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Legal market overview

Malta’s reputation as a tax-efficient and commercially viable destination for business is longstanding, and has been augmented in recent years by financial services and relocation-friendly legislation. The country’s adoption of the euro in 2008 and its favourable regulatory regime have made it a natural choice for a range of investment funds, especially hedge funds and UCITS, seeking to take advantage of the beneficial passporting rights and investor protection offered by Maltese registration.

Strength in funds, and banking and finance more generally, is accordingly a core characteristic of the island’s three largest firms – Ganado Advocates, Fenech & Fenech Advocates, and Mamo TCV Advocates – with Ganado Advocates in particular standing out for its City-quality offering.

In a relatively quiet year on the transactional front, the island’s buoyant digital and gaming sectors provided a steady flow of work for most firms and, in the case of specialists such as WH Partners, accounted for the bulk of instructions. The advantages of Maltese registration for aircraft and ships contributed to a typically active year in those sectors.

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Legal Developments in Malta

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • Putting the R in Regulation

    In the years since the crisis, the  financial services industry  has faced a barrage of new rules - the Market in Financial Instruments Regulation (MiFIR), Securities Financing Transactions Regulation (SFTR), European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) to name a few.
  • How Businesses Will Be Affected by the New Cybersecurity Directive

    Cyber security  is a prominent issue on the EU’s digital agenda. Many governments and companies are vulnerable to  cyber security  threats. 
  • ESMA – Opinion to Harmonise Loan Origination by Funds

    On the 11th of April, 2016, ESMA published an opinion addressed to the European Parliament, Council and Commission (“Opinion ”) in which it proposed a common European framework for loan origination by  investment funds  and set out its view on the elements upon which the common European framework is proposed to be built.
  • The Banking of Hours: To Bank or Not to Bank?

    An overview of Maltese law rules governing the banking of work hours
  • A Maltese Solution for Swiss Asset Managers

    Until very recently the Swiss asset management industry relied exclusively on self-regulation and was allowed to operate and develop somewhat independently from European regulation. It is now confronted with major regulatory changes which will align Swiss laws and regulation with AIFMD and MIFID. Gone are the days where Swiss asset managers could be independent and unregulated. Swiss asset managers will now be subject to EU-like forms of authorisations and prudential supervision which will have a transformative impact on the Swiss asset management industry and bring additional costs, most notably compliance and operational costs, which will invariably adversely affect smaller independent asset managers.
  • Employment on board Maltese flagged vessels – do seafarers get a fair deal?

  • What to Expect from the Seller when Making an Online Purchase

    As 2015 comes to a close, the e-commerce industry is expected to make €185.39 billion this year. In the EU, the average online shopper spends €970 yearly, and these numbers continue to grow annually. EU Directive 2011/83/EU details the rights of EU consumers when shopping online and was transposed into Maltese law through Legal Notice 439 of 2013.
  • UCITS V – MFSA Issue Consultation on Transposition

    The MFSA has today launched a consultation process on the transposition into Maltese law of Directive 2014/91/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 which is known as UCITS V.
  • AIFMD Passport – Extension Denied to the US, Hong Kong and Singapore

    The AIFMD passport is currently only available to EU AIFMs and EU AIFs. However, AIFMD makes provision for access to the passport rights to be possibly extended to non-EU entities at a future date. Although the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) just recommended this extension to managers and funds established in Jersey, Guernsey and, potentially, Switzerland, investment manager and funds set up in the US, Hong Kong and Singapore will not be granted the same right at the present time.
  • Malta: A Hub for e-Commerce, Digital Games & Online Gambling in Europe

    Whilst Malta’s history, sun and sea might be a good reason for tourists to come to the island, they are surely complementary but not the sole reasons to attract prospective e- commerce  and  gaming  operators to Malta. Indeed, to the  gaming  and e- commerce  world, Malta represents more than that. 

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