Malaysia moves to open legal market

July 23, 2012 Malaysia is making moves to liberalise its legal services market, tabling a bill that would offer foreign law firms a number of ways to operate in the country.

The Legal Profession (Amendment) Bill 2012 provides for the grant of a limited number of licences for firms to advise in specific practice areas, as well as permitting foreign firms to form partnerships with local firms.

Meanwhile, Trowers & Hamlins has announced that it has become the first overseas firm to establish a local presence in Kuala Lumpur, after gaining special approval from the Malaysia Investment Development Authority to open a non-trading representative office. The firm plans to apply for an independent licence to practise as soon as the new legal framework is in place – which could be as early as next year.


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