Firm Profile > Hassans > Gibraltar, Gibraltar

Hassans
Madison Building
Midtown
Queensway
GX11 1AA
Gibraltar

Banking and finance Tier 1

Hassans has first-rate expertise in all areas of legal practice, and banking and finance is no exception. Maintaining a strong team with a variety of specialisms, the firm advises banks on licence applications as well as e-money instructions setting up cards. The group is particularly active in the insurance sector; Nigel Feetham QC has for many years been involved in the implementation of insurance legislation, and is the most sought-after expert for insurance companies looking for assistance with redomiciliation, restructuring and all other aspects of operations in Gibraltar. On the banking side, Valerie Holliday advises multinational banks on finance transactions and assists with the  reorganisation of credit institutions.

Practice head(s):

Tony Provasoli; Nigel Feetham QC

Other key lawyers:

Yvonne Chu; Francis Warne; Valerie Holliday

Testimonials

‘Most contact is with the Financial Services team, specifically the Insurance team and partner Nigel Feetham. Nigel’s knowledge of the insurance arena is second to none in Gibraltar and he is respected for this pre-emince far and wide. Other firms in Gibraltar have been involved with insurance matters but none matches the standards set by Hassans and Nigel.’

‘Nigel Feetham – knowledge and understanding of the insurance industry in Gibraltar and by extension UK. This position allows him to discuss pertinent matters from a position of strength and understanding.’

‘Stable team which provides consistency in their relationship approach and inspires confidence in their knowledge of the sector.’

‘Solutions focused with a flexible approach.’

‘Highly capable and responsive team with commercially minded lawyers providing sound technical advice.’

‘Valerie Holliday and Francis Warne both very approachable and commercial.’

‘Hassans being the largest firm in Gibraltar have an extensive depth and breath in their practice being able to call upon the expertise be it in tax, corporate or regulatory matters for example. Members of the team are highly competent and knowledgeable and provide professional advice and assistance as required.’

‘Their availability and attention to detail.’

‘Client-oriented, responsive.’

‘Approachable, no nonsense attitude, efficient.’

‘Highly professional team, which gives customers great comfort in the advice received. ’

‘High level of expertise in their respective areas of specialization. Excellent attention to detail.’

Key clients

Staysure

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

Undeniably the leading firm for commercial matters, Hassans advises both Gibraltar-based and international corporate clients from a range of industries. The group is notable for the  depth of its senior team; James Levy advises on M&A transactions and real estate acquisitions, while Vikram Nagrani, as co-head of the fintech practice, assists with commercial transactions in the technology space. Abigail Cornelio handles transactions relating to natural resources and mining in emerging markets. Michael Castiel and Peter Montegriffo QC are both vastly experienced in commercial matters.

Practice head(s):

James Levy

Other key lawyers:

Abigail Cornelio; Richard Buttigieg; Javier Chincotta; Tim Garcia; Vikram Nagrani; Peter Montegriffo QC; Ian Felice; Moses Anahory; David Montegriffo

Testimonials

‘Extraordinary knowledge of the finer – often obscure – points of law. Ease of contact and availability at all times….a rare thing. Skilled delegation, admirable persistence and a sense of calm reassurance.’

‘Approachable, knowledgeable, proactive’

‘What makes Hassans unique is their ability, inter alia, to understand not simply law, which is most important, but also to understand commercial transactions and to raise very practical aspects for consideration.’

‘The individuals take time and effort to understand all the key issues and to raise suggestions as to the best way forward.’

‘Their advice, counsel and guidance are caring and very professional. it is a very personal service in a technological world. The service and capabilities is exceptional.’

‘Peter Montegriffo – always responsive and helpful, probably Gibraltar’s leading lawyer in the gaming industry.’

David Montegriffo is very practical in his approach to advice and is confident in his delivery, keeping matters personable too.

‘A personal but professional organisation.’

‘Ian Felice (partner) a valued and trusted confident . Always available with great service and a very professional approach to solving situations.’

‘Personal as well as a professional approach which stands out from the rest. Empathy for the clients needs as well an intelligent team spirit mentality where fees is not the be all and end all. Developing a long standing relationship is equally as important.’

‘Ian Felice – an outstanding lawyer in the commercial/corporate law department with impressive legal knowledge as well as shows a capacity to appreciate the client’s future needs and aspirations and works tirelessly to satisfy clients and to build a partnership with the client. Richard Buttigieg – an outstanding lawyer who thinks outside the box with a view to doing everything possible to satisfy the clients needs.

‘James Levy QC his sharp and astute mind. His worldy knowledge is unique. Peter Montegriffo has the ability in analysing complex trust/legal situations quickly. He is very eloquent in the way he projects himself and an excellent mediator. Ian Felice completely reliant brilliant commercial lawyer will always deliver.

‘Highly approachable and capable law firm.’

‘James Levy is the stand out lawyer of his generation in Gibraltar with a deep understanding of Gibraltar business and commerce and a network of contacts internal and external to Gibraltar that would be the envy of any senior City of London law firm.

‘James Levy is exceptional.’

‘James Levy is a hugely experienced, highly intelligent, knowledgeable and very commercial lawyer who always puts client service at the forefront of everything he does despite being an incredibly busy and much sought after lawyer.’

Key clients

GibTelecom

Government of Gibraltar

Lloyds Bank

Playtech

Gibraltar Football Association

Subsea 7

Apax Partners

GVC Holdings PLC

Scientific Games

Williams Interactive

Royal Bank of Scotland (Gibraltar) Limited

Pacific Drilling

Dispute resolution Tier 1

Hassans fields an outstanding team, with a number of experienced litigators whose combined expertise covers all areas of practice. Lewis Baglietto QC, who leads the group, focuses on international commercial disputes, maritime law and administrative law; he has a track record of being involved in many of the jurisdiction's largest and most important disputes.  Employment, child care and clinical negligence disputes are handled by Gillian Guzman QC. At associate level, Darren Martinez advises on insolvency and construction issues.

Practice head(s):

Lewis Baglietto QC

Other key lawyers:

Gillian Guzman QC; Daniel Feetham; Darren Martinez; Moshe Levy; Claire Pizzarello

Testimonials

‘Daniel Feetham QC – very knowledgeable and helpful.’

‘Lewis Baglietto is excellent.’

‘Variety of experience in financial services, insurance in particular at associate and partner level. Very accessible and offer pragmatic advice. Always at the other end of the phone.’

‘Darren Martinez – a valued part of the team and a great support to partner Daniel Feetham QC. He is fully informed of matters and easily accessible.’

‘Hassans is the premier litigation firm in Gibraltar, it handles the biggest-ticket litigation in the jurisdiction. You will either be instructing them or they will be your opponents – much better to be in the former position.’

‘Moshe Levy is an associate with day to day carriage of many of the biggest ticket trust litigation matters in the firm. He is excellent, enormously energetic, creative and driven to advance the client’s interests. He is a future leader of the firm and probably a future Chief Justice. Best to have him in your corner.’

Fintech Tier 1

Hassans has a 'leading fintech team in Gibraltar', assisting fintech, DLT and cryptocurrency businesses with licence applications, regulatory advice and token sales. The firm is also experienced in fund formation, primarily through Aaron Payas, and frequently advises on the establishment of funds looking to target the sector. The group is also able to draw on complementary expertise in tax, disputes and corporate issues. Vikram Nagrani and Anthony Provasoli jointly head the team.

Practice head(s):

Vikram Nagrani; Anthony Provasoli

Other key lawyers:

Aaron Payas

Testimonials

‘The team has built a good network in the space and is the leading fintech team in Gibraltar. It is well regarded at a local level, while also having the reach to attract international clients that wish to use Gibraltar as their base. ’

‘Partner Aaron Payas combines a good understanding of technological developments with first rate financial services regulatory knowledge. He has also built a wide network in the industry and is excellent on client relations.’

‘The breadth and depth of their knowledge. The variety of services they offer. The fact that they always are looking to add value to what they do for our company.’

‘Aaron Payas is our main Partner and besides all the comments above I would regard Aaron as a friend. The whole team are good at what they do.’

Gambling law Tier 1

Hassans has 'been at the forefront of gambling law in Gibraltar right from the off'; the firm has frequently been consulted by the government to advise on new legislation and the regulatory framework which governs the sector. Peter Montegriffo QC leads the team and advises multinational gaming companies on numerous corporate matters including IPOs on the London Stock Exchange. At associate level, Andrew Montegriffo provides ongoing advice to gaming companies, which includes regulatory compliance, tax, intellectual property and employment issues.

Practice head(s):

Peter Montegriffo QC

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Montegriffo; Louise Lugaro

Testimonials

‘Partner level local/industry knowledge and communication capability Subject matter expertise.’

‘Senior partner’s high availability, extent of knowledge and clear communication. Peter Montegriffo personifies those qualities exceptionally well. Very encouraging to see another generation of talent coming through engaged in and fully understanding of the new economy industries and dynamics. Crypto and e-sports providing excellent examples of this.’

‘Very knowledgeable of the gambling regulator and gambling laws. Very familiar with the specific individuals to deal with at the regulatory agency to get the work done quickly and efficiently. ’

‘The dedication to personal service is certainly what I’ve found to be unique about Hassans. They have gone above and beyond to help those of us who are new to being Directors to understand the implications, obligations and of course, generally navigate the processes. I feel completely comfortable asking any question and have no doubt I can trust the advice I’m given.’

‘Both Andrew Montegriffo and Louise Lugaro have always gone above and beyond for me. They are always available, are happy to reassure me when I need their confirmation on things and above all, always have a smile on their faces! I feel very welcome whenever I see them and never feel as though I am interrupting or disturbing them when I contact them. They are very keen to make sure I am fully informed and comfortable with any situation. For that, I am beyond grateful! ’

‘Not only is their knowledge of the gambling law second to none of the other firms, the team’s knowledge and awareness of the industry is exceptional. Their expertise is very often sought by both industry players and authorities.

‘Peter Montegriffo takes a very pragmatic approach and considers all aspects and angles of any assignment thinking outside the box and producing very valuable advice. ’

‘Hassans’ gambling team have been at the forefront of gambling law in Gibraltar right from the off. There is a depth of knowledge there that allows customers to tap into historic knowledge and as regular advisers to Government, a good understanding of the direction of travel in the industry. Good knowledge on Gibraltar specific requirements and a network of key contacts around Gibraltar to utilise.

‘Hassans holds a broad understanding of the regulatory framework in Gibraltar, and are able to share their ample experience and up-to-date knowledge stemming from close relationship with the regulator.’

‘Peter Montegriffo is very attentive to clients, has a profound understanding of the regulations and good working connections with governmental bodies.’

‘Most prestigious law firm in Gibraltar.’

‘Peter Montegriffo is a capable elder statesman. Louise Lugaro gives excellent, responsive corporate advice and assistance. Grahame Jackson has his finger on the pulse of tax developments.’

‘Longstanding experience since inception of industry in Gibraltar. Very connected to industry/regulator and Government. Seen as a top skilled practice.’

‘Peter Montegriffo is a key strength of practice- able and experienced. Largely the interaction is with him although he does use members of his team. I would always reach out to Peter at Hassans rather than anyone else if I had an issue to resolve or a matter to discuss.’

‘Hassans is a very professional firm. They are very well conversant with local gaming laws and regulations and have good connections and relation with the regulator. Adding to that, is their excellent service and response which is provided in a timely manner and can cover a variety of areas within the gaming and commercial fields.’

‘It is a pleasure to work with Andrew and Louise. True professionals.’

‘The leading gambling regulatory practice in Gibraltar. A team of experts with excellent relationships with the Regulator. The firm also offers a full service which is extremely helpful.’

‘Andrew Montegriffo – Excellent knowledge of the sector, practical and very approachable. A pleasure to work with.’

Key clients

Finsbury Trust

HM GoG

Investment funds Tier 1

Hassans is a go-to firm for funds issues; the team assists with the establishment of traditional funds such as private equity funds, real estate funds and securities funds, while also advising on funds targeting the more niche areas such as aviation, art and renewable energy. James Lasry leads the team and has a history of leading innovation in the industry, having advised on the first investor fund and the first protected cell company fund. Aaron Payas 'provides world class service' to clients in the DLT and blockchain sector.

Practice head(s):

James Lasry; Aaron Payas

Testimonials

‘Very professional and the team is always available. Quick reaction/responses.’

‘As already mentioned before: Very professional and the team is always available. Quick reaction/responses. I am very satisfied with Hassans. ’

‘Excellent market leading team with depth of sector knowledge ’

‘James Lasry stands out as having an excellent knowledge of the sector ’

‘Great expertise. Great availability. Always trying to find the right solution at the right price. The team understands the objectives of the client and brings the adequate solution.’

‘Mr Aaron Payas provides world class service through his expertise, quality of advice and efficiency.’

Key clients

Turicum Private Bank

Private client Tier 1

Private client work is a key area for Hassans; the firm has an extensive practice that is adept at advising on tax efficient structures for large portfolios and providing ongoing management services with regard to assets held on trust. Due to Gibraltar's favourable tax regime, the firm is also solicited b high-net-worth individuals looking to re-domicile to the country. Key contacts include James Levy QC, a frequent adviser to the government on tax and trust legislation and Peter Montegriffo QC, who handles cross-border issues.  Managing partner Javier Chincotta's practice spans private client and corporate advice.

Practice head(s):

James Levy QC; Moses Anahory

Other key lawyers:

Peter Montegriffo QC; Javier Chincotta

Testimonials

‘Hassans is reactive, pragmatic, efficient and excellent in providing tailored-made solutions.’

‘James Levy QC is an excellent negotiator. It is a true pleasure to work with him. He is very pragmatic and efficient.’

Real estate and construction Tier 1

Led by Nicholas Howard, the practice at Hassans is 'second to none'; the firm's real estate work spans the drafting of commercial lease agreements and conveyancing for affordable housing developments, off plan apartments and luxury accommodation. Moreover, the group acts for a number of banks and building societies on residential mortgages and re-mortgages. Construction work is also a specialism, and the team works with investors, construction companies and lenders on all aspects of residential and commercial building projects. Ian Farrell and Gemma Vasquez are other core team members. Associate Meera Aswani is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Howard

Other key lawyers:

Ian Farrell; Gemma Vasquez; Meera Aswani; Stephanie Acris; Gian Massetti; Darren Martinez

Testimonials

‘Their market know-how is second to none.’

‘Stephanie Acris is a true professional with a very personal approach and an exceptional attention to detail.’

‘Professional and prompt response to queries.’

‘Stephanie Acris, is the most professional and competent person in her role I have dealt with in over 20 years of real estate transactions’

‘Without a doubt it is the calibre of the people you deal with. In Real estate and construction both Nicholas and Meera are excellent while I have also found Gemma Vasquez (Lead Partner), Gian Massetti and Darren Martinez to be equally outstanding. I particularly appreciate the collaboration that exists within these individuals and how they all work together to provide the customer with the best service possible. The honesty in their advice and their interest in their clients is very welcome.’

‘Both Nicholas Howard (Partner) and Meera Aswani (Associate), are excellent in their field bringing a wealth of experience and great local market knowledge. Both have a great network which facilities easy and constructive discussions across the key stakeholders in all our respective dealings. Both are easily contactable, very polite, very professional and a pleasure to deal with.’

‘A very approachable and responsive firm with excellent market knowledge and practice.’

‘Nick Howard – excellent stand out commercial real estate lawyer.’

‘A friendly and supportive team, good to deal with and clear advice on Gibraltar law.’

‘Meera Aswani – efficient clear advice, very easy to deal with and a friendly and approachable can do attitude. Effective drafting and a good grasp of the issues.’

‘They are engaging and responsive in your dealings with them and they have a wealth of knowledge at their disposal with the people they employ within their practice.’

‘Meera Aswani, Stephanie Acris & Ian Farrell are all stand out members of the property team. They are available throughout the deal with updates and are a pleasure to deal with.’

Key clients

Ocean Village

Sancus

Commercial Development Investments Ltd

Shipping Tier 1

Hassans is a 'go-to firm' for shipping issues, advising on yacht registration, vessel finance and admiralty work. The group has a track record of advising on sensitive and high-profile issues, including the seizure of the tanker Grace 1 in 2019. Lewis Baglietto QC, who led the team in the matter, is noted for his advocacy, while Yvonne Chu advises on financing and security transactions related to the maritime industry.

Practice head(s):

Lewis Baglietto

Other key lawyers:

Yvonne Chu

Testimonials

‘Hassans provide specialist Admiralty and shipping law advice and are our go-to firm for this area of law in Gibraltar. They also have a large employment law department and were recently very well placed to assist with issues arising under crew contracts for a Gibraltar flagged vessel.’

‘Lewis Baglietto QC and Darren Martinez provide prompt, thorough and clear advice on complex shipping law issues. ’

‘The team is very grounded in the Gibraltar shipping sector, and have strong connections to, among other, the Port authorities, which ensures a direct way of communication.’

Key clients

Gibraltar Port Authority

Tax Tier 1

Hassans is consistently engaged on high-profile tax matters; the team acts for private individuals, companies and the Gibraltar government on a range of matters. In recent years, the firm has been involved with the development of tax laws in the country and has advised on the drafting of various pieces of legislation. The depth of the team is also highly impressive; Grahame Jackson advises on international property investment structures, while Michael Castiel assists with cross-border insolvency issues.

Practice head(s):

Michael Castiel

Other key lawyers:

Tim Garcia; Grahame Jackson; Isaac Levy; Francis Carreras

Testimonials

‘The tax practice of Hassans is outstanding. They are aware of the developments outside their own jurisdiction which makes it much easier to communicate ’

‘Michael Castiel – always available and willing/able to find solutions for (foreign) tax issues. ’

‘Depth of knowledge of the local regulation (occasionally due to being consulted formally while it was drafted). Approachability and visibility in the market (seen as market leaders).’

‘Knowledgeable, approachable, proactive’

‘Proactive, flexible and easy to reach. On top of the client and close connection with the tax authorities.’

‘Michael Castiel is knowledgeable, but also combines tax and corporate assistance and makes sure Gibraltar in the structure is always smooth.’

‘Extremely professional but at the same time personalised with amazing attention to individuals detailed requirements.’

‘Communication in Spanish. Professionalism. Understandable and meaningful answers. Practical business sense’

‘The pragmatic and expert advice they provide together with their insight into the workings of the authorities which is of paramount usefulness when it comes to resolving practical matters. In house peers want to know that the tax team can resolve their issues providing sound advice and importantly resolving their matter quickly and efficiently. They are knowledgeable on national tax matters as well as international and have appropriate network to engage good tax experts from other jurisdictions. ’

‘They are very accessible at very short notice and all employ pragmatism to resolve our issues advising on the best way forward offering advice that provides for alternative solutions whilst explaining the advantages of each. Isaac Levy, Francis Carreras and Grahame Jackson stand out. ’

‘The uniqueness of this practice rests upon how well they have their ear to the ground on all developments affecting tax in Gibraltar and beyond. Especially in 2020 where recent changes to taxation in Gibraltar are presenting an issue to service providers wishing to give accurate and up to date advice to clients (given that new practices are yet to have bedded down with the Tax Office), Hassans’ “on the pulse” advice and pro bono financial community training is invaluable. ’

‘We primarily work with Grahame Jackson, who we consider Hassans’ foremost expert on taxation matters. His wide experience in dealing with the local taxation authorities and his in depth understanding of the practicalities of the way they work, means that Grahame’s advice is always of real practical value (rather than a simple regurgitation of the applicable law). Grahame is always at the forefront of any developments (he is usually involved in the development of new Tax Laws) and is the go-to person for the most up-to-date and reliable advice. He is always happy to lend a hand no matter how small the question and his advice is always promptly received.’

Key clients

Subsea 7

Pacific Drilling

Apax Partners

HM GoG

TMT Tier 1

Hassans is undeniability the preeminent firm in Gibraltar for work in all areas of the TMT sector; the group advises multinational gaming companies and technology businesses on all regulatory and commercial aspects of their dealings in the region. The group is also frequently consulted by the Gibraltar government to assist with the drafting of legislation and new initiatives. Peter Montegriffo QC leads the gaming practice, while Vikram Nagrani and Anthony Provasoli focus on technology matters.

Practice head(s):

Vikram Nagrani; Anthony Provasoli

Other key lawyers:

Peter Montegriffo QC; Aaron Payas; Andrew Montegriffo

Testimonials

‘They are champions in DLT.’

‘They are creative, smart and provide valuable advice in a timely manner.’

‘Hassans is a collection of legal and paralegal professionals who have the knowledge and connections to provide an exceptional service in the TMT domains. Their knowledge extends beyond our territory which avail international best practices for us. The combination of international reach, knowledge and connection makes it a unique law firm for our company.’

‘Individuals have a very pragmatic approach.’

‘In house peers would want to know that they are able to understand the situation at hand despite its technical complexity, it being non standard on many occasions and still be able to offer reliable and practical advice. What makes them unique is the manner in which they provide the service. They are accessible virtually anytime, will respond very efficiently and take on board our sometimes ‘uncommon’ logic, attempt to understand and turn it around into a more ‘common’ one.’

‘They take on board our sometimes ‘uncommon’ logic, attempt to understand and turn it around into a more ‘common’ one coming up with an advice that works. They are friendly easy to build up a relationship with which translates into addressing the task at hand much more easily particularly when these are complex technical matters. Moshe Levy and Lewis Baglietto are ones to note. ’

‘Hassans is a very professional firm. They are very well conversant with local gaming laws and regulations and have good connections and relations with the regulator. Adding to that, is their excellent service and response which is provided in a timely manner and can cover a vary of areas within the gaming and commercial fields.’

Key clients

INX Limited

First Group Digital Assets

CEX.IO

ETORO

TokenMarket

Colu

Rockcyph3r

Modex

ClinicAll

Fluz Fluz

The firm: Hassans was founded in 1939 and is the largest firm in Gibraltar. It is one of the world’s foremost offshore law firms which combines an old world approach to client service with a new world approach to business and technology. Hassans are trusted advisers to clients both locally and overseas who seek legal guidance in a fast-moving, multi-jurisdictional world. Though rooted in Gibraltar, the firm has an international clientele in key jurisdictions around the world, with many assignments involving cross-border advice. The extent of the firm’s expertise, combined with its worldwide network including major London, continental and UK law firm links, gives Hassans the reach to satisfy all of its clients’ needs.

Areas of practice
Corporate and commercial: The firm provides a full range of legal services for clients ranging from small businesses to major multinationals. It advises corporate clients working in or through Gibraltar on a wide variety of cross-border transactions and financing structures. Other matters handled include international corporate restructures, joint ventures, M&A and corporate franchising, tax and e-commerce.

Data protection: The firm’s data protection team has been specialising in data protection since the early 2000s. With the increased threat of penalties for non-compliance of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) the team is able to work with clients on strategy, drafting policies and delivering in-house training to ensure full compliance and mitigate risk.

Environmental: The team has developed a range of experience in all aspects of environmental work, including assisting with the drafting of environment and climate change legislation, reviewing the environmental aspects of legal documents relating to planning and construction, and facilitating the trading of green assets internationally.

FinTech: Gibraltar has fast become a key crypto harbor which Hassans has contributed to on a wide scale; the firm has been deeply involved in assisting the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission with the drafting of the Guidance Notes to Gibraltar’s DLT Providers Regulations and has attracted a significant number of initial coin offerings/token sales and other distributed ledger technology related matters, including licence applications under Gibraltar’s DLT Providers Regulations.

Funds: The fund industry in Gibraltar has seen rapid and impressive growth, and it continues to expand at a phenomenal rate. As a result, Gibraltar has become a serious option for individuals and companies considering where to base investment funds. Hassans has been at the fore front of this development, advising both the Government of Gibraltar and most of the funds domiciled in Gibraltar.

Gaming: The firm has advised some of the major on-line betting operators on setting up their operations in Gibraltar and on their IPOs on the London Stock Exchange. The firm has also been heavily involved in assisting the Gibraltar government and industry in drafting the Gambling Act, which has modernised gaming legislation.

Insurance: Hassans is not only part of the Gibraltar insurance industry, the firm helped create it. The firm’s innovative approach has delivered value to insurance clients over the last 20 years working with some of the biggest names in the industry.

International finance and banking: The firm has particular experience in banking and financial markets. It is the only firm in Gibraltar to combine specialist expertise in derivatives regulation with a substantial banking, tax and securitisation practice. The firm advises on banking regulation and licensing, including the establishment of offshore operations and regulatory advice, as well as the implementation of various legal and tax structures including repackaging and securitisation.

Litigation: The department handles most aspects of litigation, with a niche focus on international commercial and trust litigation. The firm’s litigators practise as both barristers and solicitors, and provide a full range of litigation services.

Pensions: Hassans has a specialist pensions law advice function which boasts a team of lawyers with an unrivalled background in and knowledge of the UK and Gibraltar tax system. The team, together with Hassans’ associated company management firm, Line Group Limited and its pension trusts arm, Quantum Trust Corporation Limited, is able to provide professional advice and regulatory guidance on the best possible options for clients, on a case by case basis.

Private client: Many clients choose to obtain Gibraltar residence and thereby benefit from our very favourable tax system. The team can advise on everything our clients need including securing resident status, obtaining Cat 2 status, transferring assets, taxes, permits, property, re-domiciling corporate vehicles and setting up trusts. Whilst the firm naturally focus on Gibraltar’s competitive legal and fiscal system, the firm’s expertise covers a broad range of jurisdictions. The firm is therefore able to create bespoke structures for private clients establishing trusts and companies both inside and outside of Gibraltar, if required.

Property: The firm acts for most of the major local and international developers and builders. The firm advises on matters concerned with secured lending, mortgages and charges for most banks and building societies in Gibraltar.

Shipping: The firm has strong links with major English shipping firms and has been involved in a number of significant international admiralty cases. The firm also handles ship registration and finance.

Spanish law: The firm’s English-speaking, Spanish qualified lawyers based in Sotogrande, Cadiz (www.hassans.es) help international corporate and private clients, as well as expatriates in Spain, navigate the Spanish system on all matters including banking and finance, corporate and commercial, real estate, residency matters and tax.

Sports law: The firm’s multi-disciplinary sports team comprises a dedicated team of contentious and non-contentious lawyers who are passionate about sport. The Team is supported by experts across the firm who have significant experience in areas such as immigration, employment, brand protection, real estate, financial services and tax. The team is international in outlook – it acts for clients from around the world and its members are fluent in a number of foreign languages.

Trust and company administration: Through an associated company (Line Group Ltd) the firm provides administration services for both companies and trusts. Among the users of these services are international clients who the firm advises on the use of Gibraltar trusts and offshore companies.

International work: Three quarters of the firm’s work is related to international clients. Many of them use Gibraltar companies and trusts to structure their fiscal, fiduciary or investment requirements, and over the years strong links have been forged with major multinationals, financial institutions, banks, law and accountancy firms throughout the world.

Clients: The firm’s international clients predominantly come from the US, the UK, Israel and continental Europe (in particular Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Spain and Portugal). They include global corporations, private equity groups, international banks and insurance companies.

Department Name Email Telephone
Corporate, Tax, Private Client James Levy CBE QC james.levy@hassans.gi +350 2007900
Corporate Michael Castiel michael.castiel@hassans.gi +350 20079000
Banking Tony Provasoli tony.provasoli@hassans.gi +350 20079000
Banking Valerie Holliday valerie.holliday@hassans.gi +350 20079000
Litigation Lewis Baglietto QC lewis.baglietto@hassans.gi +350 20079000
Employment, Dispute Resolution Gillian Guzman QC gillian.guzman@hassans.gi +350 20079000
Commercial, Gaming, Private Client Peter C Montegriffo QC peter.montegriffo@hassans.gi +350 20079000
Trusts Moses Anahory moses.anahory@hassans.gi +350 20079000
Corporate and Commercial Ian Felice ian.felice@hassans.gi +350 20079000
Insurance Nigel Feetham nigel.feetham@hassans.gi +350 20079000
Property Nicholas Howard nicholas.howard@hassans.gi +350 20079000
Property Ian Farrell ian.farrell@hassans.gi +350 20079000
Corporate and ommercial Vikram Nagrani vikram.nagrani@hassans.gi +350 20079000
Funds James Lasry james.lasry@hassans.gi +350 20079000
Photo Name Position Profile
Mr Joseph Abudarham  photo Mr Joseph Abudarham Joseph specialises in co-ordinating multi–jurisdictional tax and estate planning for international Ultra…
Mr Nigel Acris  photo Mr Nigel Acris Partner
Mr Moses Anahory  photo Mr Moses Anahory Moses joined Hassans in 1994 after qualification and spent two years with…
Mr Dick Azopardi  photo Mr Dick Azopardi Dick Azopardi is a consultant to Hassans having previously headed the firm’s…
Mr Lewis Baglietto photo Mr Lewis Baglietto Lewis Baglietto is a Partner at Hassans and Team Leader of the…
Mr Moses Benady  photo Mr Moses Benady Moses advises on all tax related issues with particular focus on the…
Mr Eli Beniso  photo Mr Eli Beniso Partner
Mr Kenneth Bonavia  photo Mr Kenneth Bonavia Partner
Mr Richard Buttigieg  photo Mr Richard Buttigieg Richard is a Partner at Hassans and a member of the firm’s…
Mr Michael Castiel  photo Mr Michael Castiel Michael is a Consultant at Hassans and a member of its Corporate…
Mr Javier Chincotta  photo Mr Javier Chincotta Javier is the Managing Partner and co-team leader of both the Private…
Ms Yvonne Chu  photo Ms Yvonne Chu Yvonne Chu became a partner in Hassans’ Financial Services and Banking Team…
Mrs Abigail Cornelio  photo Mrs Abigail Cornelio Abigail is a partner at Hassans and a member of the firm’s…
Mr Ian Farrell  photo Mr Ian Farrell Partner
Mr Daniel Feetham photo Mr Daniel Feetham Partner.
Mr Nigel Feetham  photo Mr Nigel Feetham Nigel is a barrister admitted to the Gibraltar Bar. He has practised…
Mr Ian Felice  photo Mr Ian Felice Ian joined the firm in 1999 and is a Partner of Hassans’ Corporate…
Mr Tim Garcia  photo Mr Tim Garcia Tim is a Partner within Hassans and a member of the firm’s…
Ms Gillian Guzman photo Ms Gillian Guzman Gillian specialises in general civil and criminal litigation with particular emphasis on…
Ms Valerie Holliday  photo Ms Valerie Holliday Valerie is a Partner at Hassans and a member of the firm’s Financial…
Mr Nicholas Howard  photo Mr Nicholas Howard Nicholas Howard is a Partner at Hassans and a member of the…
Mr Grahame Jackson  photo Mr Grahame Jackson Partner
Mr James Lasry  photo Mr James Lasry James is a Partner and Head of the Funds Team and a…
Mr Isaac Levy  photo Mr Isaac Levy Partner
Mr James Levy CBE photo Mr James Levy CBE James Levy is the Senior Partner of Hassans, specialising in corporate and…
Mr Peter Montegriffo photo Mr Peter Montegriffo Peter Montegriffo is a Partner at Hassans and a member of the…
Mrs Raquel Moss  photo Mrs Raquel Moss Raquel is responsible for the running of Line Trust Corporation Limited. She specialises…
Mr Vikram Nagrani  photo Mr Vikram Nagrani Vikram is a Partner in Hassans’ Corporate and Commercial department and co-leads the firm’s FinTech Team. …
Mr Michael Nahon  photo Mr Michael Nahon Michael is a Partner at Hassans and a member of the Firm’s…
Mr Aaron Payas  photo Mr Aaron Payas Aaron is a Partner at Hassans specialising in Funds and FinTech. He…
Mrs Justine Picardo  photo Mrs Justine Picardo Partner
Mr Tony Provasoli  photo Mr Tony Provasoli Tony Provasoli specialises in financial services and leads the Hassans’ Financial Services…
Mr Anthony Provasoli  photo Mr Anthony Provasoli Anthony Provasoli is a Partner in Hassans’ corporate and commercial department and co-leads…
Mr Maxi Torres  photo Mr Maxi Torres Maxi was promoted to Partner in July 2013 and advises on a…
Ms Gemma Vasquez  photo Ms Gemma Vasquez Gemma is a Partner in the Corporate and Commercial team. She specialises…
Mr Francis Warne  photo Mr Francis Warne Francis is a Partner at Hassans and a member of the Firm’s…
Number of lawyers : 80
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Contacts : James Levy CBE QC (Senior Partner)
Contacts : Javier Chincotta (Managing Partner)
Other office : Sotogrande

Gibraltar

Gibraltar combines strong economic growth and a favourable tax regime with a warm, Mediterranean climate and vibrant lifestyle. It enjoys a solid global reputation for stability and efficiency with robust infrastructure and prudent regulation. Gibraltar’s small size and close-knit community delivers considerable speed to market with easy accessibility to key decision makers in the jurisdiction. For these reasons, and many more, Gibraltar hosts several major corporations spanning a wide variety of industries from insurance to gaming, property to crypto, and is the jurisdiction of choice for international businesses looking to establish a strategic European presence.

ABOUT GIBRALTAR

Gibraltar is a British overseas territory located on the southern tip of Spain with a population of 33,573. The tiny peninsula, a mere 6.8 km2 (4.2 square miles) in area, separates the entrance of the Mediterranean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean. Gibraltar shares a single land border with Spain, with Morocco situated 14.3 kilometres (8.9 miles) away, across the Straits of Gibraltar. Its most prominent feature is the Rock of Gibraltar, a towering monolith of limestone some 426 m (1,398 ft) in height.

Throughout its often-turbulent history, Gibraltar’s strategic importance, economic status and prosperity has rarely wavered. Today it boasts a broad portfolio of industries including finance, insurance, shipping and gaming. Thanks to an average of 300 days of sunshine per year, Gibraltar also benefits from high levels of tourism.

Gibraltar has been a British territory for over 300 years. Therefore it employs a legal system closely based on English Common Law and uses the Gibraltar Pound as currency, though shares the CET timezone (UTC+1) and, as with the rest of mainland Europe, traffic drives on the right.

Under Article 227 of the Treaty of Rome, Gibraltar is a member of the European Union, having gained membership automatically when the United Kingdom joined in 1973.

Gibraltar’s status as a British Overseas Territory lends it several key advantages over other offshore jurisdictions. It has its own autonomous parliament and has competence to pass its own laws. Gibraltar belongs to the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), or Single Market, but not the Customs Union or Schengen Area.

This means that, while Gibraltar-based companies are currently able to sell and provide their services to other Single Market countries, in a process known as “passporting”, imports and exports are still subject to local customs controls and excises.

Gibraltar is exempt from EU legislation on VAT and enjoys full autonomy on all tax issues. Generally speaking, however, Gibraltar’s swift legislative turnaround means the jurisdiction is fully up to date with EU laws and directives, where applicable, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and will continue to maintain this harmonisation for the foreseeable future.

In 2016 a full 84% of the electorate (compared to the British average of 72.2%) turned out to vote on June 24th, with 95.91% (the highest majority in all of Britain) voting to remain within the EU. The results mirrored the sovereignty referendums of 2002 and 1967 when 98.48% and 99.64% of voters respectively elected to remain British.

Both of these results speak volumes about Gibraltar and its people; who view themselves as distinctly British, but ultimately European. The Gibraltarian lifestyle is a unique hybrid experience where British influences are paired with Mediterranean flair, alongside additional North African and Asian infusions.

Gibraltar’s fascinating culture and history and stunning landscape, combined with its sunny climate, makes it a popular tourist destination, with over ten million visitors arriving in 2016 alone, resulting in a total revenue of £211.9 million.

In addition to Gibraltar’s bars, restaurants and casinos, visitors can also enjoy VAT-free shopping while soaking in the unique atmosphere. Not surprisingly, the iconic Rock is one of Gibraltar’s most popular destinations, with tourists being particularly fond of its most famous residents, the Barbary macaque apes.

BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT

Gibraltar permits foreign shareholders, welcomes foreign investment and does not restrict capital imports or foreign earnings such as interest, royalty payments or other similar earnings. There are, however, restrictions on specific industries which require special licensing. (See chapter on Setting up a business in Gibraltar.)

While Brexit continues to dominate the headlines, the mood in Gibraltar remains one of cautious optimism. Nominal GDP annual growth from 2016 to 2017 was at 8.9%, with annual inflation at 2.6%. Job growth was at 3.6%, with average annual earnings of £28,752, higher than the UK average of £27,600.

Gibraltar’s financial industry is regulated by the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission (“GFSC”) which operates in concord with key overseas agencies including the OECD, IMF and FATF.

Reputation, regulation and credibility are at the forefront of Gibraltar’s priorities. The jurisdiction continually updates its financial regulation, supervisory legislation and anti-money laundering legislation to comply with UK standards, the most stringent standards in Europe.

ECONOMY OF GIBRALTAR

Gibraltar’s economy is almost entirely service-based. It enjoys an unemployment rate of 1% with the labour market bolstered by a combination of native and expatriate commuters arriving daily from Spain.

Gibraltar weathered the financial crisis with barely a blemish and enjoyed steady growth, year on year, with a GDP of £1.9 billion from 2016 and 2017. Gibraltar’s GDP per capita during the same period was £56,612.

Gibraltar’s official currency, the Gibraltar Pound, is minted in Gibraltar and shares parity with the British Pound – both currencies are legal tender in Gibraltar.

LEGAL SYSTEM

Although Gibraltar has its own autonomous Parliament, legal practitioners must first gain their qualifications from the United Kingdom. In Gibraltar, however, the distinction between the duties of barristers and solicitors, is less rigid.

Under the Supreme Court (Amendment) Act 2015, those who have been called to the Bar in England and Wales must then gain an additional certificate in Gibraltar law from the University of Gibraltar.

SETTING UP A BUSINESS IN GIBRALTAR

Before setting up a company in Gibraltar one must, for tax considerations, first consider whether or not income will be derived inside Gibraltar.

The nature of the business will also determine whether additional licensing is required, such as licences for regulated industries (e.g. finance, gaming), specific trade licences (e.g. for construction and allied trades, real estate) and/or special manufacturing and importation licences.

TYPES OF ENTITIES IN GIBRALTAR

  • Partnership
  • Limited Liability Partnership
  • Company
  • Protected Cell Company
  • Trust
  • Foundation

Partnership

A business comprised of two or more parties, who share the operation of the business, as well as the seed capital, running costs and risks of the business.

Limited Liability Partnership (LLP)

Similar to above but for one very important distinction; each partner in an LLP is insulated from liability which may result through the actions, or inactions, of any of other partners.

Company

Companies are fully distinct legal entities which enjoy the benefits of limited liability. There are two main types, Public Limited Companies (PLC), whereby shares are available to the public, and Private Companies (Ltd), which are limited by shares or guarantees. There is no restriction on the maximum number of shareholders that Gibraltar registered private or public companies may have.

A director of a Gibraltar company is not required to be resident in Gibraltar, though residence substantiates management and control of the Gibraltar company, which is a basis upon which tax residency is determined in Gibraltar and many other jurisdictions.

Gibraltar companies may also undertake court-sanctioned cross-border mergers, schemes of arrangement, amalgamations and reconstructions.

Protected Cell Company (PCC)

Under the Protected Cell Companies Act 2001, a new form of company was introduced in Gibraltar, the PCC. PCCs allow specific assets and liabilities to be cordoned off into specific cells, which operate as part of the same core company, but are also distinct and separate from each other cell.

This type of company structure is particularly beneficial for finance and insurance companies, who may, for example, utilise different cells for different investment schemes or different insurance policies with varying degrees of risk.

In order to do so they must first become sanctioned to do so by the GFSC and pay them an annual fee of £3,000 (plus an additional £1,000 for each cell).

Trust

A trust can be set up for the purposes of asset protection, for the transfer of assets, ownership of property or for estate planning purposes.

No tax is payable on a Gibraltar trust, provided the trust does not earn income locally and/or the Beneficiary is not a Gibraltar resident. Trustees, however, can be resident in Gibraltar.

Asset Protection Trusts are particularly popular, since they offer various key benefits, including shielding a settlor’s strategic assets against future claims by creditors. These types of trusts require more disclosure, however, including registration with the GFSC and the Registrar of Dispositions.

Foundation

The Private Foundations Act 2017 came into force in April 2017 allowing for the establishment of foundations in Gibraltar. The primary characteristic of a Foundation is that it exists and operates as a separate legal personality, with the ability to hold and manage property in its own name.

A foundation is established by a Founder, who then provides a permanently binding transfer of an asset, or assets, to the foundation.

A Foundation Charter and Foundation Rules are then written up detailing every aspect of the funds purpose, duties, operation and beneficiaries. A copy of the Charter must also be then supplied to Companies House, who keep a record of all foundations in Gibraltar, in order to complete the foundation’s registration process.

Foundations operate much like a company; they must keep detailed accounts and supply financial statements to Companies House. The 10% tax rate also applies to any income derived from inside Gibraltar. Similarly, any Beneficiaries who are resident in Gibraltar will also be taxed on income or assets received through the foundation.

As with a trust, a foundation can be used to protect assets and property, for example for estate planning purposes to safeguard assets against future financial uncertainty. Unlike a trust, a foundation has legal personality and can hold assets as legal and beneficial owner.

FUNDS

Gibraltar has become a prime jurisdiction for funds in recent years, with legislation allowing for a range of options including Private Funds and Experienced Investor Funds.

Private funds are funds offered to a restricted class of up to 50 investors. They are exempt from any licensing requirements, and must remain private for a year from the date of offer.

An Experienced Investor Fund (“EIF”) is a regulated collective investment scheme exclusively for investment by experienced investors and is established under the EIF Regulations 2012, and registered with the GFSC. Gibraltar’s EIF regime was introduced in 2005, and its popularity has helped boost the growth of Gibraltar’s fund industry.

An EIF can be established as a Gibraltar limited company, a Gibraltar unit trust, a Gibraltar limited partnership, a Gibraltar protected cell company or any other form recognised in Gibraltar (which may include foreign structures where the management and control is in Gibraltar) and which is approved by the GFSC.

Recent developments in Gibraltar’s crypto industry, meanwhile, have prompted recommendations by the Gibraltar Funds and Investment Association (GFIA), that crypto funds be managed as EIF’s.

TAX IN GIBRALTAR

Gibraltar currently has 27 Tax Information Exchange Agreements and enjoys full OECD, IMF and FATF “white list” status. Gibraltar has also entered into arrangements with the US in respect of FATCA and with a separate Intergovernmental Agreement in respect of the automatic exchange of tax information with the United Kingdom. Gibraltar is also fully compliant with the information disclosure obligations contained in the Mutual Assistance Directive applicable to all EU Member States.

Income Tax

Individuals based in Gibraltar pay tax on income earned from between July 1st of one year, to June 30th the following year. Gibraltar operates a PAYE system similar to the UK and therefore the onus is on employers to deduct accurate and appropriate tax and social insurance payments from their employees.

Corporate Tax

Gibraltar enjoys a corporate tax rate of just 10% on profits that accrue or derive in Gibraltar. (The exception being a specific sector of utility companies, who instead pay 20%.) A company is considered resident if its administration and operation is controlled from inside Gibraltar.

Individuals and companies pay income tax on local earnings, but not on any foreign income. Therefore a company that is resident in Gibraltar, but derives all profits from outside the jurisdiction, will not be liable to pay tax on this income.

Inheritance Tax & Estate Duty

Gibraltar does not have inheritance tax or estate duty.

Wealth Tax

Gibraltar does not have wealth tax.

Double Tax Treaties

Gibraltar does not have any double tax treaties.

Capital Gains Tax

Gibraltar does not have capital gains tax. However, in deciding whether an activity is a trade or a capital gain the Commissioner will refer to predominantly UK case law and look to the level of professional organization applied to an activity in order to determine whether such activity amounts to a trade or a capital gain.

Stamp Duty

There is no stamp duty payable on the transfer of shares in a Gibraltar company, unless that Gibraltar company owns real property situated in Gibraltar.

Stamp duty is only payable in respect of the transfer of real property situated in Gibraltar and, in respect of the creation and increase of share capital. Stamp duty in respect of the latter is fixed at £10 regardless of the amount of share capital created or increased. This provides great flexibility in creating large authorised and issued share capital structures for Gibraltar registered entities.

Dividend Receipts

Income tax is not charged on dividends received by a company. Dividends are taxable in the hands of individuals who are ordinarily resident in Gibraltar unless the dividend arises from companies quoted on a recognised stock exchange, in which case this is not taxable.

Withholding Tax

There is no withholding tax on dividends, royalties or interest in Gibraltar.

Interest

Loan interest is only taxable at the rate of 10% to the extent that it is received or receivable by a Gibraltar registered company from another company and exceeds £100,000 per annum or, constitutes a trading receipt.

Interest income paid by banks, building societies, or other financial services institutions is exempt from income tax in Gibraltar.

Online Gaming Tax

Online Gaming operators (e.g. online casinos and bookmakers) based in Gibraltar are also liable to a 1% tax on income up to a maximum of £425,000.

HIGH NET WORTH INDIVIDUALS

Gibraltar affords special status, known as Category 2 status, to individuals whose net worth exceeds £2,000,000. Only the first £80,000 of their assessable income is taxable in Gibraltar subject to a minimum tax payable of £22,000 and a maximum of £29,800.

This status is based on strict criteria; Category 2 individuals cannot ordinarily engage in a trade, business or employment in Gibraltar. Such individuals must have a minimum net worth of £2 million and must purchase a qualifying residential property in Gibraltar.

There is, however, no requirement for Category 2 individuals to spend any minimum amount of time residing in Gibraltar, though they are still issued a Gibraltar residency card.

BANKING

Gibraltar’s banking industry is extremely business-friendly and enjoys a positive reputation globally. Part of maintaining this reputation involves compliance with international laws, including anti-money laundering legislation. Gibraltar therefore banks perform rigorous due diligence and KYC (Know Your Customer) checks, which can be lengthy at times.

As this can be an extensive process it is advisable to arrange a meeting sooner, rather than later, in order to get the proverbial wheels in motion.

Gibraltar’s forward-thinking approach to crypto has been mirrored by its banking industry; at the time of writing both Turicum Private Bank and Gibraltar International Bank have announced their readiness to provide banking services to crypto businesses and individuals. It is expected that more banks will soon follow suit.

INFRASTRUCTURE

Gibraltar boasts an extremely efficient and modern telecommunications network, with multiple private operators offering high speed connectivity, including fixed fibre broadband and 3G and 4G mobile connectivity. Gibraltar’s country code is +350 and its domain extension is .gi.

In contrast with other British territories, Gibraltar drives on the right. It encapsulates approximately 29 kilometres (18 miles) of roads, including tunnels which go through the Rock itself. Its main thoroughfare is named Winston Churchill Avenue and connects Gibraltar with Spain.

Gibraltar has its own international airport (GIB) with regular UK commercial flights to London, Manchester and Bristol, plus additional flights to Casablanca via Tangier with Royal Air Maroc. The airport also caters to charter/private flights, as well as cargo planes and military aviation.

Airport Distance to Gibraltar Estimated  drive time
Malaga (AGP) 128.5 km / 79.8 miles 1 h 35 min
Seville (SVQ) 202.4 km /125.7 miles 2 h 9 min
Jerez (XRY) 119.7 km / 74.3 miles 1 h 20 min

 

[Source: Google Maps]

The Port of Gibraltar, meanwhile, caters for a wide variety of vessels including cruise liners, cargo ships and British naval craft.

Visitors can choose from a range of quality hotels with large conferencing facilities, including the Sunborn, a five star “yacht hotel”, built from a decommissioned luxury cruise liner located in Gibraltar’s lively Ocean Village district.

Gibraltar is well equipped to host its roster of high-profile conferences, festivals and events, including the Gibraltar International FinTech Forum (GibFin) and the KPMG eSummit. Gibraltar’s Victoria Stadium, meanwhile, has a capacity of 2,000 and hosts regular sporting and entertainment events, including MTV’s “Gibraltar Calling” Music Festival.

A short distance from the stadium is Gibraltar’s World Trade Center, which officially opened on 15th February 2017. This state-of-the-art complex, overlooking the Straits of Gibraltar, combines innovative design with rapid connectivity and hosts some of the world’s most successful companies including Apple, Vodafone and Royal Dutch Shell.

In 2015 the Gibraltar Stock Exchange began trading and the University of Gibraltar had its official opening.

KEY INDUSTRIES

Gibraltar’s economy is predominantly service-based with the majority of industrial activity engaged in shipping or allied industries. The limited space and unique geography of Gibraltar means little to no agricultural activity or heavy manufacturing, therefore it imports the bulk of its produce, as well as machinery and equipment, from abroad.

Tourism and retail are two significant contributors to Gibraltar’s economy, particularly where both areas intersect, with a steady stream of tourists year-round shopping for VAT-free bargains on jewellery, electronics, fashion and cosmetics.

The industries listed below represent key sectors of Gibraltar’s economy. Shipping, finance and insurance, property, and gaming represent the traditional “bread and butter” industries, while fintech is where the jurisdiction expects to see considerable growth well into the future.

SHIPPING

Gibraltar’s position as a nexus point of global trade dates back to classical times. The Rock itself was known to ancient mariners as one of the “Pillars of Hercules”, the other being Jebel Musa mountain in Morocco.

Today an estimated 60,000 vessels travel through the Straits of Gibraltar each year, according to statistics from the Gibraltar Port Authority. The Port of Gibraltar is the largest bunkering port in the entire Mediterranean Sea.

Gibraltar serves a wide range of ancillary maritime industries including ship repair and conversion, and leads on ship arrests, thanks to an efficient set of maritime laws based on English Admiralty law.

Gibraltar is also a popular jurisdiction for ship registration. Ships registered in Gibraltar are designated as British, and therefore fly a local variant of the Red Ensign flag. They are also subject to an annual tonnage tax.

FINANCE & INSURANCE

Gibraltar’s business-friendly environment, prudent regulation and unblemished global standing has proven particularly inviting to the finance and insurance industry. As a result the jurisdiction hosts some of the most prominent industry names including PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, Lloyds, Barclays and Royal Bank of Scotland.

UK-facing companies comprise the bulk of these; one interesting statistic to note is that one in five UK cars are insured with Gibraltar-based companies.

Finance and insurance companies are regulated by the GFSC; to operate in Gibraltar companies (and indeed certain individuals) must be registered with the GFSC and possess a relevant licence.

Banks and investment firms must also submit to an Independent Capital Adequacy Assessment Process (ICAAP) review and acquiesce to the FSC’s ruling on capital.

PROPERTY

Property in Gibraltar, both residential and commercial, has always been in high demand and therefore represents a very smart investment. A regular stream of foreign capital, strong economic growth and the steady influx of people that entails, equals rising property values and rapid sale times. Plus, since Gibraltar law is based on English Common Law, red tape is at a bare minimum – especially when compared with the bureaucratic nightmares for which other Mediterranean countries are notorious.

The sale or transfer (except between spouses) of property within Gibraltar is subject to stamp duty; the amount is variable and is based on the value of the property and sale price.

GAMING

Gibraltar has been instrumental in the growth of online gaming and is a key jurisdiction serving the industry. Under the Gambling Act 2005, all gaming operators in Gibraltar require a special gaming licence. Thanks to Gibraltar’s sterling reputation, Gibraltar gaming licences are highly coveted and only ever granted to top tier operators.

The list of Gibraltar-based gaming companies includes 888, bet365, William Hill, Betfair, bwin, Gala Coral and Ladbrokes. Additionally, Gibraltar also plays host to numerous gaming software providers including Playtech, Microgaming and IGT.

Gaming operators are regulated by the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner with strict guidelines on advertising, data protection, accountancy and payments. There is also a strong regulatory emphasis on responsible gambling and anti money laundering legislation.

FINTECH

On January 1st, 2018, Gibraltar made headlines globally when it introduced its ground-breaking Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) Regulations. These regulations, based on a set of nine key principles, strike the perfect balance between regulatory caution and the need for flexibility so as not to stifle innovation in such a rapidly-advancing field.

In March 2018, the government released its Token Regulation Policy Document with clear definitions on token types and their utility, and the myriad responsibilities of token issuance.

The move was welcomed by investors, widely applauded by others within the crypto community and resulted in a surge of licence applications to the Gibraltar government. As with Gibraltar’s gaming industry, however, only the most trusted, top-tier applicants will be granted a coveted operating licence.

CURRENT OPPORTUNITIES & FUTURE PROSPECTS

A solid global reputation, strong regulation, competitive taxation, world class infrastructure, consistent economic growth and an efficient, stable and business friendly government – just some of the reasons why Gibraltar continues to attract global investors and entrepreneurs looking to establish a competitive business presence.

While all indicators point to yet another year of strong economic growth, one cannot mention Gibraltar’s future prospects without first addressing the proverbial elephant in the room.

The 95.9% of Gibraltarian voters who rejected Brexit understood all too well the potential existential threat that it posed. Though it’s fair to say that the challenges of Brexit are not specific to Gibraltar, but rather impact all of Europe, and, indeed global trade as a whole.

Brexit also adds an additional dimension to the perennial issue of relations with Spain, whose government continues to claim sovereignty over the territory. More recently, however, Madrid’s tone has been more conciliatory, showing a willingness to cooperate on shared threats to prosperity.

Indeed there is a strong case for cooperation; a total of 11,069 frontier workers commute back and forth over the border, according to statistics from the Gibraltar government. Gibraltar has a small population, and therefore needs to import labour. Spain, by contrast has a much higher unemployment rate and Andalucía, which borders Gibraltar, is its worst affected region.

Cross-border discussions are also underway to find a mutually beneficial solution that safeguards jobs in the insurance industry. The proposal, which featured in Bloomberg, would see Gibraltar-based insurers opening offices in the neighbouring La Linea De La Concepcion, which would, in turn, provide additional employment and investment to the Spanish border town. Similar discussions are underway concerning Gibraltar and Malta-based insurers to find a mutually beneficial solution to the issue of passporting services post-Brexit.

The British government, meanwhile, has given assurances that the free trade relationship between Gibraltar and the UK will not change. As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Gibraltar also belongs to a close, international community which, in 2016, saw intra-member trade worth $560 billion.

Whatever the outcome, Gibraltar has a proven track record of maintaining stability in the face of crises spanning millennia. It has endured fourteen sieges, Barbary pirate raids, Napoleonic wars, Axis aggression and a 16 year border blockade by the Franco regime.

Brexit fears have not slowed foreign investment, which grew in 2017 and Gibraltar’s impressive advances in the blockchain sector continues to make headlines and has resulted in a massive surge in interest in the jurisdiction.

If all their combined conversations could be summed up in one word, that would be “opportunity”.

GIBRALTAR – NOT JUST FOR BUSINESS, IT’S A WAY OF LIFE

Of course there is so much more to Gibraltar than just business opportunities and low taxes.

Whether entertaining clients, or just looking to relax after a long day, Gibraltar offers plenty of entertainment and diversion, including pubs, bars, clubs and casinos, and plenty of fine dining.

Gibraltar is also the perfect place to raise a family, it’s safe, friendly and immaculate with plenty to entertain the little ones too. Gibraltar’s high quality schools have curriculums based on those in Britain, though interestingly, secondary school grades are consistently higher than the UK average. This can be attributed to the low student-to-teacher ratios in Gibraltar classrooms and the overall standard of schools in the country. Gibraltar also has its own University of Gibraltar, which opened in 2015.

KEY BENEFITS OF GIBRALTAR

  • Stable, business-friendly and non-bureaucratic government with legal system based on English Common Law and Pound Sterling as currency.
  • Highly attractive tax regime with a 10% corporate tax rate, no inheritance, wealth, capital gains or withholding taxes and stamp duty levied only on Gibraltar-based property sales.
  • Consistent economic growth, scores high across key indicators with GDP per capital of £56,612 and an unemployment rate of just 1%.
  • Solid global reputation, strong regulation and full compliance with key European and international treaties.
  • Modern, dependable infrastructure built to British standards plus high speed mobile and fibre connectivity. Airport, port and marina facilities.
  • Home to some of the world’s biggest brands, market leader in insurance, finance and online gaming, blockchain/crypto industry frontrunner.
  • English speaking country with a Mediterranean climate and lifestyle, a vibrant culture and community and thriving property market plus ease of residency and added tax incentives for High Net Worth Individuals.

LOOKING TO DO BUSINESS IN GIBRALTAR?

Hassans, the biggest law firm in Gibraltar and trusted since 1939, is a Legal 500 EMEA Top Tier Firm with a broad range of expertise including corporate & commercial law, M&A, litigation, property law, trust and company management, tax law and fintech. To talk to us, please contact us here.

Hassans receives Highly Commended at the European UK Captive Awards 2017

The first European & UK Captive Awards 2017 was held in London yesterday, Tuesday 10th October.

The Awards commend and reward those European and UK providers of captive insurance products and services, as well as captives themselves who have outperformed their competitors and peers, demonstrating the highest levels of excellence over the 12 month judging period.


Hassans receives Highly Commended at the European UK Captive Awards 2017

The first European & UK Captive Awards 2017 was held in London yesterday, Tuesday 10th October.

The Awards commend and reward those European and UK providers of captive insurance products and services, as well as captives themselves who have outperformed their competitors and peers, demonstrating the highest levels of excellence over the 12 month judging period.


Hassans advises Sunborn on the issuing of EUR 58 million bonds

Hassans International Law Firm, Gibraltar’s largest law firm, has acted for Sunborn Gibraltar on the issuing of a Euro 58,000,000 bond which has been listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.


ITIRIV and Hassans International Law Firm announce strategic partnership

ITIRIV and Hassans International Law Firm announce strategic partnership with global blockchain provider, BlockEx

ITIRIV, Gibraltar-based digital management consultants, and Hassans, Gibraltar’s largest law firm, are excited to announce a strategic partnership with BlockEx, a blockchain technology provider offering digital asset creation, issuance and trading platform (DAxP).


Hassans announces six partner promotions

Hassans International Law Firm is delighted to announce six partner promotions. The promotions bring the total number of partners at Hassans to 46. The new partners are:


Hassans continues its long-term environment commitment

Hassans continues its long-term environment commitment as pro bono legal advisers to the Environmental Safety Group (ESG)

Hassans’ Partner David Dumas QC has been the ESG’s dedicated legal adviser for the work carried out by the Group, locally, and on Campo cross-border and international issues, for the last 14 years. This followed the decision by Senior Partner James Levy QC in 2002 to commit the firm to further the singular aim of bettering the environment, within and outside Gibraltar. Apart from providing legal advice and drafting and submitting paperwork, Hassans has also assisted in the funding the ESG’s many campaigns on practically every environmental issue.


Hassans achieves another clean sweep of Tier 1 rankings in Legal 500 EMEA

Legal 500, one of the leading international legal directories which provides rankings of law firms based purely on client feedback, published their Europe, Middle East and Asia (EMEA) results yesterday.


Hassans broadens its reach globally in Chambers and Partners

Hassans received unique recognition last week for its gaming experts in the globally renowned Chambers and Partners.


Hassans to donate £30,000 to Calpe House Trust over the next 3 years

James Levy CBE QC (Senior Partner) and Javier Chincotta (Managing Partner) of Hassans met with Trustees of Calpe House, Albert Poggio OBE GMH, Vice President and Edward Yome, the Commissioner of Police, to present a cheque for £10,000. Hassans has committed to providing £10,000 to the Trust each year for the next three years.


Hassans advises Playtech plc in relation to its application for a B2B remote gambling licence

Playtech plc, a leading online software and platform provider, has successfully obtained a remote gambling B2B licence in Gibraltar. Playtech is one of the most recognised providers in the gaming industry and at the forefront of new developments.