By Muhendaran Suppiah
By Muhendaran Suppiah
Muhendaran Sri has been in existence from 14th December 1999. Back then, we were known as Sri & Co.
To tell you a secret, Sri is my wife lah. In other words, she is the founder of the firm. I joined the firm in January 2001, and being an Indian, and a Tamil, my name had to come first, therefore, the firm became, Muhendaran Sri.
Unfortunately, many clients, clients-to-be and strangers, seriously believe that my name is Mr. Sri, despite the fact that once in a while my wife tries to explain that she is Sri. I am very sure that all she gets for this is a rise in her blood pressure, as they refuse to believe her, and insist that they want to speak to Mr. Sri, the good-looking Indian man with a thick moustache!
We are a boutique firm specialising in employment law. Whilst the IR team and I mainly act for trade unions and employees, we do occasionally advice and represent employers.
Sri has a mixed practice comprising commercial law, civil litigation, child law, family law, probate matters, will writing. She also advices artists on their rights.
We are a small set-up. We started with one lawyer, who was also the sole support staff. Later, we became two lawyers, who were also acting as the support staff, but we had my father-in-law Mr. R. Ganapathy, helping out as our receptionist cum accounts clerk for more than 6 months.
Our first staff was my wife’s nephew, Pratap, who was 15 years old and taller than me when he came to work for us in 2001. He did nothing except chase cockroaches, and watch the clock through lunchtime. Occasionally he answered the phones, thinking it could be his mom calling to check on him.
From these humble beginnings, we progressed to where we are today. Since then, the Firm has had many staff – clerical staff, pupils in chambers, attachment staff and legal associates.
A firm is only as good as it’s people. We wouldn’t be where we are if not for the people who worked with us through the years. I don’t intend to write about them individually, except to say, thank you for working with us.
However, I would like to mention some of our most memorable members of staff. Pramodini Menon, was old enough to be my aunty, when she did her pupillage under me. Today, she, as a member of the Bar, is doing great service, especially to children and women in need. Shanmugam Ganesan started off as a clerk with us while completing his studies. He then chambered with us and practiced the law with us for a number of years and is now a partner in M. Thanakumaran & Shan in Sungei Petani and a lecturer in law. Jayashree Vengadachalam similarly started off with us as an attachment student who then chambered with us and then practiced with us for a number of years. She is now working successfully in the banking industry, where she tells us she is very happy. Nyanavalli Bangaru worked as a clerk with us and then progressed to paralegal. She is now a captain of industry in the intellectual property segment she has chosen. We are very proud to have started these stellar people off on their careers in the legal profession, and believe that they still carry a little bit of the Muhendaran Sri culture with them.
Sri and I would also like to recognise our first staff, a Malay gentleman by the name of Hairol, who joined in 2002, and worked with us for a year. I remember him whenever I see the Ramli-Ibrahim inspired portrait he did for us. I wish him well and hope he has made it as an artist.
We will never forget the contributions of Uncle Maniam, who rendered 6 months of free service as a despatch clerk in 2001, when Muhendaran Sri was still in its infant stage, or Uncle Chandran, who made sure that our accounts were maintained well. Her contribution may not be significant, but Suzi made sure our firm was kept clean. There’s one character who came into the picture in July 2003 – Gitanjali Muhendaran, who practically grew up in the office, and terrorised all our staff (and still does so until today, but not on such a regular basis). Last but not least, both Sri and I are grateful to both our parents, for all that they have done for us and for all their support through the years.
Today, we are proud to have Ms. Chong Wan Loo as a proud addition to our team. Though relatively young, she shares our passion for meticulous legal work and winning a good fight. Special credit goes to Wan Loo for talking us into launching this website to coincide with our 20th anniversary on 14th December 2019.
Our team now is further complemented by our PA, Adrina who manages all of us and Jega who manages our accounts.
We have always been unconventional and creative in our practice of the law, as witnessed by the fact that instead of a website our only online presence was our office blog (this website was launched on 14th December 2019), which we have run since the year 2005. This unconventionality is also why we are a part of the creative community in the Zhongshan Building in Kampung Attap.
We have always prided ourselves on our reputation and our integrity. Our commitment to our clients and results is a promise we always deliver on.
And that’s all I have to say about that. Go read the blog if you would like more.