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Labour & Industrial Disputes


Extensively experienced in assisting clients with employee terminations and related disputes, and in drafting employment contracts. Also adept in advising on issues arising from corporate transactions and restructuring
– Chambers Asia Pacific [2015]


The firm has a very established employment and labour law department. We provide a whole host of services, both in advisory and litigation work. We are rated by the International Legal Guide Legal 500 (2008) as a tier 1 firm for industrial relations matters. Our advisory work include advice on dismissals/constructive dismissals under section 20 of the Industrial Relations Act 1967, includes advising on proposals and negotiations for collective bargaining, employment law aspects of retrenchment, re-organisation and redundancy, closure of business and change of ownership of businesses, take-overs and mergers, assisting clients in the implementation of internal disciplinary proceedings involving the preparation of charges of misconduct and poor performance, the requisite notices, and the conduct of domestic inquiries. The department also advises on the drafting of terms and conditions of employment in respect of both individual contracts as well as collective agreements.

The litigation practice of the department provides representation in litigation matters under the Industrial Relations Act 1967 in the Labour Court/Director General of Labour (which include trade disputes, collective agreement disputes, non-compliance and dismissal claims) and claims for employment benefits under the Employment Act 1955 as well as matters under the Trade Unions Act 1959. The team undertakes applications for judicial review, including certiorari or mandamus, review of Industrial Court awards as well as legal challenges to the Minister’s reference under section 20 of the Industrial Relations Act 1967. The team further handles appeals to the High Court from the Labour Court under the Employment Act 1955.


“Shook Lin & Bok continues to grow as competitive legal firm that provides quality service in labour and employment practice.” – Asialaw Profiles (2017)

“At Shook Lin & Bok, practice head Romesh Abraham represented Maybank in an unfair dismissal case in the Court of Appeal.” – Legal500 Asia-Pacific (2017)

“Established department, well versed in assisting employers and government -linked companies in the banking and energy sectors. Regularly handles dismissal cases, including matters of constructive dismissal, sexual harassment and general”  – Chambers Asia-Pacific (2017)

“This well-established firm maintains a strong foothold in the employment market and focuses exclusively on representing employers. The team has been particularly active in contentious proceedings, representing a number of government-linked entities and more recently acting for one of the largest Malaysian banks in a major union-related dispute. The team also frequently advises foreign clients setting up in Malaysia on local labour and employment laws.” – Chambers (Asia-Pacific) 2013

“This strong practice handles a wide range of matters including retrenchment and redundancy, change of ownership, takeovers, mergers and collective bargaining. As one of the leading firms in the market, it is a favourite among domestic clients and has recently taken on a number of high-profile cases that further cement its reputation in this sector. Litigation is regarded as a real practice strength and the group regularly represents clients in Malaysia’s highest courts.” – Chambers Asia 2012