The Legal 500 > Europe, Middle East & Africa > Monaco

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Legal Market Overview

The Principality of Monaco’s close proximity to key EU markets, particularly neighbouring France, combines with its low tax environment to ensure it remains a significant hub for financial services. The country’s Mediterranean coastline and illustrious casino also mark it as a significant tourism destination.

Monaco’s compact size (its total area spans 1.95 square kilometres) means land is scarce. The country recently began construction on its ambitious Portier Cove development; the €2bn project will reclaim a further 15 acres of land from the sea.

In line with the country’s signature strength in insurance and banking, finance and wealth management remain the twin mainstays at most law firms. Shipping and real estate are also significant sources of instructions.

The dominant law firms in the market are CMS Pasquier Ciulla Marquet & Pastor and Donald M. Manasse, Attorney at Law, which specialise in both private client and corporate work, as well as DL Corporate & Regulatory, Ince and Law Offices of Jean-Charles S. Gardetto, which focus on corporate and commercial work.

Its close relationship with France, and a legal system that owes much to French law, means that there are many French-qualified lawyers practising in the principality. However, for those seeking to litigate in Monaco, only lawyers with Monégasque nationality are allowed to appear before the local courts.