Bernard John Kanny was Chairman of the Industrial Court of Malaysia. As Chairman, he has adjudicated, written and articulated complex awards on numerous cases involving dismissal and other matters relating to Industrial Disputes. Prior to his appointment as Chairman of the Industrial Court of Malaysia, Bernard successfully practiced law for 30 years. He was admitted as an Advocate & Solicitor of the High Court of Malaya in 1988.
His vast experience as a civil litigator has given him exposure to various disciplines of the law which enabled him to deal with complex legal matters professionally. In the course of his practice he handled various types of disputes such as land, construction, insurance, family, medical negligence, civil and employment/industrial disputes. Bernard has conducted hearings at various levels of the employment and judicial hierarchy including the Labour Court, the Industrial Court, the Magistrate's Court, the Sessions Court, the High Court, and the Court of Appeal. Further he has represented clients in arbitration proceedings.
He has represented the employee and the employer on disputes involving the Employment Act 1955, Industrial Relations Act 1967 and the Trade Union Act 1959. In representing the employee and the employer has enabled him to effectively advise on industrial/employment matters from the perspectives of both the employee and employer. Bernard has represented a number of multinational and public listed entities where he has provided legal advisory service to employment and industrial relations matters.
His experience in industrial disputes includes trade union disputes, collective bargaining, employment issues, unlawful dismissal claims and retrenchments. In addition, Bernard has drafted terms and conditions in employee handbooks and employment contracts and conducted training on industrial relations issues.
In 2021, he was appointed by the International Labour Organization (ILO) a specialized agency of the United Nations to provide legal advice on a consultancy basis to the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC). As Legal Advisor to MTUC, he has provided advice to individuals and unions on employment and trade disputes. At MTUC, Bernard had written papers on the proposed amendments to the Employment Act 1955, the GIG Economy and published a compendium of Industrial Law cases for the benefit of the industrial law practitioners.