Iqbal Rajahbalee | Seniour Counsel | Managing Partner | BLC Robert
Iqbal Rajahbalee is the Managing Partner of BLC Robert and specialises in the practice areas of financial services, compliance and dispute resolution. He is a Senior Counsel with over 30 years of practice at the Bar of Mauritius advising on a number of diverse cross-border finance transactions, including asset financing and investment funds both for the public and private sectors.
Iqbal is the founder of the offshore financial industry in Mauritius and served as the first Executive Director of the Mauritius Offshore Business Activities Authority. He was appointed as the first Chief Executive of the Financial Services Commission of Mauritius, the regulatory body of the non-banking finance industry. He has acted as Mauritian counsel in setting up a number of global investment funds and advised a number of multinationals. In addition, Iqbal served for more than 10 years at the Attorney General‘s Office, Ministry of Justice rising to the position of Assistant Solicitor General. He is often called upon by the Government to advise on financial law matters and has drafted numerous pieces of legislation in Mauritius, including the Securities Act, the Financial Services Development Act and the Insurance Act.
Over the last 10 years, Iqbal’s practice at the Mauritian Bar has been essentially directed to commercial litigation and he has acted as counsel to a number of multinationals and local major companies before the Supreme Court in Mauritius and in both local and international arbitration. Iqbal has also been called as expert witness with regard to Mauritian corporate law before the High Court of England and Wales and before the High Court in the Republic of Singapore.
Iqbal has led several Government delegations on a wide range of issues from international territorial disputes to taxation and has sat on a number of government appointed committees. Iqbal completed both his bachelor and master ofLaws at the London School of Economics.
Iqbal is rated as Leading Lawyer by Chambers Global, ILFR 100 and Legal 500. Chambers Global have stated that “he knows this business outstandingly well” and is a “sensible choice for large corporate transactions.” The guide states that “Observers credit his ‘tremendous track record’ as one of the reasons why he is held in such high esteem by clients.”
Membership in Professional Societies
- The Honourbale Society of Middle Temple
- Honorary Member, Asian Offshore Association
- Mauritius Bar Association
1980 – Called to the Bar of Mauritius
1980 – Called to the Bar of England and Wales
1979 – LL.M – London School of Economics, England
1978 -– LL.B – London School of Economics, England
2005 – DATE: Managing Partner, BLC Robert
2001 – 2005: Chief Executive, Financial Services Commission
1996 – 2001: Private Practice, Collendavelloo Chambers
1992 – 1996: Executive Director, Mauritius Offshore Business Activities Authority (MOBAA)
1980 – 1992: Assistant Solicitor General, Attorney General’s Office
Awards & Accolades
- Iqbal has been ranked as a Band 1 lawyer by Chambers Global since 2
- PLC Which Lawyer? 2011 ranks Iqbal as a top tier lawyer.
- Iqbal is ranked as a Leading Individual by Legal 5
- Iqbal has been ranked as a Highly Regarded Leading Lawyer by IFLR 1000 since 201
- Chambers Global 2018 described him as having “a stellar reputation as a specialist in banking and finance, and his expertise in offshore matters remains in high demand. He is also a skilled litigato His name is one of the most recognisable in the market – peers say he is one of the lawyers we see across the table on a lot of the biggest deals.”
- Chambers Global 2019 described him as “Revered practitioner and managing partner Iqbal Rajahbalee continues to enjoy a front-running position in this sphere. He possesses significant experience handling complex financial transactions, including equity offerings, fund structuring and restructurings and regulatory mandates.”
- The 2019 IFLR 1000 guide indicated that “Rajahbalee understands the technical aspects of both financial and corporate deals very well and he’s very knowledgeable about the Mauritius regulations.”
Areas of Expertise
- Corporate and Commercial Law
- Litigation and Arbitration
- Construction Law
- Financial Services and Regulatory
- Acting for LeapFrog Financial Inclusion Fund II in connection with a USD 400 Million social impact PE fund.
- Advising an international bank in connection with the disposal of its leasing business as a part of its corporate strategy and compliance with the financial services industry framework and regulations which involved a cross-border approach to protect the bank’s facilities to its clients.
- Advising a major Mauritian bank in connection with provision of three parallel facilities for the financing of an investment fund and a construction venture for the acquisition and development of real estate projects in Ind
- Acting for a global BPO service provider in connection with a USD 200 Million facility agreement with a major UK bank for the acquisition of the offshore captive BPO units of a NYSE listed insurance gian
- Advising a client in connection with a significant railway venture in East Africa, structured as a joint concession of two African country railways involving investments from sovereign funds and governments.
- Advising various global investment funds and private equity funds.
- Acting as part of a team of advisers to the Government of Mauritius in connection with the setting up of a ring road private public partnership. The project’s aim is to upgrade and expand the national highway road network.
- Acting for a major domestic contractor in connection with an ad hoc arbitration against a property developer to recover approximately USD 3 Million against the developer and to defend a claim for defective works of approximately USD 7 Million.
- Acting for a Chinese state-owned contractor in connection with the administration and subsequent liquidation of a USD 60 Million real estate development.
- Acting for a Chinese contractor in the liquidation of a real estate development and anticipated arbitration proceedin
- Acting for a sizeable domestic contractor in connection with anticipated arbitration proceedings against a nominated sub-contractor on issues of contractual interpretation relating to liquidated damages and contra charges.
- Appearing before designated Judges dealing with international arbitration matters under the recent International Arbitration Act and accompanying rules.
- Acting for a real estate development company in connection with a dispute with its minority shareholder by way of ad hoc arbitration.
- Acting for a promoter in connection with a number of integrated resort schemes, including Anahita, Villas Valriche, Corniche Bay, Roches Noires on all legal aspects, excluding the sale of real estate-which is conducted by a notary of the projects, including providing advice in respect of the construction contracts.
- Acting for the promoter of various hotel developments, including Four Seasons, Zilwa Attitude, Koki Bay on all legal aspects of green field projects, including the construction contracts and the financing thereof.
- Acting for the promoter of an urban cooling project in the city of Port-Louis which involves the pumping of cool sea water in the region of Port-Louis for air-conditioning purposes of office buildings in the capital.
- Acting for financial institutions, insolvency practitioners and others in connection with various real estate distressed assets providing legal advice in relation to asset sale and refinancing to enable completion of the projects.
- Advising a client in connection with the offshore financial sector laws and for the establishment of the first authority to regulate offshore business activities conducted from within Mauritius which included capital market regulations. It is also in that capacity that he initiated a review of the listing rules of the Stock Exchange of Mauritius and oversaw the drafting of the rules which came into force in 2000.
- Advising the Government of Namibia in connection with the setting up of an export service zone, including preparing an assessment report, drafting the legislation for the institutional framework and the laws relating to international companies and banking.