Shipping in Malta

Fenech & Fenech Advocates

Led by Ann Fenech, the team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates is 'one of, if not, the leading Maltese law firms on maritime and ship finance matters'. The practice consists of separate marine litigation, yachting, ship financing and ship registration departments. Highlights included representing Malta Freeport Terminals and Royal Caribbean Cruises on several contentious matters. Other key names include Mark Fenech, who heads the ship finance department; Rowena Grima, head of ship registration; and Alison Vassallo, who handles yachting and marine litigation. Adrian Attard is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Ann Fenech; Mark Fenech; Rowena Grima; Alison Vassallo

Other key lawyers:

Adrian Attard


‘One of the, if not, the leading Maltese law firm on maritime and ship finance matters’

‘Ann Fenech is very experienced and active in shipping litigation matters; promoting also international law projects such as the international convention on the judicial sale of ships’

‘Mark Fenech is our first point of contract regarding ship finance matters; always quick and to the point in his advice.’

‘Great network in the international and national industry as well as government authorities. Ability to think out of the box. Great knowledge about the legal framework, national and international.’

‘Dedication, knowledge, network, understanding of the customer’s requirements and sensitivity regarding the implementation of legal ideas.’

Key clients

Malta Freeport Terminals Limited

Tug Malta Limited

Endo Tankers Group

Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd

Fish and Fish Group

Oiltanking Malta Limited

Ganado Advocates

The team at Ganado Advocates is 'very flexible, personable and clear'. The practice has been involved in the drafting of shipping legislation and is experienced in ship financing and mortgages. The firm assisted with cross-border financing work for several high-profile clients. Leading partners are flag expert, Karl Grech Orr; Daniel Aquilina who 'is always on top of a transaction' and 'well versed in ship financing.'; 'extremely helpfulJotham Scerri-Diacono and tax expert, Christine Cassar Naudi.

Practice head(s):

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

Other key lawyers:

Caroline Risiott; Matthew Xerri


‘Responsive to queries within a short, pressured time frame. ’

‘Ganado team is always very helpful, very professional and prompt. They are one of the best in Malta and the correct address for all shipping matters. ’

‘Jotham Scerri Diacono is extremely helpful and has great experience and knowledge in all ship finance matters. ’

‘All through the years of our cooperation the team’s commitment to the individual case is great and quality responses to question or queries never take long. ’

‘Daniel Aquilina and Caroline Risiott: Both are not only very responsive and committed to the cases they deal with, they are always available for discussion to get to the bottom of questions arising.’

‘The depth of the practice is unique in Malta ’

‘We work much with Caroline Risiott. She a very efficient operator who makes sure that transactions progress and things get done. ’

‘In my view the Ganado’s shipping team is the best in Malta. They are very responsive, provide a full service and have excellent working relationships with the local authorities to ensure transactions close smoothly and efficiently. This gives us confidence that there will be no unforeseen complications from a logistical perspective in Malta.’

‘Our main contacts are partner Daniel Aquilina and senior associate Matthew Xerri. Both are very well respected practitioners, whom we find to be very approachable, responsive, competitively priced and knowledgeable. They are also very good at using their local contacts to iron out any issues that may arise with the local authorities. Daniel and Matthew are our first choice for Maltese advice to financiers on shipping and yacht finance transactions.’

‘Very family like, client orientated practice, always ready to assist (including minor enquiries)’

‘They have a deep knowledge of this subject and are very decisive people, agile and always trying to find the way to solve any issue that could arise. They look for the best interest of the clients.’

‘Matthew Xerri is always available to respond any questions, doubts, comments that may arise and he has a deep knowledge of the matter. It is a real pleasure to work with him.’

‘Very flexible, personal and clear approach’

‘Very kind and always willing to help or advise in any way.’

‘Quick response time and very practical solutions were provided by the team.’

‘Availability of the team member and solution provided. ’

‘Ganado offers a personal attention to our requests. Mr. Jotham Scerri Diacono is always available for suggestion and advices at any time, day and night.’

‘We have worked with Ganado Advocates for many decades on all kinds of shipping and corporate matters involving business in Malta and we are very happy with their service and our collaboration has been excellent.’

‘Over the many years of our co-operation with Ganado Advocates, our main contact are Karl Grech Orr, who is a partner in the shipping department of the firm and Daniel Aquillina who heads the firm’s banking ship finance team. Their assistance and expertise with ship registrations and other shipping matters on which we have worked together has always proved beneficial as has their in-depth knowledge of Malta law.’

‘The team at the company is very responsive and they take a lot of initiative.’

‘They make us feel that they take as much responsibility for our business as we do. Each and every one of the people we interact with share this trait.’

‘Very proactive and commercial orientated. Providing succinct advice evidencing understanding of the commercial issues. Always responsive and user friendly. ’

‘Daniel Aquilina is well versed on shipping finance maters. Every time I have a complex legal matter pertaining to Maltese law Daniel is the lawyer to reach out to. Succinct advice taking into account the commercial parameters.

‘Caroline Risiott is very proactive and hardworking. Safe pair of hands.’

‘The team is very friendly and experienced. It helps that we have years of experience working together and know them well and know we can depend on them for local law issues. ’

‘They always make an effort to see us, they are very personable and understand the demands we make and what pressures we are under from our common clients. They are very reliable – Daniel Acquilina and his team including Matthew Xerri are our go to people in Malta – very rarely would I instruct another firm or team.’

‘I have had the opportunity to work with the shipping team at Ganado on several matters and I have always appreciated their attention to details. They are competent in what they do, efficient and quick.’

‘They make each deal their own. They are very dedicated and they help us find solutions each time this is required. ’

‘Daniel Aquilina is the partner that I have been working with for the last 15 years. He is always on the top of a transaction, he is very knowledgeable and his work is of top quality. Also Daniel is very committed to his clients and contactable at all times especially when we need help to overcome issues and problems with a transaction. ’

‘It is a large team with good capacity and ability to turnaround quickly.’

‘Pragmatic, solution oriented and service minded. Particularly we would like to mention Daniel Aquilina, Julian Caruana and Matthew Xerri ’

Camilleri Preziosi

The 'knowledgeable, professional team' at Camilleri Preziosi advises international shipping banks and and other financiers on a broad range of shipping-related matters. It also recently assisted Captain Morgan Operators with a new ferry service. Steven Decesare  and Andrei Vella are the practice heads.

Practice head(s):

Steve Decesare; Andrei Vella


‘Knowledgeable, professional team of over 40 lawyers and company employees. Individuals that specialise in all sectors and who are on the ball with ever changing legislation and regulations.’

‘Steve Decesare -professional, well-mannered and very accessible team. Completing tasks on time with clarity and ease for clients to understand.’

Key clients

Captain Morgan Cruises Limited

Atlantska Plovidba

Marsamxetto Steamferry Services Limited

Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates

Led by Silvana Zammit, the team at Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates assists with the full range of superyacht matters including the complex transfer of ownership agreements and alternative ownership structures for international clients. It has also handled several maritime disputes and ship financing transactions. Christine Sammut is a key name as associate level for commercial and maritime matters.

Practice head(s):

Silvana Zammit

Other key lawyers:

Christine Sammut

Mamo TCV Advocates

The team at Mamo TCV Advocates can handle all aspects of maritime law from ship registration and ownership structures to maritime litigation. Nicholas Valenzia and his team has assisted major financiers and providers in the lease financing of yachts. Joseph Camilleri handles maritime litigation and transactional work.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Valenzia; Joseph Camilleri

GTG Advocates

The boutique team at GTG Advocates assists with a variety of shipping work from registration to financing and tax issues. Recent work includes assisting with several transfers of ownership and the re-flagging of two vessels in Portugal and Canada. Robert Tufigano heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Robert Tufigno


‘A great team, which offers value-for-money and is always available. GTG offers a tailor-made service. The Partners are always actively working on the matters.’

‘During the lockdown, they were very quick and effective in adopting video- communication systems.’

‘We work with Robert Tufigno. Robert is one of the most prominent lawyers in Malta. He has accrued a vast experience and offers great value-for-money. He is always available.’

Work highlights

  • Advised Augustea Shipping Limited & Fagioli on the registration and transfer of ownership of a newly built vessel under the Maltese flag, including the registration of a Maltese statutory form mortgage by way of security over the said vessel.
  • Advised NIBC Bank on the re-flagging of MV Alessandro DP to the Maltese flag, including the registration of a Maltese statutory form mortgage by way of security over the said vessel.
  • Advised on the re-flagging of numerous vessels such as NACC Star and NACC Capri including the implications related to the discharge of mortgages.

GVZH Advocates

The shipping practice at GVZH Advocates predominantly handles superyacht registration, purchasing, sale, financing and re-financing transactions. The team is led by Michael Grech  with the support of Katrina Abela.

Practice head(s):

Michael Grech

Other key lawyers:

Katrina Abela

Key clients

Sardaleasing S.p.A

Credemleasing S.p.A

Wind Service – Simone’ Saccon

Work highlights

  • Acted for Sardaleasing on all of its registrations of yachts under the Maltese flag and also as its resident agent in respect of all of its locally registered vessels.
  • Acted for Credemleasing on all of its registrations of yachts under the Maltese flag and also as its resident agent in respect of all of the client’s locally registered vessels.
  • Represented Wind Service – Simone’ Saccon, which is a major yacht navigational company, on all of its yachting-related matters in Malta.