GVZH Advocates > Valletta, Malta > Firm Profile

GVZH Advocates

Malta > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

Andrew Zammit is GVZH Advocates’ managing partner and head of the corporate and M&A practice, where he is particularly well-known for advising clients in the TMT space on their day-to-day corporate activities in Malta. Fintech, data protection, restructuring and low to mid-market M&A are the core areas of instruction.  

Practice head(s):

Andrew Zammit


‘They were highly organized, responded promptly and met the deadline that we set. They also had extensive knowledge of and wide experience in data protection laws. They also provided services at a reasonable fee.’

‘We worked with Andrew J. Zammit, managing partner of GVZH Advocates, on data protection matters. He was responsive, fluent in English, and had extensive knowledge of and wide expertise in data protection laws.’

Key clients

Mishcon de Reya LLP

Playmobile Malta Limited

Lansdowne Partners Austria GmbH

Intercontinental Exchange, Inc

Light & Wonder Inc (formerly Scientific Games)

G3 Finance p.l.c.

CC Finance Group plc

Crane Currency Malta Limited


Zedra Malta Limited

Sens Innovation Group Limited & Electronic Systems Design Limited

Novalpina Capital Partners

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Mishcon de Reya LLP to provide a legal opinion regarding regulatory matters surrounding the acquisition of a Malta-licensed iGaming entity and additional assistance in relation to the attempted acquisition of Playtech PLC by Aristocrat (UK) Holdings Limited.
  • Supporting Playmobil Malta Limited and other entities within the group in relation to various data protection matters which arise on a day-to-day basis.
  • Advised Lansdowne Partners Austria GmbH in the acquisition of a 60% equity interest in By Cocoon Group Limited, a private limited liability company registered and incorporated under the laws of Malta.

Malta > Intellectual property Tier 2

Leveraging deep expertise, GVZH Advocates is 'well equipped and highly knowledgeable in substantive as well as procedural matters concerning IP law and litigation’. The practice demonstrates particular strength in the filing of trade mark and patent applications, and in infringement actions, enforcement and anti-counterfeiting actions. The ‘extremely knowledgeable and efficientMichael Grech heads the practice.

Practice head(s):

Michael Grech


‘The team is well equipped and highly knowledgeable in substantive as well as procedural matters concerning IP law and litigation. The firm is highly dependable in this respect.’

‘Michael Grech is extremely well versed in the necessary legal areas and a pleasure to work with.’

‘What makes GVZH a pleasure to work with on IP matters is not only the deep knowledge that the firm possesses, but also the relationship that the team members take the time to build with clients like us, and to understand how the IP ties in to what we do on a day-to-day basis.’

‘Michael Grech is the person I have dealt with most, and I find him to be very easy to work with. Not only is he extremely knowledgeable and efficient, but he also has a solution-oriented mindset and has taken the time to build a relationship. Case management has also been exceptional, as we leave it entirely in the hands of Michael and his team to follow up on any necessary updates or other legal work to maintain our IP.’

Key clients

Malta Government Investments

Apple (Napoleon)

Astellas Pharma Europe BV

Johnson & Johnson

Intercontinental Hotels Group

European Audiovisual Observatory

Malta Gaming Authority

Corinthia Hotel International

La Liga Nacional De Fútbol Profesional


Work highlights

  • Advised Malta Government Investments (MGI), the sovereign wealth fund of the Government of Malta, on all IP-related aspects of the national concession for the national lottery and games of chance for a period of ten years, including drafting all IP licensing agreements and the registration and assignments of the trade marks forming part of the concession.
  • Advised Apple on all IP-related aspects of the local shooting of the blockbuster movie “Napoleon”, directed by Ridley Scott.
  • Advised Intercontinental Hotels Group on all trade mark clearance searches in Malta with respect to the launch of its new international rewards programme brand.

Malta > Real estate Tier 2

Malta > Aviation Tier 3

At GVZH Advocates, senior associates Ann Bugeja and Aleandro Mifsud assist with day-to-day operational matters, AOC and AOL applications, ownership structures, VAT and the importation of aircraft into Malta.

Practice head(s):

Ann Bugeja

Other key lawyers:

Malta > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 3

GVZH Advocates has strong capital markets capabilities and is recommended for prospective issuers seeking admission to listing in Malta. Kurt Hyzler is the main point of contact for financial services licensing projects, including collective investment scheme structures, and corporate and financing transactions. Luca Vella assists with the admission to listing of debt securities on the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange and private placements. Managing partner Andrew Zammit is also noted.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Zammit; Kurt Hyzler; Luca Vella

Key clients

Betclic Everest Group

BNP Paribas – Hong Kong Branch

Work highlights

  • Represented Betclic Everest Group with respect to the perfection of security with regard to a €130m bridge loan financing that was entered into at the end of December 2021.
  • Advised BNP Paribas on securing its facility to the Alvogen Group by virtue of a pledge of shares in Alvogen Malta (Out-Licensing) Holding Limited C 87870.

Malta > Dispute resolution Tier 3

Malta > Fintech Tier 3

Kurt Hyzler and managing partner Andrew Zammit are the key contacts at GVZH Advocates, whose fintech offering includes advising on the licensing of online forex trading models and electronic money businesses, and fintech regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Zammit

Other key lawyers:


‘Really energetic team that act as an extension of our legal team. They provide helpful insights and solutions to problems based on lived experiences and knowledge of the regulator.’

‘Andrew Zammit is first class. Very business-focused and straight-talking advice that gets to the key points.’

‘Personal attention, flexbility, reliability.’

Key clients



Work highlights

  • Continuing to support eToro Money Malta Limited on all the legal and regulatory aspects of its operations in Malta.
  • Advising Moneybase on all legal and regulatory aspects of the company’s operation.

Malta > Shipping Tier 3

GVZH Advocates is instructed on the purchase, sale and ongoing maintenance of luxury superyachts, as well as handling all registration formalities under the Malta flag. On the dispute resolution side of the practice, the firm handles claims relating to employment and social security issues for seafarers, the arrest of vessels, and the enforcement of claims against Malta-registered vessels and vessels situated within Maltese territorial waters. Michael Grech leads the team.

Practice head(s):

Michael Grech

Key clients

Sardaleasing S.p.A.

Albaleasing S.p.A.

Credemleasing S.p.A.

Unicredit Leasing S.p.A.

Work highlights

  • Acting for Sardaleasing S.p.A. in respect of all its registrations of yachts under the Maltese flag and also acting as its resident agent in respect of all its locally registered vessels.
  • Advising Credemleasing S.p.A in all its registrations of yachts under the Maltese flag and also acting as its resident agent in respect of all its locally registered vessels.
  • Acting for Unicredit Leasing S.p.A. in respect of all its registrations of yachts under the Maltese flag and also acting as its resident agent in respect of all its locally registered vessels.

The firm: GVZH Advocates is a modern and sophisticated legal practice comprised of top-tier professionals, firmly rooted in decades of experience in the Maltese legal landscape. Built on the values of acumen, integrity and clarity, we are dedicated to providing the highest levels of customer satisfaction, making sure that legal solutions are not only soundly rooted and rigorously tested, but also meticulously implemented. The firm understands that today’s business environment requires legal advisors that have both skills and expertise geared towards effectively addressing specific and technical issues in the context of complex projects, transactions and disputes. It is through the contribution of these skills and expertise in an accurate and timely manner, that GVZH Advocates, as a forward-looking firm, looks to cement long-term and meaningful relationships with clients and partners. The firm is regularly involved in cross-border transactions, tapping into a wide network of international consultants, all experts in their respective field, ensuring seamless, timely and quality advice.

GVZH Advocates now consists of 24 lawyers, covering the following practice areas: aviation; banking and finance; citizenship and residence; competition/antitrust regulations; corporate and M&A; culture and entertainment; data protection; employment and industrial relations law; financial service regulations; hospitality; i-gaming; insolvency; intellectual property; litigation and arbitration; prevention of money laundering; projects and public procurement; real estate; shipping; tax; technology, media and telecommunications; trusts, foundations and voluntary organisations and yachting.

Areas of practice
Aviation, shipping and yachting: the firm provides solutions for aircraft, yacht and super-yacht owners, financiers and managers while representing some of the industry’s leading players.

Banking and finance: advising lenders, issuers and borrowers on leveraged and acquisition finance, corporate finance, structured finance, asset finance and leasing, aircraft finance, security trusts, capital markets, project finance, real estate finance, investment funds, asset management operations and securitisation vehicles.

Citizenship and residence: the firm provides a comprehensive advisory and administrative service in respect of residence permits, work permits and visa formalities.

Corporate and M&A: GVZH acts as lead counsel in various M&A transactions in various sectors including pharmaceuticals, financial services, telecommunications, remote gaming and payment institutions.

Employment/industrial relations: GVZH Advocates provides an array of employment-related solutions (contracts of service, dismissals, redundancies, transfers of employees between undertakings, equal treatment in the workplace and the implementation of appropriate systems and procedures for clients’ HR).

Intellectual property: the firm advises on developing legal strategies to maximise and protect the commercial potential of brands, ideas and technological advances.

Litigation and arbitration: legal services rendered to the company in connection with high-profile litigation concerning corporate governance measures, minority rights issues and related matters.

Real estate: advising on the sale and purchase of commercial and residential property, financing, real estate funds, property development, leasing and portfolio management.

Tax: GVZH Advocates has particular strength advising on novel and complex issues in the corporate finance, personal finance, structured finance, financial services and real estate sectors.

Technology, media and telecommunications: GVZH advises on all aspects in the areas of TM: intellectual property, data protection and freedom of information, licensing and regulations of various e-commerce models including remote gaming operators.

Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions Dr Andrew J Zammitandrew.zammit@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Culture and entertainment Dr Andrew J Zammitandrew.zammit@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
iGaming Dr Andrew J Zammitandrew.zammit@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Insolvency Dr Andrew J Zammitandrew.zammit@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Prevention of money laundering Dr Andrew J Zammitandrew.zammit@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Technology media and communications (TMT) Dr Andrew J Zammitandrew.zammit@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Trusts, foundations and voluntary organisations Dr Andrew J Zammitandrew.zammit@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Financial service regulations Dr Kurt Hyzlerkurt.hyzler@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Intellectual property Dr Michael Grechmichael.grech@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Shipping Dr Michael Grechmichael.grech@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Yachting Dr Michael Grechmichael.grech@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Competition/antitrust regulations Dr Jackie Malliajackie.mallia@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Data protection Dr Jackie Malliajackie.mallia@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Aviation Dr Ann Bugejaann.bugeja@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Employment industrial relations Dr Ann Bugejaann.bugeja@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Immigration Dr Ann Bugejaann.bugeja@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Shipping Dr Ann Bugejaann.bugeja@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Yachting Dr Ann Bugejaann.bugeja@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions Dr Ruth Galearuth.galea@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Tax Josef Cardonajosef.cardona@gvzh.mt00356 2122 8888
Jonathan Abela photoDr Jonathan AbelaTax Advisor
Ann Bugeja photoDr Ann BugejaSenior Associate
Josef Cardona photoMr Josef CardonaGeneral Manager
Ruth Galea photoDr Ruth GaleaConsultant
Michael Grech photoDr Michael GrechPartner
Albert Grech photoDr Albert GrechSenior Partner
Kurt Hyzler photoDr Kurt HyzlerPartner
Catherine Janula photoDr Catherine JanulaAssociate
Jackie Mallia photoDr Jackie MalliaSenior Associate
Maria Tabone photoDr Maria TaboneMaria is a Legal Manager responsible for the legal and regulatory matters…
Andrew J Zammit photoDr Andrew J ZammitManaging Partner
Number of lawyers : 28
Employment Law Alliance (ELA)
LNI International
International Bar Association (IBA)
International Trade Mark Association (INTA)
International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL)

Strength in Diversity

At GVZH, diversity is an integral part of our culture and identity. Whether related to gender, ethnicity, citizenship age, sexual orientation, or any other aspect which makes individuals truly unique and individual, and mindful of people’s right to a private life, inclusion is the approach we take towards our personal differences, creating an environment where all our professionals and staff can feel comfortable being authentic and empowered to succeed. We recognise that diversity makes us a healthier organisation which contributes towards attracting outstanding talent to drive creativity and innovation and deliver the best experience for our clients.

As part of our People Strategy, we seek to create a workforce which is broadly reflective of the larger community. We are fully committed to ensure that our people are supported in capitalising on their skills and capabilities in an inclusive manner. We foster a welcoming environment which recognises and respects everyone for their unique characteristics, experiences, and skills, providing advancement opportunities to people of different backgrounds and perspectives to be represented in leadership positions within the organisation.  The organisation offers flexible working arrangements aimed at achieving a good work-life balance for our people.

We also recognise the abilities and unique talents of individuals living with a disability, and seek to identify key roles to enable them to contribute towards the organisation’s purpose and objectives.

Recognising that a diverse team makes us stronger and more effective to move forward, together, it remains a paramount commitment for GVZH to maintain an open, respectable, and inclusive workplace.

Andrew J Zammit, Managing Partner

Andrew J Zammit discusses GVZH Advocates’ on-going initiatives to modernise and streamline its operations to keep synchronised with the exigencies of today’s fast-moving business exigencies.

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

GVZH enjoys a legacy of 80 years in the Maltese legal landscape, resulting from several strategic mergers. As a leading full-service firm, the depth and breadth of our expertise places us amongst the top professional services firms in Malta. Our differentiating factor remains our ability to provide practical and pragmatic advice in the context of the challenges faced by businesses within our core industries.

The firm’s values are based on effective teamwork, curiosity, open communication and innovation. We apply these values through the deep-rooted relationships with our clients, making us true strategic partners.

Working closely with business leaders and entrepreneurs places us in a privileged position. It also requires us to keep ahead of the key developments in our focus industries, whilst being mindful of each client’s objectives and risk-gearing. The development of these skills has enabled us to garner the trust and confidence that is central to any long-term professional relationship.

GVZH is actively engaged by several international firms, ranging from magic circle firms to smaller boutique practices, providing them with both technical and practical insight on any Malta-facing issues. Our participation in several worldwide networks also provide us with cross-border capabilities which significantly boosts our offering.

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

Mergers and acquisition transactions, leveraged financing and telecoms and technology regulation represent the core activities of GVZH. Whilst mergers and acquisitions and leveraged finance activity maintained a very high level of activity throughout 2021, and 2022 this trend appears to have lost some momentum in the first quarter of 2023, but is expected to pick up again as company valuations are adjusted and become more attractive.

Our passion for everything technological is also reflected in the nature and caliber of clients handled in this area, and the developments in the regulation of artificial intelligence, robotics and data privacy promise to generate significantly more activity. Indeed, the introduction of the Digital Services act and the Digital Markets Act at a European level provide a very clear indication of the increased regulation that we will be seeing in this space over the coming years.

What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

Our investments into technology, the streamlining of processes and staff development are probably the most significant changes that we have made within the firm over the past 5 years, and which we are certainly seeing the benefits both for our clients and for our people. These efficiencies enable our professionals to communicate and collaborate more efficiently and effectively, dedicating their energies towards more value-added functions in the course of their day, ultimately resulting in a value-add for our clients .

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Technology lies at the core of our strategy as an organisation. We maintain a very strong technological environment which enables our professionals to collaborate in a very open and streamlined manner regardless of where they are based. The development and centralisation of our internal knowledge systems have also borne fruit with significant positive feedback being received from clients and correspondent firms.

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

The depth and strength of our network, both locally and overseas enables us to connect people to make things happen. Whether it’s connecting a local client with a suitable foreign firm, introducing prospective buyers and sellers to each other or obtaining market intelligence in jurisdictions or industries where information is limited we find that our network of connections within global industries have proven to be invaluable for our clients.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

It is evident from our dealings with clients that the stability and strategic direction of the professional organisations that they work with represent key elements to support the on-going rapport. In today’s fast-moving world, clients seek a “safe haven” where they can address their legal, governance or regulatory challenges frankly, openly and pragmatically. Our dedication is to provide our clients with advice that will serve to overcome those challenges and to support them through their journey beyond. Our culture of continuous improvement creates a constant feedback loop, enabling us to learn from each individual outcome of our collective performance.

In the next 3 years we expect to leverage off the investments that have begun over the past years, embracing deeper technological change to support our administrative processes and take further steps to broaden our approach towards mentoring and life-long learning. We are driven to continue excelling in our core areas of expertise by creating a modern, sophisticated and open platform for ambitious professionals to reach their full potential, both on a personal and on a professional level.

How is the Ukraine – Russia situation affecting aviation in Europe?

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has raised serious questions and has other difficulties in Europe’s travel industry, which is already highly damaged by the Coronavirus.

An Analysis of The Essential Elements Required For The Issuing of a Warrant of Prohibitory Injunction.

On the 26th July 2021, the First Hall, Civil Court, presided by Hon. Judge Audrey Demicoli, in the case “Moon Pay Limited vs. the Malta Financial Services Authority” (‘MFSA’), delivered its final decree in relation to a request filed by the applicant company for the issuing of a warrant of prohibitory injunction, to prevent the MFSA from publishing a decision which it had taken against the applicant company. In its decision, the Court delved into certain requirements which must be satisfied in order for such a warrant to be issued, as well as the manner in which these requirements are to be interpreted.

GVZH Advises Epic Communications On Tower Spin-Off

GVZH is proud to have advised Epic Communications Limited on the Maltese tax and corporate aspects of the sale of 100% of its passive telecommunications infrastructure to Phoenix Tower International (PTI), established an operator of high quality wireless infrastructure sites around the world.

Malta Gaming Authority publishes Guidance Document on Brexit Impact

The Malta Gaming Authority (“MGA”) has published a guidance note (“Guidelines”) laying out the impact that the United Kingdom’s (“UK”) exit from the European Union (“EU”) will have on regulatory affairs within the remit of the MGA. These Guidelines apply to entities established in Malta and operating in the UK, with a UK licence but without a Maltese Licence, or entities established in the UK providing services and supplies within Malta.

GVZH Advocates appoints new Partners

Dr Luca Vella and Dr Kurt Hyzler have been admitted as Partners of GVZH Advocates within the firm’s Corporate, Mergers and Acquisitions, Capital Markets, Banking and Finance and Financial Services Industry practice groups.

Dr. Katrina Abela selected as an Advocacy Committee member of the European Business Aviation Associa

GVZH Advocates is delighted to announce that senior associate Katrina Abela has been selected as a member of the first Advocacy Committee of the European Business Aviation Association.

Temporary Work Permits

It has been recently announced that Identity Malta would reduce the application time of a single work permit by weeks, by allowing foreign workers to start working (on a temporary basis) as soon as their application was approved.

Introduction of new MGA Regulatory Framework moves to 1st August 2018

Further to the notification of the draft legal framework regulating gaming in Malta through the Technical Regulation Information System, a Detailed Opinion has been issued by a Member State in relation to the current draft of the Gaming Authorisations Regulations (the “Regulations”) and the European Commission and another Member State have also issued comments in relation to the various proposed legislative instruments.

Malta Ahead of the Game: Three cryptocurrency and blockchain Bills passed the second reading stage

During a conference organised by the Malta Institute of Management, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Silvio Schembri, announced that the three crypto-related bills, namely the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Bill, the Innovation Technological Arrangements and Services Bill, and the Virtual Financial Assets Bill will pass through the second reading in Parliament, and in fact yesterday evening the Maltese Parliament finalised the second reading stage. The bills will now move on to the committee stage and then on to the third reading stage. Once the third reading in parliament is concluded the bills will then be presented to the President of Malta for her assent and become law.

Extension of the Special Designated Areas

By virtue of Legal Notice 181 of 2018, the list of Special Designated Areas has been extended to now include the Southridge Development in Mellieha.

In terms of Chapter 246 of the Laws of Malta, the following table would need to be followed for the acquisition of immovable property in Malta:

Deduction for Transportation Cost of Employees Rules

At the end of February, the Deduction for Transportation Cost of Employees Rules were published through LN67 of 2018. These rules shall apply with respect to transportation costs incurred for the transport of employees as from the year of assessment 2018. These rules shall remain in effect up to the year of assessment 2020.

VAT Grouping Regulations

By Virtue of L.N. 162, the newly implemented VAT Grouping regulations shall come into force as of 1st June 2018. VAT Grouping will enable members of a VAT Group to avoid irrecoverable VAT due on charges made between such members. Applicants forming the VAT Group will be required to be bound by financial, economic and organisational links. Moreover, one of the applicants within the VAT Group must be a taxable person who is licensed or recognised by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) or the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).

Deduction for Transportation Cost of Employees Rules

At the end of February, the Deduction for Transportation Cost of Employees Rules were published through LN67 of 2018. These rules shall apply with respect to transportation costs incurred for the transport of employees as from the year of assessment 2018. These rules shall remain in effect up to the year of assessment 2020.

Notional Interest Deduction (NID) Rules

By virtue of Legal Notice 37 of 2018, the Maltese government introduced the Notional Interest Deduction (NID) Rules. Traditionally, businesses operating in Malta finance their operation via debt, given that interest is a deductible taxable expense. On the other hand, equity funded business do not have a corresponding deduction and hence the NID aims to equate the tax treatment of debt and equity by allowing the deduction of a notional interest over equity.

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) Publishes Industry Guidelines on the General Data Protection Regula

In anticipation of the coming into force of the GDPR, the MGA, in consultation with the Office of the Information and Data Protection Commissioner (“IDPC”) has issued a guidance document which intends to provide B2C licensees with guidance on the processing of personal data carried out throughout the course of their gaming service operations.