advisory practice, which covers trade unions and employment regulation issues as well as staff migrations and terminations. He is valued by one client for providing "very practical and pragmatic advice" and for "taking a quick decision" when faced with pressing issues. Thavalingam Thavarajah is an esteemed lawyer who is widely regarded as a market-leading practitioner for employment disputes. He has an impressive track record of handling high-profile employment cases, with interviewees attesting to his "vast experience and expertise in industrial relations matters." In addition to his disputes practice, he is also capable of assisting with non-contentious tax work.
Tax – Band 1 First-rate tax practice which is highly regarded in the market both for the size of its team and for its list of high-profile local and multinational clients. Especially strong on disputes, the team regularly handles high-profile tax appeals on issues such as income and withholding tax, transfer pricing and investment allowance. Also offers commendable advisory services, including on GST regulations. Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients):
- "We are highly impressed with the firm. They are technically sound, very professional and provide quick responses."
- "They are very good, straight to the point and strategists. There is a sense of assurance from the solicitors that every strategy adopted is with a purpose."
Work highlights: Successfully represented Atlan in obtaining leave for an application for judicial review in respect of the Customs’ decision of imposing import and excise duties on goods traded in a duty-free shop. Assisted the Commonwealth of Australia and its tax authorities with a cross-border tax dispute in the jurisdiction of the courts of Malaysia.
Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill believes that like all businesses, we have a social role to play in the wider community in which we operate. We have endeavoured to support community and public interest causes.
Towards that end, the firm:
- has formally established a framework to employ its legal expertise and resources in pro bono work, without expectation of a fee, in the areas involving human rights, fundamental constitutional liberties and the rights of marginalised minority and aboriginal peoples;
- renders legal services in matters pertaining to the Advocates & Solicitors Disciplinary Board and the Malaysian Bar Council;
- encourages its lawyers, regardless of their department, to provide legal services pro bono and perform voluntary work; and
- contributes time, expertise and other resources, from time to time and through appropriate means, to help improve community welfare, assist the disadvantaged and alleviate poverty.
We have acted in the following public interest litigations:
- Malaysian aboriginal people’s land rights
- • Mohamad Bin Nohing (Batin Kampung Bukit Rok) & Ors v Pejabat Tanah dan Galian Negeri Pahang & Ors  5 MLJ 268, High Court of Malaya (Temerloh) [“Kampung Bukit Rok case”]
- • Ketua Pengarah Jabatan Hal Ehwal Orang Asli & 1 Lagi v Mohamad Bin Nohing & 5 Lagi (Rayuan Sivil C-01-45-02/2013), Court of Appeal (Putrajaya)
- • Pengarah Tanah Dan Galian Negeri Pahang & 1 Lagi v Mohamad Bin Nohing & 5 Lagi (Rayuan Sivil C-01-85-03/2013), Court of Appeal (Putrajaya)
- • Rosli Bin Along & 2 Yang Lain v Kerajaan Negeri Kelantan & 1 Yang Lain (Permohonan bagi Semakan Kehakiman No. 25-7-2011), High Court of Malaya (Kota Bharu) [“Pos Belatim case”]
Mr. Lim Heng Seng was the lead counsel in both the above cases. In the Kampung Bukit Rok case, LHAG acted as solicitors and counsel on behalf of the Semelai Orang Asli of Kampung Bukit Rok and Kampung Ibam in Temerloh, Pahang and in the Pos Belatim case, LHAG acted as solicitors and counsel on behalf of the Temiar Orang Asli of Pos Belatim in Gua Musang, Kelantan.
- • Mohamad Bin Nohing (Batin Kampung Bukit Rok) & Ors v Pejabat Tanah dan Galian Negeri Pahang & Ors  5 MLJ 268, High Court of Malaya (Temerloh) [“Kampung Bukit Rok case”]
- Freedom to profess and practise religion
- • Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill v Menteri Bagi Kementerian Dalam Negeri Malaysia & Anor  1 LNS 1279, High Court of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur) [“Jill Ireland case”]
- • Menteri Bagi Kementerian Dalam Negeri & Anor v Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill & Another Appeal  7 CLJ 727, Court of Appeal (Putrajaya)
- • Jerry W.A. Dusing @ Jerry W. Patel & Anor v Menteri Keselamatan Dalam Negeri Malaysia & 1 Lagi (Permohonan bagi Semakan Kehakiman No. R2-25-407-2007), High Court of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur) [“SIB Sabah case”]
- • Jerry W.A. Dusing & Anor v Menteri Keselamatan Dalam Negeri Malaysia & Anor  9 CLJ 321, Court of Appeal (Putrajaya)
In both the Jill Ireland case and SIB Sabah case, the issues revolve around the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs allegedly made pursuant to the Printing Presses And Publications Act 1984 (“PPPA”) to withhold and/or prohibit the distribution and/or importation of Christian publications e.g. audio CDs and educational materials for children which contain the use of the word “Allah”. Mr. Lim Heng Seng acted as lead counsel for solicitors in the applications for judicial review against the decision of the Ministry of Home Affairs.
- • Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill v Menteri Bagi Kementerian Dalam Negeri Malaysia & Anor  1 LNS 1279, High Court of Malaya (Kuala Lumpur) [“Jill Ireland case”]
- Child’s rights and interests
- • Ketua Pengarah Pendaftaran Negara, Malaysia & 2 Lagi v Navin A/L Moorthy & 1 Lagi (Rayuan Sivil No. W-01(NCVC)(A)-516-12/2014), Court of Appeal, Putrajaya [“Navin case”]
- • Indira Gandhi A/P Mutho v Pathamanathan A/L Krishnan (Saman Pemula No.: 24-513-2009), High Court of Malaya (Ipoh) (which is reported in  7 MLJ 153) [“Indira Gandhi case”]
- • Gan Beng Wei & 1 Lagi v Lee Geok Yen @ Nur Laili Binti Abdullah (Saman Pemula No.: MT3-24-760-2007), High Court of Malaya (Shah Alam) [“Gan Beng Wei case”]
In the Navin case, Mr. Lim Heng Seng acted as lead counsel for solicitors representing the applicant in the matter at the High Court. The respondents in the matter at the High Court appealed against the High Court’s decision declaring that the applicant is entitled to Malaysian citizenship and directing the Ketua Pengarah Pendaftaran Negara (Director of the National Registration Department of Malaysia) to exercise the special power under Article 15A of the Federal Constitution to register the Applicant as a Malaysian citizen.
- The Indira Gandhi case whereas emanated from an earlier action in Indira Gandhi A/P Mutho v Pengarah Jabatan Agama Islam Perak & Ors  5 MLJ 552) where the plaintiff's wife had successfully applied for a declaration that the conversion of her three children by her husband the respondent to Islam was unconstitutional, null, void and of no effect.
- In the Gan Beng Wei case, LHAG acted as solicitors and counsel on behalf of the plaintiffs in this Originating Summons. Mr. Lim Heng Seng was involved in the conduct of this case together with Mr. Lambert Rasa-Ratnam.
- Persecution of a Muslim bookstore manager
- • Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan & Ors v Berjaya Books Sdn. Bhd. & Ors [Federal Court Civil Application No.: 08(f)-27-0112015(W)]
- • Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan & Ors v Berjaya Books Sdn. Bhd. & Ors  3 MLJ 65
- • Berjaya Books Sdn. Bhd. & Ors v Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan & Ors  1 MLJ 138
- • Ketua Pendakwa Syarie v Nik Raina Binti Nik Abdul Aziz [Mahkamah Rayuan Syariah Di Kuala Lumpur Kes Rayuan Jenayah No.: 14000-111-0005-2015]
- • Ketua Pendakwa Syarie v Nik Raina Binti Nik Abdul Aziz [Mahkamah Tinggi Syariah Di Kuala Lumpur Kes Jenayah Bil.: 14600-111-0025-2012]
On 23 May 2012, the religious enforcement department of the Federal Territories, Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (JAWI) raided Borders bookstore and seized several books by a renowned writer, Irshad Manji, titled “Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta” and “Allah, Liberty and Love” whereas the publications were not banned whether by federal law or the state religious law. A ban on the publications was only gazetted 3 weeks later. Despite various representations made to JAWI, the Home Minister and the Religious Minister, JAWI proceeded to prosecute the Muslim bookstore manager, Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz. Rosli launched a judicial review application against JAWI, the Home Minister and the Religious Minister challenging not only the unconstitutionality of state religious law but also the illegal enforcement and prosecution actions.
- Persecution of a Malay scholar
- • Kassim @ Osman Bin Ahmad v Dato’ Seri Jamil Khir Bin Baharom & 3 Ors [Judicial Review Application No. 25-119-06/2014]
- • Ketua Pendakwa Syarie v Kassim @ Osman Bin Ahmad [Dalam Mahkamah Tinggi Syariah Di Wilayah Persekutuan Putrajaya Kes 14400-134-0010-2014, 14400-136-0011-2014 dan 14400-134-0014-2014]
On 16.2.2015, Yayasan Kepimpinan Perdana Putrajaya invited an 82 year old Malay scholar known as Kassim Ahmad to an intellectual discourse. He presented a paper entitled “Seminar Pemikiran Kassim Ahmad: Suatu Penilaian Hala Tuju Bangsa & Negara Malaysia untuk 30 Tahun Akan Datang”. The talk stirred public controversy. On 26.3.2015, the Jabatan Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan (“JAWI”) raided Kassim’s house in Kedah, seized his writings, arrested him and removed him from his home state in Kedah through the state of Penang and Selangor to bring him to Kuala Lumpur. He was then charged for breaching the state Fatwa of the Federal Territories. In doing so, JAWI did not comply with the state laws of Kedah, Wilayah Persekutuan, Penang and Selangor. JAWI also breached various constitutional provisions on fundamental liberties. Rosli mounted a Judicial Review application against JAWI, the Chief Syarie Prosecutor, Religious Minister and the Government of Malaysia. On 21/12/2015, the Court of Appeal delivered a landmark decision that declared JAWI’s actions as illegal and void, and chastised the High Court for abdicating its supervisory powers. The Court of Appeal also awarded cost and damages for JAWI’s illegal actions which is unprecedented.
- Forfeiture of a Chinese company’s land to build a mosque
- • United Allied Empire Sdn. Bhd. v Pengarah Tanah dan Galian Selangor & 5 Ors [Shah Alam High Court Judicial Review Application No. 25-38-04/2013]
- • United Allied Empire Sdn. Bhd. v Pentadbir Tanah Daerah Kuala Selangor [Shah Alam High Court Land Reference No. 15-72-07/2013]
United Allied Empire Sdn. Bhd. (UAE) is a Chinese-owned company which had over the years purchased and amalgamated several pieces of land in Kuala Selangor to become an integrated development land. In the development plan, having taken into account the population density, UAE made provision for a mosque reserve measuring 1 acre. Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor (JAIS), the Religious Department of Selangor used the Land Acquisition Act 1960 to request the Selangor State Authority to acquire its entire parcel of land measuring 26 acres purportedly to build a mosque and paid very low compensation. Rosli challenged the low compensation. Rosli also mounted a judicial review challenging that the forcible acquisition was in breach of the express and implied provisions of the Land Acquisition Act and was made mala fide as there was already a mosque and that 26 acres is disproportionate to the requirement for a mosque.
- Slander by Muslim Rights Movement (ISMA)
- • Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir v Abdullah Zaik Abd Rahman & 15 Ors (KLHC Civil Suit No. 23NCVC-4-01/2014)
Ikatan Muslimin Malaysia (ISMA) published and circulated 70,000 pamphlets to various mosques in Malaysia defaming a known civil rights activist, Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir. A legal suit was mounted by Marina Mahathir against ISMA. On 17.8.2015, the suit was settled and ISMA retracted its allegations by its deputy president reading out in open court a statement of public regret.
- Negligence suit by the Government of Malaysia against peaceful assembly organisers (Bersih 3.0 Rally)
- • Government of Malaysia v Wong Chin Huat & Ors (KLHC Civil Suit No. 21NCVC-102-05/2012)
Bersih 3.0 Rally was held on 28.4.2012 organised by a coalition of non-governmental organisations that is called Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0). Following the Bersih 3.0 Rally, the Government of Malaysia commenced a civil action against the individual organisers claiming monetary compensation for damages to police vehicles. This was a first-of-its-kind civil suit by the Government of Malaysia against assembly organisers. Mr. Ang Hean Leng and Mr. Hoi Jack S’ng successfully defended one of the organisers, Dr. Wong Chin Huat, and also successfully counterclaimed the Government of Malaysia for wrongful arrest and detention. Dr. Wong was awarded damages and costs.
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