Awards & Rankings

Quoted from International Financial Law Review which places Uteem Chambers in Tier 1 of recommended law firm and Muhammad Uteem as leading lawyer

In one big-ticket transaction, name partner Muhammad Uteem advised a consortium of lenders led by Standard Chartered Bank on a $3.6 billion loan facility for the acquisition of a telecoms company in India. In another key deal, Uteem advised a consortium of lenders led by ABN Amro in relation to a €1.4 billion loan agreement for the purchase of shares in a power company in Germany. Citicorp also sought representation by the practice in its $1.1 billion secured loan agreement with a Mauritian company.

In recent times, the practice has focused much of its practice on investment funds. Uteem Chambers has advised on the establishment of several private-equity and real-estate funds for investment into India, China and Africa.

Uteem receives accolades from long-term clients. “I have known Muhammad since 2002 – he is one of the best lawyers in Mauritius and he has very sound legal principles,” says one client.

Quoted from Chambers and Partners which recommends Uteem Chambers and Muhammad Uteem

“Muhammad Uteem receives excellent feedback from clients, who appreciate his “thoughtful and time-efficient responses.” His forte is in banking transactions and he is in high demand for his “commercially oriented, professional service.”

As well as having a thriving corporate and finance practice, this firm is also an active player in the dispute resolution arena. Its highly esteemed team consists of six dedicated lawyers who act for a variety of local and international clients.

“An excellent firm. Turnaround times are really good, especially in urgent instances. They give very well-drafted opinions and their knowledge of Mauritian law is excellent.”

Founding partner Muhammad Uteem is “clearly very well versed in many aspects of Mauritian law and is able to shed light on how things fit together,” according to clients. His broad practice focuses on commercial law, trusts, tax and offshore-related work. He also played a key role in the drafting of local legislation and currently serves as an MP.

Quoted from IFLR 1000 which places Uteem Chambers in Tier 1 of recommended law firm and Muhammad Uteem as leading lawyer:

“Uteem Chambers is reputable for its international profile. The practice covers both Indian and African work and this has made it a favourable choice for international investors, as a client from a global bank says: “We used Uteem because they have the best knowledge of Mauritius law. They have the best grasp on the enforceability of projects. We’ve worked with Muhammad Uteem who is very international. He’s trained in both the UK and Singapore which gives him an international insight in his practice.” Another client reinforces this view: “We choose Uteem as opposed to other law firms because we feel like they have got better industry knowledge and experience and they’ve got good commercial sense.”

One interesting development has been leading partner Uteem’s involvement in politics since 2010 having been elected as a Member of Parliament in the country. Despite this additional workload clients do not note a decline in quality of service. “We knew that Mr Uteem had been elected as a member of the Parliament,” says one, “but so far we haven’t found that to cause any problems on service delivery. In fact we’ve continued to use them because they have maintained the quality in the past few years.

The firm has shifted towards a more African-focused practice in recent years in line with the market trend. In 2011, the firm advised the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund – a public-private partnership (PPP) providing US dollar and Euro funds to private infrastructure projects across sub-Saharan Africa – on additional financing from international institutions. $90 million and €10 million guarantees were raised by the fund throughout its course. Managing partner Muhammad Uteem led the deal.

The firm has also advised on the setting up of the Aureos Africa Fund, a private equity firm investing into small and medium sized businesses in emerging markets. It advised the firm on its pan-African regional operation and on various shareholders and investment issues. Besides Uteem, Soo Fon Ip Min Wan and Basheema Farreedun were also involved in the deal.

Despite expanding its African capacity, the firm has also continued its financial advisory work for Indian companies setting up in Mauritius. In 2011, Uteem and Farreedun acted as local counsel to Standard Chartered in a series of transactions involving the exercise of a put option over shares in an Indian telecommunication company and its repayment of a $3.5 billion loan.”

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