PREETHA PILLAI Preetha Pillai
Partner, Dispute Resolution Division
SKRINE


CONTACT DETAILS:
Tel: 603 - 2081 3999 ext 748
Fax: 603 - 2094 3211
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  Overview  

Preetha Pillai is a Partner and Head of SKRINE’s Tax and Customs Practice Group. Having joined Skrine in 1998 after completing a Masters’ degree in International Business Law at King’s College London as a Chevening – British High Commission scholar, she was made partner in 2007.

Preetha’s expertise is in commercial disputes. She is a constant presence at the High Court and Appellate Courts and her commercial practice also includes acting as counsel in local and international arbitration proceedings. She acts for clients in various industries and across multiple jurisdictions and in a broad range of commercial disputes involving joint-ventures, supply of services and good in the information technology sector, leasing and financing and land, to name a few.

Preetha has built considerable experience particularly in the area of asset recovery in fraud matters requiring involvement at the forensic investigation stage, providing strategic advice on evidence gathering, obtaining interlocutory orders for preservation of assets and evidence and on ultimately handling the litigation to recover the client’s assets.

As a natural extension to this commercial practice, she also handles insolvency related matters.

Preetha’s Tax and Customs practice includes having acted for a multitude of clients in relation to all types of fiscally-driven issues, from corporate income tax, goods and services tax, stamping duties, ratings to excise and customs duties. Her team comprises not just commercially minded lawyers but also a trained accountant enabling her team to provide corporate clients with a unique blend of legal and commercial solutions. The strength of the team is finding the most effective and efficient solution for the client.

Her other main area of interest and expertise is Administrative and Constitutional Law, where she has acted in land acquisition matters and in actions against the local government. This area of law is a natural fit for Preetha who has a strong interest in rights-based disputes.

Preetha also heads the firm’s Social Responsibility Unit. In this capacity, she co-ordinates and directs the pro-bono activities undertaken by Skrine’s lawyers. Skrine has formed collaborations with various organisations with particular focus on the rights of children to education, rights of stateless persons and refugees and reform of the criminal justice system for children.

  Further Details  

Areas of Practice

Commercial Litigation & Arbitration, Tax & Customs, Fraud Investigation & Asset Recovery, Public and Administrative Law, Insolvency & Restructuring

Qualifications

  • Advocate & Solicitor, High Court of Malaya
  • LLB (Hons) University of London
  • LLM, International Business Law, King’s College, University of London

Professional Affiliations

  • Officer, International Bar Association - Asia Pacific Regional Forum
  • Secretary, International Women’s Insolvency and Restructuring Confederation – Malaysian Chapter

  Experience  

Dispute Resolution

  • Acted as counsel for a government agency in an arbitration involving the supply of information technology system to it.
  • Acted as co-counsel in an arbitration involving a Kuwaiti-owned telecommunications company against its system provider.
  • Acted as counsel in an arbitration commenced by a venture capitalist company to recover its multi-million investment in a Swiss start- up company.
  • Acted as counsel in the High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court in a matter involving the recovery of a multi-million-ringgit share financing facility secured by back to back put option agreements. The issue in contention was whether a resolution of the put option agreement by the issuance of Irredeemable Convertible Preference Shares at a par value equal to the option price operated to fully extinguish the principal debt.
  • Acted for two German parties in recovering their investments from a local joint venture partner.
  • Represented a multinational logistics company in recovering monies owed to it which involved having to file a Mareva Injunction to prevent the dissipation of assets prior to judgment.
  • Represented leading stock broking firms in recovering share trading losses. The prosecution of some of these suits required extensive evidence gathering and analysis of the laws of agency, contract, companies and securities on issues relating to the use of nominees, market manipulation and fraud.
  • Represented a multinational logistics company in recovering monies owed to it which involved having to file a Mareva Injunction to prevent the dissipation of assets prior to judgment.
  • Acted for a public-listed company in relation to the termination of its subsidiary’s distributorship agreement by the principal and the setting up of a rival company by the principal with the subsidiary’s employees. This litigation required the obtaining of Anton Piller and injunctive orders to preserve evidence prevent the use of the subsidiary’s confidential information and damages for the interference of the subsidiary’s business, fraudulent contracts and breaches of director’s duties.
  • Acted for a Korean video gaming company in resisting a worldwide injunction sought against it for purported breach of intellectual property rights by its local joint venture partner.
  • Acted as counsel at the Court of Appeal in a suit involving the assertion of fraud to overcome the indefeasibility of title under the National Land Code.
  • Acted as co-counsel in a trespass suit involving the assertion of rights of a temporary occupation licensee under the National Land Code against that of a contract given by a concessionaire.
  • Acts for a number of banks in recovery of its loans from borrowers and guarantors. Has also seen through a number of foreclosure actions.

Fraud & Asset Recovery

  • Advised and risk managed a multi-million-ringgit fraud perpetrated by a supplier to an information technology firm. The exercise required an extensive examination of the internal controls of the company and its credit assessment mechanisms and advise on recovery of assets.
  • Advised an oil and gas company on questionable sub-contracting arrangements, its internal controls and legal strategy in relation to the contracts.
  • Represented a property developer in a suit against its financier for a premature termination of a multi-million ringgit facilities. Allegations raised by the financier was that there was fraud and corruption at the board level involving our clients and its board of directors.
  • Acted for a multinational Korean company involved in a dispute with its rogue local director. This dispute required the obtaining of urgent injunctive orders to prevent disruption and interference at the company’s project site, siphoning of monies and ultimately the hijacking of its local company. Extensive evidence gathering was required to establish fraud on the part of the local director.

Tax & Customs

  • Act for clients in income tax appeals.
  • Act for clients in Stamp Duty appeals.
  • Act for clients in relation to issues arising under the Good and Services Act 2015.
  • Advised clients in relation to tax disputes arising from tax investigations and raids conducted by the tax authorities.
  • Advised clients on the imposition of tax on income of foreign employees’/ expatriates.

Public and Administrative Law

  • Advising and acting for an oil and gas company on issues involving a substantial land acquisition exercise.
  • Acted as counsel for billboard operators challenging the decision of local councils in imposing private contracts in place of the licensing scheme under present bye laws.
  • Acts for the Malaysian Stock Exchange in a number of judicial review proceedings filed by public listed companies and their directors challenging the decision of the Stock Exchange in finding them guilty of breaches of the Listing Requirements.

 
ACCOLADES & AWARDS

Who’s Who Legal Awards 2018

alb-mla-2018-winner

We are pleased to announce that Skrine has once again been named Malaysia Law Firm of the Year. The award was conferred at the Who’s Who Legal Awards 2018 on 8th May 2018 in London, United Kingdom.

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Asian Legal Business Malaysia Law Awards 2018

alb-mla-2018-winner

Skrine has been ranked as Arbitration Law Firm of the Year and Maritime Law Firm of the Year.

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The Chambers Asia Pacific 2018 Rankings

Skrine has been ranked as Leading Firm for Dispute Resolution, Intellectual Property and Projects, Infrastructure & Energy.

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The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018 Rankings

Skrine is pleased to announce that the Firm has achieved seven Tier 1 practice area rankings in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018.

Our Tier 1 rankings are in the following areas: 
  • Banking and Finance
  • Corporate and M&A
  • Dispute Resolution
  • Intellectual Property
  • Technology, Media & Telecommunications
  • Real Estate and Construction
  • Labour and Employment

Skrine was also listed as one of the leading firms in the areas of Projects & Energy, and Shipping. 

Four Skrine partners were ranked as leading lawyers in their respective areas. 

>> READ MORE

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