39 Essex Chambers is to continue its growth in Asia, announcing yesterday that it was opening an office in Kuala Lumpur, the first UK barristers’ chambers to have a presence in Malaysia.
Chambers has taken an office at the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration and the formal signing of the lease took place last night following a briefing on ‘The Growth of International Arbitration in Asia’ co-hosted by the KLRCA and 39 Essex Chambers with key speakers including Professor Datuk Sundra Rajoo, Director of KLRCA and Lim Chee Wee, former President of the Malaysian Bar. The event was attended by some of the most renowned names in the legal market.
The KLRCA which is currently being refurbished, is located in Kuala Lumpur’s historical enclave, the Sulaiman Building is an art deco heritage building that is very close to the city’s central hub and tourist district and was constructed in the early 1920’s. The building will house state-of-the-art facilities with 20 hearing rooms, 22 breakout rooms, a business centre, a specialised ADR and construction law library, dining areas, a mini museum and an auditorium. It is strategically located, being just minutes away from the city’s largest transit hub, a national railway station, flanked by 5-star hotels and is also near national heritage sites like the National Mosque and the Islamic Museum.
The new chambers will complement the set’s office in Singapore which opened at the start of 2013. Roderick Noble, Director of Asian Business at 39 Essex Chambers, will manage the chambers which will offer both domestic and international arbitration services.
In September 2013, renowned barrister and arbitrator Rashda Rana joined the set and is permanently based in Singapore. She, along with many of the set’s specialist barristers, will operate in both Kuala Lumpur and Singapore and throughout Asia.
The KLRCA launched a new set of I-Arbitration rules in September 2012 aimed at resolving disputes under contracts containing Shariah law issues. The I-Arbitration rules won international recognition from the Global Arbitration Review award, specifically for ‘innovation by an individual or organisation in 2012’. This offers many advantages and will bring a different focus for the Kuala Lumpur base which will be able to capitalise on the development and continued improvement of the rules.
David Barnes, Chief Executive and Director of Clerking explains:
“There has been a distinct growth of arbitration in Asia, directly related to the economic growth of the region. As we have many specialist arbitrators, with extensive international experience, and an established relationship with the KLRCA, it seemed a natural move for us to open a dedicated office in Kuala Lumpur.”
Prof Datuk Sundra Rajoo, Director of the KLRCA explains:
“We are experiencing an increase in arbitration cases and believe that with our state of the art building (and facilities) that is scheduled to be completed in July, more parties will opt for the KLRCA. We are happy to sign the lease agreement with 39 Essex Chambers to open their Malaysian chapter.”
The office will officially open in October.