5 St James Court > Port Louis, Mauritius > Firm Profile

5 St James Court
ST DENIS STREET
PORT LOUIS 11411
Mauritius

Mauritius > Leading firms Tier 3

5 St James Court specialises in high-stakes litigation and international arbitration. The firm’s ‘dedicated and hard working individuals‘ include experienced litigator Ravindra Chetty SC and transactions expert Avinash Sunassee, who have both appeared in cases of national importance and in international arbitration which is an area of recent growth for the firm. A key client of Sunassee’s is the Mauritian national airline Air Mauritius.

Practice head(s):

Ravindra Chetty; Avinash Sunassee

Other key lawyers:

Yashley Reesaul; Jayaluxmi Somar

Testimonials

‘The team is reliable. The driving force for us is Avinash Sunassee.’

‘Avinash Sunassee is one of the most outstanding lawyers that we have come across in Mauritius. He is a master of the English language as well as banking and financial law.’

‘Wide range of practice and experience.’

‘Proper follow up. Dedicated and hard working individuals. Yashley Reesaul provides to the point, precise and practical solutions.’

‘They are responsive and good communicators.’

‘They are in constant communication with our office and update the client on their progress.’

‘We have been working with Yashley Reesaul who is very proactive in meeting all our legal requirements and helps close issues quickly.’

Key clients

Bank of Mauritius

AfrAsia Bank Ltd

Banque Pictet & Cie SA

BCP Bank (Mauritius) Ltd

Habib Bank Ltd

HSBC (Mauritius)

MauBank Ltd

State Bank of India (SBI) Mauritius Ltd

SBM (Mauritius) Ltd

Trade Development Bank Africa (TDB)

Air Mauritius Ltd

Financial Services Commission

British High Commission

Australian High Commission

British Council

Professional Architects’ Council

Mauritius Investment Corporation (MIC)

State Trading Corporation

Central Electricity Board

Economic Development Board

Grant Thornton (Mauritius)

Mazars

Work highlights

  • Represented Liquid Telecommunications in an application to resist the discharge of an injunction against a proposed corporate transaction.
  • Supported State Trading Corporation (STC) in an application to set aside a provisional order obtained ex parte by Betamax Ltd.
  • Supported Dynamic India Fund, SANNE Mauritius in a claim against them.

The set: 5 St James Court was set up in 2011, with Ravindra Chetty SC as head of chambers. It comprises rising and senior self-employed barristers, who can either be instructed individually or as part of a team. It has constantly been growing in size since its creation. Chambers is a predominantly civil and commercial set, with a strong banking and financial services practice. Members of chambers also advise on complex criminal litigation.

Areas of practice: Members of chambers undertake both transactional and litigation work. They regularly advise and act for a significant number of international banks, financial institutions and businesses. They also undertake international consultancy work. Members of chambers are involved in heavyweight litigation and sizable international arbitration claims. They act before all jurisdictions of the courts in Mauritius, including the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. Over the past year, examples of some of the matters in which they have been involved include: international arbitration under the SIAC rules; the insolvency of a group of companies with assets estimated at over US$1bn in issue; litigation involving an investment fund with a claim of more than US$100m; a competition law claim of over US$30m; capital raise of US$500m for a telecommunications company operating in Africa; enquiry in relation to infrastructure projects in Mauritius worth more than US$150m; the restructuring of a local bank; and advising a foreign state in Africa on the restructuring of its financial services sector.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Arbitration Ravindra Chetty SC
Arbitration Avinash Sunassee
Banking and finance Ravindra Chetty SC
Banking and finance Avinash Sunassee
Civil litigation Ravindra Chetty SC
Civil litigation Vimalen Reddi
Commercial Ravindra Chetty SC
Commercial Avinash Sunassee
Company and partnerships Ravindra Chetty SC
Company and partnerships Avinash Sunassee
Construction and real estate Ravindra Chetty SC
Construction and real estate Avinash Sunassee
Education Vimalen Reddi
Employment Vimalen Reddi
Employment Yashley Reesaul
Energy Ravindra Chetty SC
Energy Neeven Parsooramen
Environment Vimalen Reddi
Environment Neeven Parsooramen
Government and public Ravindra Chetty SC
Government and public Vimalen Reddi
Insolvency and restructuring Ravindra Chetty SC
Insolvency and restructuring Avinash Sunassee
Insurance and reinsurance Ravindra Chetty SC
Insurance and reinsurance Avinash Sunassee
Intellectual property, media and IT Yashley Reesaul
Intellectual property, media and IT Vimalen Reddi
Public procurement Ravindra Chetty SC
Public procurement Avinash Sunassee
Shipping Vimalen Reddi
Shipping Ravindra Chetty SC
Tax Ravindra Chetty SC
Tax Neeven Parsooramen
Trusts Ravindra Chetty SC
Trusts Avinash Sunassee
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Ravindra Chetty photo Ravindra ChettyRavindra Chetty SC is a Silk with over 30 years’ experience as…
Avinash Sunassee photo Avinash SunasseeAvinash’s current practice involves litigation work, advice and consultancy. He is involved in ‘heavy…
Number of lawyers : 12
English
French
Hindi
Globalaw

The team of barristers and staff at 5 St James Court is reflective of the mosaic of cultures, values and traditions that make Mauritius unique. Diversity, equality and inclusion are embedded into the mind-set of Chambers, as diverse experiences, backgrounds and perspectives are seen to be fundamental to our success.

5 St James Court is also a member of Globalaw, an international network of more than 100 independent law firms with over 4,500 lawyers across 145 cities as we understand the value of having a team that is cognisant of diverse clients’/ partners’ needs across the globe.

5 St James Court has always been and continues to remain committed to upholding the key tenets of diversity, equity, equality and inclusion.


5 St James Court, led by Ravindra Chetty Senior Counsel, has advised on a significant number of transactions aggregating MUR 15 Billion, between the Mauritius Investment Corporation Ltd (MIC), which is a first-of-its-kind subsidiary of the Bank of Mauritius, whose primary objective is to protect the banking and economic system of Mauritius from the risks resulting from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic by subscribing to Convertible Bonds deployed by an ‘Issuer’, with a view of assisting the distressed ‘Issuer’ company.

Ravindra Chetty SC has also successfully represented the Honourable Prime Minister of Mauritius and other Ministers of the Government of Mauritius, in election petition cases under the Representation of People Act, that sought to challenge the National General Elections held in 2019, before the Supreme Court of Mauritius:

  • Sayed-Hossen v Bablee & Ors (2022 SCJ 117), (2021 SCJ 310) and (2021 SCJ 298)
  • Ramgoolam N. (Dr) v Hurdoyal & Ors (2022 SCJ 116), (2021 SCJ 394) and (2021 SCJ 251)
  • Adebiro v Collendavelloo & Ors (2022 SCJ 27), (2021 SCJ 348), (2021 SCJ 196) and (2021 SCJ 91)
  • Duval v The Electoral Commissioner & Ors (2021 SCJ 365), (2021 SCJ 218) and (2021 SCJ 188)
  • Navarre-Marie & Ors v David & Ors (2021 SCJ 322)
  • Jhuboo v Ganoo & Ors (2021 SCJ 284), (2021 SCJ 132) and (2021 SCJ 49)
  • Sooredoo v The Electoral Commissioner & Ors (2021 SCJ 219)
  • Dayal S. v Jugnauth P.K. & Ors (2021 SCJ 178)
  • Jagutpal & Ors v Bundhoo (2021 SCJ 71)
  • Chukowry v Navarre-Marie & Ors (2021 SCJ 23)

Other notable cases include:

  • Arbitration: Ravindra Chetty SC acted for a foreign Bank headquartered in Mauritius, in a dispute between the two main shareholders of the Bank, under Article 4(1) of the Rules of Arbitration of the ICC.
  • Judicial Review applications for orders declaring certain findings pertaining to the ex- Minister for Gender Equality and a Member of the Mauritian Bar, in the Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Drug Trafficking in Mauritius, to be in breach of natural justice, in breach of fairness, unreasonable, biased and wrong in law. (Jadoo-Jaunbocus v Lam Shang Leen & Ors – 2021 SCJ 84) and (Gulbul v Lam Shang Leen & Ors – 2021 SCJ 378). The cases have given rise to much public and legal interest as it involved complex issues of the interplay of Constitutional safeguards and the legality of terms of reference which delineate the powers of a commission of inquiry.
  • Liquid Telecommunications Holdings Limited v West Indian Ocean Cable Company Limited (2021 SCJ 229): The majority shareholder of the consortium of national African telecommunications operators in an application to resist the discharge of an injunction against a proposed corporate transaction, which would have the effect of dis-applying the client’s pre-emption rights and diluting its relief claimed in an intended arbitration. The value of the matter was circa USD 209.6 Mln.
  • Mauritius Telecom Ltd v Emtel Ltd (2021 SCJ 389): Ravindra Chetty SC successfully acted for Mauritius Telecom Ltd in an appeal against the decision of the Supreme Court of Mauritius, which held it to be jointly liable with four other entities; the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, Cellplus Mobile Communications Ltd and the Ministry of Technology, Communication and Innovation to pay damages to Emtel (Mauritius) Ltd, in the sum of MUR 554.1 Mln for alleged unfair market practices. This case reconciled how competition law in Mauritius operates within the framework of the (Mauritian) Civil Code.

Avinash Sunassee has acted in the ArcelorMittal v Essar litigation in Mauritius which has also been before the High Court in England. (https://www.bailii.org/cgibin/format.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Comm/2020/740.html&query=(arcelormittal)

Avinash Sunassee has also successfully acted for the following financial institutions:

  • BCP Bank (Mauritius) Ltd in a complex appeal from the decision of the Competition Commission of Mauritius on novel issue of due process of the Competition Commission, relating to interchange fees applied by VISA and MasterCard
  • Banque Pictet & Cie SA, in relation to a USD 20 Mln injunction

Avinash Sunassee has also recently advised on the largest and highly complex corporate rescue procedure of the national airline company (Air Mauritius Ltd), which is a strategic national asset, crucial for the country’s tourism industry and national investment strategy. The national airline company had been placed into Administration due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Upon the successful period of Administration, circa MUR 12, 000, 000, 000 (Mauritian Rupees) was injected into the national airline company, 50% of the company’s employment that had been in jeopardy, was safeguarded and passenger and cargo connectivity enabled the company to meet its market demands, while providing a renewal of comfort to the creditors and heralding the long-term stability and success of the company.


CLIENT: Mr Ken Poonoosamy, CEO – Economic Development Board (EDB)
COMPANY/FIRM: Economic Development Board (EDB)
TESTIMONIAL:

Me Ravindra Chetty has always provided the EDB with key legal support and advice to ensure that the interests of the EDB are always safeguarded and protected. The legal opinions tendered to the EDB have always be clear, concise and extremely well researched and documented. He has represented the EDB in law suits and the Board and Management have been highly impressed by mastery of all legal issues and the highest level of professionalism and integrity displayed. We are very satisfied with the level of service that ME Ravindra Chetty and his legal staff have provided to us.


CLIENT: Mrs Ashiti Prosand, Head of Legal and Company Secretary – HSBC Bank (Mauritius) Ltd
COMPANY/FIRM: HSBC Bank (Mauritius) Ltd
TESTIMONIAL:

The law firm 5 St James Court (‘Firm’), led by Me. Ravindra Chetty has been providing its legal services to HSBC in Mauritius for several years and at HSBC, we really value the advice and other legal services received from the Firm. The output from this Firm is prompt, to the point and solution oriented to any legal hurdle we may face at HSBC. The lawyers of the Firm are top of the notch professionals whose professionalism is recognised not only locally but across the other jurisdictions of HSBC with whom they have been directly working with or where their advice has been shared with. Our view is that the Firm is well deserving of receiving the title of ‘a leading law firm’ by Legal 500.


CLIENT: Naila Hanoomanjee, C.E.O Landscope (Mauritius) Ltd
COMPANY/FIRM: Landscope (Mauritius) Ltd
TESTIMONIAL:

5 St James Court have been providing legal advisory services to Landscope (Mauritius) Ltd. since 2017. The service provided is nothing short of outstanding. We work mainly with Ravindra Chetty, SC. We have sought advice on a range of issues and Ravindra has always been approachable, knowledgeable, hands-on and practical. He is always quick to respond to our queries and provide solutions and fees are very reasonable! We also work with other members of the team who are as professional and dedicated. I have no qualms whatsover in recommending them as a law firm


CLIENT: Mr Conrad Colimalay, Company Secretary and Senior Executive Legal & Corporate Affairs, Mauritius Telecom
COMPANY/FIRM: Mauritius Telecom
TESTIMONIAL:

I am pleased, on behalf of Mauritius Telecom Ltd, to support Mr Ravindra Chetty, Senior Counsel, of 5 St James Court, to be ranked as a leading firm by Legal 500. Mauritius Telecom Ltd is a major telecommunications and information technology services provider in Mauritius, and we have relied on the services of Mr Chetty’s Chambers for litigation and advice in several areas of the law. Mr Chetty has appeared for Mauritius Telecom Ltd recently in a major case relating to competition where an appeal has successfully been judged in favour of Mauritius Telecom Ltd.


CLIENT: Yovich Chineah – Manager Legal & Compliance, SBI (Mauritius) Ltd
COMPANY/FIRM: SBI (Mauritius) Ltd
TESTIMONIAL:

5 St James Court is a model of integrity, professionalism, and class. As our business has grown and expanded over the years, they have been a consistent source of dependability and expertise. Me. R. Chetty Senior Counsel is one of the best Barrister-at-Law who understands the complex demands of the Banking Sector and our goals within it. We highly recommend 5 St James Court and their outstanding team.


CLIENT: Marco Rapaglia, CEO – GMG Trust Ltd
COMPANY/FIRM: GMG Trust Ltd
TESTIMONIAL:

We have had the pleasure of working with Mr. Avinash Sunassee for more than 10 years and have always been impressed by passion and commitment. Mr Sunassee’s expertise in varying fields of law, skills and professionalism are exceptional. He is one of those people who immediately come to mind when we need legal support. His technical abilities are exceeded only by his innate approach to problem-solving which brings results. We recommend his services, which thanks to him, we have the time and peace of mind to focus on what we do best at GMG.


CLIENT: Jennifer Jean-Louis – Executive Director and CFO
COMPANY/ FIRM: AfrAsia Bank Ltd
TESTIMONIAL:

5 St James Court is a great firm whose reputation precedes it. The firm comprises of a hardworking and tactically astute team who has been a very reliable business partner to the Bank since inception. With a down-to-earth approach, the solicitors and staffs have guided the Bank diligently in dealing with some challenging and complex cases. The Bank has also benefitted from the very experienced and committed hands-on Managing Partner who has assisted it in achieving positive outcomes. We remain confident that the Bank remains legally in good shape in the very capable hands of 5 St James Court team.


CLIENT: Air Mauritius (Administrators)
COMPANY/ FIRM: Clayton Utz
TESTIMONIAL: I am a restructuring partner of Australian law firm Clayton Utz. With the guidance of Avinash Sunassee, we structured what I understand to be the first ever creditors trust scheme in Mauritius as a wrap and exit from the deed of company arrangement negotiated between the company, proponent and creditors. I was impressed with the clarity of instruction, application and insight of Avinash into the complexities of a new structure, which he shepherded through necessary channels.


CLIENT: Veemarlen Poinoosawmy- Ag. Head of Legal
COMPANY/FIRM: MauBank Ltd
TESTIMONIAL: The Bank is working with the chambers of Me. Ravin Chetty for the past 7 years. The Bank is extremely satisfied with the service delivered by the counsels working within the chambers. I highly recommend them for their services. Very professional and prompt. Always there to answer any questions that arises. Very knowledgeable and meticulous counsels. They treated Bank cases without delay and with highest integrity. In a nutshell, the counsels are Fantastic! Knowledgeable and competent…A real pleasure to work with!


CLIENT: Loteswar Fangoo – Group Head Compliance and MLRO
COMPANY/FIRM: AfrAsia Bank Limited
TESTIMONIAL: I have known Mr Ravindra Chetty for more than 30 years and both 5 St James Court and Mr Ravindra Chetty SC have handled various cases and legal matters of AfrAsia Bank Ltd and my previous employer, SBI Mauritius Ltd. The bank has always received prompt support and advice from the Legal team. The firm is both professional and knowledgeable regarding banking and financial services matters and they provide sound, clear, and practical legal guidance, in a timely manner, to achieve the best outcome for their clients. 5 St James Court is one of the most reputable law firm in Mauritius and they continue to be our first choice for complex and important cases.


5 St James Court focuses on delivering legal solutions to business leaders, governments and private clients based in Mauritius and on the African continent, by taking a strategic approach that combines legal skills with in-depth understanding of commercial, diplomatic and political considerations. Leading partners, Ravindra Chetty Senior Counsel (SC) and Avinash Sunassee have extensive contentious and non-contentious experience with strong expertise in cross-border work, including banking and finance, insolvency, corporate finance and commercial matters.

Recently, Avinash Sunassee has assisted in resolving a USD 3 Billion litigation against a client against the Angolan State, the Swiss State and the Mauritian Government, including ancillary satellite litigation. In addition to an extensive local arbitration practice, Ravindra Chetty SC has been appointed as a member of the Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA)(Mauritius) and Avinash Sunassee has recently been appointed as an arbitrator by the LCIA Court.

Ravindra Chetty SC and junior barristers, Vimalen Reddi and Yashley Reesaul have appeared before the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council (JCPC) in the following cases:

  • Sugar Investment Trust v Jyoti Jeetun [2011] UKPC 47
  • Beerjeeraz v Dabee [2012] UKPC 22
  • Seetohul v Omni Projects Ltd [2015] UKPC 5
  • State of Mauritius v CT Power Ltd & Ors [2019] UKPC 27
  • Mauritius Shipping Corporation Ltd v Employment Relations Tribunal & Ors [2019] UKPC 42
  • DPP v Jugnauth & Anor – [2019] UKPC 8
  • Societe Alleck v IOIB – [2007] UKPC 87

Foreign firms with which 5 St James Court has worked in the past include: Signature LLP (UK), Advani & Co (Mumbai, India), Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP (Singapore), 3 Hare Court (UK), 20 Essex Street (UK), One Essex Court (UK), Matrix Chambers (UK), Linklaters (UK), Norton Rose Fulbright (South Africa), Allen & Overy (South Africa), White and Case (South Africa),  Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas (India), Grosvenor Law (UK), Clayton Utz (Australia), Frieh Associés (France), MGG Legal (France), Locke Lord (UK), RPC (UK), Clifford Chance (UK), Debevoise & Plimpton (UK), Quinn Emanuel Urquart & Sullivan (UK), Kirkland and Ellis, Morrison Foerster (UK).