Saturday, June 13, 2009

The Internet on "Seychelles Law Firms": Misleading

Many law firms overseas have already set up their websites. Profiling their firms' lawyers, areas of practice, and even biographical data on some if not all of their lawyers, some even have a mugshot of each of them. Sometimes when I am contacted by a foreign lawyer I will type their name down on google, and voila! There they are, a distinguished lawyer of some big or medium sized firm. Some of them are even on facebook, not very impressive when their profile pict shows them in some fancy costume or carrying a couple pints of lager... but oh well, lawyers are human beings after all.

However, sometimes, after I type in a lawyer's name on google, nothing relevant shows up. Of course, this does not mean that that person is a fraud or doesn't exist. It just means that there is probably nothing on the internet on that particular person. This is not a big deal, in fact, if you type in the name of the majority of Seychelles attorneys on google, nothing relevant will show up. To the best of my knowledge, as of today, only 1 Seychelles Attorney-at-Law has a website about his practice. This even though the majority of Seychelles Attorneys use emails very frequently in their line of work.

Then I wondered, where can someone go to on the internet to find a Seychelles lawyer. Then I thought, most persons overseas are probably interested in a Seychelles lawyer to advise or guide them vis a vis the offshore industry. So the first port of call should be the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA). But when I came upon their list of lawyers, I was flabbergasted, looks like their list hasn't been updated since 2003 or 2004. In their list, as of today, Jacques Hodoul, Francis MacGregor and Melchior Vidot are still attorneys-at-law! Jacques Hodoul became a Justice of Appeal of the Seychelles Court of Appeal in 2004 or 2005. Francis MacGregor became the President of the Seychelles Court of Appeal in 2007 or 2008 and Melchior Vidot became the Master and Registrar of the Supreme Court of Seychelles in 2004. To make things even odder, a certain Mr Simon Mitchell is listed as an Attorney-at-Law when he is not one {ERRATUM - Please Click Here}. Oddly enough, only his email address is provided and none of the actual attorneys' email addresses are listed.

Realising that the SIBA list is at the very least outdated and not useful, I went on google again and typed in Seychelles Lawyers. The first entry (as of today) guided me to this website:, it referred to its one-entry list as "Seychelles Lawyers, Law Firms, Attorneys".The organization that they mentioned is not a law firm. And by law firm, I mean a firm of attorneys-at-law providing legal services.

The second entry on google took me to - Seychelles own version of ebay. There was a list of lawyers here. And this list was more accurate and up to date than that of SIBA. But most of the entries were made in 2006 and the list is incomplete and some of the persons on the list are not attorneys. Also, the list ranks lawyers out of 5 stars and all the lawyers on the list have 0 stars out of 5. Primarily because the ratings are generated from user votes and no one has voted.

The third entry took me to, its tag is "Worldwide Legal Directories". I went on their Seychelles list of lawyers on Mahe (the main island in Seychelles where all lawyers are located), it had 2 entries as law firms, neither of them are in fact law firms. One of them had a contact number in the United States. I hope has a better listing for other countries.

All the other top 10 google results were more or less the same: out of date and/or not actually listing Seychelles lawyers/law firms. The 11th google result came to the website of the (old) Seychelles Legal Environment, in particular the page listing the Attorney General and the State Counsels, the list of Government lawyers of Seychelles, not the private lawyers.

I tried Seychelles Law Firm on google and got more of the same. Almost none of the websites actually featured Seychelles law firms, some of them featured Seychelles corporate service providers, but these are not law firms.

When I tried Seychelles Attorney on google I got, as the first google result, a list of attorneys from the US Department of State virtual Seychelles presence website, this list was more accurate than many, but it was sorely missing several of the most distinguished attorneys. It also states that it was last updated in March 2007, which explains why some information therein are out of date.

In the end I went to one of the big names on law firm directories: Chambers and Partners. The list of law firms therein was of course not complete, as Chambers and Partners only list the best law firms/practitioners, but at least the information therein is accurate and that it actually lists law firms/practitioners.

To conclude, the search engines are not very useful to look for Seychelles lawyers/law firm. Most websites are out of date and many list non-law firms as Seychelles law firms and non-lawyers as Seychelles attorneys. When it comes to finding Seychelles lawyers on the internet, the internet is misleading. If you are looking for a Seychelles lawyer you should try out the judiciary (through the Registrar of the Supreme Court of Seychelles) for an up to date list of attorneys as they are required by law to keep a roll of attorneys. You may also check out the Seychelles Legal Environment's list of attorneys and law firms, which is generally kept up to date and lists all legal practitioners, even government lawyers, pupils, articled clerks and public prosecutors. The aim of the Seychelles Legal Environment website is simply to educate the public and keep them informed.

It is hoped that in time, more law firms/lawyers will set up their own websites.

The Robing Room is the official blog of the Seychelles Legal Environment Website ( and, the only website about the Seychelles Legal Environment that is constantly updated.


  1. The problem with you typing in a particular lawyer and not finding them, may not be Google's fault. It could be that the lawyer just hasn't secured that particular keyword. It all depends on what type of lawyer you are looking for and if they have the rights to the keywords that you are searching.

  2. This is true that a lawyer has not secured a keyworkd--but as a service to other lawyers--it seems necessary that there is some sort of "lawyer directory" to help lawyers keep in contact and connect with each other. This is especially true with utah corporate law--Utah has a pretty good directory and it is easy to find someone to talk to about different cases.

  3. Keep this going please, great job!
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