HK Niak is a Partner in Christopher & Lee Ong’s Disptue Resolution & Litigation Practice Group.
He focuses on a broad spectrum of practice in corporate and commercial litigation. He is experienced in handling complex matters involving oil & gas industry, construction disputes, receiverships and insolvencies, restructuring of debts and schemes of arrangements, banking industry, freight forwarding and shipping disputes, intellectual property disputes and IT related disputes.
He regularly acts and renders advice in matters relating to shareholders disputes as well as legal disputes relating to land law and company law. Niak has also acted in variety of claims including for negligence, defamation, breach of trust and fiduciary duties and breach of statutory duties.
Corporate & Commercial Disputes
- Acted as lead counsel for the Plaintiff, Drillstem Middle East – international cross-border dispute arising from the supply and rental of drill pipes by an Abu Dhabi company to a Malaysian entity for the purposes of oil and gas exploration in Turkmenistan involving approximately US$2 million – the claims were all allowed by the High Court and subsequently affirmed by the Court of Appeal.
- Acted as lead counsel for an appeal involving an international transportation company (Logwin) – dispute concerning freight forwarding services rendered for arrangement of shipments from the United States to Malaysia – successfully convinced the Court of Appeal to overturn the concurrent findings of the Sessions Court and the High Court.
- Acted as lead counsel for an international banking institution (Société Générale, Singapore Branch) in the Court of Appeal – successfully opposed to the Appellant’s application to adduce further evidence in the appeal proper – the appeal proper was eventually dismissed by the Court of Appeal wherein the Appellant failed in his attempt to set aside the judgment entered against him for about US$6 million.
- Acted as lead counsel for the Plaintiff – dispute relating to the supply of Marine Gas Oil involving detailed technical and evidential issues in the specifications of Marine Gas Oil – Consent Judgment entered for the full amount of the claim on the first day of the trial.
- Acted as lead counsel for the Plaintiff – dispute involving, amongst others, serious issue of forged signature in an agreement – the Plaintiff’s claims were allowed.
- Acted as lead counsel for the Respondent – insolvency & restructuring disputes relating to Restraining Order and scheme of arrangement under Section 176 of the then Companies Act 1965 (repealed by the Companies Act 2016) obtained by the Applicant – successfully set aside the Restraining Order.
- Acted as lead counsel for the Defendant – a claim arising from an alleged breach of a Sale of Purchase of a land for RM30 million – Consent Order drafted and entered into between the parties at the High Court on the first day of the trial wherein the Plaintiff, amongst others, withdrew all the claims with no liberty to file afresh.
- Acted as lead counsel for the Appellant – dispute arising from the alleged breach of confidential information – successfully convinced the High Court to overturn the decision of the Sessions Court.
- Acted as lead counsel for the Defendant – a claim by minority shareholders in Malaysia against a client from India for, amongst others, an injunction to restrain him from acting as a majority shareholder and cancellation of all his shares in the company – successfully set aside the ex-parte injunction and opposed the inter-parte injunction – eventually the claim was withdrawn by the Plaintiff with substantial payment of costs.
- Acted as lead counsel for the Defendants – shareholders’ dispute concerning oppression under Section 346 of the Companies Act 2016 – successfully persuaded the High Court to set aside the ex-parte injunction obtained by the Plaintiff, dismissed the Plaintiff’s inter-parte injunction application and strike out the Plaintiff’s claim based on point of law under Order 14A of the Rules of Court 2012 – the Plaintiff’s appeals to the Court of Appeal were all struck out.
- Successfully acted as lead Counsel for the Defendants in a shareholders’ dispute concerning oppression under Section 346 of the Companies Act 2016 – all the Plaintiff’s claims were dismissed with costs.
Engineering and Construction Disputes
- Acted as Plaintiff’s counsel for a subcontractor in a flood mitigation project (“the Project”) through a letter of award for a fixed lump sum of RM42,700,000 wherein the Plaintiff was to construct 47 units of sluice gate structure and 72 units of access ramp culvert for the Project – disputes arose when the Defendant issued the Plaintiff a Non-Conformance Report purportedly for inadequate compaction of the backfilled earth for 11 out of the 13 completed sluice gate structures by the Plaintiff with an ulterior motive to delay payment and replace the Plaintiff with another subcontractor – the Plaintiff’s claims for payments under the interim certificate and for other work done were allowed by the High Court.
- Acted as lead counsel for the Plaintiff – dispute concerning design consultancy services rendered as Lead Design Architect for a proposed hotel development in Wu Jiang, China – settlement agreement entered into between the parties wherein the Plaintiff paid a substantial amount of the Plaintiff’s claim.
- Advised various industry players (mainly subcontractors) on adjudication under the Construction Industry Payment and Adjudication Act 2012 (Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2006 under the Singapore regime).
- Acted as lead counsel for 3 appeals in the Court of Appeal where the client was the Defendant in 3 separate High Court suits commenced against him for Defamation – successfully convinced the Court of Appeal to hold that the defamation actions commenced against the client has no merits and overturned the judgments of the High Court which carried the total damages to the tune of RM550,000.
Intellectual Property Disputes
- Acted as lead counsel for one of the Defendants – alleged trade mark infringements under Section 38(1) of the Trade Marks Act 1976 – the Plaintiff’s claims were dismissed by the High Court after full trial – successfully convinced the Court of Appeal to dismiss the Plaintiff’s appeal.
- Advised on parallel importation from China and other foreign countries to Malaysia.
Admiralty & Shipping Disputes
- Arrested a vessel and obtained security for claim in favour of a client from the United Kingdom for approximately US$461 million.
- Successfully acted for a Korean shipping company against a claim for an alleged misdelivery of cargo from Malaysia to India.
- Advised companies on arbitration proceedings.
- Acted in various contested insolvency matters.
- Represented a foreign company to enforce a foreign judgment against a company incorporated in Malaysia.
- Acted for a Malaysian Government-owned company to obtain leave to commence action against a private liquidator.
- Inoapps Sdn Bhd v Silterra Malaysia Sdn Bhd  MLJU 1686
- Tong Chun Sing & Sons Sdn Bhd v Ng Geok Hwa  MLJU 745
- Doretti Resources Sdn Bhd v Fitters Marketing Sdn Bhd & Ors  MLJU 836
- Doretti Resources Sdn Bhd v Fitters Marketing Sdn Bhd & Ors  7 MLJ 112
- Lau Kean Leong v Lits Solutions Sdn Bhd & Ors  MLJU 1437
Memberships / Directorships
- Member of the Malaysian Bar
- Contributor, Law and Practice of Injunctions in Malaysia, Sweet & Maxwell (Nov 2020)
- Contributor, “Oppressed? No More!”, The Sun (6 April 2015)