Jern-Fei Ng becomes first King’s Counsel to join a Malaysian law firm

Arbitration specialist signs up with Lim Chee Wee Partnership as a registered foreign lawyer
A photo of Jean-Fei Ng

Jern-Fei Ng KC is set to return to Asia after 25 years in London

Leading barrister and arbitrator Jern-Fei Ng KC has joined the highly-rated Malaysian disputes boutique Lim Chee Wee Partnership (LCWP) as a registered foreign lawyer.

Ng, who was born and raised in Malaysia and is now resident in Singapore, becomes the first King’s Counsel to sign up with a Malaysian firm. 

He will also continue his practice as a member of Duxton Hill Chambers in Singapore, which he joined in May 2023, and as an arbitrator at Temple Chambers in Hong Kong, alongside his London tenancy at 7 Bedford Row.

LCWP senior partner Dato’ Lim Chee Wee, who co-founded the firm in 2020 with two other former Skrine partners, said the move would complement and add specialist advocacy firepower to the firm’s international arbitration practice. 

He said of Ng: “He made Malaysia proud when he became one of the youngest silks to be appointed in England and Wales and is now the first and only King’s Counsel to be affiliated with a Malaysian practice.”

LCWP managing partner and fellow co-founder Lee Shih added that Ng’s instruction in more than 350 international arbitrations as counsel over the past 20 years alongside his experience practising English law would be “immensely valuable to our clients”.

For his part, Ng, who practised at Essex Court Chambers in London for many years, said: “I am confident that my mutually complementary affiliations in four different jurisdictions will serve to reinforce LCWP’s offerings in this space.”

The appointment consolidates a 15-year relationship between Ng and lawyers at the firm, dating back to his days as a junior at Essex Court. 

They have collaborated on a number of cross-border litigation and arbitration cases, including a $40m commodities arbitration and a $50m multi-jurisdictional civil fraud litigation, both seated in London, as well as a $4m oil supply dispute heard in Singapore and a multi-million-dollar civil fraud dispute and commodities supply contract seated in Paris. 

The move positions Ng to extend his practice as counsel on international arbitration cases governed by both Malaysian and English law. 

The two common law jurisdictions have strong links, which were underlined last September when Kuala Lumpur’s Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) teamed up with the University of London’s School of Oriental and African Studies to hold a colloquium on international arbitration involving sovereign states.

The main subject of discussion was the controversial $15bn partial arbitration award against Malaysia in 2022 in France brought by claimants who maintain they are descendants of the last Sultan of Sulu in relation to a colonial-era land deal.

Since then, Malayasia has successfully contested enforcement proceedings in a number of European jurisdictions.

Other developments within the Malaysian legal market have seen Shearn Delamore & Co. appoint construction lawyer Rodney Gomez as managing partner, replacing disputes colleague Dhinesh Bhaskaran in the role, while in October Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) announced plans to close its Kuala Lumpur office

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