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Jean-Charles S. Gardetto, Managing Partner

Managing partner Jean-Charles S. Gardetto explains how Law Offices of Jean-Charles S. Gardetto is adapting to clients' changing needs.

1) What do you see as the main points that differentiate you from your competitors?

We are the most international law firm in Monaco. We work mainly for foreign clients, either corporate clients or High Net Worth Individuals .

We pay great attention to maintain and develop a strong international practice:

  • Firstly, due to my US legal background, my firm may be considered as the first law firm in Monaco which focused its services towards international clients
  • Since its foundation 30 years ago, the firm built a strong network of international clients and foreign law firms
  • Associates of the firm are thus working daily with a foreign base clientele
  • We thus developed a working approach which perfectly matches what is expected from foreign law firms and global corporations, which can be summed up as: reactivity and pragmatism

All members of the team are capable of working in French and English. 

We are very much used to handling International Private Law issues due to the international character of our client base.

In addition although we are a boutique firm, the team is big enough and sufficiently diverse in terms of competences to assist our clients in a variety of circumstances both in the areas of counsel and litigation.

2) Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

We are developing tax, personal data protection and white collar crime practices.

Also our firm is more and more active in the fields of corporate and banking laws.

As regards corporate law, I would explain this trend by the fact that more and more foreign entrepreneurs are willing to set up their activities in Monaco which they perceive as a safe environment both to manage their business and relocate their family. We are handling for them the incorporation process, their financing, etc.  This trend is also due to the fact that the Government of Monaco is actively attracting entrepreneurs by offering incentives to startuppers. 

Our banking practice is also more and more active. I would explain it by the increasing regulation in the banking industry, and especially the Common Reporting Standard of the OECD and the Mifid 2 European Directive applicable to the Monegasque banking sector. We assist more and more Monegasque banks willing to ensure that they fully comply with these increasing regulations. 

3) What's the main change you've made in the company that will benefit clients?

We are in the process of hiring two new experienced associates to complement our team of 7 law practitioners. Moreover we permanently upgrade our internal processes as part of our ISO 9001 certification in order to always offer the best services to the clients at the highest level of competence and on a timely basis. We also acquired a new law office management software and new equipment to facilitate the work on the files and to provide more transparency in the billing system. Clients are really enjoying this full transparency as they know exactly what they pay for.

4) How is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Over the last decades, the firm adapted itself to the development of new technologies. I would say that thanks to new technologies, our cases are handled more swiftly and the communication with our clients has improved.  We also thrive in adapting and developing new technology tools to continuously improve the relationship with our clients.  For instance, as mentioned, we recently implemented a new software for the management of the firm, in particular the billing. It fully satisfies our clients. We are also in the process of updating our website to offer our clients a better source of information on the firm.

5) Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?

We recently assisted an international yacht company in regularizing and updating its status with the Monaco Trade and Industry Registry further to a contentious buyout by our client of a Monaco target company operating in the yacht industry. Due to the dispute between our client and the former managers, the legal representatives of our client were no longer authorized to act on behalf of the company which resulted in a freeze of its business activity. Thanks to our active negotiations and interactions with the Monaco Trade and Industry Registry, we enabled our client to resume their business prosperously.

We regularly assist foreign entrepreneurs and companies in setting up a legal entity in Monaco and their managers to apply for residency in Monaco.

Where do you see your company in three years’ time?

Our firm has been flourishing since 30 years. We believe that in three years our team will have grown more and that we will have developped our activities both in the corporate field and towards private clients. We also continuously educate ourselves in the fast-changing legal framework such as the banking laws, and more recently the new Monegasque Act on International Private Law which is bringing a great change in the Monaco legal industry. We believe that the firm will remain strongly oriented towards international clients although available for assistance to local entities.

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