Amer Hamzah Arshad

Head of Chambers (Criminal)

Amer Hamzah Arshad read law at University of Leeds, United Kingdom, where he was awarded an LL.B (Hons) in 1997. He obtained his Certificate of Legal Practice in 1998, and was admitted to the Malaysian Bar in 1999. His areas of practice cover both criminal and civil litigation.

His criminal law practice is primarily focused on defence work and appeals at the High Court of Malaya, the Court of Appeal, and Federal Court of Malaysia. Amer has been involved in several landmark criminal trials and appeals, which were widely covered by media and highlighted in law journals. He has vast experience in the following areas:

  • commercial crime cases (including criminal breach of trust, cheating, anti-money laundering, and market manipulation)
  • corruption cases
  • capital punishment cases (murder and kidnapping)
  • drug offences (drug trafficking and possession)
  • sexual offences
  • offences against the public order
  • offences relating to national security and terrorism
  • immigration cases (involving asylum seekers and refugees)

He regularly advises and defends individuals and corporations prosecuted for breaches of various penal and regulatory laws relating to, among others, companies, securities, co-operative societies, employment, environmental and occupational safety.

Amer is an advocate of human rights, and has participated as a defence counsel in cases involving human rights issues and violations. He has deep expertise in public interest litigation.

In respect to civil litigation, Amer’s areas of practice include public and administrative law, relating to matters such as whistleblower protection, contracts, defamation, tort, commercial law, employment, and industrial relations.

Amer has given talks as well as delivered papers at seminars and conferences on numerous legal and human rights issues, inter alia:

I. “In Defence of an Alleged Rapist” – paper delivered at the Consultation on Rape Investigation Procedures at Kuala Lumpur on 17 June 2003, organised by All Women’s Action Society (AWAM).
II. “To Leave or Not To Leave: The Refugee Dilemma” – paper delivered at the Bar Council’s seminar on the Aceh Conflict on 9 August 2003, jointly organised by the Bar Council and Solidarity for Aceh.
III. “Rights of Accused Persons: Are Safeguards Being Reduced?” – paper delivered at the 12th Biennial Malaysian Law Conference at Kuala Lumpur on 11 December 2003.
IV. “The Protection of Refugee Children in Malaysia: Wishful Thinking or Reality?” – paper delivered at the Conference on Refugees, Migrants and The Law, jointly organised by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Bar Council, at Kuala Lumpur on 9 July 2005.
V. “Inquest: Guidelines from the English Coroners Rules 1984” – paper delivered at the Workshop on “Inquests into Deaths in Police Custody”, organised by the Bar Council on 1 April 2006.
VI. “Citizens of Nowhere: the Stateless Community in Malaysia” – paper delivered at the 14th Biennial Malaysian Law Conference at Kuala Lumpur on 31 October 2007.
VII. “Statutory Rape Laws: Is There a Need for a Change?” – speaker at the Medico-Legal Society’s “Law, Ethics & Medicine: Friends or Foes?” Conference on 24 November 2013.
VIII. “SOSMA – Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing” – a panel speaker at the forum on Security Offences (Special Measures Act) 2012 (SOSMA) organised by the Bar Council on 3 November 2015.

Amer has previously served as an officer bearer at the Bar Council Legal Aid Centre (Kuala Lumpur), and as a member of the Bar Council Criminal Law Committee and Human Rights Committee. He is deeply committed to advocacy work aimed at abolishing the death penalty.

Amer believes that a true lawyer is one who is willing to represent his client’s perspective zealously within the bounds of law by subordinating all other interests, be it ideological, career, or personal.

Previous experience
Legal Assistant at Messrs Zain & Co (September 1999 – December 2006)
Partner at Messrs Zain & Co (January 2007 – March 2011)
Partner at Messrs Ranjit Singh & Yeoh (April 2011 – May 2013)
Partner at Messrs Nizam Bashir & Amer Hamzah (June 2013 – December 2013)
Partner at Messrs Nizam, Amer & Sharizad (January 2014 – February 2015)
Partner at Messrs Amer Hamzah & Sharizad (March 2015 – December 2015)