“Malaysia has seen the emergence of a number of exceptional lawyers, who are standing out through brilliant performance at a young age. In this annual list, ALB features Malaysian lawyers under the age of 40 who are delivering high-quality work and earning accolades from their colleagues, superiors and clients.”
– Asian Legal Business, June 2022 Edition

MWKA is proud to announce that two of our Senior Associates, Denise Phang and Jasmine Wong, have been profiled by Asian Legal Business as Malaysia Rising Stars 2022.

View the full list in the June 2022 issue of ALB here.

Both Denise and Jasmine started their legal careers in MWKA as pupils-in-chambers before joining the firm as associates. As senior associates, they are now pursuing careers in their respective practice areas. Denise’s practice focuses on real estate, land acquisition and construction disputes, while Jasmine pursues her passion in citizenship, adoption, medical malpractice and negligence, and employment law.

The ALB editorial write ups are reproduced below:

Denise Phang

Senior Associate

“Admitted to the Malaysian Bar in 2015, Phang has been with MahWengKwai & Associates for eight years and was promoted to senior associate in 2019. As a litigator, she deals extensively with commercial and contractual litigation, adjudication and arbitration.

Phang leads the land disputes team, which handles cases such as land acquisition, land fraud, breach of land-related contracts and trespass.

In recent years, Phang has represented Iskandar Waterfront in its claim for approximately 709 million ringgit ($161 million) as compensation for the compulsory part-acquisition of land for a rapid transit system project, which involves unique legal matters in the valuation of land that is planned for reclamation, and underwater land adjacent to the border between Malaysia and Singapore.

She has also successfully argued on novel issues of law in a number of cases, including raising the issue of the High Court’s jurisdiction to hear land reference proceedings arising from a null and void Land Administrator’s Award in KCSB Konsortium Sdn Bhd v Pentadbir Tanah Johor Bahru & Anor [2019] MLJU 915, and substantiating that a non-paying Party may only raise a LAD (liquidated ascertained damages) claim as a defence to the unpaid party’s claim and not a standalone counterclaim in Tenaga Poly Sdn Bhd v Crest Builder Sdn Bhd.

Additionally, Phang is well-versed in town planning, land development, infrastructure and construction. She has particularly earned recognition in the niche area of environmental law and has contributed to the publication of legal textbooks on the topic.

Her major clients include, among others, Sime Darby Plantations, Metropolitan Square Joint Management Body, LBS Bina Group, Cicet (Malaysia) Corporation, and Estate of Tan Bok Yin.

Phang is well acknowledged among partners, colleagues and clients for her meticulousness, efficiency, analytical mind and in-depth knowledge of law. “Phang Phang is a hardworking, bright, brilliant and articulate lawyer,” says a client. “She was patiently working on all the materials and facts that I have brought to her for this case. Her legal team is always good in helping clients seek fairness and justice. Her submissions were good and her performance and lawyer instinct in open court was brilliant.”

Jasmine Wong

Senior Associate

“Upon admission to Malaysian Bar, Wong started her practice at MahWengKwai & Associates in 2017, and got promoted to senior associate in 2021. She is actively involved in a wide range of general litigation, particularly in citizenship, adoption, medical malpractice and negligence, personal injury, and employment law.

Wong co-heads the citizenship and family law Team and the medical and personal injury team in the firm. She has been invited to speak on the rights of stateless children and reforms on the citizenship laws in Malaysia in various roundtable discussions organised by various stakeholders. At the age of 25, she received recognition in Prestige Malaysia’s 40 Under 40 2020 for her work on the issue of statelessness.

Wong appeared in the landmark successful appeal at the Federal Court as co-counsel to Dato’ Cyrus Das and Raymond Mah in 2021, which declared that children born and abandoned at birth in Malaysia are citizens. The decision is considered to have wide ranging implications to abandoned children in Malaysia who are currently stateless.

Wong also acted as solicitor and counsel for a 23-year-old client born in India to a Malaysian mother and an Indian father, who was denied her right to Malaysian citizenship. The case has been widely publicized for the issue of inequality and gender discrimination faced by Malaysian mothers who gave birth to their children overseas.

Wong co-authored an article entitled Citizenship for Adopted and Legitimized Children: To the Federal Court and Back Again [2020] 2 MLJ vi which was published in the Malayan Law Journal in 2020. In 2021, the firm’s individuals & families department co-led by Wong has been awarded as the Matrimonial and Family Law Firm of the Year by ALB.

Wong has won great acclaim among partners, superiors, colleagues and clients. “We were immediately drawn to her professionalism and willingness to listen and were put at ease by her friendly and caring nature,” says a client. “Ms. Jasmine Wong was very willing, patient and helpful in answering all my questions pertaining to certain matters and also the legal jargon used in some of the documents too.”

The MWKA team proudly congratulates Denise and Jasmine on this wonderful recognition and is committed to supporting them in their professional career as lawyers