Malaysia softens foreign law firm admissions rules

Foreign law firms are expected to be up and running in Malaysia following the announcements of new regulations and the passing of amendments to the Legal Profession (Amendment) Act 2012.

Foreign law firms will open in Malaysia by the second quarter of 2014 leungchopan

According to the Law Society in England and Wales, amendments to the Act will 'remove the controversial clauses in the Legal Profession (Amendment) Act 2012 that sought to prohibit fly-in/fly-out legal services provided by foreign lawyers. They also seek to clarify the provisions on foreign lawyers acting in Malaysian arbitrations.'  After hosting a roundtable with the Malaysian Bar Council [MBC], the London-based Law Society's head of international policy, Nankunda Katangaza, said: 'The passing of these amendments marks the next step towards liberalisation of the Malaysian legal services market....We look forward to continuing to work with colleagues in Malaysia so that Malaysians will soon see the benefits of more choice of high-quality legal services.'

Rules on request

A Law Society statement added: 'It is expected that foreign law firms should be able to be up and running by the second quarter of 2014. The application process, for which the rules are available on request from the MBC, will open as soon as the amended Act has been passed.'

Email your news and story ideas to: [email protected]