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28 August 2012

Malaysian bar attacks foreign firms for 'rule breaches'

The chairman of the Malaysian Bar Council has accused at least one London law firm of breaking the law, along with two practices from Singapore.

Malaysia: local bar bust up with foreign firms

Malaysia: local bar bust up with foreign firms

Lim Chee Wee refused to name the firms, but said that the council ‘was aware’ that the firms had contravened the Legal Profession Act.
Malaysian publication The Star reports that the chairman claimed one of the firms had solicited Malaysian law work from its Malaysian client, while ‘another firm had marketed itself as having experience and knowledge in our Competition Act 2010 and the third was actually soliciting work’.

Privilege gap

Mr Lim also confirmed that one of the firms has been contacted regarding the rule breach, and the others will be contacted soon.
With liberalisation of the legal profession in Malaysia imminent, Mr Lim also added that he hoped that suitably qualified foreign law firms would obtain the proper licence to practise in the country. However he warned locals seeking legal advice from foreign lawyers that they are putting themselves at risk.
‘If you obtain advice on a matter that later goes to litigation, the other side may make demands to see that document and discover any weaknesses in your case because it is not protected by the lawyer-client privilege accorded by the act,’ he said.

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