Mauritius

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Attorney General’s Office

Competition authority: Competition Commission of Mauritius

Financial regulator: Bank of MauritiusFinancial Services Commission Mauritius

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction: 

Financial and corporate

Jurisdiction overview

The legal system of Mauritius is a mixture of civil and common law due to the colonial legacy left by France and the UK. Alongside the Mauritian civil codes, the country’s courts utilise common law and often follow established English law precedent.

The country has established a range of tax treaties with various countries and has a growing financial sector, this has allowed it to gain a reputation as a staging post for investment into Africa, particularly from India and China. As the country has no capital gains tax, there is an obvious benefit for companies incorporating in Mauritius and taking advantage of these treaties.

There is no distinct split between firms of solicitors (attorneys) and barrister’s chambers and therefore most entities in the market carry out a range of commercial and criminal legal work. The country’s legal services market was liberalised in 2008 by an amendment to the Law Practitioners Act, which introduced the concept of attorneys, barristers and notaries forming combined ‘firms’. The act also opened the market for foreign law firms to establish offices or joint ventures with local firms and allowed foreign lawyers to join and practice at local firms.

Though the market is still largely made up of local firms, a handful of offshore firms such as Appleby, Bedell Cristin and Conyers Dill & Pearman have opened small offices on the island picking up roles on Africa related M&A, finance and investment fund work. Despite the jurisdictions obvious advantages as an offshore centre for African investment, few in the market believe that many other international firms will open dedicated offices in the near future.

Where there may be potential growth is through the establishment of bases or alliances for Pan-African networks, with the likes of DLA Piper, ENSafrica and Africa Legal Network already present on the ground.

Financial and corporate
Appleby

Appleby is a firm recognised for its offshore work, predominantly advising international clients with a focus on investment into emerging African and Asian markets. 

During the research period the firm advised lenders on refinancings, acquisition finance, debt restructuring and project finance deals. 

In capital markets the firm worked for an issuer on a notes issue.

In corporate deals it represented an acquirer on an acquisition in insurance sector and represented creditors in an insolvency matter.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Carlyle Group $652 million acquisition of 9% in SBI Life Insurance

•Ezion $470 million refinancing

•UPL Corporation $300 million 4.5% bond issue

Benoit Chambers

Benoit Chambers is a leading local firm in the financial and corporate areas with an expertise in investment fund formation.

The firm’s recent banking mandates include work for borrowers on loan facilities and acquisition financing. 

It also advised acquirers on M&A deals in the pharmaceuticals, retail, real estate, aviation and tourism sectors, and one client on the sale of an oil business. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•AION Investments $100 million financing

•Air Cote D’Ivoire $264 million acquisition of five aircraft 

•Altran €2.6 billion financing 

 

Client feedback 

"Outstanding advice and strategy. Availability fees are a bit on the high side." - Capital markets

"Prompt to respond and thorough." - M&A

"They provide practical advice within very reasonable time frames allowing seamless progress in negotiations. They have the ability to understand and advice on complex cross border structures. They are solution oriented to any particular problem. They commit the appropriate resource within their team with the relevant expertise in a particular field which makes the interaction very efficient." - Private equity

"Very good." - Project development

"One stop shop in all aspects." - Project finance

"Responsive, and knowledgeable about Mauritian law whilst remaining commercial." - Restructuring and insolvency

Anjeev Hurry, Bilshan Nursimulu, Clarel Benoit, and Rishi Pursem

"Extremely professional with a practical side balance."

Clarel Benoit

"Clarel has an outstanding ability to shift through complex legal issues and provides practical solutions for client's decision making.  He is efficient, dispassionate and thorough in his approach. He pays particular attention to details and his foresight helps achieve the best possible outcome for the client. Clarel keeps up to date with legal developments worldwide and excels at delivering solutions oriented advice."  

John Savournaden

"John is very attentive to matters and provides a quick turnaround of high quality work."

"Responsive and comprehensive yet commercial."

Nadeem Lallmamode

"Excellent work."

"Very responsive and dealt with everything we asked of him efficiently."

Rishi Pursem

"Extremely competent, outstanding knowledge and experience, excellent advice."

BLC Robert & Associates

BLC Robert & Associates is a top tier firm with a strong presence in the banking and finance and project development areas.

During the research period, in the banking area, the firm advised the lenders providing a bridge facility. 

In M&A, the firm worked for an acquirer on an energy deal and a seller in the financial services sector. It also represented clients involved in an cross-border entertainment merger and domestic construction merger.

Additionally, the firm acted as counsel to project companies on the development and construction of power projects.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•CDC Group $180 million investment in Liquid Telecom

•Tema $1 billion 400MW thermal power plant

•Vivo Energy $170 million acquisition of Engen

Client feedback

"There are three strengths that really stand out every time you work with BLC Robert: quality of advice and partnering throughout the engagement period, ability to balance strict legal advice and applying a commercial lens, and turnaround time." - Banking

"Extremely commercial and professional." - M&A

Jason Harel

"Extremely professional and proactive lawyer."

Jean-Eric Sauzier

"Jean-Eric had a very hands-on approach when working on any matter. He is able to provide high quality legal advice and understand your commercial needs at the same time. In my experience, he has always gone above and beyond to partner with you in the engagement."

C&A Law

C&A Law is active across the financial and corporate areas.

During the research period the firm advised borrowers on loans, and worked for lenders on a bridge facility, loans and amendment of existing facilities. 

In capital markets the firm has advised issuers listing shares.

The firm represented an acquirer on a real estate M&A deal and assisted funds in private equity investments into small and mid-sized businesses in the financial services, healthcare, technology and consumer goods sectors. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Afrique Gold $40 million financing

•Grit $23 million acquisition of Acacia Estate

•Two Rivers $86 million financing

Client feedback

"The firm has adequate resources in terms of manpower and expertise to handle assignments in relation to capital markets transactions." - Capital markets: Equity

"They are responsive and usually clear in their advice." - Capital markets: High yield

"The document was very clearly written and remarkable for its "plain English" approach and lack of unnecessary legalese." - M&A

"They are professionals. The advices received were of good quality and provided us with a good channel to recover our money." - Project development

"Excellent and practical advice. Quick responsiveness and good communication skills." - Restructuring and insolvency

"The partners with whom I deal with are experts in the field of insolvency. I have no adverse comments on the quality of advice I obtained from them." - Restructuring and insolvency

Alanna Ganoo and Giles Athaw

"Good."

Billy Li

"Great professional with a good knowledge of the construction industry."

Gilles Athaw

"Gilles is a very good lawyer with in-depth knowledge of the corporate laws prevailing in Mauritius and reckons quite high capabilities of delving into abstract and complex matters."

Goinsamy Chinien

"Excellent."

Kelly Li

"The document we reviewed was very well drafted."

Dentons

The Mauritian office of Dentons was formed in October 2018 by the merger of two local firms, Balgobin Chambers and Mardemootoo Solicitors. The firm has a particular focus on advising investment funds, and during the research period worked for investment funds on their Mauritius launch. 

In the capital markets area the firm represented issuers of bonds. A

In M&A, the firm advised a seller in an oil and gas deal and acquirers on deals in the healthcare, energy, technology and tourism sectors. 

Other work saw the firm advise debtors on restructuring matters.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Swala $50 million notes issue

•Victoria urban terminal redevelopment

•Webfluential Global restructuring

ENSafrica

ENSafrica has offices in Southern, West and East Africa and works across the financial and corporate areas advising African and international investors on cross-border mandates.

In Mauritius the firm recently advised lenders on secured finance, acquisition finance and project finance matters. 

In corporate work it advised a seller in a real estate deal and a debtor on a corporate restructuring.

Client feedback

"The firm had a good understanding of the Mauritian market." - Banking

"The firm is very professional and provided a good service." - Banking and M&A

Nashenta Vudamallay Zindel

"She has a good grasp of financial law issues as well as a gentle disposition."

Thierry Koenig

"Thierry Koenig has in depth knowledge of the local framework and provide advice based on the overall picture. The issue is that there could a bottleneck if associates do not master as well the context of cases."

Juristconsult Chambers

Juristconsult Chambers is a top tier firm across the financial and corporate and project development spaces. The firm is a part of DLA Piper.

During the research period the firm advised borrowers and lenders on loans, Islamic finance and refinancing deals. 

It also advised acquirers on M&A deals in the infrastructure and real estate sectors.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•ISON BPO $45 million financing

•Liquid Telecom $20 million financing

•Phoenix £17 million murabaha financing

Client feedback

"Juristconsult was prompt in providing opinion and their requests. We enjoyed working with Shalinee Dreepaul." - Capital markets: Equity

"They were prompt with respect to their requests and opinion and provided timely advice."  - Capital markets: Equity

Shalinee Dreepaul

"She was good and prompt with her work and response. Our client appreciated her timely response."

"She was very good and forthcoming with our suggestions and requests."

LX Legal

LX Legal, created in January 2018, is a boutique active in the financial and corporate areas.

During the research period the firm advised on a mix of banking, private equity and restructuring and insolvency deals.

The firm worked for lenders in banking, assisted an issuer on share issues, and represented an insurance company on its insolvency.

A notable staffing change was the departure of corporate partner Anastasiya Seenauth over the research period.

Client feedback

"The firm principal is very knowledgeable and he has strong integrity and professionalism." - Banking

"Excellent." - M&A

Gilbert Noel

"Excellent in all aspects."

"Very responsive and knowledgeable."

Madun Gujadhur Chambers

Madun Gujadhur Chambers is active in financial and corporate work, particularly inbound African M&A and investment funds deals for international clients.

Over the research period the firm worked for borrowers on loan facilities and advised private equity funds on launching funds in Mauritius.

Client feedback

"The firm and in particular Anand Gujadhur, is excellent. It is our go-to counsel in Mauritius. They are responsive, helpful and proactive, and their quality of work is considerably higher than their competitors."

Anand Gujadhur

"Anand is excellent. He has great technical knowledge, is highly responsive and helpful, and is always cool under pressure."

PLCJ

PLCJ (Parent Lagesse Conseil Juridique) is focused on corporate work and advises on Mauritian and French law.

The M&A team had both buy and sell side roles recently. During the research period the firm worked on deals in the transport, real estate, consumer goods and food and beverage sectors. It was also active in the private equity space.

During the research period M&A partner Christophe Toulet left the firm.

Client feedback

"Excellent work. High adaptability to the commercial specificities of the transaction despite the fact that they were highly complex." - M&A

"Being a boutique we usually dealt with the partners. Active listeners and solution oriented, they always ensured that the deals were done smoothly and that all risks were identified and addressed. They are flexible and adapt to urgencies. They could take some training in VC specific clause, but the ROI will be limited." - Private equity

Christophe Toulet     

"Christophe always did a fantastic work, solution oriented, client focused and transparent. I really enjoyed all the interaction. I believed we negotiated all our deals with a full understanding of our risks and concessions."

Mathilde Parent Lagesse       

"Outstanding on all aspects. Could improve tha ability to delegate the ground work to juniors."

Uteem Chambers

Uteem Chambers specialises in banking and finance, securities and corporate work.

During the research period the firm advised borrowers on loans and lenders on corporate financings. 

In corporate work it represented private equity funds launching in the country and, in M&A, advised an acquirer on deal in the agriculture sector.

Recent Deal Data highlights

•AFIG Funds $19 million financing

•PT Ivo Mas Tunggal $75 million financing

•Volcan Investments Cyprus $1 billion financing 

Venture Law

Venture Law works on the financial and corporate space and has strength in private equity work.

The firm worked for lenders on project finance matters in Egypt and Mozambique during the research period. 

In M&A it acted on the buy side in international agrochemical and real estate deals and on the sell side on a transaction in the manufacturing industry. 

Additionally, the firm advised a private equity firm on the launch of its sixth Indian fund. 

Recent Deal Data highlights

•Abu Dhabi Investment Authority / TPG Capital $1.2 billion investment in UPL Corporation

•Sequoia Capital $695 million Indian fund launch

•Stanley Black & Decker $440 million acquisition of Nelson Fastener Systems entities 

YKJ Legal

YKJ Legal is a local law firm working on financial and corporate matters and focussing on the Asian and African markets. The firm is a member of ALFA International legal network. 

During the research period the firm advised lenders on loans, acquisition finance and project finance matters. 

In capital markets it advised issuers on bond sales.

In M&A it advised acquirers on real estate M&A deals and advised funds on investments in India.