Selvamalar Alagaratnam Partner

T +603 2081 3999 ext 747


Selvamalar is co-head of the firm's Employment practice. She provides integrated support to a wide range of clients in various industries on all employment/human resource related matters including compliance with all laws applicable to employment relationships; managing the exit of employees whether by way of collective reduction in force exercises or individual terminations for misconduct or poor performance; protection of confidential and proprietary information; investigations and disciplinary actions; trade unions, both recognition and collective bargaining; dispute resolution at all levels and business immigration.

She also provides strategic advice in internal fraud management advising clients in high profile and highly sensitive matters involving fraud perpetrated by employees; and the options available to the organisations to obtain redress against the wrongdoers.

Her practice extends to focused compliance on bribery and corruption as well as acting for medical practitioners in negligence and malpractice suits.


Key Practice Areas

  • Employment Disputes
  • Employment Advisory and Compliance
  • Employee Fraud Management and Investigations
  • Medical Negligence

  • Representing local and foreign clients in a full range of employment disputes including claims for reinstatement to employment (arising from dismissals for misconduct/poor performance, constructive dismissals, retrenchments), trade disputes such as claims for recognition by trade unions and collective bargaining, breaches of confidentiality obligations and restrictive covenants.

Takeovers, Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Advising, assisting and providing comprehensive support in local and global level transactions of business transfers and share acquisitions which includes due diligence, negotiations with the counter-party, drafting of contractual terms, efforts to ensure retention of key personnel and harmonisation of employment terms.

Employment Mobility

  • Advising and assisting corporations in the legality and implementation of outsourcing exercises.

Review of Employment Contracts, Policies and applicable Human Resource Documentation

  • Establishing or reviewing internal documents including employment contracts, handbooks, global human resource policies, incentive plans, to ensure both compliance with local laws and recommended practice.

Reorganisation and Restructuring, Redundancy and Retrenchment

  • Legal support to corporations in their reduction in force exercises.
  • Assisting and guiding leading international audit, tax and advisory services firms on all employment matters that arise in the course of receiverships and liquidation of various companies.


  • Due diligence, advising, guiding and generally providing comprehensive support to ensure compliance with all applicable laws including local employment laws, anti-bribery and corruption laws, anti-money laundering laws.
  • Advising on the requirements and obligations under the relevant local laws governing occupational safety and health, including managing reporting, investigations and inquiries pursuant to an industrial accident.

  • Immediate public relations and internal crisis management strategy support to corporations including financial institutions in circumstances involving alleged fraudulent practices by employees or practices that may prejudice the business or matters which are highly sensitive.
  • Immediate and on-going guidance on managing out high level or high-profile employees with minimal exposure, both in legal and reputational aspects.

  • Represented a doctor in a Malaysian Medical Council Inquiry on a comment made in his medical report on the conduct of another doctor;
  • Acted for and represented a doctor in a medical negligence claim relating to spinal surgery;
  • Acted for a doctor in a medical negligence suit in the High Court relating to kidney failure; and
  • Represented a doctor in a Malaysian Medical Council Inquiry in relation to medical malpractice.

  • Advocate and Solicitor, High Court of Malaya (1994) 
  • Certificate of Legal Practice (1993)
  • LL.B (Hons), University of London (1992)

Professional Affiliations:
  • Senior Vice Chair, International Bar Association’s Employment & Industrial Relations Law Committee 
  • General Secretary, Malaysian Society for Labour and Social Security Laws (local chapter of International Society for Labour and Social Security Laws)
  • Member, Bar Council’s Industrial and Employment Law Committee

Authored the following articles:
  • Presented several papers in Industrial law at various conferences and   seminars in Malaysia and abroad.
  • Co-author, Law of Dismissal, Commerce Clearing House (CCH).
  • Co-author, Malaysia Court Forms – Employment Law Section.
  • Co-author, Labour Law Handbook.
  • Co-author, Legal Guide to Employee Dispute Malaysia.
  • Author, Malaysian Chapter-Corporate Immigration Law: A Practitioner's Guide to the Global Labour Market, Volumes I and II, Oxford University Press Inc.

  • Listed as a "Leading Individual" by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2020 in Labour and Employment
  • Recognised as a "Thought Leader" in Who’s Who Legal Thought Leaders: Labour & Employment 2019 – 2020
  • Ranked as a "Leading Individual" for Employment & Industrial Relation since 2009 by Chambers Asia-Pacific
  • Listed as one of the world’s leading practitioners in Management Labour & Employment by Who’s Who Legal in 2014 - 2017
  • Recognised as a "Thought Leader" for Employment and Industrial Relations in Who’s Who Legal in 2017 and 2018
  • "She is one of the best employment lawyers and is very knowledgeable." – Chambers Asia Pacific 2020
  • "highly experienced, professional and wonderful to deal with" – Chambers Asia Pacific 2019
  • Selvamalar is very well respected among market sources...She regularly acts on issues linked to breaches of confidentiality and employment contracts.” - Chambers Asia Pacific 2018