Desmond Liew Zhi Hong

LLB (Hons) University of London, CLP;
Bachelor of Taxation (Hons) University Tun
Abdul Razak

+603 2710 3818

+603 2710 3820



Desmond is a partner based in HHQ Kuala Lumpur. With more than 9 years of Malaysian taxation experience, including 4 years as a tax consultant at a Big Four audit firm, Desmond has been recognized as one of the key tax lawyers in Malaysia by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 & 2023.

His practice focuses on all aspects of tax law. He has regularly represented taxpayers in tax disputes and rendered tax advice for MNCs, SMEs, and high net worth individuals.

Desmond has been entrusted with high-value corporate transactions, where he exercises and render advice on direct and indirect tax issues arising from restructuring, cross-border transactions, mergers and
acquisitions, regulatory compliance, employment, real estate, technology, media and telecom, intellectual property as well as insurance matters.

Apart from tax advisory and planning, Desmond is well-versed in facilitating and handling tax audits and investigations, dispute resolution proceedings with the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia, roundtable discussions with the Royal Malaysian Customs Department as well as disputes with the Stamp Office.

Desmond also acts for taxpayers from various industries in tax litigations at all tiers of the Malaysian Courts, Special Commissioners of Income Tax and Customs Appeal Tribunal.

He graduated with First Class Honours from both University of London and Universiti Tun Abdul Razak with Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Taxation.

Desmond is an active committee member of National Young Lawyers and Pupils Committee at the Bar Council and an associate member of the Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia.


  • Represented a thermoplastic manufacturing company before the Special Commissioner of Income Tax (“SCIT”) to defend that the management service fees charged (amount in dispute is approximately RM56 million) by the foreign holding company is at arms’ length and genuine.
  • Represented a Japanese construction company before the SCIT to defend that the partnership income (amount in dispute is approximately RM12 million) arising from the joint venture has been recognised timely and correctly.
  • Represented a property developer before the High Court, Court of Appeal as well as SCIT in defending that the gain arising from the disposal of land (amount in dispute is approximately RM120 million) does not attract income tax.
  • Represented a Japanese solar panel manufacturer and successfully set aside the stamp duty assessment (amount in dispute is approximately RM6 million) on the basis that novation cannot be construed as a transfer. 
  • Represented the statutory body of provident fund and successfully set aside the stamp duty assessment (amount in dispute is approximately RM2 million) on the basis that remission order is applicable 
  • Represented the world’s leading enterprise provider of software, hardware and services for banks, retailers and restaurants and successfully set aside the stamp duty assessment (amount in dispute is approximately RM1 million) on the basis that remission order is applicable.
  • Successfully obtain stamp duty relief under Section 15 for shares acquisition acquired by one of the largest multinational insurance and finance corporations.
  • Assisting and advising a steel manufacturer in applying East Coast Economic Region tax incentive.
  • Advised Joint Management Body on service tax implications in relation to charges imposed on the commercial parcels of a stratified property. 
  • Advised a Netherlands global employment service provider on the relevant transfer pricing considerations, compliances, and the filing of transfer pricing documentation.
  • Advised one of the Philippines’ largest and most diversified conglomerates in respect of the filing of transfer pricing documentation, master file and country-by-country reporting.
  • Regularly advised property developers on the tax risks arising from a potential high value property transaction.
  • Regularly advised foreign companies in relation tax risks and tax compliance matters in carrying on business in Malaysia.
  • Regularly advised companies in handling tax audit and investigation.
  • Regularly advised high-net worth individuals in tax planning. 


  • Advocate and Solicitor, High Court of Malaya (2019)
  • Certificate in Legal Practice
  • Bachelor of Laws (Honours), University of London
  • Bachelor of Taxation (Honours), Universiti Tun Abdul Razak


  • Committee Member, National Young Lawyers and Pupil Committee (2020 – present)
  • Committee Member, Pupils Committee of Kuala Lumpur Bar (2022 – present)
  • Associate Member, Chartered Tax Institute of Malaysia (2020 – present)


  • Recognized as one of the key tax lawyers in Malaysia by Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2022 and 2023


  • “Borderless Working in Malaysia – Tax and Employment Considerations” CTIM’s Tax Guardian Vol. 15/No.2/2022/Q2


  •  English
  •  Malay
  • Chinese

Area of Practice

Tax Litigation
Tax Advisory & Planning
Tax Audit & Investigation

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