According to one client, the team at Ganado Advocates is operating at the ‘frontier of innovative technology‘. The group’s cutting edge work in the electronic payments and cryptocurrency spaces has given the firm a reputation for ‘redefining boundaries between the law and technological arrangements‘. Practice head Leonard Bonello is supported by a deep bench of experienced specialists; James Farrugia is particularly noted for his regulatory expertise, while Max Ganado has been heavily involved in the drafting of new legislation required for the development of Malta as a financial centre.
Fintech in Malta
Other key lawyers:
James Farrugia; Simon Schembri; Max Ganado; Caroline Gauci
‘Professional and knowledgeable.’
‘Strong and competent team of lawyers with extensive experience.’
‘James Farrugia – an outstanding advisor on any matters related to financial and regulatory challenges.’
‘Caroline Gauci – an outstanding banking and regulatory advisor with extensive knowledge of financial services and VFA regulations, very diligent and capable of seeing a project from start to end.’
‘The team is especially strong on the local regulatory and compliance framework, and has also supported us diligently on a number of other matters, including M&As and taxation.’
‘Leonard Bonello has stood out for his availability, including at short notice, as well as being able to provide us with excellent service at all time, including on very tight deadlines.’
‘The Ganado team are at the frontier of innovative technology, redefining boundaries between the law and technological arrangements. Their approach is meticulous, practical and collaborative. Their contribution to the VFA Act in Malta is fundamental to all market participants that intend to build upon it.’
‘Practical, pragmatic, problem solving people who apply meticulous detailed expertise in a business orientated common sense way. James Farrugia has continuously delivered above and beyond in terms of solutions, knowledge, approach and relationship management.’
GTG Advocates is primarily known for utilising its ability to ‘work across the gap that exists between technology and law‘ to advise regulators and public bodies in the fintech sphere; the firm’s client roster includes such notable names as the Malta Digital Innovation Authority and the Malta Information Technology Agency. Practice head Ian Gauci is particularly widely known for his knowledge of blockchain and virtual currency. Senior associates Terence Cassar and Cherise Abela Grech bring gaming and corporate expertise, respectively, to the team.
Ian Gauci; Terence Cassar; Cherise Abela Grech
‘Ian Gauci has extensive experience in the fintech industry and has assisted several international clients. He is also invited to several international seminars and conferences as a key speaker on fintech. His way of explaining fintech and legal matters are a crucial aspect of allowing his firm to reach and understand clients’ exigencies.’
‘Ian Gauci was always ready to assist us and offer his personal attention to our requests. It is difficult to find law firms whose senior management and/or senior partners give their personal attention to clients. Ian Gauci was always ready to assist us and he always explained the legal way forward with great clarity and simplicity.’
‘GTG had consistently provided legal and regulatory input to the Malta Digital Innovation Authority. The members involved had an excellent grasp of not only legal and regulatory issues but could work across the gap that exists between technology and law – which is a focus of the authority. Their knowledge, ability to work in a multidisciplinary team, and professionality sets them apart.’
‘Their grasp of technology related issues.’
‘Key capabilities in tech-related regulations and concepts.’
‘Ian Gauci has key capabilities in tech-related regulations and concepts.’
Malta Digital Innovation Authority (MDIA)
Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA)
The Government of Malta
RS2 Software plc
ForumPay (System 73 Ltd)
Qufan Internet Technologies Limited
BitBay (Pinewood Holdings)
Kyber Network Group
- Advised the Malta Digital Innovation Authority on the Proposal for Markets in Crypto-Assets and amending Directive (EU) 2019/1937, the Proposal for Regulation on Digital Operational Resilience for the Financial Sector, the EU’s Proposal for a Regulation on Artificial Intelligence and on legal matters in relation to the MDIA’s Sandbox for Innovative Technologies.
- Assisted RS2 Software – and its subsidiary RS2 Financial Services GmbH – with the process of acquiring an E-Money Institution license from the BaFIN, the German Federal Supervisory Authority.
- Advised ForumPay on designing their offering in manner compliant with fintech (and gaming) regulations.
With seasoned practitioner Joseph F. Borg at the helm, WH Partners is well placed to handle the full range of blockchain and technology-related matters. Borg’s dual position as head of both the fintech and gaming departments ensures that the firm is a leading choice for notable clients operating at the intersection of these two sectors. Other key areas of strength include advising on software platform licensing and assisting with initial VFA offerings. At the senior associate level, Kelly Fenech is recommended.
Joseph F. Borg
Other key lawyers:
dLocal Group Limited
Everest Network Ltd
Casino Coin Foundation
Hold Platform Ltd
Paysafe Group plc
Trustly Group plc
FC Capital Limited (part of the BetConstruct Group of Companies)
- Advised FalconX on multiple venture capital seed financing rounds involving well-known institutional investors and funds, as well as assisting the client with the acquisition of a virtual financial services licence.
- Assisted dLocal, a leading start-up cross-border payment platform connecting global merchants to emerging markets and Latin America’s newest Unicorn, with two investment rounds amounting to $350m.
- Assisted Consensys with the setting up of a subsidiary in Malta, and obtained the first online gaming licence for a platform that is completely based on blockchain for the client.
The offering at Camilleri Preziosi continues to be differentiated by its ‘CAMA’ initiative – an alliance between the firm and Amagis Capital which provides a full service, combining legal, regulatory and technical expertise. Since receiving its approval to act as a virtual financial asset agent from the Malta Financial Services Authority in 2019, CAMA has assisted numerous prospective VFA issuers; the first applicant who was successful in obtaining a VFA service provider licence was a client of the group. Malcolm Falzon leads the team.
‘The team is very proactive, and offers pragmatic solutions and a collaborative approach in fintech issues despite the laws in this area (namely VFA) being relatively new.’
‘Specialised, cross-disciplinary skill sets, professional.’
‘Very technically competent, very affable, very high quality deliverables.’
The ‘versatile and business savvy‘ team at GVZH Advocates advises across the whole spectrum of financial services regulation and e-commerce issues. The key contacts at partner level are Andrew Zammit, who is valued for his ‘excellent relationships with local regulators‘; banking and finance expert Kurt Hyzler; and Luca Vella, who brings extensive corporate knowledge to the group.
Andrew Zammit; Kurt Hyzler; Luca Vella
Other key lawyers:
Nicola Fenech Conti
‘They really know their stuff and have great local connections. They have become our go-to firm on fintech, assisting us with cross-border matters for numerous clients.’
‘Andrew Zammit is extremely knowledgeable and demonstrated excellent relationships with local regulators which was priceless. He is attentive and gives clear answers to sometimes complex queries.’
‘Nicola Fenech Conti was a powerhouse; really knows her stuff and what the regulator expects and requires; provides practical, timely advice; and ran the project excellently. Definitely one to watch.’
‘This practice is unique due to its specialist local law knowledge in Malta. The team’s strength lies in their ability to review new fintech products from all relevant areas of the law including regulatory and privacy.’
‘Very versatile and business savvy group of individuals.’
‘Andrew Zammit is always pro-solution provision rather than problem or roadblock statements.’
Nobel Financial Limited
eToro / Sandro Bianco
MoneybaseLimited (Part of theCalamattaCuschieriGroup)
Mamo TCV Advocates
Mamo TCV Advocates‘ fintech offering comprises specialists with financial services, banking, corporate and intellectual property expertise. The firm is equally adept at assisting with regulatory and transactional issues, and is thus instructed by clients from a range of major industry sectors, including leading local banks, pharmaceutical companies, domestic telecoms service providers, and multi-national software corporations. Katya Tua heads up the practice.