Legal Market Overview
The Principality of Monaco remains a key global hub for financial services, with its low tax environment, proximity to the EU and political stability all big draws for investors and high-net-worth individuals. It notably has one of the highest number of millionaires and billionaires per capita in the world.
In 2018, Monaco’s GDP surged by 6.1% to climb past €6bn. Financial and insurance activities account for around 17.8% of its economy, with scientific and technical activities contributing approximately 17%. The tourism and real estate sectors are also significant sources of income.
Monaco’s traditionally stable legal market was rocked by the arrival of two new entrants during 2019. In January, advisory and administration provider Maitland announced it had acquired Gowling WLG’s private client-focused office. In September, HFW launched an office in the principality following the hire of a team from Ince.
The dominant law firms in the market are CMS and Donald M. Manasse, Attorney at Law, which specialise in both private client and corporate work. In addition, A.L.F.A. (Associated Legal & Fiscal Advisors), DL Corporate & Regulatory and Law Offices of Jean-Charles S. Gardetto 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.