Managing Partner: Ann Fenech
Languages: English, French, Italian, Maltese
Established in 1891, Fenech & Fenech Advocates is the oldest largest full service law firms on the island, a recognised leader in all aspects of maritime, commercial, corporate, tax, mergers and acquisitions, asset and corporate finance, ship finance, financial services, FinTech (including the new Virtual Financial Assets (blockchain based) regulatory regime), aviation, intellectual property, employment, igaming and TMT law, with a notable litigation team having expert litigators in most areas of the law. Through its in house corporate services group, the Fenlex Group, which includes a licensed trust and fiduciary company, and its ship registration arm, the firm provides comprehensive advice and services. Its newest company, Fenlex DLT Services Ltd., acts as a Virtual Financial Assets Agent (‘VFA Agent’) in relation to ICOs, listings of tokens and blockchain based operations in or from Malta.
Main Areas of Practice:
The firm’s maritime activities are handled by four departments: marine litigation, ship registration, ship finance, and yachting. The marine litigation department’s practice covers a wide cross section of shipping and maritime issues, ranging from ship repair to carriage of goods, from shipping casualties to maritime investigations, from mortgage enforcements to bunkering disputes; it acts for owners, hull and machinery underwriters and P and I clubs in the vast majority of shipping casualties taking place around Malta or relating to Maltese registered vessels and is involved in the majority of cases brought before the Maltese courts. The ship registration and ship finance departments jointly represent some of the largest fleets and most important financiers in the world, whilst the yachting department assists owners and financiers of some of the world’s largest super yachts used for private as well as commercial purposes. Various members of these departments are regularly invited to lecture and speak extensively on the subject at Maltese and foreign fora.
The firm’s financial services department is actively involved in assisting the whole spectrum of financial services operators, including banks, fund managers and promoters, investment service providers and insurance companies. The team assists clients with the license application process as well as on an ongoing basis, with members also being approved to hold directorship and other regulated offices within licenced entities.
The firm’s fintech team is also uniquely placed to service operators in the blockchain space. The team draws on the firm’s financial services, TMT and tax and immigration law teams, and the Fenlex Group, to advise issuers with respect to ICOs, listing of tokens, and applications for licences to provide services with respect to virtual financial assets.
Project, Corporate & Asset Finance:
The firm often advises banks and borrowers alike on Maltese law issues arising in the context of multinational finance transactions, typically where Maltese vehicles are required to provide security as part of the security pool provided by the borrower.
International Tax & Immigration:
The firm’s tax and immigration law department is the leading tax and immigration law team in Malta, advising a predominantly international clientele on all direct and indirect tax matters; tax compliance services are provided via the Fenlex Group. The team advises on the full spectrum of immigration and tax issues with a focus on inbound investment and international tax planning. The firm also advises private clients on personal tax; immigration law (relocation to Malta, residence/employment permits, citizenship applications); estate planning.
Trusts & Foundations:
The firm’s trusts and foundations department assists clients with the settlement of trusts and registration of foundations, private and public, and advises on related estate planning issues generally.
The firm has extensive experience in this field, advising local and foreign organisations on M&A transactions, including cross-border transactions on an ongoing basis. It has been directly involved in most of the local privatisation projects, and other major acquisitions on the local market, and has acted for government and private enterprise alike with capacity to handle the complete process from due diligence stage, through drafting and negotiation of transaction documents and perfection/ completion of the M&A process.
Technology, Media & Telecoms:
The firm’s expertise covers all aspects of technology and electronic communications law assisting a wide array of international blue-chip companies with respect to their operations. The firm advises on various litigious and non-litigious issues relating to technology including outsourcing, software development, technology licensing, data protection, telecoms regulation and is also very active in the online gaming industry.
The firm is a leader in aviation law in Malta, has one of the longest-established aviation law departments on the island and acted as legal advisor of the national carrier for more than 20 years. The team advises on all aviation matters including aircraft sale and purchase, leasing structures, registration, and financing, as well as with the establishment of aircraft leasing schemes. Estate Conveyancing: The firm is heavily involved in assisting individuals and companies alike in relation to the acquisition and disposal of residential and commercial properties, in Malta and overseas.
Corporate & Commercial:
The firm is widely recognised for its expertise in corporate and commercial law, particularly commercial contracts advisory, project and asset finance and corporate and commercial litigation.
The firm’s employment law department offers specialised advice on employment law and industrial relations. The team of lawyers advises on all regulatory matters ranging from minimum conditions of work and drafting of contracts to complex restructuring, transfer of business (TUPE) regulations, redundancies and handling union matters and collective bargaining. The team also includes litigators who are well versed in handling individual or collective disputes before the local courts and tribunals.
Intellectual Property, Art & Cultural Property:
The IP team specialises in all areas of intellectual property law advising clients on registration strategies, licensing, technology transfers, infringement actions and validation of European/international patents.
General Litigation & Dispute Resolution:
The firm’s team of experienced litigators and legal procurators are active in constitutional, public, administrative, criminal, civil, family, property, commercial, corporate, IP, TMT, consumer, and tax law cases. The team also handles local and international mediation and arbitration as well as in local and international inheritance and probate matters.