WH Partners > Ta' Xbiex, Malta > Firm Profile

WH Partners
LEVEL 5, QUANTUM HOUSE
75 ABATE RIGORD STREET
TA' XBIEX XBX 1120
Malta

Malta > Fintech Tier 1

With seasoned practitioner Joseph F. Borg at the helm, WH Partners is well placed to handle the full range of blockchain and technology-related matters. Borg’s dual position as head of both the fintech and gaming departments ensures that the firm is a leading choice for notable clients operating at the intersection of these two sectors. Other key areas of strength include advising on software platform licensing and assisting with initial VFA offerings. At the senior associate level, Kelly Fenech is recommended.

Practice head(s):

Joseph F. Borg

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

FalconX Limited

dLocal Group Limited

Everest Network Ltd

Consensys AG

Bitconvert Ltd

WorldPay Inc

Casino Coin Foundation

Hold Platform Ltd

Paysafe Group plc

Trustly Group plc

FC Capital Limited (part of the BetConstruct Group of Companies)

MoneyBite

Work highlights

  • Advised FalconX on multiple venture capital seed financing rounds involving well-known institutional investors and funds, as well as assisting the client with the acquisition of a virtual financial services licence.
  • Assisted dLocal, a leading start-up cross-border payment platform connecting global merchants to emerging markets and Latin America’s newest Unicorn, with two investment rounds amounting to $350m.
  • Assisted Consensys with the setting up of a subsidiary in Malta, and obtained the first online gaming licence for a platform that is completely based on blockchain for the client.

Malta > Private client Tier 1

WH Partners’ tax and private client team advises high-net-worth individuals, trusts and foundations on a wide spectrum of matters, including real estate, wealth structuring through trusts and foundations, and tax planning. It also assists high-net-worth individuals with solutions for residency applications and asset protection. Practice head Ramona Azzopardi has expertise in direct and indirect tax issues in cross-border transactions. Davinia Cutajar and Fabrizio Speranza are other key contacts.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:

Malta > Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

WH Partners handles all aspects of M&A transactions and corporate matters, including private and public acquisitions and disposals, joint ventures, exit structures, corporate restructuring and corporate governance. Benefiting from the firm’s foreign desks, the team is equipped to assist client with cross-border mandates. Sectors of particular strength for the practice include digital financial services, fintech, digital entertainment and gambling. Practice head James Scicluna has extensive experience advising clients in regulated industries such as gambling and fintech.

Practice head(s):

James Scicluna

Key clients

Stars Group Inc

SpinMaster

dLocal

FalconX Limited

The Coffee Company Limited

Interwetten Limited

Betsson

Betclic Group

Quantum Properties Limited

Cherry Group

Evolution Gaming

IBID Group

Work highlights

  • Advised Spin Masters Corp as Maltese counsel on the acquisition of Rubik’s Brand Ltd.
  • Assisted dLocal, a startup cross-border payment platform connecting global merchants to emerging markets, with two investments rounds amounting to $350m.
  • Advised FalconX on multiple venture capital seed financing rounds involving well-known institutional investors and funds, including Avon Ventures, Accel, Coinbase Ventures, Lightspeed, Flybridge, among others.

Malta > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 3

WH Partners is best known for its strong expertise in the digital space, where it assists clients with digital financial services, digital asset creation, fintech regulation and information security and privacy. The group stands out for its work on venture capital financing rounds and license applications for fintech start-ups and financial license applications. James Scicluna  has extensive experience in regulated industries such as gaming, gambling, sports and fintech.

Practice head(s):

James Scicluna

Key clients

FalconX Limited

dLocal Group Limited

Everest Network Ltd

Consensys AG

Bitconvert

WorldPay Inc

Casino Coin Foundation

Hold Platform Ltd

Paysafe Group Plc

Trustly Group Plc

FC Capital Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted FalconX Limited with the two venture capital financing  rounds involving institutional investors and funds, including Tiger Global investments, Tiger Global Opportunity Fund, B Capital Fund II, CMT Digital Ventures Fund I LLC.
  • Advised dLocal on two investment rounds amounting to $350m.
  • Acted for Consensys on the setting up of a subsidiary in Malta.

Malta > Intellectual property Tier 3

Notable names from the gaming, software development and integration, and fintech sectors form the core of the client roster at WH Partners. Key areas of strength include advising on the exploitation and commercialisation of all types of intellectual property, and due diligence in the M&A context. Co-managing partners James Scicluna and Olga Finkel are recommended, as is Robert Zammit.

Practice head(s):

James Scicluna; Robert Zammit

Other key lawyers:

Key clients

Inxtant Limited

Everest Networks Limited

Interwetten Group

Pragmatic Play

IBID Group

Ricston Limited

The Coffee Company Limited

Betsson

Betclic

111 Technology Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Alkalife, a producer of food supplements and nutritional products, with its registration of EU trade marks, as well as advising on the development and drafting of manufacturing and distribution agreements for the EU market.
  • Represented Inxtant in a EUIPO trade mark opposition appeal procedure.
  • Assisted Everest Networks with the preparation and submission of EUIPO trade mark applications for the protection of the client’s blockchain platform and blockchain-based products.

The firm: WH Partners is a Malta-based leading law firm particularly active in the areas of technology, gaming & gambling, blockchain, payments, tax, corporate law, corporate finance, M&A, employment, property, intellectual property, data protection and corporate services.

Main areas of practice
Corporate /M&A:
Recent work includes:

  • Advising the Stars Group Inc. (NASDAQ: TSG; TSX: TSGI) on all of the Maltese law aspects of its acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming from CVC Capital Partners and Sky plc (LSE: SKY) in a cash and stock transaction valued at $4.7bn;
  • Assisting a company incorporated in the UK with the acquisition of a Maltese company directly holding shares in a cell of a Maltese protected cell company, including assisting on all Maltese regulatory aspects,, a transaction valued at £14m;
  • Assisting Evolution Gaming, leading provider of Live Casino solutions, on all of the Maltese law aspects of its acquisition of Ezugi, a live dealer casino provider. The all-cash deal was carried out with an initial consideration of $12m and possible additional consideration of a maximum of $6m;
  • Advising the Stars Group Inc. on certain Maltese law matters in the context of its proposed merger with Flutter Entertainment;

Corporate finance/capital markets
Recent work includes:

  • Assiting Cherry AB in the due diligence on Malta operations in connection with its delisting from AktieTorget and listing on Nasdaq Stockholm (Mid Cap segment);
  • Acting for the prospective issuer of a 15m eur bond intended to be listed on the Malta Stock Exchange and intended to be secured via significant hospitality and real estate assets in Italy;
  • Advising a client with a debt securities listing on a regulated wholesale securities market in Malta on ongoing listing requirements and early redemption;
  • Acting for Aspire Global plc on all Malta-related aspects of its IPO on Nasdaq First North Premier in Stockholm, including its conversion to a plc, dematerialisation of its securities with the CSD in Malta and affiliation with Euroclear Sweden;
  • Advising a Luxembourg fund on a £50m revolving credit facility to an SPV for the acquisition of debt and on Maltese law aspects of taking security on protected cell shares;
  • Advising a multinational gambling group on term and revolving credit facilities amounting to EUR70m; Advising a leading Asian online lottery service provider, listed on New York Stock Exchange, on the acquisition of a Malta-licensed lottery service provider and its related entities (Deal value: EUR49.8M).
  • Advising a growth company in the food and beverage industry on fundraising through a listing on the ‘Prospects’ MTF in Malta.

FinTech, Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies:
Recent work includes:

  • Advising blockchain space start-ups on legal, corporate and regulatory issues when setting up their business;
    Advising over 25 clients on their ICOs;
  • Advising cryptocurrency exchanges and intermediaries to relocate to Malta and comply with the new Maltese regulatory requirements;
  • Advising financial institutions on the adoption of policies on servicing blockchain space start-ups;
  • Advising on the tax treatment of funds from ICOs and trading cryptocurrencies;
  • Advising on the licensing and operation of a MIFID II-compliant Multilateral Trading Facility targeting non-complex equity and debt securities;
  • Advising a number of clients in obtaining EMI and PSP licensees in Malta and providing ongoing advice and assistance.

 Gaming and gambling: WH Partners is internationally recognised for its expertise in both land based and remote gaming and gambling.

Recent work includes:

  • Advising the MGA on the design of the Maltese Gaming Act;
  • Advising the MGA on the drafting of a policy for licensees to accept payment in the form of cryptocurrencies;
  • Acting for scores of clients applying for or renewing remote gaming licenses;
  • Advising gaming and gambling businesses on migration of their business operations to Malta;
  • Advising financial institutions on acting as acquirers for gaming companies;
  • Advising on risk and licensing opportunities arising from client target markets;
  • Advising clients on challenging decisions of the MGA

 ICT & IP: The firm’s focus on technology-rich, data-rich and intangible asset-rich businesses, results in high demand for the firm’s IP related advice. 

Recent work includes:

  • Advising on disputes involving the violation of the client’s trademarks, copyright and design rights;
  • Drafting and negotiating major software licensing agreements in the gaming and gambling industry;
  • Advising on the exploitation of IP assets as security for financing;
  • Advising on protection of emojis;
  • Advising on several trademark registrations and domain disputes;
  • Legal due diligence on IP assets;
  • Negotiating and drafting data licence agreements.

 Data protection:
Recent work includes:

  • Carrying out extensive technical and legal GDPR compliance audits;
  • Advising clients on client-facing and internal HR issues;
  • Drafting and reviewing various data protection related documentation including data processing agreements, privacy policies, and notices.

 Private client:
The firm advises several high-net-worth to very high- net-worth individuals/families, both Maltese and international, on succession planning, asset protection, residency and citizenship and related tax matters.

Real estate:
Recent work includes:

  • Acting for a Maltese bank on over 160 property financing deals;
  • Advising several clients on acquisition of property, including financing, planning applications, drafting and negotiating contracts of works and assisting with services related to project management in the areas of construction and civil engineering;
  • Advising several clients on contentious matters relating to real estate;

Taxation:
Recent work includes:

  • Advising a variety of private and public companies on cross-border direct taxation matters;
  • Advising a variety of clients on indirect tax planning;
  • Assisting clients with VAT and tax compliance matters;
  • Assisting clients with tax reporting and disclosure matters;
  • Acting as tax representatives;
  • Providing VAT & tax advice on mergers & acquisitions.

 Anti-money laundering (AML)
Recent work includes:

  • Assistance in relation to AML/CFT compliance obligations relative to Gaming and Gambling, Financial Services Providers, Virtual Financial Assets and other obliged persons;
  • Providing advice and guidance with regards to AMLCFT laws, regulations and obligations;
  • Drafting of AML/CFT Policies and Procedures and overseeing the implementation thereof;
  • Assisting in carrying out KYC processes;
  • Providing AML training to key persons.
Department Name Email Telephone
Gaming and Gambling, A.I., Capital Markets, Corporate/M&A, Data Protection, Intellectual Property, AML Olga Finkel olga.finkel@whpartners.eu
Corporate/M&A, Gaming and Gambling, Commercial Contracts, Intellectual Property, Private Client, Competition/Antitrust James Scicluna james.scicluna@whpartners.eu
FinTech, Blockchain & Cryptocurrencies, Gaming and Gambling, eSports, IT & Telcos, Intellectual Property, Real Estate Joseph Borg joseph.borg@whpartners.eu
Gaming and Gambling, Corporate/M&A, Commercial Contracts, Employment, Data Protection, Regulatory & Licensing Robert Zammit robert.zammit@whpartners.eu
Tax, Private Client, Citizenship, Residence and Immigration, Trusts and Foundations Ramona Azzopardi ramona.azzopardi@whpartners.eu
Compliance, Dispute Resolution, Private Client, Real Estate Davinia Cutajar davinia.cutajar@whpartners.eu
Number of lawyers : 24
English
Maltese
Italian
Russian
Ukrainian
Czech
French
Spanish
Polish
International Bar Association
International Alliance of Law Firms
International Masters of Gaming Law
Malta Chamber of Advocates
Malta Chamber of Commerce
Maltese-French Chamber of Commerce