AmerBon Advocates is renowned for its civil and human rights, and criminal litigation practices. Particularly, its specialist business and human rights (BHR) team has been advocating with the Malaysian government to formulate national action plans on BHR. The firm is also experienced in handling advocacy on a wide range of other legal issues, from international law, and constitutional and administrative law, to commercial and corporate disputes, and construction and land claims. Last year, the team was engaged in various contentious matters involving corporate fraud, white-collar crimes and anti-money laundering prosecutions. Its criminal law set has been busy defending clients in high-profile, high-stakes criminal prosecutions. For example, the team counselled Sabah’s former Chief Minister and won him an acquittal last June of nearly 50 corruption and money-laundering charges. The firm spends nearly 40% of its time and income on pro bono work in public interest cases.
Co-founders and partners Amer Hamzah and Edmund Bon are leading and respected figures in the market, particularly for criminal law and human rights law, respectively.
The firm continued to build its portfolio of environmental-related litigations, with P Tech Resources engaging their assistance in several highly-publicised prosecutions relating to the pollution of the Kim Kim river. In one case, the firm represented a director of P Tech. This matter examines the legal question on what is the extent of directors’ duties of due diligence. It will also set precedent on how river pollution is tested and whether such evidence will be judicially accepted by the courts. In two other separate but related cases, the firm defended the entire company and its directors in these landmark matters. These cases are the first time that civil claims are brought so extensively for environmental pollution and will impact the way Malaysian law interprets tortious activities. It will also set the groundwork for the admission of business and human rights concepts into Malaysia’s jurisprudence on the ‘polluter pay’ principle.
In a notable triumph, the firm managed to use the litigation process to obtain citizenship status for one of its clients after the court granted him leave to pursue a judicial review against the government. The AmerBon lawyers are also currently advocating for the speaker and the deputy speaker of the House of Representatives in a case brought by the former Prime Minister of Malaysia in respect of their appointments.
Another interesting commercial litigation had the team represent Willowcrest Management in a suit against the Government of Malaysia over an oral agreement for the lease of a prime plot of land in Kuala Lumpur. It is noteworthy because an oral agreement to lease land is being enforced against the government.
Recent publishable clients of the firm include Digi Telecommunications, FGV Palm Industries, SWM Environment and the United Nations Development Programme.
“It came up with a very comprehensive analysis and sound policy recommendations, based on its engagement with key stakeholders and parliamentarians, their pro-bono legal assistance experience in advocating for the marginalised groups and religious minorities in Malaysia, as well as their proven reputation as lawyers committed in the realisation of justice, rule of law and human rights.” – Government and regulatory
“Edmund is not only a great legal practitioner, but he is a genuine activist and a change maker. He generates champions of human rights across Southeast Asia. When he was with our organisation, he pushed so hard to enable changes in its institutional sets. I appreciate that he has devoted his legal practices to assist the marginalised groups and minorities.”
“He is a very good criminal lawyer. He has good knowledge, is apt to learn and has good litigation skills.”
Commercial and Transactions
Highly Recommended for:
Amer Hamzah Arshad and Edmund Bon coordinate the dispute resolution team at AmerBON. Recent work for the firm has included corporate fraud, white-collar crime and prosecutions for money laundering. Associate New Sin Yew is described as ‘outstanding’ and complements the offering with experience in capital markets, constitutional and commercial law. A recent highlight concerns its representation of Tan Sri Musa Aman in a case concerning AMLA legislation. Notably, the firm maintains a dedicated ‘business and human rights’ unit which promotes UN Guiding Principles.
Amer Hamzah Arshad; Edmund Bon
‘Be it a pro-bono or paid case; poor or rich clients, the lawyers in AmerBon put in the time, commitment and effort to assist their clients. These are some qualities that differentiate them from other firms and lawyers. They also have been advisers to human rights cases and have significantly helped civil society in public litigation campaigns. Their experience and personality situate them as among the top human rights lawyers’.
‘Very responsive and always provide relevant advice beyond routine parameters’.
‘The team led by Mr Edmund Bon Tai Soon has demonstrated professional practice beyond normal expectations. They have rich experience in handling politically sensitive issues in a legal context, especially those related to social compliance, human rights and forced labour’.
Edmund Bon Tai Soon has a diverse practice acting on commercial litigation, fraud and human rights matters. He is “an efficient and all-around knowledgeable person whose strengths are his willingness to take up new challenges and think outside of the box,” according to one client. Another interviewee appreciates that he “is well known with the judges in the courts and is able to present our arguments effectively.”
Made up of experienced litigators, AmerBON’s business and human rights group handles a range of corporate, commercial, family, construction, and real estate disputes, as well as criminal law issues. The group also handles public interest cases on a pro bono basis. Amer Hamzah Arshad and Edmund Bon jointly head the team and focus on criminal and civil proceedings respectively.
Amer Hamzah Arshad; Edmund Bon
‘When handling our request demonstrated they are not only professional but also willing to go beyond and always try to find the best solutions.‘
‘Amerbon is professional in is dealings, patient in clarifying legal issues, and will verify and sieve through issues which are not so relevant to pursue the most practical approach.’
‘Edmund Bon’s leadership is outstanding, he always responds in a timely manner with sensible judgement when giving advice to us. Very practical but at the same time politically sensitive.‘
AmerBon Advocates is renowned for its civil and human rights, and criminal litigation practices. Particularly, its specialist business and human rights (BHR) team has been advocating with the Malaysian government to formulate a national action plan on business and human rights (NAP). The firm is also experienced in handling advocacy on a wide range of other legal issues, from international law, and constitutional and administrative law, to commercial and corporate disputes, and construction and land claims. The firm currently operates as a chambers where clients and solicitors can directly engage the team for expert advocacy in the courts. The firm spends nearly 40% of its time and income to pro bono work in public interest cases.
Co-founders and partners Amer Hamzah Bin Arshad and Edmund Bon are leading and respected figures in the market, particularly for criminal law and human rights law, respectively.
In an ongoing case before the court of appeal, Bon represented Suruhanjaya Perkhidmatan Air Negara (SPAN), the National Water Services Commission Malaysia, in its battle against Hatimuda over the refusal of a renewal application for a water supply and sewerage permit. Bon also recently advised and successfully represented Pahang Cement against a prosecution by the department of occupational safety and health relating to the death of a contract worker at its plant. This case will serve as precedent in providing clarity and as guidance to the responsibilities of the employers and the corresponding duties on the employees to ensure their own safety and wellbeing at the workplace.
“Had a professional approach in reviewing the case, good presentation in the court and good feedback to us.” – Commercial and transactions
“AmerBon is passionate about human rights and freedoms. They are knowledgeable about the laws in this area and they are well-connected to the rest of the industry and NGO groups.” – Government and regulatory
Edmund Bon: “Impressive depth of knowledge and strong court presentation skills.”
New Sin Yew: “Good experience and knowledge of my case and the laws involved.”
Commercial and Transactions
Highly Recommended for:
AmerBON is an advocacy boutique that specialises in criminal and civil cases. Edmund Bon acted for Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim in a tort of misfeasance dispute, and represented the National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE) in employment- and governance-related cases. Amer Hamzah bin Arshad is the firm’s criminal law expert.
AmerBON Advocates’ dispute resolution practice has been active in the last year. The firm represents clients in all areas of litigation, but best known for its works in commercial and transactions, construction, labour and employment, tax and white-collar crime. The firm is operating as chambers where clients and other solicitor firms would engage them for their expert advocacy in the courts. Both Edmund Bon and Amer Hamzah are key figures within the firm for commercial disputes and white-collar crime.
During the research period, the firm represented Khalid Ibrahim, the former Menteri Besar (Chief Minister) of the State of Selangor, on a striking out application. In another employment dispute case, the firm represented National Union of Bank Employees, a notable trade union on a judicial review case. The firm also advised Georg Fischer on a judicial review against the Industrial Court’s decision and sought an order for a higher court to review the decision.
Notable clients of the firm include Georg Fischer and National Union of Bank Employees (NUBE).