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Mauritius

Mauritius > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Widely regarded as one of the most developed countries in Africa, Mauritius is a destination for business and is often used as a platform for investment into India and Africa. The country has favourable tax rates and international investment treaties with other African markets which make it one of the leading financial centres in the region. The island is also on its way to becoming a major arbitration hub and has attracted interest with the establishment of the LCIA-MIAC Arbitration Centre, supported by the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA).

The legal market is served by barristers and attorneys, with many law firms and sets typically housing both types of lawyer. There are, however, significantly more barristers practising in Mauritius than attorneys, with barristers often advising on contentious and non-contentious matters.

The ranking is based on quality and scope of service. Therefore, a narrowly focused practice may be ranked lower than a quality competitor with a broader base, but may be outstanding in its chosen discipline.

Renowned’ firm Appleby is noted for its offshore expertise. The international firm predominantly advises foreign clients doing business in Africa and Asia. Its experience spans corporate and commercial matters, as well as dispute resolution. Managing partner Malcolm Moller is recommended along with Gilbert Noel, who is active across corporate and disputes work.

Recently bolstered by its merger with Etude Robert, BLC Robert & Associates’ ‘skilled’ team handles commercial, corporate and M&A work, as well as capital markets, banking and finance, dispute resolution, insolvency, employment law, intellectual property and real estate matters. Managing partner Iqbal Rajahbalee advised Vistra Group on regulatory compliance following a change in the beneficial owners and the ‘outstandingJason Harel represented South African retailer Shoprite in a successful appeal before the Privy Council. Fazil Hossenkhan focuses on fund formation, financial services and private equity investments; Jean-Eric Sauzier is noted for banking and finance work; André Robert specialises in litigation and arbitration. Ammar Oozeer joined from Juristconsult Chambers in June 2016.

Renowned for its ‘excellent financial services expertise’, Benoit Chambers also focuses on corporate and commercial matters – including related litigation – as well as projects, IP, tax and employment law. Clarel Benoit is ‘brilliant’; Rishi Pursem has substantial experience in arbitration; Nadeem Lallmamode is ‘very able’; and Parwez Jugoo is a telecoms expert. The practice operates in association with Dentons.

The ‘innovative’ practice at ENSafrica has ‘deep knowledge of the market’ and is ‘very responsive’. Highlights included advising The State Investment Corporation on the structuring of a real estate development project and advising ENL Land on its amalgamation with ENL Investment. Martine de Fleuriot de la Colinière leads on commercial and corporate matters; Maxime Sauzier specialises in corporate, commercial and civil litigation; while Camille Desvaux de Marigny has vast experience in the financial services sector. Gérard de Froberville is a recent addition after the firm joined forces with Etude Huet de Froberville. Office head Thierry Koenig is ‘an enthusiastic team player’.

Basset Chambers is a key choice for litigation work across corporate, commercial and civil law. Désiré Basset is active in disputes but also advises on transactional matters for clients such as the Mauritius Tourism Promotion Authority, KPMG, Air Mauritius and Mauritius Telecom.

Conyers Dill & Pearman has a very active corporate and finance practice. It advised Memstar Technology on its proposed acquisition of Longmen Group and advised Network International on its acquisition of the Mauritius holding company of the Emerging Markets Payments group. MakeMyTrip, Investec, Sequoia Capital and The China-Africa Development Fund are also clients. Office head Stephen Scali is ‘very experienced’.

The ‘professional’ team at Juristconsult Chambers has strong international links and is a member of the DLA Piper Africa Group. The team is focused on banking, finance and corporate work. Highlights included advising Credit Suisse and Citibank on a $690m financing provided to Aricent, which also involved adding a subsidiary to the group structure. It also assisted Agence Française de Développement (AFD) with a €27m loan to the Cargo Handling Corporation. Managing partner Nicolas Richard is ‘exceptional’; chairman Marc Hein has ‘in-depth knowledge of the market’; and tax specialist Johanne Hagueunderstands the needs of the client’. Ammar Oozeer recently joined BLC Robert & Associates.

Uteem Chambers has a strong footing in the market. It advised Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), the US government’s development finance institution, on a $250m senior debt facility for Bayport Management. It also advised the UK’s Department for International Development on the establishment and funding of the Africa Enterprise Challenge Fund as a corporate entity – the fund aims to contribute to the growth of Africa’s agribusiness and renewable energy sectors. South Asia Energy Management Systems and Nedbank are also clients. Muhammad Uteem heads the chambers.

Lex Africa network member Erriah Chambers advises on tax law, trusts, finance, shipping, insolvency and debt recovery, as well as corporate and commercial matters. It acts for a number of banks and other financial institutions, with particular expertise in aviation-related transactions. Dev Erriah is the key contact.

Eversheds (Mauritius) Ltd (a member of Eversheds Sutherland) has ‘a growing’ reputation in the market, advising on corporate, commercial and M&A work, banking, finance and securities matters, as well as IP, employment, competition and dispute resolution. Michael Hough is recommended for securities and private equity. Yannick Fok is experienced in disputes as well as corporate and commercial transactions. The team was recently bolstered by the arrival of IP expert Nitish Hurnaum.

Mardemootoo Solicitors has ‘in-depth expertise’ and is ‘strong’ in transactional work, where it acts for various international banks, investment funds, audit firms, as well as oil and gas companies. It is also active in cross-border insolvency work and tax planning. Managing partner Manon Mardemootoo heads the civil, administrative and commercial team, while Robin Mardemootoo leads the banking, finance and corporate practice.

Boutique firm YKJ Legal is led by managing partner Yuvraj Juwaheer, who was previously the office head at Bedell Cristin’s Mauritius office. It is regularly engaged in corporate, commercial, banking, finance, employment, immigration, tax, insolvency, regulatory and compliance matters. The firm also includes Varsha Boodhoo, Vikram Seesunkur and consultant Mark Helyar.

5 St James Court’s expertise spans banking and finance, corporate and commercial work, insolvency matters and tax law. It is particularly strong in cross-border and contentious matters. HSBC (Mauritius), Grant Thornton, Maubank and KPMG are clients. Ravindra Chetty is ‘very experienced’ and finance expert Avinash Sunassee has ‘a fantastic reputation’.

Balgobin Chambers recently advised AIGO on structuring its collective investment scheme appropriately in order to obtain a licence from the Financial Service Commission in what was the authority’s first exposure to a collective investment scheme. The team also acted for Turkish Airlines on the establishment of its operations in Mauritius, including commercial flights. Nilen Vencadasmy is recommended along with managing partner Priscilla Balgobin-Bhoyrul.

Banymandhub Boolell Chambers routinely handles finance matters, litigation and ADR, and is increasingly advising on employment law. Head of chambers Urmila Boolell specialises in corporate and commercial matters.

C&A Law is proficient in corporate, commercial, tax, insurance, IP and finance-related matters. Litigation is also a key area of practice for the firm. Gilles Athaw advises on corporate and finance mandates.

The ‘excellent communicators’ at Afralaw Chambers are praised as having ‘in-depth knowledge of international arbitration’, wherein founder Anne-Sophie Jullienne is ‘a fantastic fighter who is commercially minded’. Ashveen Gopee leads on transactional matters. HBW Group, Seedstone Funds Advisors and Maurilait are clients.

Not afraid to go the extra mile’, the ‘flexible and reachable’ team at Chambers of A.R.M.A. Peeroo SC GOSK takes ‘a pragmatic and commercial approach’. The set is routinely active in cross-border deals and disputes, with recent highlights including advising a Dubai-based group on the establishment of a joint venture under Mauritian law. GFA Insurance is also a client. Head of chambers Razack Peeroo and the ‘knowledgeable’ Jamsheed Peeroo are recommended.

IPvocate Africa Law Firm Cabinet d’Avocats Ltd advises domestic and international clients on the protection, management and enforcement of IP rights in Africa. Marius Schneider is the principal contact.

MC Law Offices’ strengths lie in litigation, arbitration, corporate and cross-border transactional matters. Yousuf Mohamed is a key contact.

The In-House Lawyer

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