From England to Malaysia, no bar too high for lawyer

Sebaran :

KUALA LUMPUR: Sentul-born lawyer V Saravanak Kumar, 31, who was one of the youngest practising barristers in England, has been admitted to the Malaysian Bar.

Saravanak’s admission to the Malaysian Bar came at a High Court ceremony before Judge Ahmad Kamal Shahid last week, witnessed by Saravanak’s mother M Palanimmah.

His admission to the Bar allows him to practise in England as well as Malaysia.

Senior lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, who moved for Saravanak’s admission, said Saravanak was not born with a silver spoon but came from humble beginnings.

He developed a keen interest to read law as his parents were both senior court interpreters at the High Court and later became lawyers themselves.

He said Saravanak left for England in 2009 to read law and was a pupil in chambers with a reputable legal firm after his bar examination.

“Despite discouragement of being constantly told that it would not be feasible for a foreigner and a ‘coloured’ to get offered a pupillage in England, he took it as a challenge,” Shafee said.

Saravanak became a barrister of the English Bar at the age of 23 and went into practice, specialising in complex criminal defence and civil litigation cases before the High Court, county courts and crown courts.

“The petitioner has handled various cases across the legal spectrum, from high-level money laundering cases, complex fraud and modern-day slavery to civil litigation such as high-value multi-track cases,” Shafee said.

Some of his cases have been reported by the BBC and leading newspapers such as the Daily Mail and the Daily Telegraph.

Saravanak’s master, A Athimulan, said his pupil was fulfilling his wish and that of his mother to represent the underdog and appear in complex public interest cases in Malaysia as he enjoyed being intellectually challenged.

Another Malaysian who also made a name in practising in Malaysia and England is Steven Suppiah Perian, who became a Queen’s Counsel in England and Wales and was admitted to the Malaysian Bar in 2019.

Perian joined the UK Crown Prosecution Service in 1989 as a prosecutor and was quickly promoted as a special casework lawyer before becoming a QC in 1998.

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