"Lim Chee Wee is strategic and tactical. Undoubtedly the grandmaster in this area of practice."
- Legal 500 Asia Pacific
- Legal 500 Asia Pacific
Dato’ Lim Chee Wee
Chee Wee is the Senior Partner of the firm and has been in practice for more than 27 years. He has a broad commercial, corporate, public law, 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, a former member of the Operations Review Panel of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, and a former 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 100 cases reported in the law reports with a portfolio including arbitrations, 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 (Bursa Malaysia Berhad), Malaysian Competition Commission (MyCC), Energy Commission, the Malaysian Aviation Commission, the Securities Industry Dispute Resolution Centre and the Securities Commission Malaysia.
He is consistently listed in various international legal directories as a leading legal practitioner. He is ranked as a Band 1 dispute resolution lawyer in Chambers Asia-Pacific and in the Hall of Fame for dispute resolution in Legal 500 Asia-Pacific. He has been described as “a leading presence in the market, handling a range of disputes concerning areas such as energy, competition and fraud” (Chambers Asia-Pacific) and “[u]ndoubtedly the grandmaster in this area of practice” (Legal 500 Asia-Pacific).
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 MyCC enforcement actions against MAS/Air Asia, MyEG and Grab, Pelangi Prestasi Sdn Bhd’s billion Ringgit dispute against the Receiver and Manager of Sabah Forest Industries Sdn Bhd and Sabah State Government, and 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
- Competition Law Litigation
- 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.
- Acting in the setting aside of the largest award in Malaysia arising from the GKL arbitration.
- Acted for a foreign client in an AIAC arbitration with seat in Kuala Lumpur involving a shareholders’ dispute with a local shareholder.
- 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.
- 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.
- Acted 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.
- Sat 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.
- Sat as co-arbitrator in an ICC arbitration involving a sale of goods dispute.
- 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 as counsel for a subsidiary of Deleum Berhad, a public listed company, in its fraud litigation involving the employees of the subsidiary, suppliers and employees of a customer. Successfully obtained delivery up and freezing orders against the defendants.
- Acting for two government-owned (Federal or State) corporate entities in fraud claims and investigations.
- Acted 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 as counsel 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: see Ann Joo Steel Bhd v Penagarah Tanah dan Galian Negeri Pulau Pinang & Anor and another appeal  1 MLJ 689.
- Acted as counsel 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: see Cubic Electronics Sdn Bhd (in liquidation) v Mars Telecommunications Sdn Bhd  6 MLJ 15.
- Acting as counsel 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.
- Acted as counsel at the Court of Appeal 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: see Ekuiti Setegap Sdn Bhd v Plaza 393 Management Corp (Established under the Strata Titles Act 1985)  4 MLJ 284.
- Acted as counsel at the Court of Appeal 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 as counsel 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 as counsel 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.
- Acted as arbitrator in a KLRCA Arbitration involving disputes arising from a PAM construction contract.
- Acting as counsel in the High Court on behalf of the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) for securities fraud recovery in the SC v Ricky Wong & Others case.
- Acted as counsel for the Securities Commission Malaysia in pursuing a claim against five individuals, including former directors and remisiers, who had engaged in manipulative activities in the trading of Reliance Pacific Berhad’s shares through 38 trading accounts. Successfully obtained judgment against all defendants and orders to bar the defendants from being appointed directors of public listed companies and from trading on the stock exchange for 5 years.
- Advised and acted as counsel for the Malaysian stock exchange in numerous judicial review proceedings and actions for injunctive relief filed by companies pursuant to decisions rendered by the stock exchange in the exercise of its powers of enforcement including the following:
- Appeared before the Federal Court (our apex court) in the case of Wembley Holdings Berhad v Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad (“Wembley”), (Federal Court Application No.: 08()-189-2008(W) which dealt with an application for an Erinford Injunction to restrain Bursa from de-listing Wembley’s securities from Bursa’s Official List. The appellate court decided in favour of the Bursa in that the court should be slow in interfering in the decisions of the Stock Exchange, in the exercise of its statutory duties as long as it exercises its duties in good faith, and in the accordance of due process.
- Appeared before the Court of Appeal in the case of Bursa Malaysia Securities Berhad v Gan Boon Aun (Civil Appeal No. W-02-439-2008) opposing leave for Judicial Review. The Court of Appeal dealt with a novel point of law and affirmed that Bursa can proceed with and decide on the breaches of its rules and requirements independent of or concurrent with proceedings in Court on breaches by the same individual of any other written law, as long as it exercises its duties in good faith.
- Acted as counsel for Securities Industry Dispute Resolution Center (SIDREC) in two judicial review applications filed by PM Securities Sdn Bhd, a stockbroking company which holds a Capital Markets Services Licence issued by the Securities Commission over the Decision/Award rendered by SIDREC.
- Acted as counsel for the Energy Commission (EC) in a judicial review application from Tenaga Nasional Berhad, the largest electricity utility provider in Malaysia, regarding a directive issued by the EC to ensure the execution of a Power Purchase Agreement. This case marks the first time where the decision of the EC has been brought up for Judicial Review and is of great public interest as it affects the generation of electricity for the Country’s usage.
- Acting for the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) in a civil enforcement action for disgorgement and civil penalties totaling around RM171 million relating to the prohibited conduct of using manipulative and deceptive devices to defraud a public listed company.
- Acting for the Securities Commission Malaysia (SC) in a civil enforcement action for disgorgement and civil penalties totaling around RM5.1 million relating to market manipulation offences involving the trading of shares of a public listed company.
- Acted as counsel for the Securities Commission Malaysia (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.
- Acted for the Malaysian Competition Commision (MyCC) in successfully opposing Grab’s leave for judicial review. Grab challenged MyCC’s proposed decision to fine Grab RM86.77 million (the largest ever) due to Grab’s competition law breaches for abuse of its dominant position. MyCC’s decision against Grab would have a major impact on Grab’s operations of its e-hailing services, and potentially affect its dominant position in the market.
- Acted for MyCC in the judicial review application against CAT’s decision which set aside MyCC’s fine of RM 10 million against MAS and AirAsia. Continuing to act for the MyCC at the Court of Appeal proceedings. The fine was imposed due to MAS and AirAsia entering into a collaboration agreement in 2011, which MyCC found to be anti-competitive and amounted to a cartel. This is MyCC’s first decision in relation to cartels. The fine of RM 10 million was successfully reinstated against MAS and AirAsia.
- Acted for MyCC in successfully opposing MyEG’s judicial review application, which seeks to set aside MyCC’s decision to fine MYEG a total sum of RM 9.46 million at the time of the filing of the application. MyCC had found that MYEG had abused its dominant position in the provision and management of online foreign workers permit renewals.
- Acting for MyCC in opposing the appeals filed in the Competition Appeals Tribunal by, among others, the General Insurance Association of Malaysia and its members in relation to the Commission’s findings on the alleged infringements of the Competition Act 2010 on trade discounts on automotive parts prices and hourly labour rates for motor vehicle repairs by approved workshops.
- Advocate & Solicitor, High Court of Malaya (1993)
- LL.B. (Hons), New South Wales (1991)
- Former President, Malaysian Bar
- 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
- 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.
- He is described by a source as "a top-notch lawyer who is very knowledgeable." - Chambers Asia-Pacific 2022.
- Lim Chee Wee has a broad practice spanning competition, oil and gas, fraud and land cases, among others. One client describes him as "a much sought-after practitioner with a pleasing manner," whilst another interviewee describes him as a "stand-out" lawyer. - Chambers Asia-Pacific 2021.
- Ranked in the "Hall of Fame" for Dispute Resolution - Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2021, 2020.
- "Lim Chee Wee is an experienced litigator. His vast experience in handling local and international dispute resolution cases sometimes help us assess our present case more objectively." - Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2021.
- "Lim Chee Wee – Huge amounts of experience in cases with an international dimension." - Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2021.
- Ranked in Asia Business Law Journal's The A-list of Malaysia's Top 100 Lawyers in 2021, 2020, and 2019.
- “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 2020-2022.
- Awarded Lawyer of the Year - Malaysia at the Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific Awards 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'.
- Listed in the Who’s Who Legal as a Global Leader in Asset Recovery and Restructuring & Insolvency.
- "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.