Languages: English & Malay
Tan Sri Dato’ Cecil Abraham has sat as Arbitrator in multiple disputes across the globe and is regularly appointed as an arbitrator in complex commercial international arbitrations. He is also the only Malaysian to be regularly appointed as an arbitrator in investment treaty disputes.
Cecil’s expertise expands over a wide breadth of areas that include; Corporate and Commercial, Environmental, Energy, Oil & Gas, Banking and Securities, Insurance, Maritime, and Competition Law.
In a career spanning over 50 years, Cecil is regularly recognised as a leading individual by Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Asia Law Profiles and is ranked in Tier 1 by Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific, as well as Who’s Who Legal in the area of dispute resolution and arbitration.
He has appeared regularly before the Court of Appeal, the Federal Court, the Special Court and the Privy Council and he has over 300 reported decisions of note to his name. In addition, he has sat as arbitrator in excess of a 100 disputes. He is regarded by his peers and clients alike as one of Malaysia’s leading legal figures.
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.
In 2020, he was named by Asian Legal Business as Malaysia's Dispute Resolution Practitioner of the Year. In 2021, he was named by Benchmark Litigation as Malaysia’s Dispute Resolution Practitioner of the Year.”
He was awarded the title Dato” by His Royal Highness, The Sultan of Kelantan in 2003 and awarded the title “Tan Sri” by His Majesty, the King of Malaysia on 5th June 2010.
He has in recent times argued the leading cases in Malaysia concerning:
In addition to having sat as an arbitrator in arbitration disputes, he has argued some of Malaysia’s leading cases on arbitration and adjudication, namely:
Investment Treaty Experience:
Panel of Arbitrators:
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific
“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.”
Chambers Asia Pacific
“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’.”
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
“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 lawyers who comes highly esteemed for his longstanding disputes practice spanning more than 50 years in the field.”
“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."
"Cecil Abraham is ‘pre-eminent’, and his services are ‘outstanding’.”- Global Arbitration Review
“Cecil is among Malaysia’s outstanding arbitration practitioners. He is among one of the market’s best-known arbitrators."- Who's Who Legal
"He is very much the doyen of the legal profession in Malaysia."- Legal 500 Asia Pacific