IEL Elite


Highly regarded standalone team



The employment practice at Skrine is a one-stop-shop for all workforce matters in Malaysia. The department is a go-to counsel for foreign and international firms that do not have a presence in the country, and members of the team increasingly play a prominent role as co-ordinating counsel in mandates spanning various South-East Asian jurisdictions for non-Asian clients.

Selvamalar Alagaratnam leads the team from Kuala Lumpur. Further names of note include Sara Lau and Foo Siew Li.


The team regularly supports clients across a wide range of contentious issues before local courts, and has a strong track record in helping businesses avoid potentially significant reputational damage. Activity also extends to sensitive workplace investigations.

Recent examples of the firms contentious labour work include Alagaratnams defence of a client in an unfair dismissal case involving allegations of sexual harassment against a high-level employee.

The team’s skills in contentious matters were also demonstrated by its advice – led by partner Siva Kumar Kanagasabai – to Hess Exploration and Production Malaysia (“Hess”) on a lawsuit. A non-Malaysian contractor, who had been arrested during an immigration raid while subcontracted on site for Hess without the correct papers, claimed that Hess was in breach of its employment contract because it did not ensure that the contractor had the correct documentation for working in Malaysia.

The non-contentious side of the practice includes workforce reductions, and the employment aspects of M&A transactions. For example, Lau assisted Suntory Beverage and Food Malaysia with the transfer of employees resulting from its streamlining of two brands into one in November 2021.

The team also has knowledge of employment law matters relating to public companies, including public sector trade unions.

In addition, the department offers training on emerging challenges facing businesses in Malaysia and the broader South-East Asia region, such as those relating to transparency in supply chains and forced labour concerns.


  • Aker Solutions Malaysia
  • NGC Energy
  • British American Tobacco GSD (Kuala Lumpur)
  • Industrial Automation
  • Cycle & Carriage
  • Jabil Circuit
  • Great Eastern Life Assurance
  • TH Properties 
  • Kumpulan Perangsan Selangor
  • Nexperia
Featured IEL Elite firms in Malaysia