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Malaysia > Corporate and M&A > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Corporate and M&A
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Next generation lawyers

  1. 1

Christopher & Lee Ong's department regularly acts on high-value, cross-border mandates, and has impressive strength in depth. Lee Hock Chye and Por Chuei Ying acted for Top Glove on its RM1.37bn purchase of Aspion from Adventa Capital; Yon See Ting and Kelvin Kho advised Financière Esterel on its purchase of a 60% stake in Pyrometro Services. Tracy Wong made partner in January 2018; Yau Yee Ming and Kuok Yew Chen are also highly active M&A practitioners.

Active across a wide range of sectors, Rahmat Lim & Partners' department has deep experience in handling cross-border corporate transactions for high-profile clients. Group head Moy Pui Yee acted for Perennial Real Estate Holdings on a joint venture between Perennial Real Estate Penang and The Light Waterfront, and its ensuing RM403m acquisition of a freehold waterfront site. Jacobs Douwe Egberts and Adventa Capital are also representative clients. Chen Lee Won and Ho Wei Lih are frequently active in the space.

Shearn Delamore & Co's practice is headed by Grace Yeoh, who acted for Laureate Education on its disposal of INTI International University & Colleges to Affinity Equity Partners. She also assisted Chemogas Belgium with its purchase of Stereo Group. MA eLogistics instructed Ng Swee Kee on its joint venture with Cainiao Smart Logistics Network (Hong Kong); both companies are subsidiaries of listed companies. Nicholas Tan Choi Chuan is another name to note.

Praised for its 'high-quality work' and for 'always meeting deadlines', Skrine's practice has been expanding significantly at partner level: Lee Ai Hsian, Tan Shi Wen and Sheba Gumis all made partner in 2018. Phua Pao Yii acted for TVS Asianics (Singapore) on its purchase of Pan Asia Logistics' freight-forwarding and contract logistics business. 'Well-organised, efficient' energy expert Fariz Abdul Aziz 'knows the Malaysian upstream sector very well'; Janet Looi, Cheng Kee Check, Theresa Chong and Quay Chew Soon are also recommended.

The team at Wong & Partners handles high-profile cross-border M&A across all industries, and is well known in the region for its 'quick response times and solid business acumen'. The 'incredibly responsive, approachable and commercially savvy' Munir Abdul Aziz advised DRB-HICOM on its sale of Lotus Advance Technology to Zhejiang Geely Holding Group and Etika Automotive. Brian Chia is noted for his experience in the financial institutions and insurance sectors; 'knowledgeable, sharp, focused' senior associate Lydia Kong is 'a star'. Andre Gan is also singled out.

Abdullah Chan & Co's 'excellent' practice counts energy, palm oil plantations and financial institutions as particular sectors of expertise; it is also well known for its transactional experience in the aviation industry. Vincent Chan, who heads the department jointly with Yap Hui Lu and aviation expert Shelina Razaly Wahi, advised Qatar Islamic Bank, Financial Assets Bahrain, Rusd Investment Bank and Tadhamon International Islamic Bank on their sale of Asian Finance Bank, and its subsequent merger with Malaysian Building Society to create MBSB Bank.

Adnan Sundra & Low's practice was bolstered by the firm's October 2018 merger with Putri Norlisa Chair, from which it welcomed Adrian Chair, Constance Low and Putri Norlisa Najib. Adrian Chee acted for Petronas Chemicals Group on its $900m sale of a 50% stake in PRPC Polymers to Aramco Overseas Holdings, and advised Bunge on its purchase of a 70% stake in IOI Loders Croklaan from IOI. Alpha REIT Managers and Mitsui & Co are also clients.

With longstanding experience in large-scale M&A, often involving complex structuring elements, the team at Kadir Andri & Partners acts for private equity firms, foreign investors and high-profile domestic companies. Samuel Hong acted for Sime Darby on its demerger into three separate listed entities: Sime Darby, Sime Darby Plantation and Sime Darby Property. Chin Wee Sing assisted Apollo Global Management with its $1.5bn purchase of an 80% stake in Lumileds Holdings.

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.

Managing partner¬†Adrian Koh¬†is the key contact at¬†Mah-Kamariyah & Philip Koh; he acted for Denko Industrial on its RM1.19bn purchase of Integrated Manufacturing Solutions, and, along with¬†Yee Chew Yan, advised IOI on the $595m and ‚ā¨297m sale of its 70% stake in Loders Croklaan Group to Koninklijke Bunge. Other clients include Ekovest, Rukun Juang and Malaysian Resources.

With superb strength in depth, Zaid Ibrahim & Co (a member of ZICO Law)'s team assists a wide range of clients with strategically important deals. Gilbert Gan advised CIMB Group Holdings on its RM515m acquisition of a 50% stake in CIMB Securities International from China Galaxy Securities, and Tan Wooi Hong acted for Air Asia on the sale of a 50% stake in its subsidiary Ground Team Red Holdings to SATS, in exchange for an 80% stake in SATS Ground Services Singapore. Ahmad Zulkharnain Musa also handles a wide range of M&A transactions.

Zain & Co's 'high-calibre' team demonstrates 'deep knowledge of corporate law and an understanding of how business is done'; it provides 'valuable advice', and counts oil, gas and manufacturing as sector strengths. Rebecca Jeyanthi Selvaraj acted for Tessolve Engineering Services on its purchase of Spectrum Integrated Technologies. 'True professional' Salwah Abdul Shukor leads the team, showing 'strong legal and commercial acumen' and 'is always available for her clients'; Pauline Ngiam is also recommended. The firm is currently merging with Dentons.

Lily Chea Li Tan heads the 'strong' practice at Albar & Partners, which is praised for its 'quick response times and accuracy'. The 'very good, timely and accurate' Seet Hooi Ping assisted Tan with advising Malaysia Building Society on its RM645m purchase of Asian Finance Bank from four financial institutions. Other clients include Felda Marketing Services and Chemical Company of Malaysia. Niv Chiw Poh Lee is a 'meticulous, consistent' partner.

The practice at Azmi & Associates is led by Azmi Mohd Ali, who acted for Agrinos on the corporate restructuring of its Malaysian subsidiary. Norhisham Abd Bahrin advised Kumpulan Wang Persaraan on its investment in a private equity fund focusing on shari'ah-compliant industries in Malaysia. UMW and Malaysia Venture Capital Management are additional clients. Suhara Mohd Sidik is an especially active senior associate.

June 2018 saw a merger between Chooi & Company and Cheang & Ariff to create Chooi & Company and Cheang & Ariff, which leaves clients 'extremely satisfied with its service and performance'. The firm's corporate practice provides 'exceptional advice quickly', with the 'very practical, very knowledgeable' Tan Ming-Li  singled out for praise. She assisted a subsidiary of Star Media Group with its sale of a 52.5% stake in Cityneon Holdings to Lucrum 1 Investment. Yeat Soo Ching, Ming Sun Yoon and Karen Yee Lynn Cheah  are other names to note.

Counting some of Malaysia's largest companies among its clients, Jeff Leong, Poon & Wong is especially strong in the natural resources and logistics sectors. Kenny Poon advised Sime Darby Plantations on its RM107m acquisition of plantation businesses owned by some of Island & Peninsular's subsidiaries. Jeff Leong acted for TASCO on its RM186m purchase of Gold Cold Transport, and on its RM30m purchase of MILS Cold Chain Logistics.

Corporate and finance boutique Mohamed Ridza & Co is especially strong when it comes to establishing joint ventures and related arrangements; Sharifah Shafika Alsagoff and Mohamad Nazran Basirun advised Lembaga Tabung Haji and Pelaburan Mara, respectively, on setting up separate joint ventures. Hafidah Aman Hashim is also active in the corporate and M&A space.

Three-partner corporate boutique Murad Yee Partnership is regularly involved in cross-border deals for high-profile foreign and domestic clients. Yee Fook Weng advised Tabcorp Holdings on the Malaysian aspects of its proposed A$11bn purchase of Tatts Group via a scheme of arrangement. Kuay Ken Nie also frequently handles corporate and M&A matters.

Managing partner Khairul Ismail heads the team at Naqiz & Partners, with support from senior associate Rofitah Ahmad Fuad and associate Nadira Shariffudin Taff. All three assisted Khazanah Nasional with its proposed investment in a fashion and beauty e-commerce company, and advised a Singaporean institutional investor on its $25m acquisition of a Malaysian pathology company.

Peter Ling is the name to note at Peter Ling & van Geyzel; he acted for Affin Holdings on its RM181m purchase of a further stake in AXA AFFIN General Insurance, and advised Lay Hong on its sale of 30% of G-Mart Retail Borneo to PanPages. He also assisted Chin Hin Group with its $12m purchase of MI Polymer. Virtusa Malaysia also counts among the team's clients.

The practice at Raja, Darryl & Loh spans several departments and is headed by antitrust expert Chew Phye Keat. The 'technically sound' Tai Chu Wei, who has 'good business acumen', advised Bayer on the Malaysian aspects of its $62.5bn purchase of Monsanto. He was assisted by senior associate Benjamin Kong, who is frequently active on high-profile mandates. Chan Kok Seng advised Mr. Goh Peng Ooi on his RM155m sale of three Malaysian Silverlake companies to the Singapore-listed Silverlake Axis. Joyce Teh Yen Yen is another name to note.

Ivan Ho Yue Chan leads the practice at Shook Lin & Bok, with support from deputy head Jalalullail Othman. Chan acted for Paragon Adventure on its acquisition of 51% of the voting shares in Goh Ban Huat. As well as handling corporate restructuring and M&A matters, the team also sets up investment funds: Karen Kaur advised Affin Hwang Asset Management on its establishment of the TradePlus Shariah Gold Tracker fund, and on its subsequent listing on the Bursa Malaysia. ELK Desa Resources is an additional client.

Frequently acting for foreign companies acquiring Malaysian entities, and especially active recently in the renewables and manufacturing sectors, the team at Tay & Partners is led by managing partner Tay Beng Chai, who assisted Breadtalk Group with the sale of its Malaysian bakery business and assets to a joint venture between Breadtalk and UM Land. Teo Wai Sum frequently handles M&A: he advised Payroll Powerhouse on its purchase of Orisoft Technology. Terrence Edward Chong and Nicole Leong are especially active senior associates.

Counting CAB Cakaran, Eastern & Oriental, AWC and Sunzen Biotech among its clients, Wong Beh & Toh's practice is complemented by the firm's strength in equity capital markets. Cynthia Toh acted for Seacera Group on its purchase of a 70% stake in Teras Sari Resources from LT Century Development and LTC Holdings, and Yeap Lin Lin advised Asia Knight on its RM48m purchase of a 60% stake in Rapid Growth Technology.

The team at KDJLaw is led by Jeremiah R. Gurusamy, with support from junior partner Mike Lee; it acts for Malaysian companies in a range of sectors on transactions. Both partners assisted a company with its RM165m bid, following a tender put out by Radio Televisyen Malaysia (RTM), for the right to sell advertising airtime to private agencies for five years.

Founded in 2017, boutique firm Lim Jo Yan & Co specialises in corporate and commercial transactions; as well as advising private equity and venture capital firms, family offices and high-net-worth individuals, the practice has a niche focus on advising Japanese companies. Lim Jo Yan acted for Japanese healthcare company SMS on its acquisition of Melorita Consultant and its subsidiaries, and advised AOI Pro on its purchase of a majority interest in Reserve Tank.

Name partner Iain Sedgley is the key contact at corporate, commercial and projects boutique Sedgley & Co; clients include DMY Capital, Firmitas, Ladang Kampung Banjar and Landmarks. Leow Kon Nee and senior associate Siew-Yan Mah are also singled out.

Jerry Ong leads the team at Zul Rafique & Partners; he advises clients including OME Acquisition and KSK Group on M&A, and also assisted law firm Al-Tamimi & Company with a transaction it was handling. Associate Ding Mei Sin is active in the space.

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Legal Developments in Malaysia for Corporate and M&A

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