Leong Wai Hong Partner

Contact
T +603 2081 3999 ext 820
E lwh@skrine.com
 

Overview

Wai Hong was the Chairman of Skrine’ s executive committee of partners from 2009 to 2013. He is also the Head of the Litigation and Arbitration division since 2011. A graduate of the National University of Singapore, he has practised law in Singapore and Malaysia.
 
He is described as a "sharp and confident" litigator by The Legal 500: Asia Pacific.  He is also described by clients to Chambers Asia-Pacific as "very practical and strategic, with tremendous patience" and "very smart and quick to grasp issues, very knowledgeable" and provides "solid and practical advice,"  . He is recognised as a “big name” in the litigation field by Who’s Who Legal 100 and a “Dispute Star” by Benchmark Asia-Pacific. He is also recognised as “one of Asia’s leading figures in litigation and receives praise from peers and colleagues for his first-class abilities” by Who’s Who Legal Litigation.
 
He is recognised in Asia Business Law Journal 2019 as one of ‘Malaysia Top 100 Lawyers – The A List’. He is also recognised as one of the world’s leading practitioners in commercial litigation by Who’s Who Legal. He is recognised as a leading practitioner in Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Commercial Arbitration. He is also recognised as a Market-Leading Lawyer in The Lawyers Guide to Asia-Pacific’s Leading Lawyers. He is recognised as a “leading lawyer” in The Asialaw Leading Lawyers Guide for. He is also recognised as a “leading individual for dispute resolution” by Chambers Asia Pacific.
 
He has appeared in many landmark decisions on corporate and commercial litigation, cross-border, defamation, probate, banking, construction, shareholders, trusts, professional negligence, land and land acquisition disputes. He has given expert testimony on Malaysian law in the Singapore High Courts.
 
He has appeared as lead counsel in a wide range of arbitrations. He has also sat as a sole arbitrator and as President of three-man panels in arbitrations in Malaysia and overseas. He is a Fellow of the UK Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is also a Fellow of the Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators. He is on the panel of arbitrators of ICC Malaysia. He is also on the panel of arbitrators of Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). He is on the panel of arbitrators and adjudicators of the Asian International Arbitration Centre (formerly KLRCA). He also sits on the disciplinary committee panel of the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board of Malaysia. He is a notary public of Malaysia.
 

 

Key Practice Areas

  • International Arbitration
  • Commercial Litigation and Arbitration
  • Civil Litigation
  • Defamation
  • Professional Liability
  • Land Acquisition and Land Law
 

  • Advised insurers on liabilities arising from missing commercial airplane MH 370 belonging to Malaysia Airlines.

  • Lead Counsel for Maybank in a trial where the Court awarded a sum of approximately RM 45 million in favour of Malayan Banking Berhad against Government of Malaysia for unjust enrichment, breach of collateral contract and misrepresentation.
  • Lead Counsel for major banks in loan agreements disputes and foreclosures.

Club Disputes
  • Lead Counsel for trustees in advisory work and in respect of club disputes with members.
Contractual Disputes
  • Lead Counsel for US PGA and for public-listed companies and Government Link Companies including Khazanah, Permodalan National Bhd, Sime Darby Bhd, Employees Provident Fund, Brunsfield, Guthrie, Lafarge and K & N Kenanga Bhd in contractual disputes and calls on performance bonds.
Medical Negligence
  • Lead Counsel in medical negligence suit involving the Tun Hussein Onn National Eye Hospital.
Probate Disputes
  • Lead Counsel for the Administrator for the Estate of Dato’ Yeap Hock Hoe, founder of the Ban Hin Lee Bank involving suits filed by several beneficiaries.
  • Lead Counsel for beneficiaries, HSBC (Malaysia) Trustee Bhd and Universal Trustee Sdn Bhd in probate disputes.
Sale and Purchase Agreements Disputes
  • Lead Counsel for Brunsfield a property developer to defend a suit by the purchasers for breach of contract and negligence.
  • Lead Counsel for a developer/vendor to defend claims by the purchasers for late delivery of vacant possession.
  • Lead Counsel for a vendor to sue for damages for non-completion.
Trust and Estates
  • Malaysian Counsel for a trust company who are executors of a Malaysian estate in several suits filed in the Indian Courts against the State Bank of India and several other parties.

  • Lead counsel for a Chinese construction company in respect of a dispute concerning the Penang 2nd bridge.
  • Lead counsel for developers and contractors in construction disputes.

Shareholders disputes and oppression
  • Lead Counsel in minority shareholders and oppression disputes for major corporations like Bonvest Holdings, Metro Holdings, United Overseas Land, Golden Plus group and Macro Kiosk group.

Arbitration – Domestic
  • Lead Counsel for the Claimant in an arbitration involving Mission Biofuel.
  • Counsel for the Claimant in a construction arbitration involving Marina Centre Holdings in Singapore.
  • Counsel for the Claimant in a construction arbitration involving Orchard Bel-Air in Singapore.
  • Lead Counsel for the Respondent in an ad-hoc arbitration between a main and a sub-contractor.
  • Lead Counsel for the Claimant in an arbitration in respect of a Distribution Agreement.
  • Lead Counsel for insurers in arbitrations with law firms under the Malaysian Bar Insurance Scheme.
Cross-Border Dispute Work
  • Malaysian Counsel on behalf of His Royal Highness Prince Jefri of Brunei in respect of the world-wide mareva injunction obtained by the Brunei Government in 2000.
  • Lead Counsel for Yahoo! South East Asia Pte Ltd, a Singapore incorporated company and a subsidiary of Yahoo! Inc. in a dispute with a Malaysian company on an exclusive sale.
  • Advised Khazanah, a sovereign wealth fund of Malaysia in relation to a dispute with Weinstein, one of the largest film studios in the United States.
  • Advised the United Kingdom Government in respect of Malaysian civil proceedings involving the largest private bank in Iran, Bank Mellat which had filed a suit in the UK against the UK Government under the Human Rights Act 1998.
Insurance
  • Lead Counsel for insurers (Tune Insurance, Pacific & Orient Co. Bhd, Swiss Re) in arbitrations with law firms under the Malaysian Bar Council Professional Indemnity Insurance Scheme.
  • Lead Counsel for Etiqa Insurance Bhd in respect of a Third Party indemnity claim by the insured.
  • Lead Counsel for insurers (Pacific & Orient Co. Bhd, Jardine Llyod Thomson) to defend  court claims under the Malaysian Bar Council Professional Indemnity Insurance Scheme.
  • Lead Counsel for Best Re (L) Limited, an Egyptian reinsurance subsidiary, for various insurance claims.
  • Advised UK insurance companies on liabilities on the part of MAS, Boeing or the parts manufacturer arising from the missing commercial airplane MH 370 belonging to Malaysia Airlines and whether war and hijacking exclusion clause was applicable to the policy.
  • Advised International Health Insurance Danmark A/S, a foreign insurance company on the procedures to set up an insurance business in Malaysia.
  • Advised an insurer in respect of liability of reinsurers to reimburse their reinsurance share related to the Libya Pipeline and Yemen project.
  • Lead Counsel for Best Re (L) Limited, an Egyptian insurance company in a  dispute with Hanwha,  a Korean insurance Company, which had insured a Korean telco, SK Telekom Co. Ltd for loss or damage to handphones. The dispute was litigated in both Labuan and South Korea. 
Treaty and International Legislation Advisory Work
  • Advised Yahoo! Inc. in respect of the Malaysian Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act 2002 and in respect of the Asean Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Treaty 2004.

  • Lead Counsel for Perak Chinese Maternity Hospital for Judicial Review in respect of unjust dismissal award.

  • Appeared as an expert witness on Malaysian law in Singapore High Court Suit No.333 of 2008/M between Walton International Group and 4 others v Winston Yau and one other.
  • Appeared as an expert witness on Malaysian law in Singapore High Court Suit No.741 of 2010/D between Ace Canning Corporation Sdn. Bhd. v Nutritek Overseas Pte. Ltd.
  • Appeared as an expert witness on Malaysian law in Singapore High Court Originating Summons No:1075 of 2012/S between Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation and State Financial Secretary Incorporated v Asia Pulp & Paper Company Limited. The judgment is reported in 2013 SGHC 243.
  • Provided an expert affidavit on Malaysian Law in Singapore High Court Suit No: 55 of 2018 between Lawrence Liaw Shoo Khen v Piti Pramotedham.
  • Provided an expert affidavit on Malaysian Law in Singapore High Court Suit No: HC/OS 241/2020 between Danieli & C. Officine Meccaniche S.P.A & Danieli Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. v Southern Hrc. Sdn. Bhd.

  • Advising Al Jazeera to defend a defamation suit for their program “FIFA Arrests”.
  • Lead Counsel for the Port Klang Authority and Dato’  Lee Hwa Beng in defamation suits filed by Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd and Dato’ Seri Tiong King Sing in 2010.
  • Lead Counsel for Sam Rainsy, the former Finance Minister of Cambodia, in a defamation suit against a Cambodian newspaper as well as the editor, publisher and printers in Malaysia in 1994.
  • Lead Counsel for Tay Khim Seng, a Member of Parliament for the MCA in a defamation suit against, amongst others, Lim Guan Eng of the DAP in 1997.
  • Lead Counsel for the New Straits Times and reporter to defend a defamation suit filed by the Chief Minister and Deputy Chief Minister of Penang.
  • Counsel for the New Straits Times and Berita Harian and their editors and reporters to defend several defamations suits.

  • Lead Counsel for the Claimant in an arbitration involving a joint-venture dispute between a Malaysian Company and a US Multinational.
  • Lead Counsel in ICC Arbitration under the auspices of the International Court of Arbitration.
  • Lead Counsel in a SIAC Arbitration in Singapore.
  • Sole Arbitrator in an ICC Arbitration in Mumbai.
  • Sole Arbitrator in an ICC Arbitration in Panjim, Goa.
  • Sole Arbitrator in an ICC Arbitration in Singapore.
  • President of an ICC Arbitration Panel in Kuala Lumpur.
  • Sole Arbitrator in an ICC Arbitration in Singapore.
  • President of an ICC Arbitration Panel in Banjarmasin, Indonesia.
  • Sole Arbitrator in a SIAC Arbitration in Singapore

  • Counsel for Guthrie, Highland and Lowlands, Lembaga Lebuhraya Malaysia and Sime Darby in claims for higher compensation in land acquisitions.
  • Counsel for Landowners and buyers in several major disputes including eviction of squatters from major plantations owned by Guthrie.
  • Counsel for a major developer and contractor Brunsfield Group to quash a land acquisition on ground of mala fide.

Professional Negligence
  • Lead counsel for a firm of solicitors in a leading Federal court decision where the apex court held that solicitors for a fraudster seller of land do not owe a duty of care to the real owner.
 
  • Lead Counsel for solicitors sued in negligence suits under the Malaysian Bar insurance scheme.
White Collar Crime and Anti-Money Laundering
  • Lead Counsel for Al Jazeera in respect of the police investigation for its current affairs program,  “Locked Up in Malaysia’s Lockdown”.
  • Advising clients in respect of Money Laundering investigations.

  • Lead Counsel for Universal Trustee Sdn Bhd, a trustee of public bonds, against several public listed companies for default in respect of repayments of public bonds issuances, caused by the 1997 Asian currency crisis; and in restructuring work.

  • Counsel for tax appeal before the Special Commissioners of Income Tax.
  • Advised clients on inheritance tax, real property gains tax and other tax issues.

Qualifications:
  • Notary Public (2010 onwards)
  • FMIArb (2008)
  • FCIArb (UK) (2006) 
  • Advocate and Solicitor, High Court of Malaya (1992)
  • Advocate and Solicitor, High Court of Singapore (1989)
  • LL.B. (Hons), National University of Singapore (1988)
Professional Affiliations:
  • Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
  • Fellow, Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators  
  • Panel of Arbitrators, ICC Malaysia 
  • Panel of Arbitrators, SIAC
  • Panel of Arbitrators, AIAC 
  • Panel of Adjudicators, AIAC 
  • Notary Public 
  • Member, Disciplinary Committee Panel of the Advocates & Solicitors Disciplinary Board

  • Commentator, “Restructuring in the Capital Market of PRC: Addressing the Global Change and New Economic Environment”’ in the 2019 Kuala Lumpur Summit on Commercial Dispute Resolution in China, organised by Beijing Arbitration Commission and Beijing International Arbitration Center co-hosted with Asian International Arbitration centre, 17 October 2019
  • Panel Speaker, ‘Summary Procedure in Arbitration’ in “The Bullet Train: Summary & Expedited Procedures in Arbitration”, Asia ADR Week 2019, 27 – 29 June 2019.
  • Presenter, “Cross Border Disputes in Asia: Regional Trends & Recent Developments”, 2019 Lex Mundi Litigation, Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Practice Group Asia Pacific Regional Meeting, Kyoto, Japan, 11 – 13 April 2019.
  • Panel speaker, “The “A” to “Z” of Persuasive Written and Oral Advocacy”, SIAC Academy Kuala Lumpur 2019, 30 – 31 March 2019.
  • Moderator, “Theory, Practice and Hearing of An Application for Early Dismissal”, SIAC Academy Kuala Lumpur 2019, 30 – 31 March 2019.
  • Presenter, ‘Land Alienation Procedures & Opportunities’ and ‘Compulsory Purchase of Land by Government & Private Sector’, 25 February 2014.
  • Author, the Malaysia Chapter for Litigation & Dispute Resolution 2nd Ed., Global Legal Insights UK, 2013.
  • Presented a seminar in Penang for in-house counsel and management staff on Law of landlord and tenant on 26 & 27 August 2013.
  • Presenter, workshop on defamation law, New Straits Times media group, 2012.
  • Contributor, the Malaysian Rules of Court 2012- An Annotation, LexisNexis 2012.
  • Presenter, workshop on defamation law, Bursa Malaysia, 2010.
  • Contributor, the Malaysian Chapter for a book on the different legal systems in the world titled ‘International Commercial Secured Transactions’, a division of Thomson Canada Limited, Carswell, 2010. 
  • Presenter, ‘Recent Issues and Trends in the National Land Code 1965’, Malaysian Land Law Conference 2006.  
  • Contributor, the Malaysian Chapter for a book on the different legal systems in the world titled ‘International Commercial Debt Recovery’, a division of Thomson Canada Limited, Carswell, 2006
  • Author, “Are Former Estate Workers Squatters?”, IPBA Journal, No. 28, December 2002.

  • Listed in Asia Business Law Journal 2019 as one of ‘Malaysia Top 100 Lawyers – The A List’.
  • Ranked in Dispute Resolution in Chambers Asia-Pacific.
  • Listed as one of the world’s leading practitioners in commercial litigation in The International Who’s Who of Commercial Litigators.
  • Listed as a leading practitioner in Euromoney’s Guide to the World’s Leading Experts in Commercial Recognised as “one of Asias leading figures in litigation and receives praise from peers and colleagues for his first-class abilities” by Who’s Who Legal Litigation.
  • Recognised as a “big name” in the litigation field by Who’s Who Legal 100
  • Recognised as a “Dispute Star” by Benchmark Asia-Pacific by Euromoney
  • Listed as a Market-Leading Lawyer in the asialaw Leading Lawyers Guide to Asia-Pacific’s Leading Lawyers.
  • Listed as a “leading individual for dispute resolution” by Chambers Asia Pacific.
  • "[a] sharp and confident [litigator]” - Legal 500 Asia-Pacific
  • "very practical and strategic, with tremendous patience" - Chambers Asia-Pacific
  • "very smart and quick to grasp issues, very knowledgeable"
  • provides solid and practical advice" - Chambers Asia-Pacific