Foreign firms in Malaysia

Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy’s Singapore office has a broad outlook across the ASEAN region, with Malaysia featuring as a key jurisdiction for the team. It has an impressive mix of Malaysia-related M&A, projects, capital markets issuances and dispute resolution matters, among other engagements. It also has a notable list of Malaysian clients. The Singapore team advised the joint book runners and joint lead managers on the Government of Malaysia’s headline sustainability Sukuk. James Mythen is a key partner for Malaysia-related M&A, while Jason Humphreys focuses on projects, Aloysius Tan advises on capital markets offerings and Islamic finance, and ‘strong advocateSheila Ahuja has experience in Malaysia-related arbitrations.

Practice head(s):

James Mythen; Jason Humphreys; Aloysius Tan; Sheila Ahuja


‘Allen & Overy have a very strong international arbitration practice and are very highly regarded. The team is diverse in terms of background, qualifications and jurisdictional training which is a plus point.’

‘Sheila Ahuja is a strong advocate who is diligent and detailed in her approach. She is highly regarded for her attention to detail and is good to work with.’

‘The team is very experienced in international arbitration. They present commercially sound and practical advice to the client.’

Key clients



BG Exploration and Production India Limited (BG), Reliance Industries Limited (RIL)

Work highlights

  • Advised Telenor ASA on the combination of Digi.Com with Celcom Axiata Berhad.
  • Advised UOB on the acquisition of Citigroup’s consumer business franchise in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam.
  • Advised the joint book runners and joint lead managers on the issuances of a $800m 10-year sustainability Sukuk due 2031 and a $500m 30-year Sukuk due 2051 by the Government of Malaysia.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has a strong track record in M&A and capital markets transactions involving Malaysia. It is also noted for financings and projects in the jurisdiction, along with a number of investment fund engagements. The firm routinely advises on the biggest deals in the market, including headline equity and debt offerings, high-value M&A transactions and corporate restructurings, as well as major projects. Co-head of the Malaysia group Valerie Kong has demonstrable experience in regional M&A, including transactions involving Malaysian entities. Kong leads the team alongside Johannes Juette, a US securities lawyer who has an excellent record in Malaysia IPOs. Thomas England is a key name to note for financings and Nicholas Wong handles big-ticket projects in the jurisdiction. All named partners are based in Singapore.

Practice head(s):

Valerie Kong; Johannes Juette

Other key lawyers:

Thomas England; Nicholas Wong; Gareth Deiner; Daryl Liu

Key clients

Farm Fresh

Harp Holdings

PCC Oxyalkylates Malaysia

Work highlights

  • Advised Farm Fresh Berhad on the international aspects of its $238.8m IPO and listing on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities.
  • Acted on behalf of the vast majority of aircraft lessor creditors of Malaysia Aviation Group Berhad and its subsidiaries, in respect of its ongoing restructuring pursuant to a Scheme of Arrangement under Part 26 of the UK Companies Act 2006.
  • Advised a number of international banks on the hedging of interest rate risk and currency risk in connection with the financing of Charoen Popkhand Group’s $10.57bn acquisition of Tesco’s operations in Thailand and Malaysia.


Linklaters’ presence in Singapore provides a solid platform for an impressive array of Malaysia-related engagements, ranging from M&A to financings and dispute resolution. The firm is particularly strong in financial services M&A transactions across the region, with many cross-border deals involving Malaysian entities. It is also active in Shariah-compliant banking facilities and other Islamic finance products such as Sukuks. In addition, the practice has a fine record in conventional capital markets offerings by Malaysian issuers. Amit Singh is the lead partner for capital markets offerings, along with Jonathan Horan, the latter having worked on a series of Malaysian debt offerings and medium-term note programmes. Sophie Mathur is a leader in financial services M&A and Philip Badge is at the forefront of banking and finance in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia.

Practice head(s):

Amit Singh; Sophie Mathur: Philip Badge

Other key lawyers:

Jonathan Horan; Phillip Hall


‘Well-rounded team with good management of resources.’

‘Phill Hall is always on hand to provide solutions with the aim of closing transactions.’

Key clients

Citi Bank

Credit Suisse AG

BNP Paribas

Standard Chartered Bank

Deutsche Trustees Malaysia Berhad

DBS Bank

CIMB Investment Bank Bhd


Work highlights

  • Advised Citi on the sale of its five consumer banking franchises in Southeast Asia, including the sale of its consumer banking franchises in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam to United Overseas Bank.
  • Advised AXA and Affin Bank on the sale of AXA Affin General Insurance and AXA Affin Life Insurance in Malaysia to Generali.
  • Advised Lotuss Stores (Malaysia) on a refinancing transaction involving the repayment of its existing loan under an existing shareholder loan agreement between Lotuss Stores (Malaysia) and CP Retail Development Company.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s focus on Malaysia principally comes from its Hong Kong, Singapore and Bangkok offices. It has an impressive record in representing Malaysian businesses and multinationals with assets and interests in the jurisdiction, with additional expertise in Malaysia-related M&A, employment matters, finance and projects, and IP work, among others. Heng Loong Cheong leads the Malaysia team, with Edward Chatterton impressing on IP matters. Singapore-based partner Katherine Chew is active in corporate transactions and employment engagements in Malaysia. All named partners are based in Hong Kong unless stated otherwise.

Practice head(s):

Heng Loong Cheong

Other key lawyers:

Edward Chatterton; Katherine Chew


‘I worked with Heng Loong Cheong and his team on a number of deals together in the last few years. He always offers practical solutions to the clients taking into account compliance legal requirements.’

Key clients



Bangkok Bank Plc

China Minsheng Bank

Industrial Bank Co., Ltd.

DBS Bank (Hong Kong) Limited

Bank of China (Hong Kong) Limited

LivaNova Plc

Symbio Holdings

Pine Labs

Olympus Corporation

Work highlights

  • Represented the finance parties in providing $500m facilities for ND Paper Malaysia (Selangor).
  • Acted for LivaNova in the Southeast Asia employment aspects of its divestment of its heart valve business to Gyrus Capital, namely in Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.
  • Advised a number of multinational clients on a full range of trademark and brand protection matters in Southeast Asia, including Malaysia.

K&L Gates

K&L Gates draws on its extensive resources in Hong Kong and Singapore to provide a rounded Malaysia practice group. The team is led by Asia managing partner David Tang, who splits his time between Hong Kong, Beijing and Seattle. It has notable expertise in aviation, banking and finance, corporate and M&A, dispute resolution, energy and infrastructure, and employment matters. In the firm's Singapore office, James Bradley is a key figure in aviation finance and restructurings in Malaysia, while Lian Yok Tan has a background in energy and infrastructure, including LNG pipelines and other projects. Hong Kong-based Choo Lye Tan has experience in Malaysia M&A, investments and financings.

Practice head(s):

David Tang

Other key lawyers:

James Bradley; Lian Yok Tan; Choo Lye Tan

Key clients

Asia Pacific Aviation Leasing Group

Asmara International Limited

Judicial Managers of Ocean Tankers (Pte.) Ltd

JP Lease

Luye Pharma

Malaysia Aviation Group Berhad

Simmtech Holdings Co. Ltd

Simmtech Group

Wolfspeed Inc.

Work highlights

  • Advised APAL as operating lessor in the restructuring of AirAsia X; the lessor has two Airbus A330-300 aircraft on lease to the distressed airline which is financed by China Export and Import Bank.
  • Advised the Judicial Managers of Ocean Tankers, the chartering arm of oil trader Hin Leong, in respect to the insolvency of Hin Leong.
  • Advised Simmtech on the successful project development, investment and financing of a $120m greenfield industrial facility in Penang, Malaysia.

Latham & Watkins LLP

Latham & Watkins LLP’s Malaysia practice is primarily driven by corporate and financing partners in Singapore. Malaysian project development and project financing is another forte for the firm, having advised on a series of major developments over the years. The team has also advised a number of private equity funds on their investments and interests in Malaysia and continues to assist clients in headline capital markets offerings in the jurisdiction; Singapore-based partner Sharon Lau led the team that advised CTOS Digital on its IPO on Bursa Malaysia; Lau has a prolific record in Malaysia IPOs, M&A and private equity deals.

Practice head(s):

Sharon Lau

Key clients

TPG Capital

KKR Singapore Pte. Ltd

Pengerang Energy Complex Sdn Bhd.

Maybank Investment Bank Berhad

Credit Suisse Securities (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd

JPMorgan Securities (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.

CLSA Securities Malaysia Sdn Bhd

CIMB Investment Bank Berhad

Hong Leong Investment Bank Berhad

Oversea-Chinese Banking Corporation Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised KKR on its agreement with Taylor’s Education Group, to acquire a minority stake in Taylor’s Schools, which runs Nexus International School Malaysia, Australian International School Malaysia, Taylor’s International School Kuala Lumpur, and Taylor’s International School Puchong.
  • Represented Pengerang Energy Complex, the project company, in relation to the development and financing of an aromatics complex (including a fully integrated condensate splitter and an aromatics plant) to be located in Pengerang, Johor, Malaysia.
  • Advised CTOS Digital Berhad on its IPO on Bursa Malaysia.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright has an established record in internationally-financed infrastructure projects in Malaysia. It has also been closely involved in the liberalisation of the gas market in the country and has a strong reputation in the offshore marine sector. Moreover, the Singapore office is frequently engaged in project-related disputes, including cases involving disputes with joint-venture parties and contractors. White collar crime and investigations is another area of strength. Stephen Begley leads a sizeable Singapore-based team of projects, energy, and shipping and offshore lawyers that have a significant focus on Malaysia. Katie Chung is an experienced figure in cross-border disputes involving Malaysian entities.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Begley

Other key lawyers:

Katie Chung; Ben Smith; Ben Rose; Nick Merritt; Nick Davies; Wilson Ang

Key clients

Bank of Baroda

DBS Bank Ltd

Gas Malaysia Berhad

NEPC Consortium Power Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Gas Malaysia Berhad in developing the necessary framework for third party access to pave the way for the liberalisation of the downstream gas market in Malaysia.
  • Advised Bank of Baroda on the English and Singapore law aspects of a $930m loan facility to Armada 98/2 Pte.
  • Advised a syndicate of 12 lenders on a $1.5bn bridge loan facility to an MISC subsidiary for a floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, currently under construction, which will operate in a deep-water pre-salt field offshore Brazil.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Trowers & Hamlins LLP has a long history in Malaysia; it was the first firm to be awarded the Qualified Foreign Law Firm (QFLF) status in the jurisdiction. It has an impressive record in Islamic finance, a real focus for the firm in Malaysia and the Middle East. Beyond this, the practice has credibility in cross-border M&A and investments, and conventional financings. Its client base includes a large number of Malaysian and Middle Eastern banks and financial institutions. Nick Edmondes has been managing partner of the office since 2015, when it was first awarded a QFLF licence. Elias Moubarak is an experienced figure in conventional and Islamic financings, and Tom Reynolds is a key name for cross-border investments and M&A.

Practice head(s):

Nick Edmondes

Other key lawyers:

Elias Moubarak; Tom Reynolds; Nicol Ong


‘Trowers & Hamlins has put together a team that punches above its weight. We have worked with their various teams from fixed income specialists to their financing team. They always ensure to make themselves available and do not miss deadlines.’

‘The Trowers team continuously ensure they are available no matter the time of day or short notice to jump on a call. They have also continued to provide substantial support to accommodate sharia-related issues. Some standout performers.’

‘Competent, hard-working and focused.’

‘They have great communication skills, knowledge of the law and strong writing abilities.’

‘Nicol Ong was exceptional on a refinancing transaction. She held our hands, kept us regularly updated, and proactively managed the transaction for us end to end halfway across the world.’

Key clients

Mizuho Bank, Ltd.

CIMB Bank Berhad

AmBank Group Malaysia

Export-Import Bank Malaysia Berhad (EXIM Bank)

Al Salam Bank B.S.C.

First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC

Sohar International Bank S.A.O.G.

Ahli Bank S.A.O.G.

Bank Dhofar S.A.O.G.

Bank Muscat S.A.O.G.

Work highlights

  • Advised Mizuho Bank as arranger on the refinancing of a $55m term loan facility for Malakoff International.
  • Advised Alizz Islamic Bank and Ubhar Capital as the issue managers on the issuance of OMR unsecured subordinated perpetual Sukuk Al Mudaraba certificates by Sukuk Trust SPC, the special purpose company established by Oman International Development and Investment Company.
  • Acted as lender’s legal counsel on the largest ever supply chain financing for the Government of the Sultanate of Oman, represented by the Ministry of Finance.

WongPartnership LLP

WongPartnership LLP’s strong regional profile is further bolstered by its association with local firm Foong & Partners. The two firms frequently collaborate on corporate and commercial, capital markets and corporate finance work, along with a fine record in energy and infrastructure projects. The Singapore firm is also noted for its capability in dispute resolution matters involving Malaysia, especially international arbitrations, with Chou Sean Yu to the fore. Andrew Ang has a reputation for M&A and private equity deals in Malaysia, while Gail Ong has worked on numerous IPOs by Malaysian issuers.

Practice head(s):

Chou Sean Yu; Andrew Ang; Gail Ong

Key clients

SMRT Corporation Ltd.

ASM Pacific Technology Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for KKR in the acquisition by PropertyGuru of REA Group’s operating entities in Malaysia and Thailand.