Joseph regularly acts and advises at all levels of the Malaysian Courts in land-related disputes including disputes on compulsory acquisition of land, disputes relating to local authorities, judicial review and disputes relating to land ownership, trespass, nuisance and tenancy. Joseph has experience appearing as lead counsel in land reference proceedings and representing landowners in land inquiries for compulsory acquisition.
In addition to land-related disputes, Joseph focuses on disputes involving companies, corporations and businesses, such as in shareholders and directors disputes, corporate fraud, asset preservation, debt recovery and corporate insolvency.
Joseph also practices employment law and has experience representing trade unions and employees in the Industrial Court.
Other areas of disputes Joseph has handled include admiralty (shipping), tax, reputational management and defamation, enforcement of foreign judgments and administration of estates. Joseph is a graduate with Honours from the University of Malaya (UM) and an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya. Prior to joining MahWengKwai & Associates, he completed his pupillage and practised as a lawyer in a firm with an international network. Joseph was recognised by the University of Malaya Law Review as the person of the month in September 2018.
Career to date
2022 Associate, MahWengKwai & Associates
2021 Associate, Rosli Dahlan Saravana Partnership (Penang)
2020 Associate, Christopher & Lee Ong
2019 Pupil-in-Chambers, Christopher & Lee Ong
2019 Bachelor of Laws (Hons), University of Malaya
Particular litigation experience
Land / Property Disputes
- Acted as lead counsel in Land Reference Proceedings relating to compulsory acquisition of land for the construction of a Petronas underground gas pipeline project
- Judicial Review and Land Reference proceedings relating to land that was compulsorily acquired by the government for projects such asbuilding of the SUKE Highwaya highway and the West Coast Expressway.
- Actions against State and Municipal Authorities for disputes relating to town planning, zoning, development approvals and the duties and powers of municipal authorities.wrongful acquisition of land.
- Private actions for trespass and nuisance involving landslides.
- Claims by and against Joint Management Bodies (JMB) and Management Corporations (MC) in disputes relating to residential and commercial properties.
- Acted for individual clients in resolving complicated inheritance issues where multiple probate and administration orders were required to eventually dispose of the land.
- Disputes relating to failed / abandoned development projects.
- Obtaining vesting orders of land from the Court.
- Disputes relating to sale and purchase agreements of properties.
- Disputes relating to ownership of land or immovable property.
- Disputes relating to trespass to land.
- Tenancy disputes.
Company / Corporate / Business Disputes
- Appeared for former directors of a company in resisting an injunction to freeze their assets for allegedly syphoning and misappropriating company funds and setting up a competing business.
- Appeared for a creditor of approximately RM11 million in large-scale judicial management proceedings involving parties represented by approximately 10 law firms.
- Assisted in a highly publicised claim by a publicly listed company against its former chairman, ex-managing director and former directors for breach of fiduciary duty and misappropriation of funds and investments.
- Assisted in a business dispute between equal shareholders and directors in a dispute between them where there was a deadlock in the management of the company.
- Assisted for a foreign partner of a joint venture in the mediation and court litigation involving breaches of the joint venture agreement and unauthorised use of the foreign partner’s technology and manufacturing processes.
- Acted for a company in Hong Kong in a matter involving online fraud and the Anti Money Laundering Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001 (AMLA).
- Acted for an international homestay company in obtaining stays of proceedings pending arbitration in actions brought against them by their franchisees.
- Advised a fashion franchise retail brand in a dispute relating to non-compliance of a franchise and supply agreement.
- Acted for local and international technology companies in disputes relating to joint venture and service provision agreements.
- Regularly acts for business in recovery of business debts.
- Regularly acts in matters involving the winding-up of companies.
Reputation Management / Social Media
- Defending a defamation action brought by members of a public school’s Parent and Teacher Association (PIBG) against its former chairman for holding a press conference on an issue of the misuse of the funds of the PIBG. The matter went all the way to the Federal Court, where we successfully opposed leave to appeal to the Federal Court.
- Acted for an international public relations and online and social media marketing company in a dispute involving the alleged unsatisfactory performance of a social media marketing campaign.
Shipping and International Trade
- Acted for one of Singapore’s largest oil tanker operators in defending Malaysian proceedings brought against it in the arrest of one of its vessels.
- Acted for a giant Malaysian Group Corporation owning numerous tankers in a dispute involving the wrongful arrest and sale of a vessel, which went all the way to the Federal Court.
- Advised shipping lines in disputes with Malaysian Port Authorities.
- Advised vessel owners in disputes with shipyards.
- Advised in disputes relating to breach of charterparties.
- Advised in disputes relating to cargo claims.
- Advised marine insurers on potential claims by insured parties.
Other Practice Areas
- Tax – Acted for a taxpayer in civil proceedings brought against it by the Government of Malaysia via the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) for additional assessment of Income Tax due to alleged underreported income. The civil proceedings went on concurrently with the taxpayer’s appeal to the Special Commissioners of Income Tax.
- Negligence – Acted in a claim by a homeowner of a gated community against the security company for negligence in allowing a break-in by burglars.
- Employment – Acted for an international school in several actions brought against them by their former employees in both the Industrial Court and Civil Courts for alleged wrongful dismissal and alleged emotional distress, pain and suffering.
- Wills, probate and administration – acted for individual clients in obtaining grants of probate and letters of administration and facilitating the disposal and transfer of assets and properties.
- Advisory on the legality of digital currencies and its trading platforms.
- Corporate Due-Diligence for Mergers and Acquisitions as well as Takeovers.
- Advisory on the compliance requirements for radio and wifi transmission of security equipment.
- Advisory on the administration of trusts assets and the assets of unincorporated associations (charities and religious bodies).
- Internal Inquiries and Investigations relating to employee complaints.
- Advisory on employment of foreign nationals and immigration matters.
- Drafting guides on foreign equity restrictions and labuan companies.
- Drafting of Sale and Purchase and Tenancy Agreements.
- Dispute Resolution
Banking & Finance
Joint Management Bodies & Management Corporations
Strata Titles & Common Property
Banking & Finance
Charities & Not-for-profits
Entrepreneurs & Start-ups
- Individuals & Families
Syariah Advisory Wills