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Legal market overview
As Europe continues to be buffeted by the after-effects of sovereign debt crises and increased financial services regulatory scrutiny, Malta is comparatively tranquil. Its efforts to create a thriving financial services industry continue to yield results, and the struggles of jurisdictions such as Cyprus are encouraging businesses to turn to Malta as a comparatively secure, tax-friendly system. In addition, the market is parlaying its established track record as a go-to jurisdiction for ship registration into establishing itself as a hub for aircraft registration, particularly in the private jet sector. The new Aviation section reflects this development. Investment funds practices are covered in the Banking, finance and capital markets section.
Law firms with full-service offerings have been the biggest beneficiaries of this growth in work. Indeed, the nature of the marketplace is such that generalist practices continue to dominate. Ganado Advocates, GVTH Advocates, Mamo TCV Advocates, Camilleri Preziosi and Fenech & Fenech Advocates are among the standout firms providing clients with full-service capabilities. The maritime and aviation sectors are two areas where niche practices can thrive, with Dingli & Dingli Law Firm being particularly noteworthy in the former. Although law firm mergers and lateral moves are rare in this stable market, Hugh Peralta & Associates merged with Iuris Malta Advocates in 2013.
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As the first jurisdiction in the European Union (EU) that introduced regulated remote gaming, with an average of a hundred new applications a year and being the largest EU i-gaming jurisdiction, Malta's success in the i-gaming arena is undisputed. That said, 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 i-gaming operators. Indeed, to the i-gaming world, Malta represents more than that.
With the transposition of the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive (" AIFMD ") in the offing, analysis on the transformation and legal implications of such on the role of the Depositary as a key and core service provider to Alternative Investment Funds (" AIFs ") is significant, given the central function and responsibility this position was conferred within this industry.
Investment advice a kind of investment service which may be provided by an investment service provider licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) under the Investment Services Act (ISA). With the exception of a category 4 licence holder.
The Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive ("AIFMD" or "the Directive") has been in discussion since its announcement in April of 2009, but the detail of its implementation has, until fairly recently, been somewhat unclear. However, following the issuing of a number of consultation documents and other instruments there is now far more clarity on the subject. This article will seek to provide an overview of the various instruments by means of which the Directive is to be introduced into Maltese law and will also briefly touch upon the effect that these changes will have on the structure of Maltese funds legislation.
Malta has experienced consistent growth in the funds sector since the jurisdiction's accession to the EU in 2004, such that today it is legitimate to consider the country as a mature, well-established domicile rather than an emerging one. In fact the jurisdiction now hosts around 500 funds pursuing a variety of strategies, as well as a complete ecosystem of support services providers such as fund administrators, law firms and audit firms. The sector has now evolved to the point where managers are not just using the country as a domicile for funds, but are also increasingly looking at the jurisdiction as a domicile for their fund management operations.
Starting circa the beginning of 2010, Malta has seen increasing interest in the Forex sector, an industry which only a handful of years ago was practically non-existent. Different kinds of forex operators, ranging from introducing brokers all the way through to fund managers focusing on forex as an asset class and fully fledged market makers have chosen Malta as their European base of operations. Various authorisations have already been issued by the Malta Financial Services Authority (The MFSA) to such operations, and with many other applications pending before the regulator, additional growth appears to be a certainty in the forthcoming months. In fact, there are already clear clues that forex is set to become, alongside stalwarts such as hedge funds and insurance captives, an important pillar of the Maltese financial services offering.
Recent amendments to the Financial Institutions Act (Chapter 376 of the Laws of Malta) (the “Act”) have effectively brought the regulation of EMIs in Malta.
Introduction – Malta’s Taxable Base Persons ordinarily resident and domiciled in Malta (including companies incorporated in Malta) are chargeable to tax in Malta on a worldwide basis in terms of the Income Tax Act.
VEGAS LEX experts discuss Russian roads and PPP projects at the fifth international specialized exhiRoad 2014, the 5th international specialized exhibition and forum held in Moscow earlier this month and attended by VEGAS LEX, focused on effective development mechanisms for Russia's public road system and on legal aspects of public-private partnership projects
The VEGAS LEX law firm has held a seminar, Signing a Concession Agreement: an Insider's Insight , for the staff of Bank of Moscow legal department and business divisions.
Julia Tormagova, head of VEGAS LEX Commercial Group, will speak about trends in the law enforcement practice on the market for pharmaceuticals in 2014.
Popov & Partners Law Office was chosen by Ministry of Finance once again for consultant service of MPopov & Partners Law Office is finishing successfully and before the appointed time, its work on concluded in May 2013 contract with Ministry of Finance for conducting subsequent control of public procurements financed by Operational programme "Administrative capacity". As a result of the quality and effective implementation, in the beginning of September 2014, Ministry of Finance entrusted a second time team of the Law Office for implementing activity for subsequent control of public procurements financed by Operational programme "Administrative capacity", as choose Popov & Partners Law Office for executor of a public procurement. Term of the second contract concluded with Ministry of Finance is until the end October 2015. During its implementation, Popov & Partners Law Office will aim increasing transparency and efficiency in the field of implementation of projects, financed by European social fund, and will contribute for lawful utilizing of funds on Operational programme "Administrative capacity".
Goltsblat BLP , the Russian practice of the leading international law firm Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) , is providing the Italian clothing brand TWIN-SET Simona Barbieri with legal support for its entry on to the Russian market, including setting up a joint venture and opening a number of own-brand stores across Russia.
Leading Hungarian law firm, Lakatos, Köves and Partners, has been advising Bayerische Landesbank ("BLB") on the sale of its Hungarian subsidiary MKB Bank Zrt. which closed on Monday 29 September 2014.
Kyiv, 17 October 2014 - AstapovLawyers has advised Lexmark International Technology S.A. (Switzerland) on legal matters pertaining to the signing of distribution agreement with a Ukrainian company. The advice included review and adjustments of the wholesaler contract, drafting arbitration clause and on Ukrainian law matters applicable to the contract.
Zavadetskyi Advocates provided for tax clearance of the transaction for cross-border transfer of the loan portfolio from the balance sheet of the Ukrainian bank to the balance sheet of the UK bank of a Greek banking group. As a result of this work an official tax clarification has been obtained that allowed favorable conditions for the transaction.
Kyiv, 11 August 2014 - Avellum Partners announced that it has acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Ferrexpo in connection with the following three export financing credits:
Kyiv, 2 September 2014 – Avellum Partners announced that it has acted as the Ukrainian legal counsel to Ferrexpo in connection with the acquisition of an electrified railway of over two kilometers long and a power line.