London barristers’ chambers 39 Essex Street has announced it will open an office in Malaysia later this year.
Rashda Rana will relocate from the chambers’ Singapore office in October to open the new office in the Kuala Lumpur Regional Centre for Arbitration. Rana joined 39 Essex Street last September from Sydney’s Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers. Rana says 39 Essex Street is planning to have one additional barrister in Kuala Lumpur.
In a statement, 39 Essex Street chief executive said the chambers had an established relationship with the KLRCA, making the opening of an office in the Malaysian capital a “natural move.”
With its focus on arbitration, the 39 Essex Street is subject to different rules than general-practice law firms would be. The upcoming Legal Profession Act is poised to lift a ban on foreign firms in the country within a few months, allowing those who hold a Qualified Foreign Law Firm license to open offices to practice international law. But 39 Essex Street will not need such a license. The Malaysian government enacted a separate set of rules last September for lawyers involved in arbitration proceedings in Malaysia, who are permitted to enter the country for an unlimited period and without immigration approval. Other foreign lawyers, in comparison, will be subject to the Legal Profession Act’s 60-day time limit and special visa requirement for “fly-in, fly-out” practice.
Thirty-nine Essex Street has a total of 122 barristers in London, Manchester and Singapore offices.