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Kherk Ying Chew, Wong & Partners
Chew Kherk Ying, Managing Partner, Wong & Partners

Wong & Partners is a legal adviser to the most respected domestic and multinational corporations operating in Malaysia. The law firm, inaugurated in 1998, is helping companies in a wide range of industries to apply innovative, practical legal solutions. As a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, Wong & Partners is particularly skilled at coordinating complex cross-border transactions with a global coverage. Inside Investor met Chew Kherk Ying, Managing Partner, Wong & Partners, to talk about the objectives of the company.

Q: What is your main business focus in Malaysia?

A: Our aim is to provide premier legal services to large conglomerates in Malaysia, and global companies who have business interests in Malaysia.

Q: Could you give a profile of your clients?

A: Being part of the Baker & McKenzie network, our clients are mainly multinational corporations that have businesses in Malaysia. These are in fact our core clients and we would like to be the law firm of choice for these clients and also our local clients.

Q: Do you have partnerships with GCC law firms?

A: We have at least three Baker & McKenzie offices there. When their clients have investments in Malaysia, the Baker & McKenzie offices will likely to refer them to us. If our Malaysian clients are doing business in the GCC and they require legal support, we will in turn refer them to the Baker & McKenzie offices if they have the service offerings which our clients need.

Q: Can you give us examples of cross-border transactions in which your law firm has been involved?

A: As I focus more on IP matters, I can give you examples of cross border IP matters which we typically assist our clients with.  We assist many foreign brand owners in the management and protection of their brands in Malaysia – these include managing the trade mark portfolios, enforcing against infringers and assisting to manage their anti counterfeiting programme in Malaysia and the region. We assist many Malaysian clients with their regional and global IP portfolios. As we are probably the most international of the local firms, we have an advantage in helping with their IP rights outside Malaysia through the Baker & McKenzie offices around the world.

Q: Your firm, among others, specialises in intellectual property disputes. Could you give us an example of cases you are doing for multinational companies?

A:  We assist multinational companies in their brand protection programme as well as their local and regional anti counterfeiting programmes. We have acted for many of our multinational clients to enforce their rights through civil actions for copyright, trademark and design infringements. We have assisted them to secure interim reliefs such as interim injunctions, delivery up orders, Anton Piller orders and other reliefs.

Q: How would you assess your firm’s position among the local competition?

A: The most important point would be, as I said, that we are probably the most international of the local law firms as we are a member firm of Baker McKenzie International. Being part of a global network, we are more aligned and sensitive to the needs of global clients.  We believe we are the firm of choice of many global companies having businesses in Malaysia and the firm of choice of local companies going abroad and when they expand regionally and globally.

Further, our lawyers also benefit from the fact that the firm is a member of a global law firm.  For example, we have a heavy focus on professional development of our lawyers. We have the opportunity to send our lawyers to the regional and global offices of Baker & McKenzie for training and secondments.  We are able to join the regional and global practice group meetings of a global firm and adopt best practices.  With such involvement, we are already a step ahead of our competition. The other firms do not enjoy such an advantage. They may just have a friendly relationship with another law firm or a group of law firms, but will not be able to receive similar benefits.  We also adopt many best practices from Baker & McKenzie offices. We have a developmental framework to map out the career path for all our lawyers.  Our lawyers are aware of what is expected of them at every level of their career path with us.   Other local firms may not have the same framework for their lawyers.

Q: How does this difference translate into your management and your services?

A: As mentioned, our lawyers enjoy involvement and participation in regional/global  trainings hosted by Baker & McKenzie offices in the region/globally.  We are able to keep track of all latest legal development here and in the region/globally through these participations. We understand what may impact clients in the region/globally.

We also adopt best practices from the global firm.  One of these include having a Business Development team which is highly experienced to assist us in client development work, client reviews, pitches and proposals and organising client events.  We can also draw upon the Baker & McKenzie regional/global business development team if we need further support.  We also have a Talent Management team who assist with professional development of our lawyers at all stages of their professional career with us.  We also draw upon the Baker & McKenzie regional/global talent management team if we need further support.

Q: What are the services you offer to foreign investors who want to invest in the country?

A: We are able to offer a full range of service which may be required by a multinational corporation looking at Malaysia to invest or to set up their office/business.  We will be able to advise them on the best legal structure and the local requirements for compliance.  We are able to help set up their entities or joint ventures and advise on the tax requirements and benefits in Malaysia.  We have a strong M&A team who can assist with acquisitions and other corporate exercises which may be required.  We also have a finance team if financing is required.  We have also an employment practice that can render advice on local employment laws, employee contracts and stock options.  We are a full service firm and we are able to assist and advise multinationals in all areas of commercial law.

Q: What companies have come in from the GCC recently, using your services?

A: We have been involved in a couple of transactions by companies from the GCC. In fact, we also have also assisted many Malaysian companies who are looking into investment in the GCC.   I do not have consent to disclose identities of these companies, unfortunately.

Q: Could you tell us more about your firm’s expertise as a legal advisor in Islamic banking and finance?

A: We have two partners focusing on Islamic banking and finance.  They are Mark Lim and Azizul Adnan.  Both Mark and Azizul have been recognised as leading lawyers in Islamic Finance for consecutive years.  Our Islamic Finance team has been involved in many high profile sukuk issuances, some of which have also been recognised as Deals of the Year by leading publications as well.  Having advised several of the leading foreign and domestic financial institutions on the viability of various Islamic structures, the team deals with Shari’ah advisers on issues pertinent to Islamic financing. We have actively participated in the development of the Shari’ah regulatory process including the establishment of the Government Sukuk Law.  To cement our position globally in this burgeoning field, we collaborate with Baker & McKenzie’s member firms in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Doha, Riyadh and London – the other key jurisdictions for Islamic Finance.

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[caption id="attachment_2692" align="alignleft" width="125" caption="Chew Kherk Ying, Managing Partner, Wong & Partners"][/caption] Wong & Partners is a legal adviser to the most respected domestic and multinational corporations operating in Malaysia. The law firm, inaugurated in 1998, is helping companies in a wide range of industries to apply innovative, practical legal solutions. As a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, Wong & Partners is particularly skilled at coordinating complex cross-border transactions with a global coverage. Inside Investor met Chew Kherk Ying, Managing Partner, Wong & Partners, to talk about the objectives of the company. Q: What is your main business...

Reading Time: 5 minutes

Kherk Ying Chew, Wong & Partners
Chew Kherk Ying, Managing Partner, Wong & Partners

Wong & Partners is a legal adviser to the most respected domestic and multinational corporations operating in Malaysia. The law firm, inaugurated in 1998, is helping companies in a wide range of industries to apply innovative, practical legal solutions. As a member firm of Baker & McKenzie International, Wong & Partners is particularly skilled at coordinating complex cross-border transactions with a global coverage. Inside Investor met Chew Kherk Ying, Managing Partner, Wong & Partners, to talk about the objectives of the company.

Q: What is your main business focus in Malaysia?

A: Our aim is to provide premier legal services to large conglomerates in Malaysia, and global companies who have business interests in Malaysia.

Q: Could you give a profile of your clients?

A: Being part of the Baker & McKenzie network, our clients are mainly multinational corporations that have businesses in Malaysia. These are in fact our core clients and we would like to be the law firm of choice for these clients and also our local clients.

Q: Do you have partnerships with GCC law firms?

A: We have at least three Baker & McKenzie offices there. When their clients have investments in Malaysia, the Baker & McKenzie offices will likely to refer them to us. If our Malaysian clients are doing business in the GCC and they require legal support, we will in turn refer them to the Baker & McKenzie offices if they have the service offerings which our clients need.

Q: Can you give us examples of cross-border transactions in which your law firm has been involved?

A: As I focus more on IP matters, I can give you examples of cross border IP matters which we typically assist our clients with.  We assist many foreign brand owners in the management and protection of their brands in Malaysia – these include managing the trade mark portfolios, enforcing against infringers and assisting to manage their anti counterfeiting programme in Malaysia and the region. We assist many Malaysian clients with their regional and global IP portfolios. As we are probably the most international of the local firms, we have an advantage in helping with their IP rights outside Malaysia through the Baker & McKenzie offices around the world.

Q: Your firm, among others, specialises in intellectual property disputes. Could you give us an example of cases you are doing for multinational companies?

A:  We assist multinational companies in their brand protection programme as well as their local and regional anti counterfeiting programmes. We have acted for many of our multinational clients to enforce their rights through civil actions for copyright, trademark and design infringements. We have assisted them to secure interim reliefs such as interim injunctions, delivery up orders, Anton Piller orders and other reliefs.

Q: How would you assess your firm’s position among the local competition?

A: The most important point would be, as I said, that we are probably the most international of the local law firms as we are a member firm of Baker McKenzie International. Being part of a global network, we are more aligned and sensitive to the needs of global clients.  We believe we are the firm of choice of many global companies having businesses in Malaysia and the firm of choice of local companies going abroad and when they expand regionally and globally.

Further, our lawyers also benefit from the fact that the firm is a member of a global law firm.  For example, we have a heavy focus on professional development of our lawyers. We have the opportunity to send our lawyers to the regional and global offices of Baker & McKenzie for training and secondments.  We are able to join the regional and global practice group meetings of a global firm and adopt best practices.  With such involvement, we are already a step ahead of our competition. The other firms do not enjoy such an advantage. They may just have a friendly relationship with another law firm or a group of law firms, but will not be able to receive similar benefits.  We also adopt many best practices from Baker & McKenzie offices. We have a developmental framework to map out the career path for all our lawyers.  Our lawyers are aware of what is expected of them at every level of their career path with us.   Other local firms may not have the same framework for their lawyers.

Q: How does this difference translate into your management and your services?

A: As mentioned, our lawyers enjoy involvement and participation in regional/global  trainings hosted by Baker & McKenzie offices in the region/globally.  We are able to keep track of all latest legal development here and in the region/globally through these participations. We understand what may impact clients in the region/globally.

We also adopt best practices from the global firm.  One of these include having a Business Development team which is highly experienced to assist us in client development work, client reviews, pitches and proposals and organising client events.  We can also draw upon the Baker & McKenzie regional/global business development team if we need further support.  We also have a Talent Management team who assist with professional development of our lawyers at all stages of their professional career with us.  We also draw upon the Baker & McKenzie regional/global talent management team if we need further support.

Q: What are the services you offer to foreign investors who want to invest in the country?

A: We are able to offer a full range of service which may be required by a multinational corporation looking at Malaysia to invest or to set up their office/business.  We will be able to advise them on the best legal structure and the local requirements for compliance.  We are able to help set up their entities or joint ventures and advise on the tax requirements and benefits in Malaysia.  We have a strong M&A team who can assist with acquisitions and other corporate exercises which may be required.  We also have a finance team if financing is required.  We have also an employment practice that can render advice on local employment laws, employee contracts and stock options.  We are a full service firm and we are able to assist and advise multinationals in all areas of commercial law.

Q: What companies have come in from the GCC recently, using your services?

A: We have been involved in a couple of transactions by companies from the GCC. In fact, we also have also assisted many Malaysian companies who are looking into investment in the GCC.   I do not have consent to disclose identities of these companies, unfortunately.

Q: Could you tell us more about your firm’s expertise as a legal advisor in Islamic banking and finance?

A: We have two partners focusing on Islamic banking and finance.  They are Mark Lim and Azizul Adnan.  Both Mark and Azizul have been recognised as leading lawyers in Islamic Finance for consecutive years.  Our Islamic Finance team has been involved in many high profile sukuk issuances, some of which have also been recognised as Deals of the Year by leading publications as well.  Having advised several of the leading foreign and domestic financial institutions on the viability of various Islamic structures, the team deals with Shari’ah advisers on issues pertinent to Islamic financing. We have actively participated in the development of the Shari’ah regulatory process including the establishment of the Government Sukuk Law.  To cement our position globally in this burgeoning field, we collaborate with Baker & McKenzie’s member firms in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Doha, Riyadh and London – the other key jurisdictions for Islamic Finance.

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