Foreign firms in Malaysia

A&O Shearman

The Singapore-based office at A&O Shearman has a strong reputation for its capabilities across a broad range of practice areas. Noted for its expertise in the banking and finance arena, the practice assists its impressive client portfolio on matters ranging from M&A and joint ventures to infrastructure and energy projects, as well as capital markets mandates and disputes. The team is overseen by a multitude of experts, including M&A specialist James Mythen and projects, energy, infrastructure and Islamic finance expert Jason Humphreys, both of whom co-head the firm’s Malaysia desk. Mythen advised Telenor ASA in its cross-jurisdictional and high-profile $15bn merger of Aloysius Tan has experience in handling Islamic finance matters, as well as capital markets work, while ‘excellent’ Sheila Ahuja is noted for her expertise in commercial and investor-state arbitrations. Counsel Husayn Reza is praised as ‘knowledgeable of market practices’ and assists on the range of banking and finance mandates.

Practice head(s):

James Mythen; Jason Humphreys; Aloysius Tan; Sheila Ahuja

Other key lawyers:

Shuhui Kwok; Husayn Reza


‘Allen & Overy have an excellent dispute teams given their experience in arbitration matters. They are very approachable and easy to work with.’

‘Sheila Ahuja is excellent – technically very sound and always well-prepared.’

‘Strong knowledge of Islamic finance.’

Key clients




MEASAT International (South Asia) Ltd

Cagamas Berhad


Work highlights

  • Advised Telenor ASA on the combination of Digi.Com Berhad with Celcom Axiata Berhad.
  • Advised UOB on the acquisition of Citigroup’s consumer business franchise in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam for approximately SGD4.9bn.
  • Advised the joint book runners and joint lead managers and a global financial institution as trustee counsel on the issuances of a £800m 10-year sustainability Sukuk due 2031 and $500m 30-year Sukuk due 2051 by the Government of Malaysia.

Clifford Chance

Managing partner Valerie Kong solely leads the team at Clifford Chance’s Singapore office following the relocation of former co-lead Johannes Juette to the firm’s London office; Juette remains an active member of the group. Kong frequently advises on cross-border M&A, with a focus on Southeast Asia, while Thomas England acts for banks and borrowers on new money and restructuring transactions. Nicholas Wong advises sponsors, investors, banks and export credit agencies on the structuring, development and financing of energy, oil and gas, infrastructure and mining development projects, and Gareth Deiner specialises in debt capital markets products. Daryl Liu is a member of the firm's funds and investment management group. Key clients span the food and beverage, energy and resources, consumer goods, private equity and healthcare sectors, among others.

Practice head(s):

Valerie Kong

Other key lawyers:

Thomas England; Nicholas Wong; Gareth Deiner; Daryl Liu; Johannes Juette

Key clients

Mintz Group LLC

Navis Capital Partners

Farm Fresh Berhad

DXN Holdings Bh

Work highlights

  • Acting for a leading European bank in relation to ongoing investigations and proceedings relating to the 1MDB scandal.
  • Advised Malaysian dairy producer Farm Fresh Berhad on the international aspects of its successful $238.8m IPO and listing on the Main Market of Bursa Malaysia Securities Bhd, marking the country’s largest offering since June 2021.
  • Advising the export credit agencies and commercial lenders in connection with the project financing of the Pengerang Energy Complex, a greenfield integrated condensate splitter and aromatics complex (to produce petroleum products (including diesel, jet fuel and light naphtha) and aromatics products (including paraxylene and benzene) to be located within the Pengerang Integrated Petroleum Complex in Johor, Malaysia.


The Singapore-based practice at Linklaters is well-equipped to handle a broad range of matters across Malaysia. The corporate, banking and capital markets-focused team boasts an impressive workload, advising its plethora of clients on high-value M&A and the full-range of financial services mandates, in addition to representing clients in disputes. Amit Singh, who has experience in handling cross-border debt and equity matters, leads the practice alongside international finance specialist Philip Badge, who advises on multi-jurisdictional structured finance transactions across Southeast Asia and India, and Sophie Mathur, who is is noted for her expertise in M&A transactions. Jonathan Horan, who focuses on capital markets mandates, is another key contact in the group.

Practice head(s):

Amit Singh; Philip Badge; Sophie Mathur

Other key lawyers:

Phillip Hall; Jonathan Horan


‘The team has a deep understanding of local jurisdictions and work practices, is well-resourced at all levels, always on the ball to deliver work products and actively participates in all commercial discussions.’

‘Phillip Hall is practical in managing timelines and well-versed in recent developments in capital markets.’

Key clients



Affin Bank Berhad

CIMB Bank Berhad

DKSH Holding Ltd

DBS Bank Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advised Citi on the sale of its six consumer banking franchises in Southeast Asia and EMEA. The transactions include the sale of its consumer banking franchises in Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam to United Overseas Bank amongst others.
  • Advised AXA and Affin Bank Berhad (Affin Bank) on the sale of AXA Affin General Insurance (AAGI) and AXA Affin Life Insurance (AALI) in Malaysia to Generali, for total cash proceeds of MYR 688m; one of the largest insurance deals in Malaysia in recent years.
  • Advised CIMB Bank Berhad on the LIBOR transition process for its $20m, $30m and $88m.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper’s offering derives from its Hong Kong office, which is the base of team leader Heng Loong Cheong, as well as Singapore and Bangkok. The multi-jurisdictional team works across a broad range of practice areas, offering support to its international roster of clients who are based in, or doing business in Malaysia. Key areas of focus include M&A, as demonstrated by its advice to KKP in its acquisition of high-value shares in a Malaysian company, in addition to finance mandates and projects, employment issues, IP work, technology and sourcing matters, investigations and disputes. Hong Kong-based Edward Chatterton is noted for his expertise in the IP arena, while Katherine Chew operates from the firm's office in Singapore and focuses on M&A and corporate restructurings.

Practice head(s):

Heng Loong Cheong

Other key lawyers:

Edward Chatterton; Katherine Chew; Luke Gannon; Karen Lee

Key clients

Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB)

Société Générale

Kiatnakin Phatra Bank Public Company Limited (KKP)


Bangkok Bank Plc

China Minsheng Bank

Symbio Holdings


Work highlights

  • Representing KKP as lender in the acquisition financing loan of THB1bn secured term and revolving facilities granted to Asia Network International Co. Ltd., in acquiring shares in a Malaysian company.
  • Advising TNB in their bid for a portfolio of renewable assets in Australia, comprising solar and battery energy storage system assets.
  • Advising Symbio Holdings on the full spectrum of telecoms and technology matters as part of its network expansion across APAC.

Latham & Watkins LLP

The practice at Latham & Watkins LLP acts for its roster of domestic and international clients on an array of corporate and finance transactions in Malaysia, from capital markets, M&A and private equity to venture capital, project developments and Islamic finance structures. Based in the Singapore office, Sharon Lau leads the team and is noted for her expertise in capital markets, M&A and private equity-related matters. Key sectors of expertise include food and beverage, technology, traditional and renewable energy, oil and gas, telecoms and real estate.

Practice head(s):

Sharon Lau

Key clients

Pathology Asia Holdings Pte. Ltd.

TPG Capital (S) Pte Ltd

Harps Holdings Sdn. Bhd.

Pengerang Energy Complex Sdn Bhd

Credit Suisse (Singapore) Limited

DBS Bank Ltd

Standard Chartered Bank (Singapore) Limited

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright’s work in Malaysia derives predominantly from its Singapore office, which is the base of its team leader Stephen Begley, who specialises in energy and natural resources-related mandates. The team is noted for its expertise in this arena, having witnessed an increase in oil and gas, renewables, and solar and energy storage projects-related matters, in addition to large-scale infrastructure projects. The practice’s client roster includes Malaysian corporations. Wilson Ang brings to bear his experience in handling regulatory, compliance and disputes mandate, while Katie Chung is another key contact for cross-border disputes and Ben Rose advises lenders on high-value financings. Ben Smith relocated from the firm's Singapore office to London in July 2023.

Practice head(s):

Stephen Begley

Other key lawyers:

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

Work highlights

  • Representing NEPC Consortium Power Ltd (NEPC) as claimant in an ICSID arbitration against a statutory board of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh (Bangladesh).
  • Advised a syndicate of 13 lenders (with ING, Maybank, Natixis, Standard Chartered Bank, UOB, JPMorgan Chase and HSBC acting as MLAs) in relation to a $720,000,000 conventional and Islamic financing for a subsidiary of Yinson Holdings Berhad in relation to the financing of a floating production, storage and offloading vessel, to be chartered to Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras) and operated by a subsidiary of Yinson in the Parque das Baleias Integrated Project located in the North Campos basin offshore Brazil.
  • Advising Edra Energy on its 2,242 MW combined cycle power plant in Alor Gajah, Melaka, Malaysia in relation to issues relating to its delayed commercial operation.

Trowers & Hamlins LLP

Noted for its expertise in Islamic finance mandates, Trowers & Hamlins LLP acts for domestic and international clients on a range of matters, including cross-border investments, M&A, private equity, and financing deals, with demonstrable experience in the real estate, hospitality, oil and gas, and energy and infrastructure arenas. Nick Edmondes is praised for his 'breadth of knowledge in Islamic financing', while Elias Moubarak advises on project financings and real estate financings, in addition to capital market issuances. Geoff Allen joined the firm in June 2022 and leads the corporate and commercial team. Other key contacts include Tom Reynolds and real estate expert Abdulhaq Mohammed. All named practitioners collectively lead the practice from the firm's office in Kuala Lumpur.

Practice head(s):

Nick Edmondes; Tom Reynolds; Elias Moubarak; Abdulhaq Mohammed; Geoff Allen

Other key lawyers:

Nicol Ong


‘T&H has been consistent in providing the level of legal services that we need in our transactions.’

‘The team is always available and quick in responding to our queries.’

‘Nicol Ong is proactive, attentive, patient and a problem solver.’

‘The team are pleasant, easy to work with and go to extra mile to perform and complete a transaction.’

‘Trowers are able to tap into their wide global base to solve certain issues.’

‘Nick Edmondes has the breadth of knowledge in Islamic financing.’

‘Nicol Ong is easy to work with, makes sure she covers all angles when closing a deal for us and is very detailed in her work.’

Key clients

Mizuho Bank (Malaysia) Berhad

Lembaga Tabung Haji


Sohar International Bank SAOG

EFG-Hermes UAE Limited (acting jointly with EFG Hermes UAE LLC)

Al Baraka Islamic Bank B.S.C.

Ahli United Bank B.S.C.

Alvarium RE Limited

Alizz Islamic Bank SAOC

RHB Bank

Permodalan Nasional Berhad

Tenaga Nasional Berhad

First Abu Dhabi Bank PJSC

Meethaq Islamic Banking, Bank Musacat SAOG

Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan) (KWAP)

Sime Darby

Malaysia Aviation Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Sohar International Bank S.A.O.G. and EFG-Hermes UAE Limited as joint global coordinator and bookrunner, and as issue manager and investment manager on the IPO of 208k units in The Pearl Real Estate Investment Fund to investors across Oman and the GCC, which have been listed on the Muscat Stock Exchange.
  • Advised the banking syndicate led by banks making up ‘the Facility Participants’, on the $200m syndicated Murabaha facility made available to Bahrain’s Oil and Gas Holding Company.
  • Advising Ahli United Bank on all aspects of its conversion from a conventional bank to an Islamic bank in Bahrain and its eventual merger with Kuwait Finance House, Bahrain.

K&L Gates

Based in the Singapore and Hong Kong offices respectively, senior counsel Sreenivasan Narayanan and Choo Lye Tan jointly lead the Southeast Asia practice at K&L Gates. The team advises on a broad range of matters, including M&A transactions and joint ventures, in addition to banking and finance mandates, with demonstrable experience across the aviation, financial services, energy, life sciences and manufacturing sectors. Based in Singapore, Henry Kim focuses on disputes arising out of commodities, shipping, energy, and power infrastructure projects and is another key contact in the group. Team changes include the departure of James Bradley to Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in October 2022, and the departure of Lian Yok Tan to Squire Patton Boggs in May 2023.

Practice head(s):

Narayanan Sreenivasan; Choo Lye Tan

Other key lawyers:

David Tang

Key clients

Asia Pacific Aviation Leasing Group

JP Lease Products & Services Co. Ltd.

Liquidators of Ocean Tankers (Pte.) Ltd

Luye Pharma

Serba Dinamik Indonesia

Simmtech Holdings

Work highlights

  • Acting for the former Judicial Managers and present Liquidators of OTPL, one of the entities that is involved in one of Singapore’s largest cases of corporate fraud and breaches of accounting regulations by Lim Oon Kuin, one of the shareholders and directors of OTPL.
  • Acting for Asia Pacific Aviation Leasing Group in their restructuring of their portfolio of aircraft on lease to various lessees in Asia including the restructuring of aircraft on lease to AirAsia X by way of a scheme of arrangement of its $15bn debt in Malaysian Court.
  • Advising the Indonesian joint venture arm of Serba Dinamik on various corporate and financing matters including in particular, cross-border structured financing, including Islamic finance arrangements.


Praised as ‘extremely client-focused, commercially flexible and strong during negotiations with counterparties’, the team at Milbank is led by Singapore-based managing partner David Zemans, and acts for Malaysian financial institutions and institutional investors in regional transactions. Working in conjunction with the firm’s Tokyo and Hong Kong offices, key areas of expertise include advising on Islamic finance mandates, involving Malaysian-Indonesian elements, in addition to capital markets transactions, project developments, commercial deals, M&A and restructurings. James Murray, who leads the project, energy and infrastructure finance practice group in Asia, is another key contact in the practice.

Practice head(s):

David Zemans

Other key lawyers:

James Murray


‘Extremely client-focused, commercially flexible and strong during negotiations with counterparties.’

‘Responsive, patient to translate legal considerations into commercial impact considerations and they display ordered thinking. A genuine pleasure to engage with.’   

Key clients

Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank)

CIMB Bank Islamic Bank Berhad

Export Import Bank of Malaysia Berhad


Misc Berhad


Malaysian Airlines


Rimorchiatori Mediterranei S.p.A

Work highlights

  • Advised the joint lead managers on the establishment of the $3bn multi-currency Global Medium Term Note Program of energy shipping company MISC Berhad.
  • Advising Equinor, a Norwegian state-owned multinational energy company, in connection with feedstock supply and product offtake arrangements with respect to the Pengarang Energy Complex in Malaysia.
  • Advised funds affiliated with CVC Capital Partners on its acquisition of shares representing 68.35% of the equity interest in Affin Hwang Asset Management Berhad from Affin Hwang Investment Bank Berhad and certain management shareholders.