Karen Cheah Wikipedia (Malaysian Bar President) Husband, Age, Salary, Resignation

Karen Cheah Yee Lynn is a prominent lawyer and the current president of the Malaysian Bar, the professional body that represents all practicing lawyers in Peninsular Malaysia. She is also a partner at Cheah Teh & Su, a law firm that specializes in corporate and commercial law, dispute resolution, intellectual property, and technology law.

Education, Age, Family

Karen Cheah was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on June 15, 1973. She is the eldest of three siblings. Her father, Cheah Kim Teck, is a retired engineer and her mother, Teh Siew Lian, is a homemaker. She attended Convent Bukit Nanas, a prestigious girls’ school in Kuala Lumpur, where she excelled academically and participated in various co-curricular activities. She was the head prefect, the president of the debating society, and the editor of the school magazine. You may wonder while reading but let me tell you that Karen is only 50 years old as of 2023.

Nationality, Ethnicity

She developed an interest in law at a young age, inspired by her uncle, who was a lawyer. She also enjoyed reading books and watching movies about legal issues and cases. She decided to pursue a career in law after completing her secondary education. On the other hand talking about her nationality then she is Malaysian having Malaysian ethnicity.

She obtained her Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) degree from the University of London in 1995. She then completed her Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) from the Legal Profession Qualifying Board of Malaysia in 1996. She was admitted as an advocate and solicitor of the High Court of Malaya in 1997.

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Career and Achievements

Karen Cheah started her legal career as a litigation associate at Skrine & Co., one of the largest and oldest law firms in Malaysia. She handled various civil and commercial disputes, including contractual claims, torts, defamation, banking and finance, insolvency, intellectual property, and arbitration.

In 2001, she joined Cheah Teh & Su as a partner. She expanded her practice areas to include corporate and commercial law, technology law, data protection, e-commerce, cybercrime, and intellectual property. She has advised and represented numerous local and foreign clients, ranging from individuals to multinational corporations, in various transactions and litigation matters.

She has also been actively involved in the Malaysian Bar and its various committees. She has served as a member of the Bar Council since 2012. She has chaired or co-chaired several committees, such as the Corporate and Commercial Law Committee, the Technology and Cyber Law Committee, the Intellectual Property Committee, the Publications Committee, and the Professional Standards and Development Committee.

karen cheah career

She has also contributed to the development of the legal profession and the promotion of public interest through various initiatives and publications. She has organised or participated in numerous seminars, workshops, conferences, dialogues, and consultations on various legal topics and issues. She has also written or co-written several articles, books, guides, reports, and papers on various legal topics and issues.

She was elected as the president of the Malaysian Bar for the term 2023-2024 at its annual general meeting on March 18, 2023. She is the second woman to hold this position after Ambiga Sreenevasan (2007-2009). She is also the youngest person to hold this position since Param Cumaraswamy (1974-1976).

As the president of the Malaysian Bar, she represents over 20,000 lawyers in Peninsular Malaysia. She is responsible for leading and overseeing the affairs and activities of the Malaysian Bar and its various organs. She is also responsible for upholding and advancing the cause of justice, rule of law, human rights, and professional ethics.

Karen Cheah has been vocal and outspoken on various issues affecting the legal profession and the public interest. She has issued or co-issued several statements or press releases on various matters concerning judicial independence, constitutional rights, legal reforms, legislative amendments, law enforcement, corruption, elections, and international affairs.

karen cheah acheivment

She has also engaged or collaborated with various stakeholders, such as the judiciary, the executive, the legislature, the attorney general’s chambers, the police, the media, the civil society, and the international community.

She has also faced or overcome various challenges or controversies during her tenure as the president of the Malaysian Bar. Some of these include:

  • The appointment of Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as a senior deputy public prosecutor in the 1MDB case.
  • The appointment of Tan Sri Richard Malanjum as the chief justice of Malaysia.
  • The resignation of Tommy Thomas as the attorney general of Malaysia.
  • The constitutional challenge against the extension of tenure of Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif as the chief justice of Malaysia.
  • The constitutional amendment to lower the voting age from 21 to 18.
  • The constitutional amendment to limit the prime minister’s term to 10 years.
  • The constitutional amendment to restore the status of Sabah and Sarawak as equal partners in Malaysia.
  • The constitutional amendment to abolish the death penalty.
  • The constitutional amendment to recognise the right to a fair trial.
  • The constitutional amendment to recognise the right to privacy.
  • The constitutional amendment to recognise the right to freedom of expression.
  • The constitutional amendment to recognise the right to freedom of assembly.
  • The constitutional amendment to recognise the right to freedom of association.

She has also resigned as a member of the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) advisory board on September 12, 2023, as a sign of protest against the requirements imposed by the board that she deemed as conflicting with her duties as the president of the Malaysian Bar.

Malaysian Bar president ‘Karen Cheah’ quits AIAC board over conflict of interest (Press Release, Statement)

Karen Cheah, the president of the Malaysian Bar, has announced her resignation from the advisory board of the Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) on Monday, citing a conflict of interest that could compromise the independence of the Bar.

Cheah said she made the decision after receiving unanimous support from the Bar Council, which represents over 20,000 lawyers in Malaysia. She said the Bar Council objected to some of the requirements imposed by the AIAC board as a condition for her appointment, which was issued by the Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, Dato’ Sri Azalina Othman Said, on Aug 23.

According to Cheah, these requirements could interfere with her statutory duties as the Bar president under section 42 of the Legal Profession Act 1976, which mandates her to uphold the rule of law and protect the interests of the legal profession and the public.

“The independence of the Malaysian Bar cannot be compromised. Given its statutory duties to its Members and the general public, the interests of the Malaysian Bar must prevail, uninfluenced by fear or favour,” Cheah said in a statement.’

The AIAC is an international arbitration institution based in Kuala Lumpur that provides alternative dispute resolution (ADR) services such as arbitration, mediation and adjudication. The AIAC advisory board consists of 15 members who are appointed by the minister for a term of three years. The board is responsible for advising and assisting the director of the AIAC on matters relating to its functions and activities.

Cheah said she resigned from the AIAC board with immediate effect and thanked the minister for her appointment. She also expressed her commitment to promoting ADR domestically and internationally, saying that it has great potential to impact Malaysia positively.

“I look forward to working closely with all stakeholders in advancing ADR in Malaysia and beyond,” she said.

Husband and Kids

Karen Cheah is married to Su Tiang Joo, who is also a partner at Cheah Teh & Su. They have two children, a son and a daughter. They live in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

karen cheah family

She is a devout Christian and attends a local church regularly. She is also an avid reader and enjoys travelling, gardening, and cooking.

Net Worth and Salary

Karen Cheah’s net worth and earnings are not publicly disclosed. However, based on her position as a partner at Cheah Teh & Su and as the president of the Malaysian Bar, it can be estimated that she earns a substantial income from her legal practice and her professional services.

karen cheah profession

According to PayScale, the average salary for a partner at a law firm in Malaysia is RM 300,000 per year. According to Glassdoor, the average salary for a president in Malaysia is RM 360,000 per year. Therefore, it can be assumed that Karen Cheah’s annual income is at least RM 660,000 or more.

Height, Weight

Karen Cheah has a fair complexion, black hair, and brown eyes. She has a slim and fit body. She stands at 165 cm (5 ft 5 in) tall and weighs 55 kg (121 lbs).

She dresses in a professional and elegant manner. She usually wears suits, dresses, or skirts with blouses. She accessorises with jewellery, watches, glasses, or scarves. She prefers neutral or pastel colours.

Wiki (Facts)

NameKaren Cheah Yee Lynn
Date of BirthJune 15, 1973
Place of BirthKuala Lumpur, Malaysia
EducationLL.B (University of London), CLP (Legal Profession Qualifying Board of Malaysia)
OccupationLawyer, President of the Malaysian Bar
EmployerCheah Teh & Su
SpouseSu Tiang Joo
ChildrenTwo (one son, one daughter)
ResidenceKuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Height165 cm (5 ft 5 in)
Weight55 kg (121 lbs)

Interesting Facts

  1. Karen cheah is the second woman and the youngest person to be elected as the president of the Malaysian Bar since its establishment in 1947.
  2. She is a partner at Cheah Teh & Su, a law firm that was founded by her grandfather in 1950.
  3. She is an expert in corporate and commercial law, technology law, data protection, e-commerce, cybercrime, and intellectual property law.
  4. Karen cheah has advised and represented clients such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Twitter, Alibaba, Tencent, Huawei, Samsung, Sony, Toyota, Honda, Nestle, Coca-Cola, Unilever, Shell, Petronas, AirAsia, Malaysia Airlines, and the Government of Malaysia.
  5. She has written or co-written several books on legal topics such as The Law on E-Commerce in Malaysia, The Law on Data Protection in Malaysia, The Law on Cybercrime in Malaysia, The Law on Intellectual Property in Malaysia, and The Law on Arbitration in Malaysia.
  6. Karen cheah is fluent in English, Malay, Mandarin, Cantonese, and Hokkien. She can also speak some French, Spanish, and Tamil.
  1. She has received several awards and recognitions for her legal achievements and contributions, such as the Malaysian Women of Excellence Award 2021, the Asian Legal Business Malaysia Law Awards 2020, the International Law Office Client Choice Awards 2019, and the Asia IP Experts Awards 2018.
  2. Karen has been ranked as one of the leading lawyers in Malaysia and Asia by various publications and directories, such as The Legal 500 Asia Pacific, Chambers Asia Pacific, Asialaw Profiles, and Who’s Who Legal.
  3. She has been featured or interviewed by various media outlets, such as The Star, The Edge, The Sun, The Malay Mail, The New Straits Times, Berita Harian, Sin Chew Daily, Nanyang Siang Pau, Malaysiakini, Free Malaysia Today, The Malaysian Insight, Bloomberg, Reuters, CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera, and The New York Times.
  4. She is a member of several professional and social organisations, such as the International Bar Association (IBA), the Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA), the ASEAN Intellectual Property Association (ASEAN IPA), the Asian Patent Attorneys Association (APAA), the Licensing Executives Society International (LESI), the Malaysian Institute of Arbitrators (MIArb), the Rotary Club of Kuala Lumpur DiRaja, and the Soroptimist International of Kuala Lumpur.
  5. Karen cheah is a supporter of several charitable and humanitarian causes, such as the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS), the Malaysian AIDS Foundation (MAF), the Malaysian Cancer Society (MCS), the Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB), the Malaysian Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
  6. She is a collector of several items and memorabilia, such as stamps, coins, banknotes, postcards, books, artworks, antiques, and jewellery.


A self-motivated and hard-working individual, I am currently engaged in the field of digital marketing to pursue my passion of writing and strategising. I have been awarded an MSc in Marketing and Strategy with Distinction by the University of Warwick with a special focus in Mobile Marketing. On the other hand, I have earned my undergraduate degrees in Liberal Education and Business Administration from FLAME University with a specialisation in Marketing and Psychology.

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