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Chooi & Company - partner, Shamala Devi Balasundaram

Dispute Resolution

DL  +603 2055 3907



Shamala handles corporate and commercial litigation and arbitration matters, including those involving shareholder disputes, complex commercial issues and technical documentation, insolvency, land related disputes, partnership, and fraud. She also frequently advises on issues concerning company law, commercial undertakings, and regulatory requirements in certain fields. Shamala appears frequently before the Malaysian High Court and the Appellate Courts, and is an experienced trial lawyer.


Shamala was named as a Recommended Lawyer in the field of Dispute Resolution in Asia Pacific Legal 500’s 2016 and 2013 editions. She was named as a Local Disputes Star in Benchmark Asia Pacific’s 2013 edition, a Benchmark Disputes Star in Benchmark Asia Pacific’s 2014 edition and as a Dispute Resolution Star in Benchmark Litigation Asia-Pacific’s 2019, 2020 and 2021 editions. In 2020, 2021 and 2022, she was named as a Notable Practitioner in Asialaw Profiles. In 2022, she was ranked in Benchmark Asia Pacific as one of the Top 100 Women in Litigation. 

Shamala serves as a committee member of the Malaysian Bar’s Constitutional Law Committee (since 2009), Corporate and Commercial Law Committee (since 2017) and Arbitration Committee (since 2021). She is also an advocacy trainer for the Malaysia’s Bar’s Advocacy Training Committee.

Some of her notable litigation cases include the following:

  • Representing a subsidiary of a Singaporean public listed company in a series of disputes with its Malaysian joint-venture partner. Among other things, the disputes concern issues of shareholder rights, directors’ duties, the validity of investment mechanisms, and potential winding-up of a company.
  • Representing an auditing firm in proceedings involving allegations of negligence, breach of statutory duties and breach of contractual duties in its audit work.
  • Representing a multinational company in a dispute with a Malaysian partner on contractual rights and allegations of fraud relating to a wind-tunnel venture.
  • Representing a private holding company and its beneficial owner in defending a claim of constructive trust in relation to a substantial parcel of shares in a public listed company. 
  • Representing the shareholder of a food packaging company (formed as a family company) in a dispute over management of the company.   
  • Representing a local plantation company in challenging assessment rates imposed by local councils under the Local Government Act 1976.
  • Representing Joint Executors of an Estate in several cases of attempted land fraud involving plots of land in Kuala Lumpur belonging to the Estate.

Her experience in arbitration includes the following:

  • Representing an energy company and its affiliates in arbitration proceedings under the Singapore International Arbitration Centre Rules in defending allegations concerning defective manufacture, supply, installation and service of an industrial equipment set.
  • Malaysia counsel representing a Malaysian petrochemical company in arbitration proceedings under the London Court of International Arbitration Rules, involving a dispute on pricing under a supply agreement.
  • Representing a Malaysian service provider in the energy industry in arbitration proceedings against an energy production company involving contractual arrangements on payment of tax. Conducted under Asian International Arbitration Centre  (“AIAC”) Rules.
  • Representing a government-linked technology solutions company in arbitration proceedings over a supply agreement with a manufacturer. Conducted under AIAC Rules.
  • Representing a technology company in arbitration proceedings in respect of a dispute over an agreement for transfer of technology and provision of services. Conducted under AIAC Rules.
  • Representing a Malaysian construction company in arbitration proceedings under the Malaysian Institute of Architects Rules in a dispute over retention monies relating to the construction of 298 units of apartments together with ancillary buildings.
  • Representing a partner of an auditing firm in ad hoc arbitration proceedings in a dispute over the terms of a partnership agreement following the break-up of the partnership.

Shamala graduated from the Australian National University, Canberra, Australia with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) in 2002, receiving First-class honours. She obtained her Certificate of Legal Practice in Malaysia in 2003 and was admitted as an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court in Malaya in 2004.

Chapter on “Fortuna Injunctions and Injunction Applications under the Companies Act 2016” in Law and Practice of Injunctions in Malaysia, Sweet & Maxwell, 2020.