Chooi & Company + Cheang & Ariff

Malaysia

Review

Dispute resolution

Coming into its third year since the merger, the combined strengths of Chooi & Company + Cheang & Ariff provides a robust dispute resolution practice. The group comprises experienced litigators and seasoned arbitrators, many having advocated at the trial and appellate stages and appeared in arbitration proceedings under various fora rules. The litigation arm is best known for its corporate and commercial, intellectual property, and labour and employment expertise. It has a deep bench of 14 partners and over 30 associates, which ensures the team covers a broad range of other disputes areas as well such as property, commercial fraud, trusts and estates, construction, banking, and insolvency. The firm also has a dedicated criminal law and public interest litigation practice.

The team consists of many leading names such as managing partner Loh Siew Cheang, Christopher Leong, Ira Biswas, Cindy Goh, Tuck Sun Lim, Brian Foong, Yeong Hui Yap, Nicole Wee and Shamala Balasundaram.

The firm continues to act for a prominent domestic ship management company on a share dispute. The case is significant as it deals with the novel issue of whether arbitration clauses and the Arbitration Act bind third parties who are not a party to the arbitration agreement. In another complex commercial matter, the litigators acted for Gumusut-Kakap Semi-Floating Production System (Labuan) (GKL), in a contract dispute against Sabah Shell Petroleum Company (SSPC). This matter concerns Malaysia’s second deepwater oil and gas field, the Gumusut-Kakap field and specifically relates to the Gumusut Kakap semi-submersible floating production system.

In a labour-related highlight in the industrial court, the team successfully represented MM Hotels in an industrial proceeding defending a claim commenced by its ex-employee. The firm also Represented Y & L Metal Technology in proceedings brought by unhappy retrenched employees.

On the intellectual property front, the firm defended Russian company SPC Diatech in a claim concerning seven causes of action: defamation, tort of inducement for breach of contract, unlawful interference in the main claim and a counterclaim concerning breach of contract, copyright infringement and breach of confidential information. The merits of the case were that it involved numerous causes of action and many complex issues relating to patented technology. This case also involved novel issues concerning equitable ownership of copyright and principal-agent relationship as well as contractual issues.

The firm promoted Yeen Yi Tan to partner in January 2021. Zhong Yan Lau departed firm and set up his own firm Tuang Chu & Co.

Dagang Net Technologies, Heitech Padu, Iflix and SPC Diatech instructed the commercial litigation team last year. Recent IP clients include Hovid, Omron Corporation, Syarikat Perniagaan Lamzhuan and Tramontina SA Cutelaria.

Client feedback

“The lawyers understand the business, are able to provide solutions that meet the demands of the business, and offer speedy advice.” – Commercial and transactions

“Very responsive, and good experience on the ground. All-rounded full-service firm. Well priced.” – Commercial and transactions

Janet Chai

“Knowledgeable in the area of law, able to come up with relevant solutions for the business.”

“A responsive, experienced and skilled litigator. Able to react nimbly in court.”