October 08, 2013
Exemption for arbitration from the “fly-in fly-out” prohibition
On the 24th September 2013, Parliament passed amendments to the Legal Profession Act 1976.
The Legal Profession (Amendment) Act 2013 introduced an exception to the “fly-in fly-out” prohibition which allows a foreign lawyer advising on non-Malaysian law to enter Malaysia for up to 60 days in a calendar year, subject to immigration approval.
However, the recently passed Amendment Act also introduced a new subsection, which reads as follows:
“37A. (1) Sections 36 and 37 shall not apply to –
(a) any arbitrator lawfully acting in any arbitral proceedings ;
(b) any person representing any party in arbitral proceedings; or
(c) any person giving advice, preparing documents and rendering any other assistance in relation to or arising out of arbitral proceedings except for court proceedings arising out of arbitral proceedings.
(2) In this section, “arbitral proceedings” means proceedings in an arbitration which is governed by the Arbitration Act 2005 [Act 646] or would have been governed by such Act had the seat of arbitration been Malaysia.”
With these amendments, both foreign Arbitrators and foreign lawyers are now allowed to enter into Malaysia to participate in arbitral proceedings and are exempted from the “fly-in fly-out” prohibition. They will not be subject to the restriction of 60 days nor require immigration approval to enter into Malaysia to conduct arbitral proceedings.