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 almost exclusively active in offshore financial and corporate work, largely advising international clients on setting up funds or subsidiaries in Mauritius. Within financial and corporate, the firm is largely active in banking and capital markets. The firm only advises on Mauritian law.

The firm has been advising clients on investments in Asia and Africa through Mauritius. For example, representing the Indonesian thermal coal miner PT Bumi Resources’ creditors on its debt restructuring. 

Notable clients of the firm include Neerg Energy and Standard Chartered Bank. 

Balgobin Chambers

Both Balgobin Chambers and Mardemootoo Solicitors merged with Dentons in 2018, initially under the MSBC Legal banner.

The bulk of Balgobin Chamber's work prior to the merger was concentrated in the funds area, but the firm also worked in banking.

During the research period, prior to the merger, Mardemootoo Solicitors was active across a variety of services, including funds and corporate structuring in, project finance and development, and banking. A highlight for the firm in project development was advising RHT Holding, RHT Bus Services, and Mychauffeur with respect to negotiating and implementing a cashless card payments system and smart bike services in Mauritius.

Notable clients of two firms prior to the merger include China Road and Bridge Corporation, State Bank of Mauritius, India Growth Fund, and Mauritius Freeport Development Company.

Client feedback

"The firm has excellent client services. It walks its clients through the complexities of local regulations providing pragmatic business-oriented solutions. It has the expertise to assist on small or large issues." - Restructuring and insolvency

"Professional, available, experienced." - Project finance and project development

Priscilla Balgobin-Bhoyrul

"She considers the broadest perspectives and is pragmatic when delivering her advice. She proactively develops relationships at various levels with key decision makers to the advantage of her clients. Priscilla also creates a climate of trust for her clients." 

Nilen Vencadasmy

"Bright, motivated and competent in this field of work." 

Benoit Chambers

Benoit Chambers is a local firm in Mauritius operating in the financial and corporate area, which has recently been active in the investment funds, banking, capital markets, and project development areas.

In capital markets, the firm works on bond issuances and equity markets. During the research period it represented IBL on its notes programme and represented Arindo Holdings on its listing on the Stock Exchange of Mauritius. 

In M&A work the firm has been advising client Kedaara Capital II on its India focused fund in Mauritius. 

The firm saw the departure of Laksha Juddoo to C&A Law. 

Notable clients of the firm include General Electric, State Insurance-Company, and Winhold. 

Client feedback

"Boutique kind of law firm providing one to one contact with partners. Flexible to meet challenges and deadlines and can easily work under pressure." 

"Excellent expertise and assistance." – Competition and M&A

"Excellent lawyers with deep local knowledge and exposure to the most innovative transactions in the market." – Competition, M&A, private equity, and restructuring and insolvency

"Rishi Pursem and Nadeem Lallamode are very high quality lawyers." 

"Benoit Chambers is very proactive and always there to help and propose better solutions. Very up to date when it comes to new financial regulations." – Capital markets

Clarel Benoit

"He is always available and always has a solution to an issue." 

"He provided excellent assistance."

"One of the best legal minds on the island." 

Tania Li

"Always up to date with new financial regulations and meets the deadlines."

Rishi Pursem

"A very high quality lawyer."

 

BLC Robert & Associates

BLC Robert & Associates has a strong presence in financial and corporate work, particularly capital markets and project development. It is the Mauritian member of the Africa Legal Network. 

A highlight in project finance was representing State Bank of Mauritius Asset Managers in structuring a credit line from the Government of India to fund Mauritian infrastructure projects. 

In capital markets work, the firm advised on bond and stock issuances, representing Liquid Telecommunications with respect to offering senior secured notes, and the Africa Export-Import Bank in the issuance of equity in Mauritius through depository receipts. 

Fazil Hossenkhan, a partner specialising in financial services, capital markets, and regulation, left the firm to establish his own practice.

The firm is often consulted by the Government of Mauritius, with other notable clients including Mauritius Commercial Bank Group, African Export-Import Bank, and State Bank of Mauritius. 

Client feedback

"Excellent firm. Responsive. In-depth knowledge. Helpful." – Capital markets, M&A, restructuring and insolvency

"Good technical knowledge. Wide practice areas." – Banking and finance, capital markets

"I have found BLC Robert to be excellent. They have a great understanding of Mauritian law and its practical application." – M&A

"Practical and reliable commercial advice." – M&A and private equity

"Responsive. Competitive on pricing. Commercially astute. Pleasure to work with on a personal level."- Banking and project finance

"We have mandated BLC Robert & Associate to act both on our behalf and on that of our own clients. In our opinion, BLCR combined a unique understanding of the law and various corporate matters. The firm has an intricate ability to understand a complex transaction and distill it down to select critical points." – Capital markets, M&A and private equity

Jean-Eric Sauzier

"Good technical knowledge. Rigid." 

"Excellent work, accurate and practical. Very good at communicating with me as his client."

Iqbal Rajahbalee 

"Highly professional with a strong team."

Jason Harel

"Provides high-level support when needed, excellent."

Valerie Bisasur

"Excellent and responsive service, and pleasure to work with."

Bhavna Ramsurun

"Solid, practical, commercial. Good knowledge of Mauritian regulatory environment." 

C&A Law

C&A Law is active in the banking, project finance, and capital markets practice areas, doing almost exclusively offshore work.

A sector specialty of the firm is real estate, and this year it has been advising Grit Real Estate Income Group and its 23 Mauritian subsidiaries on the Mauritian law aspects of its listing on the London Stock Exchange. The firm is also active in mining, representing Toro Gold with respect to a project financing for Bambuk Minerals. 

Important clients for the firm are Grit Real Estate Income Group, Nedbank, and Rand Merchant Bank Division. 

Chambers of Urmila Boolell SC

Chambers of Urmila Boolell SC is a local firm active in banking and project finance recently. Within project finance, the firm has worked in the renewable energy sector. The firm largely works on offshore work for India and Africa. 

The firm has changed its name from Banymandhub Boolell Chambers to Chambers of Urmila Boolell SC.

ENSafrica

ENSafrica in Mauritius recently primarily worked in banking, with some work in M&A and private equity. The firm recently advised Alteo on its corporate restructuring. 

Executives Michael Schilling, Jaykar Gujadhur, and Varuna Bunwaree left the firm during the research period. 

Notable clients include the Bank of China, Weston International Asset Recovery Company, and Ius Ad Vitam Association. 

Client feedback

"High level of professionalism. High quality and reliable work. Attention to detail. Good attention to customer service. No real weaknesses noted." – Competition and M&A

 

Juristconsult Chambers

Juristconsult Chambers operates in banking, M&A, and project finance. The firm is a member of DLA Piper’s network. 

In banking, the firm has worked on cross border transactions such as the bridge facility to Trevo Capital from First Rand Bank (the firm’s client). Within M&A, the firm specialises in private equity and takeover work. The firm advised the European Investment Bank with regard to an investment in Catalyst Fund LP II, which invests in East Africa. 

Notable clients of the firm during the research period include European Investment Bank, IBL, and Standard Bank of South Africa. 

Client feedback

"Legal opinions provided by Juristconsult Chambers usually cover all aspects of the subject matter, highlighting clearly the reputational, business and technical risks associated with the current issue. The law firm will simultaneously propose mitigating solutions, whilst taking into consideration the environment in which the organization operates. Prior to delivering their services, they also carry out extensive research on any specific regulatory updates which may impact the Bank in the course of its business." – Banking and finance

"Readily available, willing to help the business." – Capital markets, and restructuring and insolvency

Shalinee Dreepaul Halkhoree

"Professionalism, willingness to help the business, friendly."

Johanne Hague

"She has excellent analytical and research skills and is able to find and comprehend pertinent information. The legal opinions provided by her demonstrate clearly that she has the ability to think of reasonable solutions, while taking into consideration both the regulatory and legislative criteria and obligations and the commercial rationale of the issue. 

Mardemootoo Solicitors

Both Mardemootoo Solicitors and Balgobin Chambers merged with Dentons in 2018, initially under the MSBC Legal banner.

During the research period, prior to the merger, Mardemootoo Solicitors was active across a variety of services, including funds and corporate structuring in, project finance and development, and banking. A highlight for the firm in project development was advising RHT Holding, RHT Bus Services, and Mychauffeur with respect to negotiating and implementing a cashless card payments system and smart bike services in Mauritius.

The bulk of Balgobin Chamber's work prior to the merger was concentrated in the funds area, but the firm also worked in banking.

Komadhi Mardemootoo, a partner in capital markets, left Mardemootoo Solicitors in 2017.

Notable clients of the two firms prior to the merger include China Road and Bridge Corporation, State Bank of Mauritius, India Growth Fund, and Mauritius Freeport Development Company.

RD Chambers

RD Chambers is a local firm in Mauritius active in M&A, banking, and project development and finance.

In M&A, the firm advised IBL with respect to the sale of Mauritian Eagle Leasing Company to CIM Financial Services. 

In the financial and corporate table, the firm moves up from to Tier 3 due to its work in M&A.  

Clients of the firm include Sarako ltd, MauBank, and Afrasia Bank. 

Venture Law

Venture Law strength is banking and M&A, largely advising offshore banks and funds on investments in India and Africa, which go through Mauritius.

In banking, the firm advised the International Finance Corporation on a loan to ETC Agro Processing Private in India. Within M&A, the firm worked on private equity deals recently, representing client NBK Capital Partners with respect to an investment in Egypt. 

The firm also represented JP Morgan Chase Bank and Citibank N.A, London during the research period.

Client feedback

"Excellent.  Always provide high quality legal analysis, promptly and clearly.  We always use them when advising a main client of the firm on equity and debt financings for infrastructure projects which Involve Mauritius." – M&A, project finance and development, and restructuring and insolvency

Sameer Tegally

"He is always very responsive, helpful and clear in his analysis and comments on documents."

YKJ Legal

YKJ Legal is a local law firm in Mauritius specialising in Asian and African markets, operating in capital markets and banking. The firm is a member of ALFA International. 

In banking, the firm advised Investec Bank on acquisition finance to purchase properties in London. In capital markets, the firm represented Greenko in a bond offering on the Singapore Exchange Securities as local council. 

Some of the firm's noteworthy clients are the Bombay Stock Exchange and Bank of America.

Client feedback

"The team at YKJ master a profound knowledge of the areas on which they advise such as investment funds and private equity funds. They are very professional and reliable. They go the extra mile to meet the client's deadline." – Capital markets, M&A, private equity, and restructuring and insolvency

Yuvraj Juwaheer

"Very specialised, experienced and mature law practitioner giving comfort on large ticket deals and regulatory matters."

"Strong in investment funds and private equity funds."