Chee Wee has been in practice for more than 26 years. He has a broad commercial, corporate and regulatory disputes practice with experience in a wide variety of high value and high-profile cases including international arbitrations in Asia and Europe.
He is the former president of the Malaysian Bar (2011-2013), a former member of the National Unity Consultative Council, and a former member of the Operations Review Panel of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission. He is a member of the 1MDB Task Force for the investigations, prosecution and asset recovery.
He primarily acts as Counsel having appeared at all tiers of the Malaysian Courts. He has more than 55 cases reported in the law reports with a portfolio including contractual disputes (involving joint ventures, IT, franchise, oil and gas), boardroom/takeover tussles, fraud investigation and recovery, regulatory enforcement action, corporate restructuring, insolvency claims, competition law, and estate disputes.
He has an established public and administrative law practice, regularly advising and acting for the Malaysian stock exchange, Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC), Energy Commission, Securities Industry Dispute Resolution Centre and the Securities Commission Malaysia.
He is consistently listed in various international legal directories as a leading legal practitioner. These directories include Chambers Asia-Pacific, Legal 500 Asia-Pacific, Who’s Who Legal, Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific, and asialaw Profiles.
A number of his cases are landmark decisions in the areas of contract law (liquidated damages), administrative law (setting aside leave) and strata management (basis for charges). His pending high value and high-profile cases include Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad’s Passenger Service Charges claim against Air Asia Group, MyCC enforcement actions against MAS/Air Asia and MyEG, Pelangi Prestasi Sdn Bhd’s billion Ringgit dispute against Receiver and Manager of Sabah Forest Industries Sdn Bhd and Sabah State Government, Prestariang SKIN Sdn Bhd’s RM732 million claim against the Government of Malaysia for its expropriation of the national immigration control system concession and a number of high-profile fraud recovery claims.
Key Practice Areas
- International Arbitration
- Fraud and Asset Recovery
- Commercial Litigation and Arbitration
- Regulatory Enforcement
- Secured the largest ever adjudication decision in Malaysia and the largest quantum of dispute under the KLRCA Arbitration Rules to date with the quantum exceeding RM1.1 billion for Gumusut-Kakap Semi-Floating Production System Labuan Limited (GKL), a special purpose vehicle of MISC Berhad established for the construction and subsequent leasing of a Semi-Floating Production System for use at the GKL oilfield. The issues span from, among others, non-payment of variation works under the contract, the daily lease rate of the Asset and a substantial counterclaim with regard to alleged defects.
- Acted for Thai-Lao Lignite and Hongsa Lignite against the Government of Lao in order to uphold an arbitral award of more than USD57 million. Enforcement proceedings had already been taken in the US, the UK and in France.
- Acting as sole arbitrator in an UNCITRAL Arbitration with seat of arbitration in Singapore involving disputes arising from a satellite service agreement with Singapore law governing the agreement.
- Acted for a foreign client in an ICC Arbitration with seat of arbitration in Singapore involving disputes arising from shareholders and settlement agreements.
- Acted for a foreign client in a crude oil supply dispute in an ad hoc arbitration with seat of arbitration in London and the governing law of the contract being English law.
- Acting for a foreign client in a bitumen mix supply dispute in a SIAC Arbitration with seat of arbitration in Singapore and the governing law of the contract being English Law.
- Acting for Toyota Tsusho Malaysia Sdn Bhd in pursuing a claim for more than RM150 million against 20 defendants for alleged fraud, and to trace the monies and assets from the alleged fraud which have moved into different jurisdictions. Successfully obtained a worldwide Mareva freezing order for millions worth of assets over different jurisdictions, an Anton Piller search order on multiple locations, and multiple Bankers Trust discovery orders against banks to aid in the tracing the movement of monies thus far. Led a team made up of global forensic experts, intelligence companies and foreign lawyers, and assisted the client in their cooperation with law enforcement agencies in multiple jurisdictions.
- Acting for Port Klang Authority in various recovery suits in value of hundreds of millions against former employee and contractor for wrongful transactions.
- Acted for and advised New Britain Palm Oil Ltd., one of the world’s largest producers of sustainably produced palm oil and a dual-listed company on the London Stock Exchange and the Port Moresby Stock Exchange, in a multi-jurisdictional corporate fraud investigation.
- Acted for a leading Bank in an ongoing matter in which claims for fraud were brought against high ranking officers for losses sustained from Islamic banking transactions of up to RM760 million. Advised on all aspects of the case including possible criminal investigations.
- Acted for a subsidiary of a major government linked company for a disputed sum of RM200 million arising from non-delivery and non-performance of an off-shore project.
- Acted for a US-based online securities commodities brokerage firm, Interactive Brokers LLC, in a landmark case in relation to the Arbitration Act 2005 to maintain a freezing injunction in support of a foreign seat arbitration in Singapore. The assets frozen were worth more than RM200 million and were targeted against Malaysian individuals linked to the collapse of share price in three Singapore-listed companies.
- Acted for Alaf Anggun Sdn Bhd in an arbitration against the Government of Malaysia in seeking damages and the settlement of various outstanding invoices of projects awarded by the Government of Malaysia. The amount claimed exceeded RM60 million.
- Acting as arbitrator in a KLRCA Arbitration involving disputes arising from a PAM construction contract.
- Acting for Solutions Protocol Sdn Bhd in an arbitration against the Government of Malaysia in pursuing a contractual claim of over RM150 million in relation to the implementation of a hospital management system at numerous public hospitals nationwide.
- Advised a subsidiary of a major government linked company who was the largest Scheme Creditor in a Proposed Scheme of Arrangement involving the restructuring of over RM1.4 billion worth of debts incurred by the applicant companies. Advice included the possible grounds in opposition of the Proposed Scheme and the setting aside of the Restraining Order.
- Acted for Mycom Berhad in its successful debt restructuring scheme through a scheme of arrangement and capital reduction in order to restructure RM700 million worth of debt.
- Acted successfully for a registered proprietor of seven retail parcels of a complex known as Plaza 393 against a claim filed by the management corporation of Plaza 393 for unpaid maintenance charges. The Court of Appeal found in the favour of the registered proprietor and held that the management corporation’s claim, based on area or square foot, was in contravention of the Strata Titles Act 1985 (which provides for share unit), notwithstanding that no prior objections were raised by the registered proprietor in respect of the management corporation’s basis for calculation.
- Acted for Cubic Electronics Sdn Bhd in an apex court (the Federal Court) case where the law in relation to the interpretation of section 75 of the Contracts Act 1950 on the recoverability of liquidated and ascertained damages was shifted. In departing from the previous position, the Federal Court has interpreted section 75 to allow for reasonable compensation (as agreed by the parties) to be awarded irrespective of whether actual loss or damage was proven.
- Acted for Ann Joo Steel Sdn Bhd at the Federal Court and successfully preserved the validity of a High Court Order from 1995, which was in dispute. The Federal Court had finally found that as the Order was valid in law, any challenge to it should have been done independently i.e. an application to set aside the said Order instead of framing it within a defence of another suit.
- Acted for the Securities Commission (“SC”) to oppose and intervene a discovery application filed by an audit firm, Ernst & Young, seeking the discovery of SC’s internal investigations papers relating to the SC’s investigations on a former licensed fund manager, SJ Asset Management Sdn Bhd (“SJAM”). The discovery application was filed in the main suit commenced by CIMB Investment Bank Berhad against EY and SJAM (in which SC is not a part of) in relation to claims on, among others, fraud, negligence and breach of statutory duties. The SC succeeded in opposing discovery in the High Court and thereafter successfully obtained leave to appeal to the Federal Court, in which the appeal was partly allowed.
- Advocate and Solicitor, High Court of Malaya (1993)
- LL.B (Hons), New South Wales (1991)
- Former President, Malaysian Bar
- Former Member, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
- Former Member, PAM Committee revising the PAM Forms 1998 Edition
- Former Member, National Unity Consultative Council
- Former Member, Operations Review Panel of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission
Authored the following articles:
- Co-author, Malaysian Chapter on “Directors in the Twilight Zone Project Zone III”, the third edition published and launched by INSOL International (International Association of Restructuring, Insolvency & Bankruptcy Professionals) at its Eight World Congress, Vancouver, Canada, June 2009.
- Co-author, Malaysian Chapter of International Comparative Legal Guide to: Corporate Recovery and Insolvency 2007.
- Co-author, Chapter 23 on Malaysia: “Warranties and Disclaimers, Limitation of Liability in Consumer-Related Transactions”, Kluwer Law International and International Bar Association, 2002.
- “Lim Chee Wee is a leading presence in the market, handling a range of disputes concerning areas such as energy, competition and fraud.” - Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020
- "He is a very technical and creative lawyer who knows how to put legal action into force with good timing." - Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020
- ‘Lim Chee Wee is strategic and tactical. Undoubtedly the grandmaster in this area of practice.” - Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2020
- “Lim Chee Wee’s quiet cross examination style put witnesses at ease and resulted in them making admissions which they were not aware were damaging to their company’s case.” - Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2020
- Ranked in Band 1 for Dispute Resolution in Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020.
- Honoured with the "Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year” award by the Asian Legal Business (ALB) in the ALB Malaysia Law Awards 2019
- Listed in Asia Business Law Journal 2019 as one of 'Malaysia Top 100 Lawyers - The A List'
- "a doyen of the Malaysian Bar, who provides commercial awareness", "cool, calm and collected", and "very practical, sharp and creative in proposing resolutions." - Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019
- “extremely user-friendly, and can always be relied on to achieve the desired results in and out of court” - The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2019
- Listed as "Leading Lawyer" in Dispute Resolution by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018 - 2019
- Listed as a "Dispute Resolution Star" in Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific 2018
- Listed as “Leading Lawyer” for Dispute Resolution in asialaw Profiles 2018
- “A good reputation as an effective litigator” - The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2018
- “Leading Lawyer” - asialaw Profiles 2017
- “Highly effective litigator” - Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2017
- "An excellent lawyer" - Chambers Asia-Pacific 2016
- “A highly regarded litigator and is tireless in pursuing the interest of his clients" - Chambers Asia 2015