Nicholas Tan

Partner, Corporate / M&A
Partner, Technology, Media & Telco


  • LL.B (Hons), University of Northumbria
  • Master of Commercial Law, University of Malaya
  • Barrister-at-Law, Lincoln’s Inn
  • Advocate & Solicitor, High Court of Malaya

Nicholas’ practice focus is on take-overs, mergers and acquisitions, foreign investments, joint ventures, corporate restructurings, and corporate and commercial transactions. He has worked on transactions which straddled across industries specifically education, oil and gas, manufacturing, retail, telecommunication and property development.

Nicholas has been recognised as a “rising star” and an “up and coming” Corporate/M&A Malaysian lawyer by a number of globally renowned legal publications. According to IFLR1000 (2019), a client described Nicholas as “Highly competent and very experienced and knowledgeable. He is also very approachable and able to perform excellently even in a challenging environment.” Further, the Chambers and Partners Asia-Pacific (2020) mentioned that Nicholas “has a growing market reputation, advising domestic and foreign clients on acquisitions, disposals and joint venture”.

He is a member of the China Desk of the firm, who regularly advises and represents Chinese clients (e.g. state-owned entities) in their corporate transactions in Malaysia. He is also the firm’s representative (the firm being a founding member) in the Belt and Road International Lawyers Association (BRILA) the first International bar association registered in China to promote legal corporation among BRI countries.

Major Projects

  • Acting for China Railway Engineering Corporation (M) Sdn. Bhd. (CRECM), a shareholder in a consortium (i.e. IWH-CREC Sdn. Bhd.) in acquiring a 60% shares in Bandar Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. from TRX City Sdn. Bhd. (a subsidiary of the Ministry of Finance, Malaysia) for RM7.41 billion. Bandar Malaysia is a major development project in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia covering an area of approximately 2,000,000 sq. metres and will include a public transportation hub. CRECM is a subsidiary of China Railway Engineering Corporation which was ranked 50th in 2020’s Fortune Global 500.

  • Acted as the Malaysian counsel for Saudi Aramco (through White & Case, an instructing counsel), in its investment and joint venture with Petronas in the Refinery and Petrochemicals Integrated Development (RAPID) project in Pengerang, Malaysia. The total estimated value of the investment by Saudi Aramco is US$7 billion.

Mergers & Acquisitions

  • Advised clients on a number of mergers and acquisitions focusing on education, healthcare and telco industries.

  • In 2019/2020, Nicholas acted as the Malaysian counsel for Laureate Education, Inc., (a company listed on the NASDAQ stock market) (through DLA Piper, as the instructing counsel) in its sale of INTI Education group to HOPE Education Group (Hong Kong) Company Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of HKEX-listed Hope Education Group Co., Ltd) for approximately USD140 million.

  • In 2019, Nicholas acted as the transaction counsel for a major acquisition of the shares in a private higher educational institution in Malaysia in 2019.


  • Advised on a number of take-overs of public companies listed on Bursa Malaysia.

  • In 2019, Nicholas advised Scientex Berhad in its acquisition of approximately 42% shares in Daibochi Berhad for approximately RM222.5 million and a conditional mandatory take-over offer where the client was required to acquire the remaining shares and warrants following the completion of the acquisition.

  • During the same period, Nicholas also advised the joint offers in a conditional voluntary take-over offer to acquire the shares in LTKM Berhad (one of the leading chicken egg producers in Malaysia).


Chambers Asia-Pacific (2020) – “Up and coming” in Corporate / M&A

  • Active on deals across a variety of sectors, one interviewee appreciates that "he is very responsive." – Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020

Chambers Global (2020) - “Up and Coming” in Corporate / M&A

The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific (2019 and 2020) - “Recommended Lawyer” in Corporate/M&A

  • “Nicholas Tan Choi Chuan is relatively young, but still has a sufficient knowledge especially in the M&A area” - The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific 2020

The Legal 500 Asia-Pacific (2019) - “Recommended Lawyer” in Projects and Energy

International Law Office: Client Choice Awards (2019) - Individual Winner for M&A for Malaysia Jurisdiction

Asia Business Law Journal (2019) - one of Malaysia’s top 100 lawyers

IFLR 1000 (2018 - 2021) - “Rising Star” in M&A

  • “Highly competent and very experienced and knowledgeable. He is also very approachable and able to perform excellently even in a challenging environment.” – IFLR 2018
  • “He is very knowledgeable, highly competent and always able to produce excellent quality of work.” – IFLR 2018
  • “Highly responsive and professional.” – IFLR 2018
  • “High quality performance and commitment.” – IFLR 2020

Asian Legal Business Malaysia Law Awards (2018) - “Young Lawyer of the Year” finalist

  • Member, Malaysian Bar
  • Member, International Bar Association (IBA)
  • Member, China Enterprises Association In Malaysia
  • Chambers Global Practice Guide 2019 Malaysia Corporate M&A: Q&A [co-author]
  • Merits of shareholder activists in Malaysia: A legal perspective” [2019] 1 LNS(A)xli, by Current Law Journal
  • Contributed to World Bank, Doing Business 2019 and 2020 – Protecting Minority Investors - Malaysia, 16th Edition and 17th Edition respectively, published by The World Bank Group