Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership



Dispute resolution

Full-service law firm Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership was established in early 2020 to much fanfare due to the profiles of its five founders, all former Lee Hishammuddin Allen & Gledhill partners. The firm is especially strong for tax and commercial disputes, and it is enjoying huge success in its second year despite the effects of COVID-19 on the market. Peers unanimously acknowledge the tax litigation offering as first rate and one of the two new heavy-hitting players in the disputes space. Many of the firm’s submitted cases were high-profile and widely reported in the media.

Dispute resolution head Rosli Dahlan helms the team that includes tax and litigation heavyweights DP Naban and Saravana Kumar.

A big score for the team, led by Naban and Dahlan, was its representation of 1Malaysia Development (1MDB) as part of the company’s task force on a settlement against Goldman Sachs. This high-profile case was worth a staggering $3.9 billion. Ultimately, Goldman Sachs agreed to that settlement sum to resolve outstanding charges and claims related to the three bond transactions that it had structured and arranged for the Malaysian development company. It was the largest penalty paid by the bank to eight governmental and regulatory authorities as part of the global resolution of the 1MDB investigation.

Another marquee matter had the firm representing Mercedes-Benz Malaysia in a judicial review application to challenge the decision of the Director General of Customs, in a matter concerning the import duty exemption of a new Mercedes-Benz model granted by the Ministry of Finance (MOF), amounting to RM8.7 million for the audit period of January to December 2017. The High Court granted leave for the Mercedes Benz to initiate a judicial review against the Director General of Customs.

The firm is also representing Tenaga Nasional, the largest Malaysian multinational electricity company, in a judicial review against the tax authorities on a RM8.2 billion tax dispute. This is one of the largest tax disputes in Malaysia.

CMMT Investment, KLCC Property, Panasonic Homes Malaysia, Parkwood Palms and Wintercorn Malaysia worked with the firm on dispute matters in the last 12 months.

Client feedback

“Very communicative. Delivers high-quality work.” – Tax

Saravana Kumar

“Excellent tax technical skills. Very attentive.”