KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 16 — A leading barrister from the United Kingdom Lord David Pannick has been appointed by the Malaysian government to head its legal team at the London High Court against International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC).
Malaysiakini reported an anonymous government source as saying the appointment of Pannick, who is also a Queen’s Counsel (QC), is a clear sign that Malaysia is serious in litigating the dispute with IPIC.
“Malaysia will greatly benefit from his strong advocacy skills and presence in court,” said the source.
Pannick’s reputation as one of the UK’s top lawyers is well known, with decades of experience as an advocate. He is also part of a small group of lawyers serving as crossbenchers in the House of Lords.
He recently challenged the UK government’s decision to invoke Article 50 of the European Union Treaty in leaving the EU without an Act of Parliament, in which he was successful.
His career has seen him represent Queen Elizabeth in an injunction case, as well as appearing in many cases in the Commonwealth of Nations, including Hong Kong, Brunei, Cayman Islands, Trinidad and Tobago, Gibraltar and the British Virgin Islands.
Last month, the government filed an order to set aside the consent award by an arbitration tribunal between claimants IPIC and Aabar Investments PJS, and respondents 1Malaysia Development Berhad and the Minister of Finance Inc.
The award would have seen Malaysia pay US$5.78 billion (RM24.22 billion) to IPIC and the bond trustee for a five-year period, which Attorney General Tommy Thomas has claimed was obtained fraudulently.