At the Asia Business Law Journal’s Malaysia Law Firm Awards 2023, the firm was ranked one of the top four law firms (each firm of equal standing) in the category of Aviation.
The ﬁrm is recommended for this practice area in asialaw for the years 2014 – 2018 and 2021 – 2023. The same publication also quoted a client as saying: “The aviation finance team in Malaysia is top rate … I trust them to provide sound advice on the most complicated of matters.”
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific in its 2023 edition also reported that a client had said this:
‘Extremely strong asset finance team, with a special emphasis on aviation finance.’
Being one of the few Malaysian ﬁrms with an aviation related law practice, we take pride in counting several major international ﬁnancial institutions specialising in aircraft leasing among our clients. The bulk of our work is in acting as Malaysian counsel to major airlines, aircraft lessors, banks, collateral agents and security trustees in relation to the acquisition, disposal, lease, ﬁnancing and securitisation of aircraft. Having said that, we do also act for Malaysian corporations in connection with the purchase of aircraft. Our experience over the years has ensured that we have the capacity to navigate the labyrinth of legislation and conventions/treaties together with the complex and multiple documents usually involved in transactions relating to aviation.
When the airline industry was severely affected by the Covid-19 global pandemic, the firm was retained to represent creditors of AirAsia X Berhad in respect of its proposed Scheme of Arrangement pursuant to the Malaysian Companies Act 2016. The restructuring was completed in March 2022.
In another case, we also advised on the Malaysian law aspects of the debt restructuring Scheme of Arrangement of Malaysia Airlines and its related companies, which Scheme related to their operating and finance leases as well as associated aircraft and engine maintenance contracts. Our clients were the foreign creditors of the Malaysian applicants.
This matter was significant as the application for the Scheme was made to the High Court in England, and not the High Court in Malaysia, under new English companies legislation relating to the implementation of a Scheme of Arrangement. It was the first case of a Malaysian corporate group applying to the English High Court under such new legislation. It was also the first instance that an airline has used the English courts to reduce its aircraft lease liabilities. The Scheme has been sanctioned by the English High Court and has been implemented.
Partner Chong Kok Seng leads the practice.