Cecil Abraham And Partners > Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia > Firm Profile

Cecil Abraham And Partners

Malaysia > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Disputes boutique Cecil Abraham And Partners provides the full range of dispute-related services, including advisory, strategic and preventative work alongside litigation experience. Its broad roster of clients encompasses major domestic companies, media conglomerates and high-net-worth individuals as well as not-for-profit entities. Arbitrator Cecil Abraham  leads the practice, which covers corporate and commercial, banking and securities, insurance and maritime litigation. The team is also experienced in shareholders disputes, privacy and breach of confidence claims, land disputes, construction matters, public and administrative law work and competition disputes.

Practice head(s):


‘Cecil Abraham assisted us (and continues to assist us) with various complex high value Malaysian law disputes with our customers. CA’s deep bench strength, consistently good technical skill and market knowledge are the key assets which drove us to engage them.’

‘The team has a great reputation, the highest standards of work ethics and professionalism and thus provides the client with great confidence about their particular case. Definitely the go-to firm for civil and commercial disputes. Outstanding, especially when the stakes are high.’

‘Cecil Abraham, with his more than 50 years of experience and expertise in the legal profession, is devastatingly effective in dealing with commercial disputes before the courts. He is very much the doyen of the legal profession in Malaysia and the standout litigator in Malaysia by far.’

‘The team of advocates there are really committed. They engage full time with the clients and instruct advocates to ensure that the case is presented well. In particular, I would like to state that Dato Sunil Abraham, Tan Sri Cecil Abraham with his vast experience and Mr Syukran Syafiq, make a strong formidable team that I would regard as one of the best in Malaysia.’

‘The Chambers of Cecil Abraham & Partners have broad experience in all sorts of civil litigation matters, from construction disputes to complex constitutional law matters and they have experience in international arbitration matters. Cecil Abraham is the pre-eminent litigator in Malaysia. The firm of Cecil Abraham and Partners is very much our preferred choice for complex high-profile disputes involving matters in Sarawak.’

Key clients

MRCB George Kent Sdn Bhd

Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad

Lynas Corporation Ltd and Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd

Kining Exeton Sdn Bhd

Raub Australian Gold Mining Sdn Bhd

Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan

Shopee Mobile Malaysia Sdn Bhd

NRY Architects Sdn Bhd

MTrustee Berhad

Siemens Industry Software Gmbh & Co. Kg (Germany)

Ireka Engineering & Construction Sdn Bhd

Yinson Holdings Berhad, Yinson Energy Services Sdn Bhd and Lim Chern Yuan

Hitachi Zosen Corporation

ISM Sendirian Berhad

Trefound Properties Sdn Bhd

Hap Seng Trading Sdn Bhd

PLS Plantations Berhad

Amanah Raya Berhad

Equities First Holdings, LLC

Work highlights

  • Acted for Shopee Mobile Malaysia Sdn Bhd in a test case relating to the liability of ‘service providers’ by reference to e-commerce platforms under the Copyright Act 1987.
  • Acted for Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad (MRCB) in respect of four separate arbitrations relating to the Desaru Coast development.
  • Acted for Kining Exeton Sdn Bhd in a matter related to the decision of the Federal Court in Ireka Engineering & Construction Sdn Bhd v PWC Corp Sdn Bhd and other appeals [2020] 1 MLJ 311 on 21 September 2020.

The firm: Cecil Abraham & Partners acts in a broad range of civil, commercial and construction disputes. Its practice varies from court and arbitration appearances to advice – both strategic and preventative – in the areas of practice referred to above. The members of the firm have significant court and arbitration (including investment treaty) experience. In recent years, clients have come to the firm for assistance in a wide range of matters including those relating to commercial disputes, fraud litigation, extradition and mutual assistance in criminal matters.

Areas of practice: In 2021, the firm acted successfully for Catajaya Sdn Bhd in respect of a claim for specific performance in relation to a land dispute. The decision of the Federal Court in Catajaya Sdn Bhd v Shoppoint Sdn Bhd [2021] 2 MLJ 374,  addresses the applicable principles and requirements for parties seeking to terminate a contract in Malaysia. In addition, in Yong Tshu Khin & Anor v Dahan Cipta Sdn Bhd & Anor [2021] 1 MLJ 47, the firm acted for the successfully for the respondents wherein the Federal Court laid down the applicable test in relation to applications for review under Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 as well as the application of the de-facto doctrine in Malaysia generally. In addition, the firm also acted successfully for Raub Australian Gold Mining Sdn Bhd in a libel claim wherein in the Federal Court considered the application of the law of reportage for the first time in Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd v Raub Australian Gold Mining Sdn Bhd [2021] 5 MLJ 79.

On the environmental and public administrative law front, the firm is acting for Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd, one of the world’s largest rare earth producers in respect of claims by several environmental activists seeking to quash the full operating licence granted to the company to operate its rare earth plant in Gebeng, Pahang. The firm is also acting for Royal Pahang Durian PKPP Sdn Bhd in respect of judicial review proceedings instituted by illegal farmers against the State Government of Pahang and several others government agencies as part of the State Government of Pahang’s initiative to harmonize large scale durian farming in Raub, Pahang for purposes of export internationally.

The firm is also acting for Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan in the much publicized judicial review proceedings  before the apex court in Malaysia filed by a residents’ association to quash a perceived controversial development order granted to this developer.

The firm continues to advise Setia Utama LRT 3 Sdn Bhd (formerly known as MRCB George Kent Sdn Bhd), the main turnkey contractor in so far as the LRT 3 Project in Malaysia is concerned. The firm is also acting for Malaysian Resources Corporation Berhad in several high value construction related arbitration disputes involving subsidiaries of Theme Attractions Resorts & Hotels Sdn Bhd vis-à-vis resorts located in Desaru, Johor.

Finally, Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham continues to be the only Malaysian to continue to sit as arbitrator in investment treaty claims.

Administration and probate Tan Sri Dato' Cecil Abraham
Administration and probate Dato' Sunil Abraham
Arbitration Tan Sri Dato' Cecil Abraham
Arbitration Aniz Ahmad Amirudin
Banking and insurance Rishwant Singh
Banking and insurance Dato' Sunil Abraham
Capital markets and securities disputes Tan Sri Dato' Cecil Abraham
Capital markets and securities disputes Rishwant Singh
Defamation and media Tan Sri Dato' Cecil Abraham
Defamation and media Rishwant Singh
Contractual and commercial disputes Tan Sri Dato' Cecil Abraham
Contractual and commercial disputes Dato' Sunil Abraham
Private breach of confidence Rishwant Singh
Private breach of confidence Dato' Sunil Abraham
Clubs and unincorporated associations Tan Sri Dato' Cecil Abraham
Clubs and unincorporated associations Aniz Ahmad Amirudin
Construction and infrastructure Aniz Ahmad Amirudin
Construction and infrastructure Dato' Sunil Abraham
Corporate and commercial Tan Sri Dato' Cecil Abraham
Corporate and commercial Dato' Sunil Abraham
Land and general property Rishwant Singh
Land and general property Dato' Sunil Abraham
Civil and commercial litigation Tan Sri Dato' Cecil Abraham
Civil and commercial litigation Rishwant Singh
Mutual assistance and extradition Tan Sri Dato' Cecil Abraham
Mutual assistance and extradition Dato' Sunil Abraham
Public and administrative law Dato' Sunil Abraham
Public and administrative law Rishwant Singh
White-collar and corporate governance Tan Sri Dato' Cecil Abraham
White-collar and corporate governance Rishwant Singh
Number of lawyers : 11
Mandarin and main Chinese dialects
IBA (International Bar Association)
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)
Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)
Hong Kong International Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)
Contacts : Tan Sri Dato' Cecil W M Abraham
Contacts : Rishwant Singh
Contacts : Dato' Sunil Abraham
Contacts : Aniz Ahmad Amirudin

International Associations 

The firm actively participates in the activities of the International Bar Association (IBA), the Inter-pacific Bar Association (IPBA), the International Association of Defence Counsel (IADC) and the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA) 

 To this end, Dato’ Sunil Abraham is a member of the Legal Practice Division Council, having been the former Co-chair of the Asia Pacific Regional Forum of the IBATan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham and Rishwant Singh are active members of the IPBA. In this regard, Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham is a past President of the IPBA.  Dato’ Sunil Abraham is also a member of the IADC which is an invitation only organisation for defence counsel. Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham is a past member of the ICCA Governing Council and is presently an Advisory Board member of ICCA.  

 Recent Accolades 

In 2019, Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham was recognised by Benchmark Litigation at its award ceremony in Hong Kong as the Dispute Resolution Practitioner of the Year for Malaysia. In addition, Cecil Abraham & Partners was named as Dispute Resolution Firm of Year for Malaysia and won the award for Dispute Resolution Case of Year 2019 at the same ceremony.  

 In 2020, Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham was recognised by Asian Legal Business as Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year for Malaysia whilst Cecil Abraham & Partners was recognised as Dispute Resolution Boutique Firm of the Year.  

CLIENT: Andrew Arnold, General Counsel
COMPANY/FIRM: Lynas Corporation Limited
TESTIMONIAL: Lynas Corporation Limited is an ASX 200 company and the world’s second largest manufacturer of separated rare earth products. Lynas has engaged Tan Sri Dato Cecil Abraham and Dato Sunil Abraham on dispute resolution matters since 2012.  We have found both Tan Sri Cecil and Dato Sunil to be excellent dispute resolution lawyers. In particular, we value their legal expertise in areas including administrative law, commercial law, and dispute resolution. They also have excellent advocacy skills, and their advice is always practical and timely. Lynas regards Tan Sri Dato Cecil Abraham and Dato Sunil Abraham as our preferred dispute resolution specialists in the Asia Pacific region.

CLIENT: Dato’ S. Satharuban, Managing Partner
COMPANY/FIRM: Messrs Satha & Co
TESTIMONIAL:Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham is one of the foremost advocates of his generation, if not one of the finest Malaysia has produced. He is a force of nature and has tremendous instincts developed from years of experience. He remains the go-to-name on big complex cases. His ability to deliver results under pressure is unrivalled. Rishwant Singh is persuasive advocate who is not afraid to take on tough lines of argument. He is a formidable advocate. Dato’ Sunil Abraham is superb all-round. Excellent on paper and in court. Calm, intelligent and strategic, he is a pleasure to work with. Aniz Ahmad Amirudin has a broad and excellent skill set which he brings to bear in providing a high quality service particularly in construction disputes. He has superb analytical skills and good presentation skills with lay clients.

Cecil Abraham & Partners as a whole is at the forefront in dealing with complex commercial disputes be it before the court or in arbitrations. A true heavyweight firm. The firm has a great reputation, is user friendly and goes the extra mile in facilitating our requests as instructing solicitors and that of the lay clients wherever possible. Very much the go-to firm for complex disputes when the stakes are high.

CLIENT: Rohan Ashwin Sankey, General Counsel
COMPANY/FIRM: MRCB George Kent Sdn Bhd
TESTIMONIAL:Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham is without a doubt, the leading name in Malaysia for dispute resolution of all forms. Not only hugely respected and regarded domestically, he also has an exceptional international practice. In particular, a very experienced practitioner in the field of international arbitration. His depth and breadth of knowledge of the law is second to none, and this provides the client with great confidence in being clear about their particular case.  He has tremendous gravitas as an advocate and instantly commands the respect of the Court or tribunal. His practice is highly recommended.

Dato’ Sunil Abraham is an excellent lawyer, technically very sound. Has a very good range and depth of experience across all forms of dispute resolution. Well known and regarded both domestically and internationally. Extremely hard working and incredibly responsive to the client. Consistently goes the extra mile with dedication. He is extremely sharp and this is reflected in his excellent drafting skills. An excellent litigator who conducts himself well across the different dispute resolution forums. Clients can be fully assured of an excellent service from start to finish from a very good lawyer.

Aniz Ahmad Amirudin is extremely bright, has an excellent working knowledge of the law and is one of the most commercially-minded lawyers we have engaged. Good experience and knowledge across a range of commercial and civil matters. Very sensible, sound and exercise practical judgment. He is a pleasure to work with. Clear on which issues that matter and which don’t, with an eye on the client outcome at all times. Quick to pick up the key issues and never loses sight of them even though faced with voluminous documents in the large cases that he works on. Always well-prepared, a quick-witted and persuasive advocate. Highly recommended.

CLIENT: Martin Chen, Head of Legal
COMPANY/FIRM: Mtrustee Berhad and Hektar Asset Management Sdn Bhd
TESTIMONIAL: Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham, is devastatingly effective in dealing with commercial disputes before the courts. He is very much the doyen of the legal profession in Malaysia. The standout litigator in Malaysia by far. Rishwant Singh has a strong reputation and is extremely eloquent in advancing arguments in court. Dato’ Sunil Abraham is sharp, intelligent and meticulous in his work as well as being a strong advocate. Aniz Ahmad Amirudin provides sound and practical advice to his clients. He is highly persuasive in his arguments, approachable and easy to work with.

Cecil Abraham & Partners has a great reputation, has the highest standards of work ethics and professionalism and this provides the client with great confidence in being clear minded about their particular case. Definitely the go-to firm for civil and commercial disputes as well as construction related arbitration disputes. Outstanding especially when the stakes are high.

CLIENT: Delithra Mohan, Head of Legal
COMPANY/FIRM: Evolution Wellness Holdings
TESTIMONIAL: Evolution Wellness Holdings is the Singapore based holding company for numerous fitness and wellness brands spanning 6 Asian jurisdictions, in particular Fitness First, Celebrity Fitness, C.H.I. Fitness, Fivelements Spa and Retreats, GO FIT, and Fire Fitness. Our Malaysian subsidiaries rely and seek the counsel of Rishwant Singh for varied reasons.

Through the years, we have been spared embroilment in legal suits, however as acquisitions increase, we were faced with one in recent times. As the company is owned by overseas based private equity firms, we sought to utilize the services of Rishwant Singh to represent us. Having put through the name of Cecil Abraham & Partners to our overseas owners, I was pleased to receive prompt acceptance in choice with acknowledgment that the firm is held in high regard for its strong advisory and dispute resolution work.

We have sought out Rishwant Singh in matters ranging from tenancy disputes, company law to consumer law matters. He displays strong knowledge in all recent case law and is able to always immediately advise on matters. We are a large organization with a c91,000 membership base in Malaysia, Rishwant displays keen understanding in legal matters affecting the business including reputational damage. His advice whilst displaying strong business acumen, strategic foresight and understanding of legal technicalities, is always presented in the most simplistic manner.

Opinions are well researched and the burden of disputes faced is removed with honest, uncomplicated advice and action. With sound counsel from Cecil Abraham & Partners, I am empowered to effectively carry out functions without burden. The wealth of knowledge is without comparison and I would strongly recommend Rishwant Singh.

CLIENT: Hodge Malek QC
COMPANY/FIRM: 3 Verulam Buildings
TESTIMONIAL:Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham is without doubt the best advocate in Malaysia in civil cases. I have seen him argue cases in court both at the High Court and the appellate levels. It is not just a question of how clearly and persuasively he argues cases, but the sheer effort and dedication he puts into every hearing. He always knows his brief backwards and is ready to deal with every eventuality and question in court. He has a strong court room presence. When he argues a case the judges listen.

He is a door tenant at my chambers at 3VB and is highly regarded by my colleagues. He is well known for international arbitration and acts both as an arbitrator and counsel in arbitrations even where they have no connection with Malaysia. This reflects his international standing.

I have known Dato’ Sunil Abraham for around a decade and seen him grown into a fine and strong advocate. He is fearless and will take on any difficult case. He is also very calm and measured in his approach. He is good with clients and they can be confident in his ability. He covers a wide range of commercial work ranging from commercial litigation to construction and judicial review disputes. He has a great deal of experience in arbitration.

I have worked closely with Aniz Ahmad Amirudin for the last two years in an international fraud case involving a large sum of money stolen from a bank in Malaysia. Aniz put the case together and managed for get Norwich Pharmacal and disclosure orders which enabled the proceeds of the fraud to be traced. He is good at disclosure and tracing of assets. He is very good with clients and is always available to deal with issues raised by clients. His technical legal knowledge is good and his written submissions for the court are to a very high standard.

Cecil Abraham & Partners is made up of a very experienced and dedicated team of commercial litigators. I doubt that any other firm in Malaysia has such depth of talent and focus. I have worked with the firm and its lawyers for some years now and they have never failed to deliver in terms of content or timing. The firm does a lot of international work and not merely work in Malaysia for international clients, but they also work on cases outside Malaysia, both in court cases but more frequently in international arbitration.

As can be seen below from my comments on three lawyers at the firm, the firm has depth so that if necessary two or more very experienced advocates can work on a case and cover for each other when necessary.
I am a QC practising at 3VB in London and whenever I have clients with a case in Malaysia, I invariably recommend the firm.

Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham, Dato’ Sunil Abraham, Muzalifah Shabudin and Anne Sangeetha Sebastian successfully represented Raub Australian Gold Mining Sdn Bhd in the hearing before the Federal Court of Malaysia

On 2nd July 2021, in Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd & 3 Ors v Raub Australian Gold Mining Sdn Bhd (Federal Court Civil Appeal No. 02(f)-61-08/2018(W), the Federal Court of Malaysia by majority in dismissing the appeal filed by Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd and its journalists, held, inter-alia, that:

Cecil Abraham & Partners successfully acted for Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd in opposing Judicial Review Proceedings filed to challenge operations at one of the world’s largest rare earth plants

On 28th July 2021, in Tan Bun Teet & 2 Ors v Tun Dr Mahathir Bin Mohamad & 30 Ors (Judicial Review Application No. WA-25-508-11/2019), the High Court of Malaya at Kuala Lumpur dismissed the judicial review proceedings filed by Tan Bun Teet, Ismail Bin Abu Bakar and Ponusamy a/l Govindasamy (“the Applicants”) effectively seeking to quash the fourth full operating licence issued to Lynas Malaysia Sdn Bhd (“Lynas”) for the period 3rd September 2019 to 2nd March 2020 in relation to the operation of one of the world’s largest rare earth plants in Gebeng, Pahang Darul Makmur.