KUALA LUMPUR (March 3): The High Court will hear an application by former de facto law minister Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim for an injunction to bar his old law firm that bears his namesake from using its current name on May 10.
On the same day, the court will also hear an application by the defendant, Zaid Ibrahim & Co, to strike out the ex-minister's suit as it was allegedly filed out of time. For civil suits, an application has to be filed within six years.
Both applications have been fixed for hearing via videoconferencing before Justice Datuk Ahmad Bache. The date was set following case management last Friday (Feb 26), according to court documents sighted by theedgemarkets.com.
Zaid will be represented by a team of lawyers led by Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, while former Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas will be appearing for Zaid Ibrahim & Co.
Meanwhile, the former minister's discovery application for documents in relation to the suit was fixed for hearing on April 20 before Justice Datuk Akhtar Tahir, another High Court judge.
It was previously reported that Zaid filed the suit to stop the law firm from using his name following the termination of his chairmanship after a mere nine days last November.
He named his former law firm as the defendant, alleging that the firm misrepresented in its practice by continuing to use his name from when he set up the firm, and that the wrongful use of his name deprived him of using his own name to set up his own law firm after leaving the firm in 2008 to become a minister.
For this reason, he is seeking an injunction against the defendant, barring it from using his name "Zaid Ibrahim" in any form or style by the firm, and an order of delivery of materials such as letterheads, brochures, notepapers, invoices and other items used by the defendant in print that forms his name.
Zaid is further seeking an assessment of damages for the wrongful use of his name and costs of the action and other relief deemed fit by the court.
Meanwhile, the firm filed its defence and an application to strike out the suit last December, claiming that the former Kota Bharu member of Parliament had compulsorily sold his stake in the firm for almost RM26 million when he was appointed a minister in Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's cabinet in 2008.
Subsequently, after the filing and exchange of affidavits regarding the suit, the law firm maintained that Zaid had relinquished all his stake in the firm, while Zaid claimed he still had a remaining 5% stake in the law firm.
Besides this, Zaid also filed a discovery application where he named the law firm, its executive chairman Datuk Seri Dr Nik Norzul Thani Nik Hassan Thani and the firm's former managing partner Chew Seng Kok, who is now the managing director of Zico Holdings Inc which is based in Singapore.
The 69-year-old Zaid is seeking documents from the law firm concerning payments made to him after he relinquished his 57% equity share in the law firm in 2008 for RM25.65 million, which was to be made with 20 annual instalments of RM1.2 million with a final payment of RM1.65 million.
This followed his appointment as the minister under the then Barisan Nasional government.
"I retain 5% equity of the firm as stipulated in the sale and purchase agreement," the former minister said in his application.
Zaid further claimed that in 2014, he entered into an agreement with Chew to transform the payments owed to him into a 10% stake in Zico Holdings. But he claimed that he had not received his dues.
In return, Chew in his affidavit opposing the discovery application claimed that the 2014 agreement between Zaid and him was drawn in haste and not legally binding.
Following the exchange of affidavits last month, the court as mentioned fixed April 20 to hear Zaid's discovery application.
Zico Holdings MD Chew claims 2014 agreement he signed with Zaid was drafted in haste and not binding
Zaid Ibrahim files discovery application against his law firm
Zaid Ibrahim compulsorily sold Zaid Ibrahim & Co stake for RM26m in 2008 after appointment as minister
Zaid sues Zaid Ibrahim & Co