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Principles of Professional Liability in Malaysia

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Principles of Professional Liability in Malaysia by Wan Azlan Ahmad and Mohsin Hingun

Author Wan Azlan Ahmad and Mohsin Hingun
Publication Date Feb 2021


Hardcover + Ebook


Publisher: Sweet & Maxwell

This book seeks to examine the main principles of professional liability in Malaysia with emphasis on the liabilities in tort and equity, in addition to the obligations under contract and written law. While specific chapters are devoted to the law as is applicable to surveyors, construction professionals (exemplified by engineers, architects and quantity surveyors), accounting professionals, doctors and lawyers, the law is examined against the backdrop of the general law applicable to professionals generally.

The book provides the answers to some key questions - in what circumstances would a professional owe a duty to a client or to a third party, what is the standard of care the law demands that a professional should adhere to, and what would be the extent of the liability of a professional where a breach of duty is proved. In addition to the principles of assessment of damages in tort, emphasis is also given to the rules governing equitable compensation.

The authors have helpfully provided a wide range of pointers to relevant developments of the law in Commonwealth jurisdictions for better analysis and to show the way forward for Malaysian law where issues have yet to be decided in Malaysia.


  • Examination of the general law, and their application in respect of the selected professions.
  • Guidance on the possible development of local law for difficult issues without settled local authorities.
  • Specific duties arising either at common law, equity or under legislation in relation to the selected professions.
  • Standard of care, and the relevancy of qualification and experience.
  • The conditions, and limits, of the tests developed in Caparo Industries v Dickman and Smith v Eric Bush.
  • The importance of a retainer and the application of the SAAMCO principle.
  • The law regarding confidentiality.
  • The application of limitation in claims for latent defects in buildings.
  • Remedies for breach of fiduciary obligations.
  • Quantification of damages. 


Part I: General Principles
1. Duties in Contract and Tort
2. Fiduciary Obligations
3. Duties under Written Law
Part II: Duty and Breach
4. Surveyors
5. Construction Professionals
6. Accountants and Auditors
7. Doctors
8. Lawyers
Part III: Remedies and Damages
9. Remedies
10. Damages for Breach of Duty

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