Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham is the Senior Partner at Cecil Abraham & Partners. His career at the Malaysian Bar spans over 50 years.

Within that time, he has appeared in all the divisions of the High Court of Malaya. He has appeared regularly before the Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Special Court, and the Privy Council. He has over 300 reported decisions of note to his name. He is first and foremost an advocate and is regarded by his peers and clients alike as one of Malaysia’s leading advocates known to be devastatingly effective in Court. He has a formidable reputation for dealing with complex disputes where the stakes are high and is known to work hard to achieve a satisfactory result for his clients.

Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham’s practice covers a wide breadth of areas that include Corporate and Commercial, Environmental, Banking and Securities, Insurance, Maritime, and Competition Law as well as Arbitration. He has in recent times argued the leading cases in Malaysia pertaining to the approach courts are to adopt in land acquisition proceedings so as to ensure transparency of the process in Tegas Sejati Sdn Bhd v Pentadbir Tanah dan Daerah Hulu Langat & Anor and another appeal [2024] 4 CLJ 1; the grant of planning permission in Datuk Bandar Kuala Lumpur v Perbadanan Pengurusan Trellises & Ors and other appeals [2023] 3 MLJ 829; the applicable principles in so far as, the law of qualified privilege and distinction between the defences of responsible journalism and reportage are concerned in Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd & Ors v Raub Australian Gold Mining Sdn Bhd [2021] 5 MLJ 79; the applicable principles relating to the termination of contracts in Catajaya Sdn Bhd v Shoppoint Sdn Bhd [2021] 2 MLJ 374; the applicable test to applications for review under Rule 137 of the Rules of the Federal Court 1995 as well as the application of the de-facto doctrine in Yong Tshu Khin & Anor v Dahan Cipta Sdn Bhd & Anor and Other Appeals [2021] 1 MLJ 47; the adjudication of construction claims in Ireka Engineering & Construction Sdn Bhd v PWC Corporation Sdn Bhd [2020] 1 CLJ 193; constitutional law issues relating to the proper practice and procedures to be adopted by State Legislative Assemblies in The Speaker of Dewan Undangan Negeri Sarawak, Datuk Amar Mohamad Asfia Awang Nassar v Ting Tiong Choon & Ors and other appeals [2020] 2 AMR 313; the validity of introducer agreements within the meaning of Section 24 of the Contracts Act 1950 in Wong Yee Boon v Gainvest Builders Sdn Bhd [2020] 2 CLJ 727; the enforcement and setting-aside of arbitration awards in Far East Holdings Bhd & Anor v Majlis Ugama Islam dan Adat Resam Melayu Pahang and another appeal [2018] 1 MLJ 1; unjust enrichment in Dream Property Sdn Bhd v Atlas Housing Sdn Bhd [2015] 2 MLJ 441; the doctrine of separate legal entities in Gurbachan Singh v Vellasamy s/o Ponnusamy[2015] 1 MLJ 773, the doctrine of equitable fraud in Zung Zang Wood Products Sdn Bhd v Kwan Chee Hang Sdn Bhd & Ors [2014] 2 MLJ 799, the powers of liquidators in Ooi Woon Chee & Anor v Dato’ See Teow Chuan & Ors [2012] 2 MLJ 713; the exercise of royal prerogative powers in Dato’ Seri Ir Hj Mohammad Nizar bin Jamaluddin v Dato’ Seri Dr Zambry bin Abdul Kadir (Attorney General, intervener) [2010] 2 MLJ 285 and His Royal Highness Sultan Ismail Petra Ibni Almarhum Sultan Yahya Petra v His Royal Highness Tengku Mahkota Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra & Anor and another suit [2011] 1 MLJ 1, non-delegable duty and vicarious liability in Dr Hari Krishnan & Anor v Megat Noor Ishak bin Megat Ibrahim & Anor and another appeal [2018] 3 MLJ 281, to name but a few.

He holds the distinction of having acted for the former Prime Minister of Singapore, the late Mr. Lee Kuan Yew, and several Prime Ministers of Malaysia.

He is also regularly appointed as an arbitrator in domestic and international commercial arbitrations and is the only Malaysian to be continually appointed as an arbitrator in investment treaty disputes.

Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham is recognised as a leading individual by Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Asia Law Profiles and is consistently ranked in Tier 1 by Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific as well as Who’s Who Legal in dispute resolution for both litigation and arbitration. He was named Dispute Resolution Practitioner of the Year by Benchmark Litigation in 2019 and 2021, and by Asian Legal Business in 2016 and 2020.

  • Banking and Securities Litigation
  • Commercial and Investment Treaty Arbitration
  • Competition Law
  • Corporate and Commercial Litigation
  • Environmental Law
  • Insurance Law
  • Land & Property Law
  • Media Law Disputes
  • Public & Administrative Law
  • Public International Law

Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham has more than three hundred (300) reported decisions. Please click on the following link for some of his cases:
 https://cecilabraham.com/tan-sri-dato-cecil-abraham-reported-decision/

  • LLB. Hons. Queen Mary College, University of London
  • Fellow (Faculty of Law) Queen Mary College, University of London
  • Barrister at Law of the Honourable Society of Middle Temple
  • Bencher of the Honourable Society of Middle Temple
  • Advocate & Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya
  • Advocate & Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Singapore
  • Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom
  • Fellow of the Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators
  • Fellow of the Singapore Institute of Arbitrators
  • Fellow of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration
  • Fellow of the Asian Institute of Alternative Dispute Resolution

Panel of Arbitrators:

  • Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC)
  • ADGM Arbitration Centre, Abu Dhabi
  • Borneo International Centre for Arbitration and Mediation
  • Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS)
  • Dubai International Arbitration Centre
  • FICCI Arbitration and Conciliation Tribunal India (FACT)
  • Hong Kong Arbitration Centre (HKIAC)
  • International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID)
  • Indonesian National Board of Arbitration (BANI)
  • Indian Council of Arbitration (ICA)
  • International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), Malaysia
  • London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
  • Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC)
  • Shanghai Arbitration Commission (SHAC)
  • Sports Resolution UK
  • Russian Arbitration Centre
  • Vienna International Arbitral Centre

Current:

  • Member of the Advisory Council of the International Council for Commercial Arbitration (ICCA)
  • Chairman of the Arbitration Committee, ICC Malaysia
  • Board Member of the AIAC Academy

Past:

  • Past Vice President of Asia Pacific Regional Arbitration Group (APRAG), (2006-2009)
  • Past Deputy President of the Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators (MIArb)
  • Past Member of the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA)
  • Past Chairman of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Malaysia Branch (CIArb)
  • Past President of the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA)
  • Past Member of the Review Committee of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Agency (MACC)
  • Past Vice Chair of Committee D, the Arbitration and ADR Section of the International Bar Association (IBA)
  • Past Member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) Court representing Malaysia
  • Past Member of the ICC Commission on Arbitration
  • Past Member of the ICC Task Force on Financial Institutions
  • Past Member of the Advisory Panel of the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC)
  • Past Chair of the Practice Section of the Malaysian Bar Council on Civil Procedure tasked with amending the Malaysian Rules of the High Court
  • Past Chairman of the Kuala Lumpur Bar Committee
  • Past Member of the Malaysian Bar Council
  • Awarded the title “Dato” by His Royal Highness, The Sultan of Kelantan in 2003
  • Awarded the title “Tan Sri” by His Majesty, the King of Malaysia on 5th June 2010

The Legal 500 Asia Pacific

“Cecil Abraham And Partners remains at the forefront of the dispute resolution practice with a fine record in handling an extensive range of services, including fraud litigation, constitutional law matters, contractual claims, and administrative law disputes. The team’s client base consists of well-known international corporations, government-linked companies, and media conglomerates. Cecil Abraham draws strengths from his demonstrated experience in tackling complex disputes, while Sunil Abraham is equipped with corporate and commercial disputes know-how. Aniz Ahmad Amirudin has particular expertise in the infrastructure and construction fields, and Rishwant Singh appears regularly before Malaysian courts in shareholder disputes. Noor Muzalifah Binti Shabudin is a notable practitioner in the department. All named partners co-lead the group.”

“Cecil Abraham is without doubt the leading commercial litigator in Malaysia with an international reputation. He works very hard and is a superb and measured advocate, who ensures that he knows his case backwards.”

“Cecil Abraham assisted us (and continues to assist us) with various complex high value Malaysian law disputes with our customers. CA’s deep bench strength, consistently good technical skill and market knowledge are the key assets which drove us to engage them.”

“The team has a great reputation, the highest standards of work ethics and professionalism and thus provides the client with great confidence about their particular case. Definitely the go-to firm for civil and commercial disputes. Outstanding, especially when the stakes are high.”

“Cecil Abraham, with his more than 50 years of experience and expertise in the legal profession, is devastatingly effective in dealing with commercial disputes before the courts. He is very much the doyen of the legal profession in Malaysia and the standout litigator in Malaysia by far.”

“The team of advocates there are really committed. They engage full-time with the clients and instruct advocates to ensure that the case is presented well. In particular, I would like to state that Dato Sunil Abraham, Tan Sri Cecil Abraham with his vast experience and Mr Syukran Syafiq, make a strong formidable team that I would regard as one of the best in Malaysia.”

“The Chambers of Cecil Abraham & Partners have broad experience in all sorts of civil litigation matters, from construction disputes to complex constitutional law matters and they have experience in international arbitration matters. Cecil Abraham is the pre-eminent litigator in Malaysia. The firm of Cecil Abraham and Partners is very much our preferred choice for complex high-profile disputes involving matters in Sarawak.”

“Specialist firm Cecil Abraham And Partners is headed by Cecil Abraham, one of the ‘most respected’ practitioners in the area. The team acts in traditional litigation as well as arbitration matters, dealing with related complex, high-end disputes spanning, among others, antitrust, securities, banking, construction and infrastructure, and commercial law. It is acting for MUIP in a dispute seeking to ascertain whether a court of law is competent to interfere with an award by an arbitration tribunal. Sunil Abraham is also recommended.”

“… acted for KAF Investment Bank in the Pesaka Astana bonds case, a case concerning the issue of liability in relation to information provided on investment products which has been closely watched by the capital markets industry. Cecil has also acted as defence counsel to Lynas Corporation in judicial review applications and defamation actions regarding its rare earth plant operation; Other clients include Maxis and The New Straits Times.

“Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham, is devastatingly effective in dealing with commercial disputes before the courts. He is very much the doyen of the legal profession in Malaysia. The standout litigator in Malaysia by far.”

“… We have found both Tan Sri Cecil and Dato Sunil to be excellent dispute resolution lawyers. In particular, we value their legal expertise in areas including administrative law, commercial law, and dispute resolution. They also have excellent advocacy skills, and their advice is always practical and timely. Lynas regards Tan Sri Dato Cecil Abraham and Dato Sunil Abraham as our preferred dispute resolution specialists in the Asia Pacific region.

‘Without a doubt the market leader for commercial litigation in Malaysia is Cecil Abraham & Partners, led by the top advocate Cecil Abraham. I have worked a lot with him, Sunil Abraham and Aniz Amirudin, and they are all first rate and can cover cases for each other. Thus the firm has depth in high quality advocates.’

‘Cecil Abraham is a strong advocate, with great experience and an effective court presence. In any hearing he dominates the room and is carefully listened to by the judges. Sunil Abraham having risen up through the ranks, is now an impressive figure in his own right.’

‘We use Cecil Abraham when we need an experienced heavy hitting disputes practice in Malaysia. They provide us detailed, practical and sensible advice and are not afraid to give us a realistic assessment of our chances.’

Chambers Asia Pacific

“He is the Rolls-Royce of all counsel. The courts listen to his arguments. He is persuasive, well prepared and has the ability to read the court and his opposing counsel like no other.”

“Cecil Abraham is one of Malaysia’s most highly experienced litigators, with a broad practice spanning from defamation and fraud to construction disputes. He has extensive experience representing clients before the appellate courts.”

“Cecil Abraham is considered by market commentators to be a “very eminent personality” within Malaysia’s dispute resolution scene. He represents both domestic and international clients across a broad range of cases, including land, medical negligence, and energy-related disputes.”

Cecil Abraham is a renowned figure in Malaysia’s dispute resolution circuit, acting on cases relating to corporate, banking, insurance, and environmental issues. Clients laud his “wealth of experience,” noting that he is especially adept in handling “very important matters.” He acted for Suria KLCC in a tenancy case brought against the clothing retailer British India, relating to the expiration of the latter’s store lease.

“Cecil Abraham is a renowned figure in the market, highly experienced in both litigation and arbitration and praised by clients as “clinically incisive” in his approach. He played a leading role in the representation of the MEASAT network in a dispute against AV Asia over the former’s alleged breach of a mutual non-disclosure agreement.”

“Sources praise Cecil Abraham for his long-established profile as one of the top arbitration lawyers in Malaysia. He has significant experience of acting as arbitrator on major cases across the region, notably in Singapore and India, and on high-value ICSID matters. Clients appreciate him for ‘understanding the crucial issues’ in arbitration cases.”

“Cecil Abraham…is one of Malaysia’s most respected dispute resolution lawyers. He is also acclaimed as a ‘very accomplished arbitrator’ and sits on the panels of numerous regional and international tribunals. He presides particularly frequently over cases considered in India and Singapore or arbitrated by ICSID. Since publication, Cecil Abraham has joined Cecil Abraham & Partners.”

“Cecil Abraham…remains a prominent disputes practitioner who is recognised for his expert handling of big-ticket cases. He is frequently called upon as counsel and arbitrator in arbitrations across the region including ICSID cases.”

“Cecil Abraham has a ‘legendary reputation in Malaysia’ and handles a significant number of appellate and arbitration cases. He is also regularly involved in international disputes and investment arbitrations as an arbitrator. Clients particularly appreciate his ‘excellent legal knowledge and strategic guidance.’ ”

“Cecil Abraham is highly experienced and widely revered, with a broad practice spanning from defamation and fraud to construction disputes. He frequently represents clients before the appellate courts, with one source saying that he “has extensive experience in litigation and arbitration”.”

“Cecil Abraham is devastatingly effective in dealing with commercial disputes before the courts. He is very much the doyen of the legal profession in Malaysia. The standout litigator in Malaysia by far.”

“Cecil is a prominent and experienced lawyer who possesses vast knowledge on administrative law.”

Global Arbitration Review 100

‘Cecil Abraham is “pre-eminent”, and his services are “outstanding”.’

Asia Law Profiles

“Cecil Abraham & Partners is a leading boutique dispute resolution firm known for handling commercial disputes, especially cases heard before the Federal Court of Malaysia. Led by star litigator Cecil Abraham, the team has a strong track record acting on unprecedented and landmark litigation and arbitration matters, with a focus on corporate and commercial, administrative and white-collar crime. The firm often acts for Fortune 500 companies, media conglomerates, government-linked companies, high net-worth individuals, and not-for-profit entities and charities.”

“Very experienced and one of the best firms in the field.” – Dispute resolution

“The lawyers are all highly skilled and work as a team. The team members are able to cover for each other, and for important hearings, Cecil Abraham argues them brilliantly.” – Dispute resolution

Who’s Who Legal

“Mr Abraham is one of Asia’s finest. He is extremely well prepared for his hearings, be it as counsel or arbitrator. For me, he is by far the top arbitrator in Malaysia.”

“As one of the world’s most in demand litigators, Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham ranks among the very elite of practitioners in Asia.”

“Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham is one of the best-known dispute resolution specialists in the region, where he excels in high value disputes across a diverse range of sectors.”

“Cecil Abraham is devastatingly effective in dealing with commercial disputes before the courts, notably relating to environment, banking and securities litigation.”

“Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham is a well-respected and polished senior practitioner who maintains a strong reputation thanks to his handling of high-profile commercial arbitrations, particularly those with an international component.”

“Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham is distinguished practitioner known for his experienced handling of disputes across banking, corporate and commercial matters.”

“Cecil is among Malaysia’s outstanding arbitration practitioners. He is among one of the market’s best-known arbitrators. Cecil is viewed as Malaysia’s leading international arbitrator.”

Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham is truly an outstanding lawyer who comes highly esteemed for his longstanding disputes practice spanning more than 50 years in the field.”

“Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham is deemed a top litigator thanks to his ability to ‘dig deep in the problems that arise in all matters’.”

“Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham is ‘a well-respected and polished senior practitioner’ who maintains a strong reputation thanks to his handling of high-profile commercial arbitrations, particularly those with an international component.”

“Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham is a distinguished practitioner known for his experienced handling of disputes across banking, corporate and commercial matters.”

Benchmark Litigation

“Cecil Abraham’s positive attributes are in the manner he conducts and presents complicated legal issues. He is considered the best civil lawyer, including in arbitration, in this region.”