Nimalan Devaraja Partner

Contact
T +603 2081 3999 ext 916
E nimalan.devaraja@skrine.com
 

Overview

Nimalan is a commercial litigator who primarily practices in the areas of civil and commercial litigation, company law and shareholders’ disputes, international arbitration, restructuring and insolvency, and regulatory enforcement.
 
Nimalan has appeared as co-Counsel in international arbitrations, under both the AIAC Rules and SIAC Rules. He has also been involved in arbitral-related court proceedings such as applications to set aside, and enforce arbitral awards, and to stay court proceedings pending arbitration.
 
Nimalan has also acted in various commercial disputes, with the highlights being acting as Counsel in dispute involving breaches of contracts, officer duties, and trustee duties. He also has experience in shareholders’ disputes, primarily in oppression actions and in winding-up proceedings.
 
Nimalan regularly acts for Bursa Malaysia in initiating enforcement actions against listed issuers and/or their directors as well as in opposing any judicial review actions initiated against the Stock Exchange.
 
 

Key Practice Areas

  • International Arbitration
  • Commercial Litigation and Arbitration
  • Company Law and Shareholders’ Disputes
  • Regulatory Enforcement
  • Restructuring and Insolvency
 

  • Acted as co-counsel in an AIAC arbitration on behalf of a foreign subsidiary of an European public listed company, wherein the dispute pertained to an oppression action filed by the minority shareholder of a Malaysian private limited company.

  • Acted as junior counsel for a foreign client in an SIAC arbitration, with the governing law of the contract being English law, involving a crude oil quality dispute against one of the largest integrated energy and commodity trading companies in the world.

  • Acted as junior counsel for Thai-Lao Lignite and Hongsa Lignite against the Government of Lao in order to uphold an arbitral award of more than USD 57 million. Enforcement proceedings had already been taken in the US, the UK and France. The Federal Court decision is reported at Thai-Lao Lignite Ltd & Anor v Government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic [2017] 9 CLJ 273.

  • Acted as junior counsel for the foreign subsidiary of a leading global oil and services company in obtaining a stay of proceedings of an oppression petition pending reference to arbitration. This case is notable as there are no reported cases in Malaysia where the stay of an oppression action has been allowed due to an arbitration clause, and there are no reported cases which deal with the applicability of the Arbitration Act 2005 to a stay application in reliance on an arbitration agreement premised on the Arbitration Act 1952.

  • Successfully obtained a stay of proceedings pending arbitration on behalf of a foreign licenced institution is respect of claims brought against it for breaches of a Shareholders’ Agreement of a local financial institution. The High Court decision is reported at RUSD Investment Bank Inc & Ors v Qatar Islamic Bank & Ors [2015] 1 LNS 231.

  • Acted as junior counsel for the director of the AIAC where the director's immunity from legal suits and other process were in question.

  • Acted as co-counsel for Ann Joo Steel 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, and 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. Continuing to act as co-counsel in respect of the assessment of damages proceedings involving a claim in excess of RM 100 million. The Federal Court decision is reported at Ann Joo Steel Berhad v Pengarah Tanah dan Galian Negeri Pulau Pinang & Anor and another appeal [2020] 1 MLJ 689.  

  • Acting as co-counsel for the Malaysian subsidiaries of a leading global oil and services company in an action brought against a former employee for breaching her confidentiality obligations owed to the company. Among other, successfully resisted an application by the Defendant to vary the confidentiality obligations imposed on her and her solicitor [the High Court decision is reported at Aker Solutions Malaysia Sdn Bhd Dan Satu Lagi v Seetha A/P Kumarasamy [2020] MLJU 91].

  • Acted as co-counsel for Port Klang Authority in civil proceedings brought against its’ former General Manager for breaches of contractual, fiduciary and common law duties relating to the Port Klang Free Zone Project. The Kuala Lumpur High Court ordered damages in excess of RM 2.5 billion to be paid by the former General Manager to Port Klang Authority. The High Court decision is reported at Port Kelang Authority v Datin Paduka Phang Oi Choo @ Phang Ai Tu [2018] 1 LNS 2196.

  • Acting as co-counsel for Port Klang Authority in civil proceedings brought against the former contractor for the Port Klang Free Zone Project to declare an agreement worth approximately RM 50 million void for want of consideration.  The High Court decision is reported at Port Kelang Authority v Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd [2020] 1 LNS 1275 and is presently pending appeal. 

  • Acting as co-counsel for a public listed real estate investment trust in a tenancy dispute against a major hypermarket premised on whether parties had entered into a binding tenancy agreement. 

  • Acted as counsel for a foreign beneficiary in successfully obtaining an order for an administrator of an estate to account for trust proceeds in excess of RM 100 million.

  • Acted as counsel in obtaining a post-judgment Mareva injunction against a judgment debtor to preserve a potential judgment sum from separate proceedings from being dissipated pending enforcement proceedings.

  • Acted as co-counsel for a British limited liability partnership in obtaining a stay of proceedings filed against a Malaysian public listed company on the ground of forum non conveniens.

  • Acted as counsel for an American corporation, which holds the license for the Ironman Triathlon, in obtaining a stay of proceedings filed against it by a Malaysian company for alleged breach of contract on the ground of forum non conveniens. This case is significant as it deals with the effect of an exclusive jurisdiction clause and governing law clause in a contract. The Court of Appeal’s decision is reported at World Triathlon Corp v SRS Sports Centre Sdn Bhd [2019] 4 MLJ 394.

  • Acted as counsel for a Singaporean corporation in obtaining a summary judgment in excess of USD 1.5 million against a Malaysian public listed company.

  • Acted as junior counsel for the Malaysian subsidiary of a Finnish electronic manufacturing company in striking out a claim filed against it by a foreign consultant. The High Court decision is reported at Ricardo Tapel v Polar Electro Malaysia (M) Sdn Bhd [2017] 1 LNS 568 which was successfully overturned by the Court of Appeal.

  • Acted as junior counsel for Intel Capital Corporation, a division of Intel Corporation, of the world’s largest and highest valued semiconductor chip makers against a Malaysian company listed on the Bursa stock exchange. This case is significant for the large quantum involved and that the order was for specific performance obtained by way of a summary judgment order.

  • Acted as junior counsel for a Consortium comprising two leading global engineering, construction and services corporations (one of which is ranked on the Fortune 500 List of Largest Corporations) and three Malaysian engineering and contracting companies in Malaysia. The Federal Court decision is reported at Lembaga Pembangunan Industri Pembinaan Malaysia v Konsortium JGC Corp & Ors [2015] 6 MLJ 612.

  • Part of the legal team for an investment holding company (a subsidiary of an Australian company listed on the stock exchanges of Australia and New Zealand with leading outdoor advertising businesses in Australia and New Zealand, and with growing businesses in Hong Kong and Indonesia) in successfully resisting a claim that there was a concluded contract for the transfer of 30% shares in a local outdoor advertising company in Malaysia between the plaintiff and the shareholders of the said company. The High Court decision is reported at Capital Billboards Sdn Bhd v Asia Posters Sdn Bhd & Ors [2012] 1 LNS 724.

  • Acting as counsel for the foreign subsidiary of a Chinese conglomerate and investment company in various shareholder disputes pertaining to the composition of the Board of Directors of the Malaysian subsidiary and the validity of directors’ resolutions passed.

  • Acted as junior counsel for shareholders of a Malaysian company in applying for a just and equitable winding up on the grounds that the company was no longer carrying out the business it was originally incorporated for, and that the directors of the company had been dissipating the company’s profits.

  • Acted as junior counsel for minority shareholders of an electrical engineering company in an oppression action filed against the majority shareholders/directors premised on, among others, grounds of failure to declare dividends and dissipation of the company funds by way of payment of directors’ fees.

  • Acted as co-counsel for shareholders of a Malaysian shipping company in an oppression action filed to challenge their removal as directors and the dilution of their shareholding. The High Court decision is reported at Seah Eng Tog Daniel & Anor v Kingsley Khoo Hoi Leng & Ors [2016] 2 CLJ 695.

  • Acted as junior counsel for minority shareholders  in opposing just and equitable winding up proceedings filed by a fellow minority shareholder of a public company. The High Court decision is reported at Siti Nur Aishah Binti Ishak v Golden Plus Holdings Berhad [2018] MLJU 2165.

  • Acted as junior counsel for the majority shareholder of a licensed financial institution in a board of directors and shareholders disputes involving a detailed examination of the law of conduct of meeting and interplay between articles of association and shareholders' agreement. The High Court decisions is reported at Qatar Islamic Bank v Asian Finance Bank Bhd & Ors [2015] 7 MLJ 445.

  • Acted as counsel for Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad in resisting judicial review proceedings filed by a director of a public listed company which dealt with the obligation of said director to ensure that all the necessary information was provided to the holding company by its subsidiaries to allow the holding company to comply with the Listing Requirements. The High Court’s decision is reported at Lo Man Heng v Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad [2017] 8 CLJ 596 which was upheld by the Court of Appeal.

  • Acted as counsel for Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad in successfully striking out a writ action filed against it for, among others, an order that Bursa Securities Malaysia’s powers to fine directors of public listed companies is unconstitutional. The High Court’s decision is reported at Ahmad Amryn Bin Abd Malek & Ors v Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad [[2021] 2 CLJ 222.

  • Acting as junior counsel for Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad in resisting a judicial review application filed by the liquidator of a public listed company premised, among others, on the grounds that a public listed company must be immediately delisted upon winding-up. The High Court and Court of Appeal agreed with the liquidator’s interpretation of the Listing Requirements, and the matter is now pending before the Federal Court. The High Court’s decision is reported at Mohd Afrizan Husain v Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad [2020] 1 LNS 610.

  • Acting as co-counsel for Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad in committal proceedings filed against the former directors of a public listed company for their failure to make restitution of monies which had been wrongfully paid out by said directors from the company’s resources. The Court of Appeal’s decision is reported at Tengku Dato’ Kamal Ibni Sultan Sir Abu Bakar & Ors v Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad [2020] 4 MLJ 14.

  • Acted as junior counsel for Bursa Malaysia in all tiers of the appellate courts in resisting judicial review proceedings filed by a public listed company and its’ directors which dealt with the issue of disclosure of corporate developments which caused the company to experience unusual market activity. The High Court’s decision is reported at Can-One Berhad & Ors v Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad [2013] MLJU 1640.

  • Acted as counsel for a judgement creditor in proceedings brought against the directors of a wound-up company for fraudulent trading. The High Court’s decision is reported at Huatah Sdn Bhd v Yap Chee Kian & Ors [2020] 8 MLJ 98

  • Acted as counsel for a judgment creditor in winding-up proceedings. This case is notable as it dealt with, among others, the issue of whether a winding-up petition could be defeated because the judgment debtor had an existing counterclaim against the judgment debtor, and whether public interest was a ground to defeat a winding-up petition. The High Court’s decision is reported at Midflex Advisory Sdn Bhd v Alamrio Properties Sdn Bhd [2018] 1 LNS 1435.

  • Acted as junior counsel for the liquidator of a Malaysian company in a review application filed before the Federal Court premised on the argument that there was a quorum failure in light of the alleged unconstitutional appointment of the Chief Justice and President of the Court of Appeal. The Federal Court’s decision is reported at Yong Tshu Khin & Anor v Dahan Cipta Sdn Bhd & Anor and other appeals [2021] 1 MLJ 478.

  • Acted as counsel for a judgment creditor in successfully obtaining an order for leave to continue with assessment of damages which was heavily opposed by the liquidator on the basis, among others, that the determination on assessment of damages should be left exclusively to the liquidator.  The High Court’s decision is reported at Re CMN International Sdn Bhd (In Liquidation) [2020] MLJU 2356.

Qualifications:
  • Advocate and Solicitor, High Court of Malaya (2012)
  • Barrister-at-Law (Inner Temple) (2011)
  • LL.B (Hons), King’s College London (2010)
 Professional Affiliations:
  • Committee Member, Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee 2021/2022
  • Committee Member, Malaysian Inner Temple Alumni Association 2021/2022
  • Co-Chairperson, Kuala Lumpur Bar Civil Practice and Court Liaison Committee
  • Co-Chairperson, Kuala Lumpur Bar Technology Committee
  • Member, Bar Council’s Legal Profession Committee
  • Member, Bar Council’s Arbitration Committee
     

  • Contributing Editor to the Annotated Statues of Malaysia, Limitation Act 1953 and Partnership Act 1961
  • Contributing Editor to the Malaysian Court Practice (Trial Courts)
  • Author, Malaysia Country Update, Asian Dispute Review, April 2018.
  • Author, Caster Semenya: Penalised For The Way She Was Born – Where Does Mankind Stand [2020] 1 LNS(A) xcvii.
  • Author, Pardon Me, I’m Going Home, Skrine’s Legal Insights, 4/2018; [2019] 1 LNS(A) xci.
  • Author, Malaysia: A New Hope (And Some Legal Issues That Came With It), Skrine’s Legal Insights, 2/2018; [2019] 1 LNS(A) ci
  • Author, The Coke Light of Injunctions, Skrine’s Legal Insights, 3/2016; [2019] 1 LNS(A) lxxxviii.
  • Author, Fraudsters Beware- Sinnaiyah & Sons Sdn Bhd v Damai Setia Sdn Bhd, Skrine’s Legal Insights, 4/2015; [2019] 1 LNS(A) lxxxiii.
  • Author, Bargaining in a Bazaar? – Tun Datuk Haji Mustapha v Tun Mohamed Adnan Robert & Anor, Skrine’s Legal Insights, 1/2015; [2019] 1 LNS(A) lxxix.
  • Author, He Had 99 Problems – Durkin v DSG Retail Ltd, Skrine’s Legal Insights, 2/2014; [2019] 1 LNS(A) lxxvi.

  • Listed as ALB Malaysia Rising Stars 2021