Managing Partner: Ann Fenech
Languages: English, French, Italian, Maltese
Established in 1891, Fenech & Fenech Advocates is the longest standing full service law firm on the island and a recognised leader in most legal areas including maritime, commercial, corporate, tax, mergers and acquisitions, asset and corporate finance, ship finance, financial services, FinTech (including the recent virtual financial assets (blockchain based) regulatory regime), aviation, intellectual property, employment, i-gaming and TMT law, with a notable litigation team having expert litigators in most areas of the law. Through its in-house corporate services arm, the Fenlex Group (which includes a licensed corporate services provider and a trust and fiduciary company), and its ship registration arm, Fenech & Fenech Marine Services Ltd, the firm provides a comprehensive service to local and international clients alike.
Main Areas of Practice:
The firm’s involvement in the maritime field is 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 international fora.
The firm’s financial services department is actively involved in assisting the whole spectrum of financial services operators, including banks, fund managers, investment service providers and insurance companies. The team also assists promoters of investment funds and fund platforms, handling the licensing process as well as advising same on an ongoing basis. Members of the team are also approved by the regulator to accept appointments by licensed operators as directors, compliance officers, MLROs and company secretaries.
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 & immigration law teams and the Fenlex Group, to advise issuers with respect to ICOs, listing of tokens, and legal/ regulatory requirements associated with the provision of services with respect to virtual financial assets.
Project, Corporate & Asset Finance:
The firm advises banks and borrowers alike on an ongoing basis in relation to 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 & immigration 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) and estate planning.
Trusts & Foundations:
The firm’s Trusts and Foundations Department assists clients with the settlement of trusts and registration of foundations, both private and public, and advises on related estate planning issues generally.
The firm has extensive experience in this field and handles M&A transactions, including cross-border transactions, on an ongoing basis. It has been directly involved in many 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 M&A process from due diligence through to 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’s TMT and IP department 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 and has one of the longest-established aviation law departments on the island. It has acted as legal advisor of the national carrier for more than 20 years and today acts as local advisor to some of the largest international aircraft leasing companies. The team advises on all aviation matters including aircraft sale and purchase agreements, aircraft leases, registration of aircraft, aircraft security (including within the ambit of the Cape Town Convention) and aircraft finance.
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 recognized for its expertise in corporate & commercial law, particularly the drafting of commercial contracts, corporate advice including corporate governance issues, minority right protection, drafting of shareholder agreements, corporate restructuring and general commercial advisory. The team also handles corporate and commercial disputes and litigation both in court and in arbitration proceedings on an ongoing basis.
The firm’s employment 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 within the TMT and IP department 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 is 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.