- Managing Partner: Iqbal Rajahbalee
- Number of lawyers: 17
- Languages: English, French
BLC Chambers is a leading Mauritius law firm providing assistance on diverse cross-border transactions originating from various parts of the world involving Mauritius. Innovative in its solution-driven approach, it focuses its practice on definite areas of law where it can confidently display a combination of skills, experience and industry knowledge.
Main Areas of Practice:
Lawyers at BLC Chambers have a wide range of expertise, enabling them to provide clear, sound and timely legal advice on the full spectrum of areas including banking, investment funds,mergers and acquisitions, real estate, taxation and compliance and fiduciary services.
BLC was counsel to a renewable energy loan deal of E40 million for on-lending by 5 established Mauritian banks for the financing of green projects; acted as advisor to central banks in the region; advised international banks in relation to a $500 million loan for the refinancing of a hotel construction; acted as counsel for a bank in relation to: the financing of a company investing in real estate in India of US$82 million including a legal due diligence; advised on the financing of a multi-jurisdiction asset and hotel swap; advised a debenture issue of a Mauritius corporation investing in South African securities and provided legal expertise to leading local corporate groups in relation to the setting up of new bank and legal support to an international bank in relation to a $95 million loan for the financing of the purchase of telecommunication shares. Clients are “very impressed by the speed of the turnaround time and the personal attention paid to the matter.We wish all our dealings with offshore counsel were like that”.
Experience and expertise in advising private and listed companies, domestic and international banks and other financial institutions in connection with structured finance transactions including securitisations, repackaging and other structured products; advisor to an aircraft facility agreement provided by an international bank and a trade finance bank for the acquisition of two (2) ATR airplanes for operations in West Africa.With an ever increasing demand for more cost effective and tax efficient structures, BLC has advised investment banks and hedge funds, among others, in the establishment of special purpose vehicles.
Funds and funds-related work is a core area of its practice with a dedicated team advising on all aspects of structuring, drafting of legal documentation and tax advice.BLC acted for a not for profit African wildlife foundation in the setting up of an innovative low cost structure to finance African conservation enterprises advised on an African investment on a $184 million railway project in East Africa in concession with Kenya and Uganda Railways as part of its commitment to contribute to sustainable development initiatives in Africa; advised a number of collective investment schemes,private equity funds, and real estate investment funds using Mauritius as a fund domicile with an aggregate asset base of over US$2 billion. BLC’s strength and competitive advantage reside in its ability to pool from the extensive experience of its lawyers ranging from capital markets regulation, international taxation (particularly in the application of double taxation avoidance treaties), compliance and transactional work, providing its clients a global and seamless legal service; “The support offered by BLC has been of great value.The guidance obtained throughout a difficult and complex exercise has revealed a high degree of professionalism, extreme agility in grasping the complexities and specificities of the sector and ability to propose practical and effective solutions to the satisfaction of proponents.”
Corporate, Mergers & Acquisitions:
Experience ranging from due diligence,mergers and demergers, listing rules, joint ventures, capital and debenture issues, drafting share purchase and shareholders agreements and drafting information memoranda. BLC has advised a number of large corporate transactions including private company shares, IPOs and acquisitions of shares listed on the secondary market; engaged in the incorporation of Mauritian subsidiary of an investment company which is focused on acquiring interests in companies and projects based in Zimbabwe and Southern African region and advised in connection to the admission of the investment company on AIM; acted as counsel to a global BPO service provider on Mauritius law in a US$200 million facility agreement with a major UK bank for the acquisition of the captive BPO units of an insurance giant listed on the NYSE; advised with regards to the investment in the renewable energy sector in India through Mauritius involving due diligence, subscription documentation and shareholder agreements; advised a joint investment by an international firm and a development fund into a mobile phone operator in Nigeria with affiliated offshore companies in Mauritius; advised on the acquisition of a 40% stake in a leading investment manager in Mauritius by a major financial services provider in India.
Taxation & Compliance:
BLC advises a number of leading corporates in relation to tax structuring issues and tax disputes with the relevant authorities. BLC is considered as the leading practice in advising clients on using Mauritius as a platform for tax optimisationusing the extensive double taxation treaty network. BLC team has devised a number of tax optimisation structures in conjunction with the structured finance and investment funds teams assisting clients through complex tax planning and structuring.
BLC Chambers has been involved in numerous real estate transactions including advising both lenders and project companies in respect of Invest Hotel Schemes designed to allow for co-ownership equity participation. Members of the Chambers have advised on structuring purchases of real estate in Mauritius both for residential purposes and for business purposes.
With the advent of administration as a new corporate rescue tool under the Insolvency Act 2009, BLC was appointed to advise one of the major international accountancy firms on the very first administration process initiated in Mauritius.
Litigation & Arbitration:
The firm has acted for clients in various corporate and commercial litigation cases. It has developed an arbitration capacity and represents both local and foreign clients using Mauritius as a venue for international arbitration. Clients also say the firm’s “response time is excellent” and recommend Iqbal Rajahbalee for “high level litigation”.
The firm is advisor to the Government of the Republic of Mauritius in the biggest of its private public partnership projects dealing with the upgrading and expansion of the national highway road network in the country.
The firm is recognised for providing quality service and responding promptly to its clients’ needs. “The unambiguous advice and support that BLC Chambers provided to our team went a long way to assuage our anxiety during fund structuring and document negotiations. Their ability to respond quickly and relevantly made the engagement productive. ”A client from a global bank commends the firm and its lawyers - “they do a fantastic job in corporate financing,my favourite lawyers of the lot. They can give very specific to general transaction advice on any type of offshore transactions wherever it is required.” At BLC “generally the level of service is excellent [and] the fantastic thing about them as opposed to other firms is the level of support and the juniors are very good.” The firm has earned its clients’ trust and nurtures longstanding relationships with dedication ensuring total client satisfaction in complex cross-border offerings.
Drafting of legal documents in project finance transactions on behalf of multinationals; assisted foreign clients in setting up banks and financial institutions in locally; acted as Mauritius counsel in cross-border project finance transactions, and acted as legal adviser to investment funds based in Mauritius investing in India and Africa; advise on offshore and financial services matters to its large network of clients. Iqbal Rajahbalee, the Managing Partner, was the first Chief Executive of the Financial Services Commission (FSC), the regulatory institution for the non-banking financial services sector. He has been responsible for the drafting of the legislation regulating the offshore business sector. The firm provides corporate and fiduciary services, and is also a member of the Africa Legal Network (ALN).