Hassans > Gibraltar, Gibraltar > Firm Profile

Hassans
Madison Building
Midtown
Queensway
GX11 1AA
Gibraltar

Gibraltar > Banking and finance Tier 1

Hassans' market-leading practice advises a range of leading international banks, insurers and corporates on various complex, cross-border matters. The multidisciplinary outfit handles the full scope of financial services issues, including key regulatory and legislative developments affecting lending licensing, and compliance with anti-money laundering directives. Derivative transactions are also a core area of expertise. The team is jointly led by two partners: Nigel Feetham, who boasts considerable expertise in protected cell companies; and James Lasry, an accomplished figure in the domestic funds and investments space. Valerie Holliday is widely praised by clients for her depth of knowledge in this field, working with various clients on international finance transactions, e-money ventures and extensive regulatory reviews. Yvonne Chu's broad focus encompasses corporate lending transactions, collective investment schemes and security structures for Gibraltar insurers.

Practice head(s):

Nigel Feetham; James Lasry

Other key lawyers:

Valerie Holliday; Yvonne Chu; Anthony Provasoli

Testimonials

‘The banking and finance team in Hassans has been, and continues to be, a leader in the jurisdiction. They have a breadth of experience in advising a multitude of business proposals and they have a good working relationship with the Financial Services Commission which of course, helps the client get the right advice and be efficient.’

‘Valerie Holliday is second to none. She is straightforward, had a depth of knowledge and tells you what is possible and what is not. Very efficient.’

‘Excellent team with good practical advice and support.’

‘Valerie Holliday is a very practical and commercial lawyer’

‘Competent team with experience and expertise across a wide range of areas, that have required legal advice.’

‘Sound legal advice in the best interest of clients. Professional team with vast experience. Mainly worked with Tony Provasoli in the area of inward investment, which requires legal input in many aspects of the law.’

Key clients

Staysure

Gibraltar > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 1

Fielding the largest bench of lawyers in Gibraltar, Hassans' highly regarded practice is regularly engaged by clients on some of the largest corporate transactions and commercial matters taking place in the market. In recent months, the team has worked with a range of high-profile domestic and foreign clients from the worlds of finance, TMT, retail, life sciences and online gaming on a mix of acquisitions, mergers, restructurings and far-reaching regulatory initiatives. Physical relocations – both of high-ranking individuals and whole entities – are also a key burgeoning workflow. The ‘outstandingJames Levy CBE QC boasts a significant private client practice, and is a regular advisor on tax and trust legislation matters. Michael Castiel advises on a host of big-ticket transactions, while Tim Garcia is noted for his considerable cross-border corporate tax expertise. Vikram Nagrani is a key contact for technology-sector deals. Peter Montegriffo QC and Abigail Cornelio are also highly recommended.

Practice head(s):

James Levy QC; Richard Buttigieg; Michael Castiel; Ian Felice; Tim Garcia; Peter Montegriffo QC; Vikram Nagrani

Other key lawyers:

Abigail Cornelio; Matthew Torres

Testimonials

‘Hassan’s ticks all the boxes! They are innovative out of the box thinkers with a yes we can attitude. Added to that, their familiarity, loyalty and dedication, makes one feel at ease and confident that any issues will be swiftly resolved and that you are in safe hands. In this day and age where the world is moving so rapidly, knowing that you can trust a firm implicitly to look after you and manage your portfolio be it family law or tax law or even investments into the new world of cryptocurrency really makes a difference. Hassans is moving forward in leaps and bounds and I am excited to see what innovative ideas they come up with next.’

‘The individuals give you their undivided attention at any and all times of the day. During the unprecedented Covid-19 pandemic, at no point did Hassan’s falter; quite the contrary. The pandemic further emphasised how dedicated and professional Hassan’s employees are, across the board, even through trying times. To know that there is someone looking after you during your most stressful times is priceless. Their expertise, knowledge and professionalism is second to none but more importantly is their confidentially and discretion particularly in such a small and close knit place like Gibraltar.’

‘Personable, responsive, and focussed on delivering a solution.’

‘Hassans have a diverse set of skills amongst their Partners enabling them to make a specialist available in almost any field.’

‘The partners really care about their clients. They provide a personal service while delivering excellent advice and execution in a modern environment.’

‘James Levy provides outstanding legal and commercial advice.’

‘They do specialise in the different areas, and as a team, they are very cohesive, professional, and very reliable. I am extremely happy with the firm!’

‘Michael Castiel, Tim Garcia, and Matthew Torres do so much work for me! They are so diligent, professional, friendly, and outstanding! They make sure that I am satisfied with everything at all times which is very important to me. Their work is over and above!’

Key clients

GibTelecom

Government of Gibraltar

Lloyds Bank

Playtech

Gibraltar Football Association

Subsea 7

Apax Partners

Oaktree Capital Management

Entain Holdings PLC

Scientific Games

Viatris (previously Mylan)

Royal Bank of Scotland (Gibraltar) Limited

Pacific Drilling (now Noble)

GibTelecom

Government of Gibraltar

Lloyds Bank

Playtech

Gibraltar Football Association

Subsea 7

Apax Partners

Oaktree Capital Management

Entain Holdings PLC

Scientific Games

Viatris (previously Mylan)

Royal Bank of Scotland (Gibraltar) Limited

Pacific Drilling (now Noble)

Work highlights

  • Advised The Sovereign Group, provider of corporate, private client and retirement planning services, on its acquisition of STM Fidecs Management Limited (FML).
  • Assisting INX Limited with a reverse-merger with a Canadian company prior to its subsequent listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
  • Assisting Pacific Drilling with extensive Gibraltar restructuring aspects in connection with its emergence from Chapter 11 and following merger with Noble Corporation.

Gibraltar > Dispute resolution Tier 1

Fielding a sizeable and fully English-law qualified team, Hassans is routinely engaged by a number of private individuals, blue-chip companies, financial institutions and public bodies for representation in high-profile disputes. The team acts for both claimants and defendants in cross-border commercial litigation, alternative dispute resolution, as well as in complex liquidations and negligence claims. Lewis Baglietto QC is highly experienced in multi-jurisdictional proceedings before the domestic and European courts, most notably in the shipping sector. Daniel Feetham QC is roundly praised for his ‘exceptional’ litigation capabilities, with recent highlights in his workload including high-stakes challenges at the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Gillian Guzman QC's broad expertise encompasses employment and clinical negligence, working with many of Gibraltar's foremost gaming companies and financial services institutions. Gilbert Licudi specialises in employment, trust and sport law cases, while recently promoted partner Darren Martinez is especially experienced in insolvency cases.

Practice head(s):

Lewis Baglietto

Testimonials

‘As soon as a matter of concern arises the key individuals at Hassans are available and ready to attend to the situation. There is no delay and when time is required to consider the position, the advice returns in a timely and good manner.’

‘They have extremely good interpersonal skills. As a client you always feel heard and understood. This offers a sense of being in safe and good hands. They are efficient and knowledgeable in their respective areas.’

‘Experience in relevant areas and collaboration with external counsel that has proved invaluable in cases.’

‘It is an excellent firm with a unique approach to litigation and technology.’

‘Their methodology which is basically inclusiveness working jointly as a team to ensure that our needs are met thus ensuring the best possible outcome. Stand out lawyers are Moshe Levy and Lewis Baglietto.’

‘Strong team with good understanding of international and cross-border procedure, as well as arbitration related court proceedings.’

‘We have worked with Daniel Feetham QC and Moshe Levy. Their knowledge of the issues and application of the law was exceptional.’

‘Daniel Feetham QC is extremely sharp and has an extensive understanding of the law.’

Key clients

Republic of Kazakhstan

The Swedish Club

Caterpillar Finance Services UK Ltd

The Minister for Justice

Newline Underwriting

Gefion Insurance

Motor Insurance Bureau

Gibraltar Financial Services Commission

Work highlights

  • Acting for Gibtelecom against the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority and a telecoms services provider (Gibfibrespeed) in connection with a request for direct access to servers hosted at a data centre.
  • Acting for the Republic of Kazakhstan in relation to the registration of various costs orders of the English High Court in Gibraltar.
  • Advising two separate sets of clients on cross-border and EU law aspects of challenge to a state aid ruling.

Gibraltar > Fintech Tier 1

Hassans’ cross-disciplinary practice works with a range of fast-growing companies and established financial players on the full spectrum of fintech work. The team is consistently engaged by a number of crypto funds seeking assistance with market entry requirements, public offerings, transactions and succession planning. Regulatory reviews for traditional commercial banks, technology conglomerates and industry conduct authorities are further core areas of expertise. The team is jointly led by two partners: Anthony Provasoli, a name to note for cryptocurrency businesses, DLT providers and fintech firms looking to establish operations in Gibraltar, and Vikram Nagrani, whose wide-ranging knowledge of DLT regulations covers security token offerings and license applications. Aaron Payas is a highly regarded advisor in the crypto fund establishment space, working with start-ups and listed companies. Roy Balestrino is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Anthony Provasoli; Vikram Nagrani

Other key lawyers:

Aaron Payas; Roy Balestrino

Testimonials

‘They have an excellent knowledge of the sector and are able to give timely commercial advice.’

‘Vikram Nagrani and Anthony Provasoli are both excellent practitioners.’

‘Hassans has a very competent fintech team of several lawyers. They have a lot of important knowlege and valuable experience in the fintech sector and can advise in many different matters. They also maintain a close and cooperative communication with the regulator which is of great value for their clients.’

‘Vikram Nagrani and Anthony Provasoli provide top legal advice in this field.’

Key clients

INX Limited

CEX.IO

ETORO

Modex

Cudo Ventures

Digital Asset Management

Cipher Protocol

Panther Protocol

Idexo Protocol

Koii Protocol

Meme.com

Aurora Protocol

Coindirect

KeyTango

Lymited

Mingo

Quickbit

xManna

Turncoin

Alphabeth Capital

Cointelligence

INX Limited

CEX.IO

ETORO

Modex

Cudo Ventures

Digital Asset Management

Cipher Protocol

Panther Protocol

Idexo Protocol

Koii Protocol

Meme.com

Aurora Protocol

Coindirect

KeyTango

Lymited

Mingo

Quickbit

xManna

Turncoin

Alphabeth Capital

Cointelligence

Work highlights

  • Assisted Gibraltar-based INX in going public via a reverse take-over.
  • Advised Cointelligence Fund LP on its entry into the Gibraltar Financial Services Commission’s register as an Experienced Investor Fund.
  • Advising Standard Chartered Bank (via Clifford Chance as instructing solicitors) on the regulatory implications of providing crypto-asset related activities and services in Gibraltar.

Gibraltar > Gambling law Tier 1

Regularly sought out by a diverse roster of public bodies, industry associations and household names, Hassans enjoys a market-leading reputation for its capabilities in the gambling sector. The well-established team is equally adept in licensing applications, compliance reviews and high-profile transactions taking place in the industry. Peter Montegriffo QC’s ‘first-class’ practice encompasses the transactional and the regulatory, ranging from initial public offerings on the London Stock Exchange to legislative drafting. Recently promoted partner Andrew Montegriffo is a key contact for many of the firm’s interactive entertainment-sector clients, including e-sports organisations, streamers and professional players. Louise Lugaro is noted for her knowledge of remote gambling and cross-border gaming transactions.

Practice head(s):

Peter Montegriffo

Testimonials

The team have been lawyers of choice for all things gambling in Gibraltar, providing a depth of knowledge on Gibraltar regulation. Hassans has an understanding of how the industry is set up in Gibraltar and the issues that affect it.’

‘Commercially minded and client-focused. Always on top of new developments and industry trends.’

‘Excellent domain understanding of technical areas of legislation. Setting up a think tank for e-sports was an excellent innovation.’

‘Peter Montegriffo is an outstanding source of counsel.’

‘Very professional and conversant in local gaming law.’

‘Peter Montegriffo is commercially minded with an impeccable and first-class ability to design effective and simple solutions for complex situations. A brilliant legal mind.’

‘Andrew Montegriffo has a unique ability to dissect complex scenarios.’

‘The inherent knowledge of the team is second to none having been involved from the embryonic stage of the gambling jurisdiction in Gibraltar over 20 years ago through to its present day. The expertise they have acquired over the years will no doubt enable them to provide invaluable advice to potential clients.’

Key clients

HMGoG

bet365

Entain

Playtech

Scientific Games

888 Holdings Plc

Gamesys

High 5 Games

Superbet

Microgaming

Continent 8

GibTelecom

GBGA (Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association)

Pragmatic Play

Flutter Entertainment

Caesars

IBID Group

Work highlights

  • Advising the Government of Gibraltar on the new Gambling Act.
  • Acted on a joint instruction for William Hill and Caesars on all regulatory and corporate matters in Gibraltar relating to the acquisition and de-listing of William Hill from the LSE.
  • Representing Gamesys Group in respect of its acquisition by Bally’s.

Gibraltar > Investment funds Tier 1

Hassans is widely acclaimed for its extensive capabilities in the sector, with experience establishing funds in sectors as diverse as art, aviation, energy, private equity and real estate. The team also frequently conducts prospectus regulatory reviews of equity and bond offerings. In recent years, the group has advised on a growing number of crypto and token funds, spearheaded by blockchain experts James Lasry and Aaron Payas. Lasry serves as deputy chair of the Gibraltar Funds and Investments Association, while Payas maintains a broad practice, with significant fund law and decentralised finance (DeFi) knowledge. Jeremy Evans specialises in the structuring and establishment of Experienced Investor Funds in Gibraltar.

Practice head(s):

James Lasry

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘The team is very diverse, capable, and they pay good attention to detail while making sure to assist and provide all the information that a client needs to know.’

‘There is a personal touch to the individuals that assist us, namely Aaron Payas and Jeremy Evans who are incredibly knowledgeable and very helpful.’

‘James Lasry is outstanding thanks to his connections, loyalty, solution-oriented creativity and integrity.’

‘A very skilled team with absolute knowledge of the local market. Strong individuals, flexible billing, very collaborative.’

‘James Lasry is the doyen of investment funds law in Gibraltar, bringing unmatched technical knowledge and wide cross jurisdictional experience alongside a very commercial and personable approach.’

‘Hassans’ fund team basically built the fund industry in Gibraltar so they know the legislation back-to-front. They have a strong commercial orientation and are both pragmatic and creative when it comes to solving problems.’

‘The investment funds team at Hassans is a solid professional unit that carries the work efficiently and effectively. The team works excellently together and are a clear leader in this field in the jurisdiction.’

‘The leader, James Lasry, is excellent at looking forward and resolving challenges so that today’s solutions are solid tomorrow. Aaron Payas is an expert on high tech and crypto and facilitates solutions that are relevant and effective.’

Key clients

Turicum Private Bank

Argon Financial Limited

Invesus Group Limited

Lombard Odier Gibraltar

Patron Capital Gibraltar

Societe General (SG Hambros)

Burren Capital

Granite MSA Ltd

Huber & Co Ltd

Linkbay Limited

Pembroke Partnership Limited

GAM BSD Limited

Hyperion Wealth Management Limited

Hyperion Group Limited

Ribera Capital Limited

Goldbaum & Partners Limited

RYSE Asset Management

BlueRock Advisory Limited

Anthony Jimenez & Co Limited

Covalis Capital LP

GY Ventures

Vix Capital

Albany Capital

Panther Capital

Juno Fund Administration Limited

Mingo Technologies Limited

INX Limited

Alvento Capital Partners LLP

Thameside Markets Limited

Stellar Partners Limited

Polar Capital Funds plc

Digital Asset Management Limited

Turicum Private Bank

Argon Financial Limited

Invesus Group Limited

Lombard Odier Gibraltar

Patron Capital Gibraltar

Societe General (SG Hambros)

Burren Capital

Granite MSA Ltd

Huber & Co Ltd

Linkbay Limited

Pembroke Partnership Limited

GAM BSD Limited

Hyperion Wealth Management Limited

Hyperion Group Limited

Ribera Capital Limited

Goldbaum & Partners Limited

RYSE Asset Management

BlueRock Advisory Limited

Anthony Jimenez & Co Limited

Covalis Capital LP

GY Ventures

Vix Capital

Albany Capital

Panther Capital

Juno Fund Administration Limited

Mingo Technologies Limited

INX Limited

Alvento Capital Partners LLP

Thameside Markets Limited

Stellar Partners Limited

Polar Capital Funds plc

Digital Asset Management Limited

Alphabeth Capital

Cole Capital

Aureus Capital

Belobaba Fund

Contelligence

Sigil

Work highlights

  • Advising 3iQ on its listing of The Bitcoin Fund on the Gibraltar Stock Exchange.
  • Acted for HM Government of Gibraltar on the formulation and drafting of Gibraltar’s post Brexit AIFMD strategy and legislation.

Gibraltar > Private client Tier 1

Hassans is consistently sought out by a diverse roster of high-net-worth individuals and families looking to establish or re-domicile trusts in Gibraltar. The team is capable across the gamut of trust and wealth management matters, including residency applications, asset transfers, taxes, permits and property issues. The team is jointly led by the ‘brilliant and very knowledgeable’ James Levy CBE QC and offshore structuring expert Moses Anahory, whose wide-ranging expertise encompasses multi-jurisdictional trust operations and the management of UK real estate investments. Vikram Nagrani is a highly active partner who oversees the day-to-day management, administration, and in some instances corporate reorganisation of numerous entities.

Practice head(s):

James Levy CBE QC; Moses Anahory

Other key lawyers:

Testimonials

‘Hassans International are the leading legal firm in Gibraltar.’

‘James Levy is brilliant and very knowledgable.’

Gibraltar > Real estate and construction Tier 1

Hassans is widely praised for its ‘excellent' knowledge of the Gibraltar real estate and construction market, working with a broad roster of contractors, developers and financiers on projects and transactions, both in the residential and commercial sectors. Residential conveyancing, commercial leasing, development finance and large-scale ventures are all core competencies for the sizeable team. The group is led by three partners, who collectively provide significant market coverage: property finance expert Nicholas Howard; ‘invaluable’ construction specialist Gemma Vasquez; and Isaac Levy, who regularly works with global financial services players and international real estate groups on development funding matters. Ian Farrell is well regarded for his knowledge of landlord and tenant issues, including forfeiture proceedings and arbitration.

Practice head(s):

Nicholas Howard; Gemma Vasquez; Isaac Levy

Other key lawyers:

Ian Farrell; Meera Aswani; Stephanie Acris

Testimonials

‘Their service and their attention to my clients’ needs are excellent. They are professionals and make my clients feel at ease during the purchase/sale.’

‘Nicholas Howard and Meera Aswani are a dream to work with. They are professional, understanding, super efficient and care about the client’s needs.’

‘The real estate team are well equipped to deal with small purchases and larger ones. Very good at keeping to deadlines.’

‘Stephanie Acris is a real professional and an outstanding property lawyer. She quickly grasps my requirements and provides tailor-made solutions with real effectiveness. Time and time again she never lets me down and proves to be the best choice for property matters in Gibraltar.’

‘Attentive at all times and a real partner when involved in transactions, where timing is all important.’

‘Hassans are the go-to lawyers in Gibraltar. They have an excellent knowledge of the Gibraltar construction market with very good contacts in all fields of the construction world.’

‘Gemma Vasquez has always been invaluable with information, guidance and support and especially during the very trying last eighteen months. Her advice has been paramount in keeping the project going.’

‘Nicholas Howard possesses excellent knowledge of Gibraltar in all aspects related to property.’

Key clients

RBS

Ocean Village

Sancus

Commercial Development Investments Ltd

Hillstone Properties Ltd

Forbes Property Ltd

Tylee Properties Ltd

PC Properties Ltd

Jyske Bank

WDF Properties Ltd

SG Kleinwort

BV Homes Ltd

Orange Bastion Holdings Ltd

SG Holdings Ltd

Mahtani

Bhatia

Alwani Holdings

Criterion North Gorge Ltd

Phoenix Capital Ltd.

SG Hambros

RBS

Gibraltar International Bank

Lloyds

Prior Park Schools

Sancus

North Gorge Properties Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising the developer on the off-plan sale of a luxury residential development consisting of in excess of 100 apartments.
  • Advising the contractor of GBIC Limited on the construction of a modular-design care home.
  • Assisting E1 with development and construction work, as well as substantial bank and personal financing instructions for the co-owners.

Gibraltar > Shipping Tier 1

Hassans' ‘excellent’ cross-disciplinary shipping team works with various government departments, port authorities, banks and high-net-worth individuals on the gamut of transactional, contentious and advisory mandates. Recent highlights for the team include advising on high-value yacht registrations, and claims regarding collisions and oil spillages. Litigation head Lewis Baglietto QC is renowned for his expertise in international disputes, often appearing before the European Court of Human Rights and the Privy Council in highly sensitive maritime cases. Yvonne Chu is noted for her niche expertise in shipping finance, ship insurance and maritime security transactions. Tania Rahmany focuses on legislative drafting, working with both the Gibraltar Port Authority and the Gibraltar Maritime Administration.

Practice head(s):

Lewis Baglietto

Other key lawyers:

Charles Bonfante; Yvonne Chu; Tania Rahmany

Testimonials

‘Hassans’ shipping department have provided really excellent support to us and our clients in proceedings in Gibraltar. They are knowledgeable, diligent and responsive. They are also a really pleasant firm to work with and felt like an extension of our own shipping team while working closely together with us on a complex case.’

‘Lewis Baglietto QC and Charles Bonfante: They are both extremely prompt in responding to requests for advice, are always swift to report on developments to enable us to deal with matters effectively and are very personable in their approach. We would not hesitate to recommend them for shipping matters in Gibraltar.’

Key clients

Caterpillar Finance Services UK Ltd

Gibraltar Port Authority

HM Government of Gibraltar

Gibraltar Maritime Administration

Work highlights

  • Advising various HNWIs on the purchase of six superyachts and their subsequent registration with the Gibraltar Yacht Registry as SSR and/or Part 1 Registrations.
  • Acting for the Government of Gibraltar and the Gibraltar Port Authority in a recent case involving an oil spillage from a bulk carrier.
  • Acting in a claim involving a collision between two luxury yachts.

Gibraltar > Tax Tier 1

Fielding a large and experienced team of market-leading advisors, Hassans is ideally placed to assist a range of public and private sector clients with international tax planning, investment portfolio structuring, property tax advice and Category 2 eligibility reviews for high-net-worth individuals. The team is also noted for its deep knowledge of regulatory frameworks, working with government bodies on major legislative drafting mandates. Grahame Jackson works with investment funds and major corporations on various income tax reviews and international property investment structures. Tim Garcia is routinely sought out by multinational corporations, private equity houses and family offices for his expertise in cross-border corporate tax matters. Francis Carreras specialises in qualifying recognised overseas pension schemes (QROPS) and local pension schemes, while Isaac Levy focuses his practice in particular on tax legislation and state aid investigations. Wayne Fortunato is widely praised by clients for his trust management and administration expertise. Matthew Torres and Tania Rahmany are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Michael Castiel; Tim Garcia; Grahame Jackson; Isaac Levy; Francis Carreras

Testimonials

The service of excellence and professionalism provided has always been maintained at high standards. A team composed of both young, energetic industry leading partners jointly with the more and highly experienced top ranked partners, always ensures Hassans has the right person for the right job.’

‘Francis Carreras is extremely professional, diligent and experienced, with a very attentive approach towards his clients’ requirements.’

‘The team is responsive, creative, and very client focused in designing and implementing efficient solutions.’

‘I have worked most closely with Michael Castiel and, more recently, Tim Garcia. Michael is a steady and experienced hand, his presence and insights are much appreciated by the clients. Tim is totally client focused. He understands client needs and timelines, which is much appreciated.’

‘The team exhibits an excellent knowledge of the local legislation as well as international tax matters. Importantly they can marry their advice with implementation of structures.’

‘Extremely professional and very approachable team members who are always keen to assist with engagements of any magnitude.’

‘Francis Carreras’ has detailed knowledge and practical experience particularly in the area of private clients and individuals relocating to Gibraltar. He is adept at handling other related (non-tax) legal matters for such clients.’

‘In my opinion, Grahame Jackson is the sector leader in Gibraltar.’

Key clients

Subsea 7

Pacific Drilling (now Noble)

HM Government of Gibraltar

Work highlights

  • Advising Sovereign Group on the tax implications of its acquisition of STM Fidecs Management, Gibraltar.
  • Advising Xapo Bank on its obligations arising from FATCA and the Common Reporting Standard.
  • Establishing a branch and handling regulatory work and relocation activities for a major fund with assets under management of approximately $2bn.

Gibraltar > TMT Tier 1

A sterling roster of clients from the banking, financial services, gaming, crypto and medtech sectors routinely turn to the sizeable TMT team at Hassans for assistance in major transactions and regulatory reviews. The practice is especially renowned for its presence in the interactive entertainment and e-sports space, working with a host of players, content creators and industry associations on the gamut of corporate and commercial issues. Dubbed ‘the guru of gaming’ by clients, Peter Montegriffo QC regularly handles IPOs for Gibraltar-based companies seeking an LSE listing. Blockchain expert Anthony Provasoli assists high-profile cryptocurrency businesses, Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) providers and other fintech firms with token sales and Gibraltar market entry questions. Both Aaron Payas and the ‘truly excellent' Vikram Nagrani have considerable knowledge of DLT matters, while recently promoted partner Andrew Montegriffo focuses on the development of licensing and regulatory regimes in the online gaming sector. Roy Balestrino and Louise Lugaro are also noted.

Practice head(s):

Peter Montegriffo; Anthony Provasoli; Aaron Payas

Testimonials

‘Commercially minded and client-focused.’

‘Vikram Nagrani has a fantastic ability to interpret and analyse complex legislation and case law. Anthony Provasoli is always abreast of industry and jurisdictional / international developments. Has a keen eye for predicting where trends will go next.’

‘Peter Montegriffo is the guru of gaming in Gibraltar. Anthony Provasoli and Vikran Nagrani are truly excellent on TMT matters.’

‘The team at Hassans are the experts in gambling regulation in Gibraltar. They are a highly experienced team who we have found to be very reliable.’

‘Our primary contact is Andrew Montegriffo who is very knowledgeable, approachable, personable and always professional.’

‘The TMT practice has grown considerably over the years at Hassans. They are very committed to new innovation and developments in the whole field particularly service of IT providers, DLT and new tech.’

‘As a team and a group, there is a lot of depth and support.’

‘Peter Montegriffo, Anthony Provasoli Jr and Andrew Montegriffo are very knowledgeable in the areas of gaming, DLT and media.’

Key clients

William Hill

bet365

Entain

Playtech

Scientific Games

888 Holdings Plc

Gamesys

HM GoG

Superbet

High 5 Games

Microgaming

Continent 8

GibTelecom

GBGA (Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association)

Pragmatic Play

Flutter Entertainment

Caesars

IBID Group

CEX.IO

ETORO

Rockcyph3r

Modex

ClinicAll

Work highlights

  • Assisted Gibraltar-based INX in going public via a reverse take-over.
  • Acted on a joint instruction for William Hill and Caesars on all regulatory and corporate matters in Gibraltar relating to the acquisition and de-listing of William Hill from the London Stock Exchange.

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.

DepartmentNameEmailTelephone
Corporate, Tax, Private Client James Levy CBE QCjames.levy@hassans.gi+350 2007900
Corporate Michael Castielmichael.castiel@hassans.gi+350 20079000
Banking Tony Provasolitony.provasoli@hassans.gi+350 20079000
Banking Valerie Hollidayvalerie.holliday@hassans.gi+350 20079000
Litigation Lewis Baglietto QClewis.baglietto@hassans.gi+350 20079000
Employment, Dispute Resolution Gillian Guzman QCgillian.guzman@hassans.gi+350 20079000
Commercial, Gaming, Private Client Peter C Montegriffo QCpeter.montegriffo@hassans.gi+350 20079000
Trusts Moses Anahorymoses.anahory@hassans.gi+350 20079000
Corporate and Commercial Ian Feliceian.felice@hassans.gi+350 20079000
Insurance Nigel Feethamnigel.feetham@hassans.gi+350 20079000
Property Nicholas Howardnicholas.howard@hassans.gi+350 20079000
Property Ian Farrellian.farrell@hassans.gi+350 20079000
Corporate and ommercial Vikram Nagranivikram.nagrani@hassans.gi+350 20079000
Funds James Lasryjames.lasry@hassans.gi+350 20079000
PhotoNamePositionProfile
Joseph Abudarham  photo Joseph Abudarham Joseph specialises in co-ordinating multi–jurisdictional tax and estate planning for international Ultra…
Nigel Acris  photo Nigel Acris Partner
Moses Anahory  photo Moses Anahory Moses joined Hassans in 1994 after qualification and spent two years with…
Dick Azopardi  photo Dick Azopardi Dick Azopardi is a consultant to Hassans having previously headed the firm’s…
Lewis Baglietto photo Lewis BagliettoLewis Baglietto is a Partner at Hassans and Team Leader of the…
Moses Benady  photo Moses Benady Moses advises on all tax related issues with particular focus on the…
Eli Beniso  photo Eli Beniso Partner
Kenneth Bonavia  photo Kenneth Bonavia Partner
Richard Buttigieg  photo Richard Buttigieg Richard is a Partner at Hassans and a member of the firm’s…
Michael Castiel  photo Michael Castiel Michael is a Consultant at Hassans and a member of its Corporate…
Javier Chincotta  photo Javier Chincotta Javier is the Managing Partner and co-team leader of both the Private…
Yvonne Chu  photo Yvonne Chu Yvonne Chu became a partner in Hassans’ Financial Services and Banking Team…
Abigail Cornelio  photo Abigail Cornelio Abigail is a partner at Hassans and a member of the firm’s…
Ian Farrell  photo Ian Farrell Partner
Daniel Feetham photo Daniel FeethamPartner.
Nigel Feetham  photo Nigel Feetham Nigel is a barrister admitted to the Gibraltar Bar. He has practised…
Ian Felice  photo Ian Felice Ian joined the firm in 1999 and is a Partner of Hassans’ Corporate…
Tim Garcia  photo Tim Garcia Tim is a Partner within Hassans and a member of the firm’s…
Gillian Guzman photo Gillian GuzmanGillian specialises in general civil and criminal litigation with particular emphasis on…
Valerie Holliday  photo Valerie Holliday Valerie is a Partner at Hassans and a member of the firm’s Financial…
Nicholas Howard  photo Nicholas Howard Nicholas is head of the firm’s busy and vibrant property department and…
Grahame Jackson  photo Grahame Jackson Partner
James Lasry  photo James Lasry James is a Partner and Head of the Funds Team and a…
Isaac Levy  photo Isaac Levy Partner
James Levy CBE photo James Levy CBEJames Levy is the Senior Partner of Hassans, specialising in corporate and…
Peter Montegriffo photo Peter MontegriffoPeter Montegriffo is a Partner at Hassans and a member of the…
Raquel Moss  photo Raquel Moss Raquel is responsible for the running of Line Trust Corporation Limited. She specialises…
Vikram Nagrani  photo Vikram Nagrani Vikram is a Partner in Hassans’ Corporate and Commercial department and co-leads the firm’s FinTech Team. …
Michael Nahon  photo Michael Nahon Michael is a Partner at Hassans and a member of the Firm’s…
Aaron Payas  photo Aaron Payas Aaron is a Partner at Hassans specialising in Funds and FinTech. He…
Justine Picardo  photo Justine Picardo Partner
Tony Provasoli  photo Tony Provasoli Tony Provasoli specialises in financial services and leads the Hassans’ Financial Services…
Anthony Provasoli  photo Anthony Provasoli Anthony Provasoli is a Partner in Hassans’ corporate and commercial department and co-leads…
Maxi Torres  photo Maxi Torres Maxi was promoted to Partner in July 2013 and advises on a…
Gemma Vasquez  photo Gemma Vasquez Gemma is a Partner in the Corporate and Commercial team. She specialises…
Francis Warne  photo Francis Warne Francis is a Partner at Hassans and a member of the Firm’s…
Number of lawyers : 80
Chinese (Cantonese
Mandarin
English
French
Hebrew
Italian
Portuguese
Spanish
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.

AirportDistance to GibraltarEstimated  drive time
Malaga (AGP)128.5 km / 79.8 miles1 h 35 min
Seville (SVQ)202.4 km /125.7 miles2 h 9 min
Jerez (XRY)119.7 km / 74.3 miles1 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.