Port Louis — The Mauritian Bar has misplaced a shining star and one in all its most brave advocates. Moorari Gujadhur, affectionately often known as Mulu, died on 27th February 2023 in London, United Kingdom, on the age of 64, after a brief sickness.
Tireless fighter for justice, Mulu was fearless when confronted by unreasonable or overweening authority which he referred to as out each time. He mixed a profound understanding of the intricacies of the regulation with an actual strategic sense of the best way to run a case for his consumer, skills that had been on show in his defence of Mrs Isabelle Maigrot throughout the case of the homicide of Vanessa Lagesse from 2001. He fought relentlessly and in opposition to all odds to acquire Mrs Maigrot’s launch, even calling the Commissioner of Police as a witness.
Years later, he was proud to symbolize Mrs Veena Ramgoolam, the spouse of the previous prime minister, following the 2014 normal election.
Intuitive cross-examiner, Mulu might learn the heartbeat of a courtroom and knew the best way to direct the course of the case to realize his desired consequence, utilizing wit, a relish for the creole language, and supreme self-confidence in order that witnesses who suffered by way of his fearsome questioning didn’t shortly neglect the expertise. His masterly and witty cross-examination of the principal State witness when defending former Deputy Commissioner of Police, Mr Dev Jokhoo, within the case of the previous prime minister, Dr the Hon. Navin Ramgoolam, and others, as from 2015 was a tour de drive through which he demolished the witness’ credibility and with it your entire foundation of the State’s case in entrance of a packed and spellbound courtroom.
Regardless of his involvement in such distinguished instances, together with his conduct of the defence of Robert Lesage in opposition to the Mauritius Industrial Financial institution, his problem of the New Mauritius Accommodations group’s restructuring plans, his illustration of the Hon. Showkutally Soodhun, and his defence of Angolan banker and businessman, Alvaro Sobrinho, Mulu refused to talk to the press about ongoing instances and was the antithesis of the media-hungry barrister, preferring to let his work converse for itself.
In parallel together with his skills on his ft in court docket, Mulu developed from the mid-Nineties a observe as a world company lawyer within the international enterprise sector, through which he allied his high-quality mind to a creativity that enabled him to seek out options to what others thought had been intractable instances. He was commonly instructed by the Magic Circle and Wall Avenue worldwide regulation corporations. His mastery of the complexities of prime brokerage regulation made him the ‘go to’ lawyer in Mauritius utilized by shoppers of the calibre of Goldman Sachs and JP Morgan.
His arguments on the function of public coverage within the case of Cruz Metropolis v Unitech in 2014, led to the landmark judgement on the popularity and enforcement of international arbitral awards that’s referred to internationally in all instances the place the problem of public coverage is raised.
Representing the Singapore financial institution, DBS, within the USD 82 million Metalform case in 2006, Mulu efficiently argued in opposition to a proper of pre-emption claimed by a shareholder thus enabling the Mauritian cost and pledge construction to be upheld for the advantage of DBS, the place an analogous safety construction in Singapore fell by way of.
Mulu spent hours of his time instructing his juniors within the intricacies of firm and industrial regulation and he’s remembered fondly as a mentor by many who went on to careers on the bench.
For his household and buddies and people who had been lucky to return throughout him in every day life, Mulu was a fun-loving, charming, witty, typically irascible, and infrequently frank companion whose presence was awaited to essentially get a celebration going. He by no means adopted the herd however was at all times his personal man, defying conference, not least when he took on his ultra-traditional household to marry the girl he beloved.
Mulu had a lifelong love of studying, notably philosophy – he was an aficionado of Montaigne – and his suitcases had been at all times stuffed with books when he returned from journeys to London. Immensely happy with his Indian heritage, he was an authority on Indian tradition and historical past (with a mushy spot for the subcontinental essays of William Dalrymple). In parallel, he additionally admired British tradition, beloved to put on his Savile Row fits, Jermyn Avenue shirts and ties, and Church’s footwear, and loved imbibing Irish and Scotch whiskies.
Mulu completely lacked self-importance, puncturing pretension wherever he noticed it, and treating everybody the identical, no matter race, faith, background, schooling, or political affiliation. He at all times stepped in to assist with out being requested, not searching for reward or thanks, and representing many consumers professional bono on instances lasting for years. He by no means sought recognition or the badges of standing, however the excessive regard through which he was so extensively held each professionally and personally is testomony to his greatness.
Mulu Gujadhur was born on 23rd December 1958 in Mauritius, third little one of eminent Mauritian barrister, Madun Gujadhur QC, and his spouse, Uma Singh Gujadhur, throughout the interval previous to Mauritian independence when Madun Gujadhur QC was practising on the Patna Excessive Courtroom.
A born contrarian, those that got here throughout Mulu all through his life shortly discovered that he couldn’t bear being advised what to do, beginning with the Jesuit educators of St Xavier’s Faculty in Patna, which was an early instance of Mulu’s talking fact to energy. He drew moustaches on the oil portray portraits of previous headmasters as a ultimate act of revolt when he left the college.
Following Madun Gujadhur QC’s return to Mauritius post-independence, Mulu was enrolled on the Royal Faculty of Port Louis. A pure insurgent, he was a part of the 1975 era which fought for equality in secondary college schooling for all Mauritians.
Having left college at 16, he was advised to buck up and research Regulation, however the contrarian in him led him to decide on a special path by working at Goupille et Cie as a tv repairman while finding out electrical engineering, a lot to the dismay of his mom.
Three years later, in 1983, he advised his father that he did, in spite of everything, need to research Regulation. He went to Buckingham College for his LLB, after which to London for the English Bar examination, which he handed. Nevertheless, he was held again from qualifying for a time period as a consequence of not finishing his Center Temple dinners in time. As soon as referred to as to the Bar of England and Wales in November 1987, he undertook his pupillage on the industrial chambers of 4 Pump Courtroom, Temple, London.
It was round this time that he met his future spouse, Suzanne Bell, Cambridge graduate and already a practising barrister. Enamoured, he launched her to the jazz golf equipment of London while she tried ineffectually to inculcate in him a love of opera.
Mulu returned to Mauritius and was referred to as to the Mauritian Bar in December 1987. Suzanne stayed behind in London, while Mulu confronted opposition to their union from his prolonged household. They nonetheless married in London in 1989, and selected to settle in Mauritius, the place they loved a cheerful married life collectively: Mulu’s biggest pleasure was being surrounded by their two daughters and two sons.
Mulu first joined the Chambers of Sir Hamid Moollan QC the place he began to construct his profession in civil and legal regulation, underneath the steering of this esteemed mentor. Following the demise of his father in 1995, he took over the working of Madun Gujadhur Chambers, creating its status as a world company regulation observe. He was elected president of the Mauritius Bar Affiliation in 2007 and was a mainstay of the Bar Council for a few years.
Having promised Suzanne to not enter native politics for 5 years upon returning to Mauritius, 5 years and a day later Mulu joined the Mouvement Militant Mauricen (MMM). Pushed by a want to assist the least lucky, he was energetic throughout the social gathering for plenty of years and was made chairman of the Mauritius Housing Firm after which the Nationwide Housing Growth Firm (NHDC) following the electoral win of 2000. On the NHDC, he refused to have an official operate BMW purchased for him, preferring to have the cash concerned put to constructing extra much-needed homes. He gave up energetic politics just a few years later to focus on his burgeoning authorized observe and his all-important household life.
Mulu will at all times be remembered for his great kindness and humanity, for his willingness to assist anybody who wanted him, for his distinctive mind, and for his bravery each inside and outdoors the courtroom. He had a terrific sense of household and friendship, was a a lot beloved and revered member of his prolonged household in Mauritius and India and was cherished by his many buddies the world over to whom he was merely ‘Mulu of Mauritius’.