Shipping in Malta

Fenech & Fenech Advocates

Ann Fenech and her team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates 'are the go-to maritime lawyers in Malta' and are 'highly experienced and competent' across the entire range of shipping matters. With separate departments for marine litigation, yachting, ship finance and ship registration, the firm has 'professional specialists' in each area. Its recent work includes towage disputes and salvage claims for Tug Malta Limited and acting for Virtu Ferries in a matter concerning a high-speed ferry public procurement process. In other work, it handled the lifting of an arrest warrant for XT Shipping Group, resulting in a clarification of Maltese law concerning bunker delivery notes – a case led by Adrian Attard, who made partner in January 2019. Mark Fenech, Rowena Grima  and Alison Vassallo are other names to note.

Practice head(s):

Ann Fenech, Mark Fenech, Rowena Grima, Alison Vassallo

Testimonials

Ann Fenech and her team are the go-to maritime lawyers in Malta and are highly experienced and competent.’

You would want Ann Fenech on your side, and not against you.’

Very professional and reliable. Very good teamwork. Very professional individual specialists. Covering wide number of professional areas. Very trustful.

Mark Fenech, Lara Saguna, Charlotte Spiteri, Ann Fenech: very experienced, fast response, very efficient.

Key clients

Tug Malta Ltd

Virtu Ferries Ltd

Steamship Mutual Management Services Limited

XT Shipping Group

Peninsula Petroleum Group

Work highlights

  • Assisting Tug Malta Limited with all maritime-related work, ranging from towage operations, a salvage claim and contract drafting.
  • Acting on various matters for Virtu Ferries Ltd, including a public procurement process initiated by the governmental authority over its high-speed ferry services.
  • Assisting Steamship Mutual with matters relating to Maltese law or Maltese proceedings, including handling matters related to contentious sale and unlawful arrest.

Ganado Advocates

Ganado Advocates' shipping practice 'provides sufficient, detailed and up-to-date guidance', and has a longstanding reputation for drafting and updating legislation and also stands out for its expertise in ship refinancing and mortgages. Jotham Scerri-Diacono is a 'leading expert'; he frequently handles litigation related to general maritime law. Malta flag issues expert Karl Grech Orr is 'well aware of the needs of a demanding transaction' and provides 'clear guidance'. Christine Cassar Naudi's specialist yachting and tax knowledge is 'exceptional', while senior associate Matthew Attard is an 'outstanding lawyer' and 'a pleasure to work with' on ship registrations and vessel sales and acquisitions. Daniel Aquilina is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Karl Grech Orr, Jotham Scerri-Diacono, Daniel Aquilina, Christine Cassar Naudi

Testimonials

I believe they have an unrivalled relation with the ship registry which helps smoothing closings on time-sensitive transactions. They have also seen all sorts of ship financings, which helps when something is out of the ordinary.

Karl Grech Orr and Matthew Attard are outstanding lawyers, well aware of the needs of a demanding transactions. They do bring solutions and assist even when something is not directly related to their core advice.

They are responsive and give clear guidance.’

Matthew Attard is very experienced and a pleasure to work with.’

Our firm has worked with Ganado Advocates for well over 30 years and our co-operation has been excellent on all kinds of shipping and corporate matters involving business through Malta.’

We have worked with various individuals in the firm but mainly with Dr Karl Grech Orr, who is a partner in the shipping department of the firm and Dr Daniel Aquillina, who heads the firm’s banking ship finance team. We have worked with both gentlemen for many, many years in connection with ship registrations, ship finance and other shipping-related matters and they have shown their expertise every time.’

Ganado’s are attentive to detail. They always provide sufficient, detailed and up to date guidance on any action they undertake on behalf of our shipping company. What is more, they do not leave any room for queries as they keep us updated on all stages of the tasks undertaken, very reliable and excellent in their cooperation.’

Excellent organisational skills, strict abidance by required course of action, reasonable advice always.’

Exceptionally responsive, knowledgeable, always available.’

Dedication, availability, effectiveness, easy to communicate.’

Christine Cassar Naudi: Exceptional knowledge in shipping industry.’

Christine Cassar Naudi: Permanent availability, immediate and competent reactions on queries.’

Ganado Advocates have great experience in shipping matters including but not limited to vessel/yacht sales and purchases, registration of ship mortgages and ship finance. Professionalism and high quality work are their advantages but, what I have valued more throughout our twenty five years co-operation with the shipping team, is the prompt attendance and support on any matter and the solution-oriented advice provided in handling each and every case.’

The members of the shipping team of Ganado Advocates not only have great knowledge of local law and practices and excellent contacts with the Maltese public authorities but they are also well aware of international practices and understand complex transactions which makes our co-operation fruitful. They have always kept me updated promptly of Maltese law or practice changes in areas of my or our common principals interests and they are always there and willing to provide friendly legal advice when needed.’

Shipping team of Ganado Advocates has all the capabilities to provide an integrated service to the clients. With two sub-teams, Shipping Registration Team and Ship Finance Team, Ganado covers every detail of processes clients go through due to the leading experts the teams contain. Also, Ganado Shipping law team has an attentive and swift attitude that comforts clients and helps to provide a vision in their future plans. With a massive amount of knowledge and practice, Ganado Advocates has become an irreplaceable team in the sector of Shipping Law, both locally in Malta and globally across Europe.’

Jotham Scerri-Diacono, one of the partners of the Ganado Law Firm that me and my team had a chance to meet in person and I work with. As leading expert in the shipping registration team, Jotham is a experienced expert that leads the team. Jan Rossi is a promising member of Ganado shipping team, we had a chance to meet and work with. Dr Rossi has an ambition and passion towards shipping law which makes him a great attorney-at-law. With excellent command of shipping law and great talent of communication with clients, Dr Rossi is a key member of Ganado Advocates’ shipping team.’

We as lawyers are accustomed to deal with law firms from different parts of the world. In the particular case of Ganado, our law firm have maintained business relations for decades. The point is simple, they are excellent lawyers, who know their trade and have always provided high quality services/assistance for our clients. Also, they are generally characterised for the quick attention to our clients’ matters, and for keeping us updated on the evolution of said matters. They don’t just limit to the assistance on a specific matter as you instruct them; they provide alternatives as how to make things in a more practical manner, take the initiative to solve situations that might appear during their attention to our clients’ matters, etc.’

The lawyers we have professional relations with provide a person to person service, tailor made, to assist our clients in any need they may have, with a high level of expertise. You don’t end up just receiving legal advice from a distant lawyer, but from a person who could also be a friend. Most of my particular experience with the lawyers of Ganado has been with J. Scerri-Diacono, but there is also K. Grech Orr, D. Vella, R. Vella, A. Borg Cardona and L. Schembri.’

Mamo TCV Advocates

Mamo TCV Advocates is 'a top-notch and leading firm' in the shipping sector and can handle all aspects of maritime law. Nicholas Valenzia handles asset finance, corporate structuring and tax matters, as well as sale and purchase transactions for ships and yachts. There is 'no questioningJoseph Camilleri's 'commitment or professionalism', and he has 'an innate ability to make a complex legal issue look simple' and is also at the forefront of legal decisions concerning the Maltese ports.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Valenzia, Joseph Camilleri

Testimonials

I have been working closely with the firm since approximately 2008. The assessment of the firm is without any doubt an excellent one. Services given have been top-notch throughout, with professional, sound legal advice, strong litigation and one hundred per cent commitment towards the issues – especially when taking into account the workload of such firms and their other clients. With respect to the responsiveness, their services are always timely and consistent. There were instances where we required their professional services after office hours (weekends, holidays, late evenings); these related to the arrest of vessels. Regarding value-added services, I am of the opinion that these are made up of their commitment, perseverance, the professional and working relationship that has been established and ultimately, friendship. Without hesitation, I confirm that Mamo TCV is a top-notch and leading law firm and, as I regularly do, recommend such a firm in all the various civil, commercial and maritime related issues.’

My closest contact is with Dr Joseph Camilleri. Dr Camilleri is a down-to-earth person, intelligent, extremely capable and hardworking. He always seeks to solve an issue in a practical manner, with a view to limit expenses as well as to avoid unnecessary litigation. There is no question regarding his commitment or professionalism. Furthermore, he makes sure to explain all legal issues, especially complex ones, and including the legal action and perceived risks, in simple terms in order for there to be full understanding, clarity and certainty. He has an innate ability to make a complex legal issue look simple. I have also worked with Dr Matthew Cutajar and Dr Kirk Brincau. Both are young, emerging and promising lawyers; dynamic and very intelligent who have been assigned to assist Dr Joseph Camilleri. In the few cases where they have replaced Dr Camilleri, they were fully knowledgeable regarding the issue at hand and did an excellent job.’

Camilleri Preziosi

The team at Camilleri Preziosi acted for bunker supplier IMS Oil Trading Limited and marina operator Grand Harbour Marina plc on the wrongful arrests of different vessels and the ensuing financial settlements. Of further note is advice to the Ministry for Transport concerning a tender process for the award of scheduled ferry services between Malta and Gozo. Practice co-heads Steven Decesare and Andrei Vella work on most cases including ship financing and enforcement matters.

Practice head(s):

Steve Decesare, Andrei Vella

Key clients

Ince and Co. Hamburg

Ashurst LLP

Marsamxetto Steamferry Services Limited

Captain Morgan Cruises Ltd

Pantaenius GmbH

Grand Harbour Marina plc

Atlantska Plovidba

Work highlights

  • Assisting IMS Oil Trading Limited with the arrest of a vessel as security for a claim.
  • Advising marina operator Grand Harbour Marina plc on the arrest of a 95m super yacht, and assistance in recovery of the amounts due.
  • Advising the Ministry for Transport on the tender process for the award of a ferry services concession.

Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates

The 'excellent' team at Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates stands out for its 'practical ideas'. It handles international vessel sales, purchases and registrations and also assists with the full range of yachting matters. The group handled a conveyancing case for Quickly Group Holding before the Malta Registry and advised on the takeover of a chartering business for Larimar Ltd. Practice head Silvana Zammit is 'patient and clear when the inevitable deal crunch time arrives', while Christine Sammut is a key name for high-value deals in the space.

Practice head(s):

Silvana Zammit

Testimonials

We worked together on a shipping financing transaction, acting on behalf of our lender client during the full redemption of an English law loan facility and the release of a Maltese law charge over a yacht. Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates were excellent with their time and commerciality. They offered practical ideas as to the completion and release processes, notwithstanding the nuances of Maltese law.’

Dr Christine Sammut was my main contact and she was always on hand to assist and render constructive commentary on the transaction, and she was forever patient and clear when the inevitable deal crunch time arrived which was greatly appreciated.’

Key clients

Piotr Trojanek

Monaco Boat Services (Riva)

Quickly Group Holding Ltd

Raghav Marine Holdings Ltd

T Shipping Ltd

WZ Yachting Ltd

Dot Yachting Ltd

Joelson Law

ELE Chartering Ltd

Mamy Chartering Ltd

Patrick Peeters

Ross Bangato

Concord Riva

Naviculam Chartering Ltd

ELE Chartering Ltd

Larimar Ltd

LMS Yachting Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisting with the acquisition of a luxury 26m Italian superyacht, with cross-border elements – the sellers were from the Republic of Panama, while the Cayman Islands-registered yacht was moored in Montenegro.
  • Assisting with a yacht conveyancing and transfer of ownership in the Malta Registry for Quickly Group Holding Ltd.
  • Advising Larimar Ltd on acquiring  a yacht chartering business.

GVZH Advocates

GVZH Advocates provides a 'reliable' and 'efficient' service when handling the registration and transfer of vessels under the Maltese flag or implementing yacht leasing structures. Katrina Abela is 'exceptionally professional' and 'always ready to help and advise'. Notable clients include Alberton Yachts, Spirit Marine Ltd and Pinto Ltd. Michael Grech heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Michael Grech

Testimonials

I got a very good recommendation from my colleague, and I proposed for the company CEO to engage GVZH Advocates. They proved themselves as professional, reliable, efficient and helpful in any legal matter in which we asked for their assistance, even more than expected from lawyers. Our company has co-operated with them for four years already and never had any problem with legal matters at all, from representing a VAT company to advising in shipping and other legal matters within Maltese maritime regulation and practice.’

Ms Katrina Dr Abela is exceptionally professional, always ready to help and advise even clients like us, with language not so proficient; we never had misunderstandings and she found a way to make matters understandable and clear for clients… also, her colleagues are the same.’

Key clients

Spirit Marine Limited

Aberton Yachts

Pinto Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising Spirit Marine Ltd on the ownership structure for a commercial vessel, the registration of a commercial vessel and the customs importation and procedure.
  • Assisting Aberton Yachts with the ownership structure for a commercial vessel, the registration of a commercial vessel and the customs importation and procedure.
  • Assisting with the registration and transfer of a vessel for Pinto Ltd.