Zaid Ibrahim sues Zaid Ibrahim & Co for wrongful termination

KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama): Former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim filed the writ of summons and statement of claim against the legal firm Zaid Ibrahim & Co to stop the firm from using his name in legal practice and to demand the return of the firm’s name.

Mohd Zaid, who is also acting counsel as well as the plaintiff, filed the suit through Messrs Suflan T H Liew & Partners through e-review at the High Court and named the legal firm as the sole defendant.

The case management has been set on Dec 23 before assistant registrar Nurliana Ismail.

In his statement of claim, Mohd Zaid said he formed the legal firm as a sole proprietorship under his name in 1987 and began the practice under the name Zaid Ibrahim & Co, before slowly expanding the firm by including other partners, including Chew Seng Kok and Datuk Seri Dr Nik Norzrul Thani Nik Hassan Thani.

He said that throughout his legal practice, he had built a good reputation for the firm as it became a panel law firm to financial institutions and government-linked companies until he left the firm after being appointed as a minister in 2008.

Mohd Zaid after he left the firm, other partners took over, with Chew as managing partner and Nik Norzrul as chairman.

He added that he intended to return to the profession in 2018 and asked Chew and Nik Norzrul to stop using his name and to return the name to him as he wanted to start his own firm.

Mohd Zaid said because they refused to do so, he, through his lawyers, submitted a claim in a letter dated Sept 24 for them to cease using his name.

On Oct 5, they made him an offer to rejoin the legal practice with Zaid Ibrahim & Co as an existing equity partner and chairman beginning Nov 1.

He said he accepted the offer and rejoined the firm but had his services terminated with immediate effect on Nov 9 and ceased to be a partner or a member of the firm.

He claimed that with his termination, the partnership has been dissolved but the defendant continued its practice as a new firm without the plaintiff.

"In this situation, the defendant has no legal right to use the name of the plaintiff in its newly formed legal practice, ” Mohd Zaid said.

He is seeking an injunction to stop the defendant, or any of its agents from using the name, Zaid Ibrahim, in whatever form or style as its firm’s name relating to legal practice.

He also seeks an order for the defendant to hand over all materials, including letterheads, notes, invoices and brochures printed with his name, in addition to damages for the misuse of the plaintiff’s name, costs and other relief deemed suitable by the court. - Bernama

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