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Malaysia-Talk on Pitfalls of Arbitration (12 July 2013)

Talk on Pitfalls of Arbitration (12 July 2013)


Circular No 151/2013
Dated 4 July 2013
To Members of the Malaysian Bar
Talk on Pitfalls of Arbitration (12 July 2013)
The Bar Council Arbitration Subcommittee is organising this talk to analyse and discuss the drawbacks involved in the arbitration process.
The speaker who will be addressing the issues is James Monteiro.
Monteiro is the Principal Partner of Messrs James Monteiro, a boutique law firm in Kuala Lumpur.  He heads the alternative dispute resolution, and construction and engineering practice departments.   He has 16 years of legal experience as an advocate and solicitor of the High Court of Malaya.  He has advised many international and local clients in the areas of construction and engineering, contract and commerce, oil and gas, information technology, and civil and commercial litigation.  His international experience includes disputes arising from Sudan, Australia, Singapore and Vietnam.  Monteiro has acted in arbitrations under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, International Chamber of Commerce, Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration, Persatuan Arkitek Malaysia and Institute of Engineering Malaysia Rules of Arbitration.
Monteiro is a founding member of the Society of Construction Law Malaysia and is the society's current Deputy President.  He is also a member of the Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators.  He is active in the Bar Council Construction Law Subcommittee and Arbitration Subcommittee.
Monteiro is a frequent speaker on the seminar and conference circuit, particularly in the areas of arbitration, contractual risk management in construction, and contract and commercial law.
The details of the talk are as follows:

Date:                            12 July 2013 (Friday)
Time:                            4:00 pm to 6:00 pm (Registration begins at 3:30 pm)
Venue:                          Raja Aziz Addruse Auditorium, First Floor, Bar Council, 15 Leboh Pasar Besar, 50050 Kuala Lumpur
Registration Fee:           RM50  
CPD Code:                   12072013/BC/BC1149/2
CPD Points:                  Two
The programme is as follows:

3:30 pm to 4:00 pm        Registration
4:00 pm to 4:15 pm        Welcome speech
4:15 pm to 5:30 pm        Talk by James Monteiro
5:30 pm to 6:00 pm        Q & A session
6:00 pm                          Tea break
To attend the talk, kindly complete and submit the attached reply slip by email at or by fax at 03- 2031 6640.  For enquiries, please contact Vanimalar Moneyselvam (03-2050 2100; or Anusha Gopala Krishnan (03-2050 2097;
Thank you.

Nitin Nadkarni
Arbitration Subcommittee
This circular and the attachment may also be accessed here.



In Federal Furniture Industries Sdn Bhd v Chim Yiam Lee, Tan & Associates (Dahulunya dikenali sebagai Chim Yiam, Lee & Associates)(Disaman sebagai firma guaman) [2012] MLJU 1629, it was held that:-

"...[18] It is very evident from the evidence, both documentary and oral, that the retainer between the Plaintiff and the Defendants is one where the professional fees is payable only on a success basis, the Plaintiff is to pay the Defendants a sum equivalent to 20% of the debt amount recovered from the proceedings initiated by the Defendants. These are clear contingency agreements. Section 112(l)(b) of the   Legal Profession Act  clearly prohibits an advocate and solicitor from entering into any agreement by which he is retained or employed to prosecute any suit or action or other contentious proceedings which stipulates or contemplates payment of fees only in the event of success of such suit, action or proceeding. (See the cases of Mokhtar Ngah & Co v Yee Seng Plantations Sdn Bhd [2009] 10 CLJ 348; Rhina Bhar v Koid Hong Keat [1992] 3 CLJ 1465 ]. Such contingency agreements are champertous in nature and are illegal for they contravene clear statutory prohibition. Therefore, the Warrants to Act forming the contract of retainer between the parties, namely exhibits PI (a) to (g), executed by the Plaintiff are void for illegality...."

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