Straight Talking.


JONATHAN is a qualified Malaysian lawyer with an international law firm background. His current practice covers all aspects of commercial laws. He received his Law Degree and Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) from the University of Adelaide, Australia, in 2012.

Before Jonathan’s legal career, he worked at Ernst & Young (EY). In that position, he worked in high-performing teams, participated in assignments from preparing, and analysed clients’ financial statements to assist in making a technical contribution to clients’ engagements.

Jonathan then commenced practising law and gained experience at a reputable KL based commercial law firm, where he focused on Employment laws and Dispute Resolution.

Before forming Chern & Co, Jonathan was also a foreign consultant at Tilleke & Gibbins (T&G), a leading international law firm based in Bangkok, Thailand. As a T&G’s Corporate & Commercial Practice Group (China Desk) consultant, his practice’s scope encompassed a full spectrum of corporate and commercial advisory works and other related regulatory matters regularly faced by international clients investing in Southeast Asia.



Some of Jonathan’s key involvements are summarized as follows:

  • Advised a Kuala Lumpur based start-up on all legal issues that arise from incorporation until the successful launch of their mobile apps for their Southeast Asia’s youth consumers.
  • Advised an Indian airline on the setting up of its first international air services from Delhi to Bangkok city, on matters concerning the mode of doing business, and other regulatory compliance matters.
  • Advised social network company on telecommunications laws,
    regulatory requirements, licensing, data privacy, and antitrust regulations for its proposed JV in Bangkok, Thailand.
  • Advised a Japanese holding company on relevant laws and regulations, concerning its local subsidiary’s plan to install telecommunication equipment, and relevant data protection laws on international data transfers.


  • Acting for residents against a Property Management Firm and a Property Developer for breach of the Guaranteed Rental Return (GRR) Scheme.
  • Acting for a New Zealand Corporation in a debt recovery claim against another foreigner living in Malaysia.
  • Acting for a KL based fashion agency in commercial disputes concerning allegations of breach of contract.
  • Defending clients in commercial disputes concerning allegations of fraudulent trading, conspiracy to defraud, dishonest assistance and knowing receipt. In the same case, Jonathan has successfully struck out a part of the Plaintiff’s claim amounting to RM380,000.00, and the entire claim for 1 Defendant client.
  • Regularly advising Clients in disputes with business partners.
  • Successfully setting aside an ex parte injunction and resisting an inter-parte injunction on behalf of private clients at the Sessions of Court of Georgetown, Penang.

Jonathan has also recently advised and represented clients in the following areas:-

  • Enforcement/ Committal Proceedings
  • Application for and resisting injunction
  • Breach of Contract
  • Fraud
  • Partnership disputes
  • Debt recovery claims/ Cross-border debt recovery action
  • Landlord/ Tenancy disputes
Other Experience.


  • A regular contributor to publications, including
  • Contributed to ‘Investment, Doing Business in Thailand, and Real Estate research projects’ conducted by the World Bank.
  • Co-author for a Multilaw International Fintech Guide for Thailand.
  • Co-author for a Bangkok Post’s newspaper article titled “Safeguarding Women’s Welfare: Legal entitlements of female employees in Thailand.”
  • Advised a Bangkok-based charitable not-for-profit organization, on matters concerning VAT declarations, issues relating to simple Visa types, and its eligibility to apply for tax exemptions.
  • Advised a Vietnam based Social Enterprise, whose primary objective is to empower young women in Southeast Asia to lead change, on matters relating to the setting up of an investment fund, taxation, and the legality of its routine core agreements.