We are particularly thrilled that a long serving secretary, Ms Sukdev Kaur, was so inspired by her lengthy association with her immediate “boss”, our Consultant, Ms Sitpah Selvaratnam, that she read law at the same university, Cardiff, and was called to the Malaysian Bar. She is currently practising as an advocate and solicitor in another Kuala Lumpur firm.
A popular destination for applicants graduating from top class universities across the Commonwealth.
Since its establishment 18 years ago, the firm has provided its facilities to more than 75 chambering students to complete their statutory 9 month period of pupillage prior to their call to the Bar. All our partners and consultant take their obligations seriously as masters to these students, and we remain a popular destination for applicants graduating from top class universities across the Commonwealth.
We have remained in touch with most of our students, and the firm’s alumni includes numerous first class degree holders. That they have flourished in other firms, becoming partners in numerous large and mid-size firms is the best testament to their association with us.
Our Former Pupils
Kevin WongYear 2000
I can safely say and with conviction that I would not be the advocate and solicitor I am now without the mentoring and guidance of Sitpah, Tommy and Alan. It was with their painstaking patience that I honed my drafting and advocacy skills. As a partner of my own firm (together with 2 other partners and 8 assistants currently), I have to my best abilities tried to impart the same guidance and skills which I acquired from Tommy Thomas.”
Grace ChangYear 2003
There was a lot to learn in all aspects of litigation. Both Tommy and Alan taught me many things and have inspired me over the years. Today I run a small firm but I owe it to TOMMY THOMAS.”
Jennifer James IlangoYear 2010
It was a privilege to have chambered at Messrs Tommy Thomas. It has given me an edge over other newcomers into the legal fraternity with a steep learning curve and great level of court exposure. A close knit firm, many of whom I call friends to date.”
Sarah HoYear 2011
Unbeknownst to me, receiving the Stanley Peddie Book Prize meant that I had struck gold, clinching a pupillage stint at one of the most sought-after litigation firms in town – Tommy Thomas. What an honour to have later discovered that I was the first recipient of this award. The months that ensued were nothing short of enriching, challenging, and meaningful. One of the most important takeaways from my experience at the firm is that simplicity is key. It is important to have a clear thought process and to be able to advance arguments and draft in a simple and clear manner. I continue to apply this principle in my legal practice.”
Shaun PaulianYear 2011
Chambering at Messrs Tommy Thomas will always be a distinct pleasure of my career. To be trained by a firm of leading Barristers in the Corporate, Commercial and Shipping areas was both exhilarating and holistic......was the attention that each lawyer took to train the firm’s pupils, inevitably moulding an avid and principled approach to the briefs and to practice as a whole. Between Mr Thomas’ stern perfectionism, Sitpah’s precision and Alan’s patience, each of us undoubtedly received an unparalleled induction into litigation and dispute resolution practice.”
Audrey ChongYear 2015
Being a pupil in Tommy Thomas is the greatest opportunity that I could have ever asked for. New bonds were forged during my 9 months as a pupil. In fact, I had very readily and instantly agreed to a 3 months extension of my pupillage because I did not want to leave this newfound family that I had grown to love and cherish. The firm has provided me with the best starting point in my career. With the vast variety of cases, there was never a dull day. The cases that I assisted as a pupil at Tommy Thomas were unique and essentially, usually, one of a kind. The lawyers were very responsive and hands on with guiding me and they took me to meetings, case managements, brain storming sessions, trials and hearings.”
Fozi AddhwaYear 2015
Under the tutellage of the very learned and passionate lawyers, it became clear to me that the firm demands the best in every task I was assigned to. Attention to detail was a must. I was honoured to have worked with friendly and an always helpful group of people at the firm. I came as a pupil and left as part of the family of this fraternity. It was a valuable experience indeed and one that I will dearly hold onto.”
I was a Secretary to Sitpah Selvaratnam at Messrs Skrine (1995 to 1999) and Messrs Tommy Thomas (2000 to 2010). The staff were expected to work with diligence, discipline and as a team. I admire the professionalism and dedication of the Partners of the Firm. I was inspired particularly by Sitpah since I worked closely with her for a very long time. 16 years later I was ready for a change in my career and decided to read law. I left the Firm in November 2010. I graduated from Cardiff University in 2013, completed the CLP in 2014 and was called to the High Court of Malaya at Kuala Lumpur on 10th September 2015.”
We have also accepted interns on a temporary basis. Typically, they are students reading law at university who wish to see law being practised by professionals. Our interns have even hailed from abroad: thus, we have had students from the United States and Germany. A recent outstanding intern is James Chai, who graduated with a first class from Queen Mary University of London and then secured a Master of Science in Criminology & Criminal Justice (first class) from St. Antony College, University of Oxford.
It has all the good parts of a big firm – high-value work, mentoring from legal giants of the Bar, and esteem – as well as the best parts of a small firm – exposure to substantial work at an early stage, familial environment, and flexibility. The place is a collection of honourable men and women who are always willing to teach and learn, share an unusually deep sense of empathy and respect for others, and have a great sense of humour.”
The firm supports the pursuit of excellence and scholarship. To celebrate our 10th year, we initiated 2 awards in 2010. The first was a gift to the Bar Council to honour the brilliant achievements of the late Justice Eusoffe Abdoolcader, undoubtedly Malaysia’s greatest judge, by an annual Constitutional Law Prize for Malaysian lawyers to be awarded by the Bar Council. Secondly, to Help University, to honour the late Stanley Peddie, one of Malaysia’s greatest lawyers with a Book Prize for the top Malaysian student for the LL.B degree tenable at the University of Manchester. The Peddie Scholar has an automatic chambering place in our office, and 2 of them have subsequently worked as Associates.
Continuing legal education in a formal sense is very much encouraged. Our founding partner and now consultant, Sitpah Selvaratnam, completed the Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration organised by the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in 2007 in Keble College, University of Oxford. Another partner, Ganesan Nethi, completed a specialist Master’s degree in 2015 at Georgetown University, USA, in securities regulation and also qualified as an attorney in New York, the world’s pre-eminent capital markets jurisdiction. Both partners were on sabbatical leave from the firm while pursuing their further studies, which were paid by the firm.