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  1. Islamic finance
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The 'very efficient, very knowledgeable' practice at Adnan Sundra & Low has 'strong technical banking expertise', comprises 'many capable partners and associates' and 'never fails to deliver'. Managing partner Deepak Sadasivan heads the group; he, Gan Kok Ling and Jerry Tiew acted for AmInvestment Bank and Maybank Investment Bank as arrangers on Danajamin Nasional's RM500m subordinated sukuk programme. Edward Ng is also highly active in the space. The department has expanded thanks to the firm's merger with Putri Norlisa Chair.

'Very well-versed' in Islamic finance, the 'strong' team at Albar & Partners wins praise from clients for its 'quick responses and accurate advice'. Chung Swee Loong acted for CIMB Investment Bank as lead arranger on Maxis Broadband's RM10bn sukuk murabahah programme. Lily Tan and Seet Hooi Ping are also active in the space. The 'meticulous, consistent' Niv Lee made partner in July 2018, as did Alicia Phang.

All the banking and finance work handled by Kadir Andri & Partners uses Islamic structures. Andri Aidham Badri advised AmInvestment Bank, CIMB Investment Bank and Maybank Investment Bank as lead arrangers, managers and bookrunners on an undisclosed issuer's RM1.58bn sukuk wakalah programme to finance its construction of ten blocks of government office buildings and shared facilities. Andri also acted for the Ministry of Finance on the RM1.78bn financing of the Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Elevated Expressway project. Senior associate Hafizah Md Annuar is frequently seen on Islamic finance transactions.

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; capital markets expert Eu Jin Ong is also recommended.

Well known for its excellent strength in depth and its longstanding expertise in various kinds of Islamic finance, particularly in capital markets, Zaid Ibrahim & Co (a member of ZICO Law)'s department acts for issuers and underwriters on high-value transactions. Lilian Liew acted for Quantum Solar Park (Semenanjung) on its RM1bn green socially responsible investment (SRI) sukuk, and Chin Sook Kwan advised Digi Telecommunications on its RM1bn Islamic commercial papers programme. David Lee Kim Meng is recommended for Islamic banking and finance.

Loh Mei Mei heads the well-resourced practice at Zul Rafique & Partners, which frequently handles high-value Islamically structured financings. Ashela Ramaya advised a very large syndicate of arrangers on a RM2.2bn Islamic financing and a RM2bn sukuk programme to fund the Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Elevated Expressway project. Issuer clients include MEASAT Broadcast Network Systems and Genting. Celine Rangithan is also recommended.

Azmi & Associates' practice has expanded recently, welcoming Shameer Othman from a small multi-disciplinary law firm in October 2017. Group head Ahmad Lutfi Abdull Mutalip is often involved in interesting mandates, such as assisting Ethis Group with establishing a shari'ah-compliant digital peer-to-peer financing platform. Ahmad Syahir Yahya, Farhah Hayati Mamat and senior associate Norazlianaliza Supar are also active in the space.

Mohamed Ridza & Co's department is steeped in Islamic finance experience, and acts for a diverse range of clients. Hafidah Aman Hashim advised MBSB Bank on converting around a quarter of its conventional loan portfolio to murabahah-governed facilities; Sharifah Shafika Alsagoff assisted Al Rajhi Banking & Investment with a RM15m Islamic facility to NZ Wheels. Managing partner Mohamed Ridza Abdullah heads the practice.

HSBC Bank Malaysia, AmBank (M) and S P Setia are among the clients of Shearn Delamore & Co's practice, which is led jointly by Christina Kow and the 'fantastic' Pamela Kung. Kung advised Tanjung Bin Energy, a subsidiary of Malakoff, on its RM 800m sukuk issuance for refinancing and working capital purposes, and acted for CIMB Investment Bank and Kenanga Investment Bank as principal advisers on Cahya Mata Sarawak's RM 2bn Islamic note programme.

The 'responsive, skilful and knowledgeable' team at Shook Lin & Bok delivers 'consistently good advice'. Supported by Hoh Kiat Ching, group head Jalalullail Othman advised a statutory body, established to develop housing facilities for urban inhabitants, on its RM5bn Islamic notes programme. Khong Mei Lin is singled out for her 'detailed, high-quality advice'; she acted for DanaInfra Nasional on its RM13bn Islamic papers-and-notes programme to finance the construction of the Pan Borneo Highway in Sarawak.

The 'friendly, efficient and helpful' practice at Wong & Partners is 'well put-together' and has 'strong commercial awareness'; it is recommended for 'complex, difficult matters'. Mark Lim, who is noted for his 'sound knowledge and innovative approach to finding solutions', heads the team jointly with Esther Chik; Lim advised Maybank Investment Bank and CIMB Investment Bank as arrangers on BEWG (M)'s RM400m sukuk issuance. Senior associate Licia Tan is frequently seen on Islamic financing matters.

Shamshul Iskandar Zulkifli heads the team at Naqiz & Partners, with strong support from senior associate Nur Fateen Zakariah. It acts mostly for banks, and has handled Islamic financings to fund large infrastructure and energy projects.

With transactional and regulatory experience provided by Vincent Chan and Gopal Sundaram respectively, Abdullah Chan & Co's 'very responsive' department is especially strong in aircraft financing, where Shelina Razaly Wahi is a noted expert. Sundaram advised Airpay Malaysia on its submission of an application to Bank Negara Malaysia to become a non-bank e-money issuer.

The team at HL Lee & Co welcomed Ng King Hoe from Shook Lin & Bok in July 2017; he was joined four months later by Ng Lay San. Both assisted a large Malaysian Islamic financial institution with extending a RM215m Islamic facility, for refinancing purposes, to a company listed on the Bursa Malaysia.

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