In conversation with Cindy Goh, Senior Partner at Cheang & Ariff

In the build up to the ADVOC Joint Conference in Singapore, John Sze, Deputy Managing Partner of JTJB LLP and co-chair of the ADVOC Joint Conference organising committee, speaks to a number of ADVOC members about the network. 


This week, John is in conversation with Cindy Goh from Cheang & Ariff about her experience of working within the ADVOC network.

1. How did you become a member of ADVOC? How did ADVOC benefit your career?

I first started becoming involved in ADVOC more than 15 years ago as a young practitioner. I have been fortunate to be able to build meaningful connections that have blossomed into strong friendships. I have also been exchanging valuable referral work across the globe from my fellow ADVOC members.

2. You are a Senior Partner in Cheang & Ariff, which is a leading law firm in Malaysia. How would you describe your practice and your firm in general?

My current primary practice areas are intellectual property (IP), tax and  corporate and commercial litigation. Cheang & Ariff has a history dating back to 1986 and is well known for conducting high profile and complicated legal disputes. This firm has taught me strategic thinking, dedication and in-depth legal knowledge is a must in the legal industry.

3. You are recognised as a leading lawyer in Malaysia who has won numerous awards. How have you built a successful law practice ?

It is essential to be hardworking, think out of the box, and find practical solutions to clients' issues. It is also important to understand clients' objectives, apply legal knowledge in a commercial context to deliver a commercially sound solution for clients. Also, it is important to build strong relationships and rapport with our clients and peers in the legal community as connections and cooperation is key in resolving issues.

4. What is the most challenging case you have done in your legal career?

It’s difficult to choose one but I would say the Chatime v Tealive case together with the firm’s founding Partner, Dato’ Loh Siew Cheang. It was a cross border franchise dispute where urgent injunction was filed and livelihood of over 800 employees, as well as the interests of suppliers, landlords, were at stake. We were required to come up with a solution to save the business as well as the employment of the employees. This is the first case in Malaysia that discusses s.27 of the Malaysian Franchise Act 1998 on the scope of a guarantee not to compete post termination. It addresses the rights of franchisor and franchisee in Malaysia which is now being used as a precedent for future cases. The case has been closely watched in Malaysia's business community, especially the franchise industry.

5. Any upcoming Advoc event that you are excited to attend? 

Yes. ADVOC has an IP conference coming up on 15 May 2023 in Sofitel Singapore where there will be 2 very interesting sessions held. The first session is on alternative dispute resolution mechanism where the guest speaker is the Director of the Arbitration and Mediation Centre of WIPO. The second session is on IP Litigation Management Strategies where the guest speaker is the Senior General Counsel from Procter & Gamble. They will be joined by distinguished IP experts from ADVOC for the panel discussions.