Rahayu commenced her legal career in 2007 as Federal Counsel at the Advisory Division of the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) where she primarily advised the Federal Government on land matters.
Rahayu was subsequently admitted and enrolled as an Advocate and Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya in 2009. She began her litigation career at the Firm, where she had the privilege of acting as counsel and junior counsel in a broad range of civil (construction, land dispute and civil enforcement of securities offences) and commercial disputes (shipping and admiralty, contract, company and international trade).
Rahayu is keenly interested in shipping and admiralty law and has obtained her master’s degree in maritime law from the National University of Singapore. She commonly provides advice and legal representation to various shipowners’ Protection & Indemnity Clubs, vessel owners and other maritime industry players across the whole range of admiralty disputes, from those involving cargo and carriage of goods, to vessel supply and bunkering, vessel arrests, and collision cases. Rahayu is a member of the International Malaysian Society of Maritime Law (a member of Comite Maritime International) and was its Treasurer for the 2018 - 2019 term. Among the highlights of her admiralty litigation experience is when she acted as junior counsel for a global bunker supplier in securing judgment in excess of USD25 million against one of the largest tanker owners in the world. She also acted as junior counsel in a landmark decision of the Court of Appeal on the limitation of liability under the Brussels Convention on the Limitation of Shipowners’ Liability, 1957.
Rahayu took a break from legal practice in 2017 and contributed her time as researcher at an anti-graft NGO that is active in advocating the culture of integrity, accountability, and transparency in public administration. She conducted substantial research on malpractice and mismanagement in government linked companies under the guidance of a senior political economy professor from University Malaya. She presented and shared the Malaysian experience at a regional anti-corruption meeting in Jakarta. While at that NGO, Rahayu also worked in collaboration with other civil society organizations in formulating frameworks for public asset declaration by federal and state lawmakers, and other public governance reforms.
Rahayu returned to the AGC in 2018 and served as the Special Officer to Tan Sri Tommy Thomas, the Attorney General of Malaysia, until his resignation in February 2020. Rahayu’s remit in the AGC was to assist the Attorney General in coordinating and overseeing recovery efforts for assets purchased with funds from 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB). That task demanded familiarity with bilateral and multilateral treaties and the interplay in the application of civil and criminal laws in multiple jurisdictions, towards formulating strategies and action plans in finding viable solutions to maximize recovery at minimum expense to Malaysian taxpayers, all within the accepted legal framework of the numerous jurisdictions involved.
While serving the nation, Rahayu worked closely with local and international lawyers, prosecutors, law enforcement officials, auditors and property consultants from various jurisdictions, including the United States of America, Singapore, and Switzerland. By the time Rahayu left the AGC in July 2020, Malaysia had recovered approximately USD650 million from the 1MDB foreign asset recovery exercise alone.
Rahayu returned to the Firm as Partner in January 2021. The Firm now has the added benefit of her experience and skill-set, spanning international money laundering and fraud asset tracing and securities litigation. She is available to accept instructions on all areas within the firm’s practice.