Firm Profile > WH Partners > Ta' Xbiex, Malta

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

Commercial, corporate and M&A Tier 2

WH Partners has its 'finger on the pulse' and 'an unrivalled expertise in Malta with regards to gambling, social gaming and emerging technologies'. James Scicluna is 'a very experienced commercial and gaming specialist' who is 'solution oriented'; he jointly heads the team with Ruth Galea. while Olga Finkel 'remains a go-to person for several listed companies based in Malta'. Recently, the firm has acted for TCB Holdings Limited and its shareholders on the acquisition of OPAP; advised an international gaming group on the corporate reorganisation of its Maltese companies; and assisted live casino provider Evolution Gaming with the acquisition of Ezugi, a live dealer gaming outlet. Robert Zammit and Joseph F Borg 'both know their stuff' on commercial and regulatory matters.

Practice head(s):

James Scicluna, Ruth Galea

Testimonials

Always regard WH Partners as a firm with their finger on the pulse in terms of gaming/corporate and commercial activity in Malta. Highly-skilled and able lawyers/very user-friendly/pragmatic advice which is key in our opinion. We use them as first port of call pretty much always, unless conflict situation.’

James Scicluna is a very able and experienced commercial and gaming specialist with a broad M&A practice. One of the top lawyers in Malta. Olga Finkel remains a go-to person for several listed companies based in Malta on pretty much anything complex that needs solving – highly creative. Ruth Zammit (partner), Robert Skalina (consultant), Rachel Vella and Martin Katunar (associate) all deserve a mention; they are good practitioners and work well with the key team of James and Olga. Kelly Fenech and Gaby Zammit (both senior associates) also deserve a mention for financial services regulatory work.’

The understanding of the gambling industry, also beyond national borders, as well as the years of experience in the field of gambling law and the international networks of the law firm reflects its special value.’

Olga Finkel: great skills in co-ordinating solid advice, understands leadership demands and the necessity of strategic device. James Scicluna: goes into the details thoroughly, weighing all important issues on the basis of sound legal expertise. James has an in-depth understanding of problems and navigates through the various solution scenarios to achieve the best possible result. He is recognised for his international experience and high level of sophistication.’

Very professional and diligent. Easy to reach and to talk to.

Lawyers of WH Partners know how to adapt to different work environments and requests.’

“One stop shop” for our legal needs very updated with industry changes providing practical answers and interpretations, rather than just quoting the law familiar with the gaming sector.’

We work principally with WH Partners in the gambling sector on a variety of corporate, commercial and regulatory arrangements. The team has unrivalled expertise in Malta with regard to gambling, social gaming and emerging technologies. They bring their in-depth gambling regulatory knowledge to the fore, and the advice is practical and based on deep experience. They have an ability to deliver solutions to Maltese legal and regulatory issues within these sectors which marks them out from the competition.’

James Scicluna is solution-oriented and you can rely on him to get you where you need to be on a deal. He is well supported on corporate transactions by Robert Skalina who is diligent and has a no-fuss approach. On regulatory and commercial matters, Robert Zammit and Joe Borg both know their stuff.’

Key clients

Stars Group Inc.

Interwetten Limited

Innovation Financial Services PLC

Betclic Group

Quantum Properties Limited

Cherry Group

Evolution Gaming

APS Bank

Entercash

Betsson

Eaton & Co

Yggdrasil

Fintech Tier 2

WH Partners' fintech team provides 'the full package' of work in this area and handles a wide range of blockchain and technology-related services. Joseph F Borg leads the practice, which has assisted the founders of Hold Platform Ltd and the Gimli Project with the set-up of corporate structures and launch of initial coin offerings. The team has also acted as virtual financial assets agent for Everest Network Ltd and Falcon X Limited in their dealings with the MFSA, and advised a number of cryptocurrency exchanges that have relocated, or are in the process of relocating, to Malta. Senior associate Kelly Fenech's  expertise in token sale projects is also of note.

Practice head(s):

Joseph F Borg

Testimonials

The team has got all competences to serve the full package!

Each individual is dedicated to the client. It’s not only the know-how but also the soft skills which separate them from others.’

Key clients

Hold Platform Ltd

Smart Blockchain Innovation – Gaming Ltd

Thrive Labs Ltd

FolkSoft Ltd

Everest Network Ltd

FalconX Limited

Bitconvert Ltd

CSC OPCO LTD (CasinoCoin)

Power to the Merchants Ltd (Gambio)

GT Holdings Limited

Poseidon Operations Ltd

Tatau

Bitcanna

Ganapati

Finpro Ltd

NEXEX Limited

Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 3

WH Partners' banking and finance team is able to leverage the firm's strength in the gambling and gaming sector and, in one highlight, it advised Stars Group Inc. on the Maltese law aspects of the financing related to the acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming. Other work includes assisting a Luxembourg fund with the provision of a £50m revolving credit facility. The team is led by Ruth Galea, who specialises in capital markets transactions, while commercial expert James Scicluna works on secured corporate finance deals and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

Ruth Galea

Key clients

Stars Group Inc.

Cherry AB

Hold Platform Ltd

The Gimli Project Ltd

Thrive Labs Ltd

FolkSoft Ltd

Everest

Intellectual property Tier 3

WH Partners has a core focus on matters relating to gaming and gambling, e-payments and blockchain. Managing partner James Scicluna is particularly active in this area, having defended the CasinoCoin Foundation brand in Europe as well as the US. Scicluna has also handled negotiations related to domain name acquisition and disputes, assisted gaming companies with the drafting of software licensing agreements, and defended a series of unregistered IP rights. The firm counts many public listed companies among its client pool, and handles a steady stream of work for new online gaming websites seeking to obtain trade marks or licenses.

Practice head(s):

James Scicluna

Key clients

Hold Platform Limited

CasinoCoin Foundation

Rush Entertainment Group

Glitnor Services Limited

111 Technology Limited

PragmaticPlay International Ltd

Betclic

Betsson

Ganapati

Interwetten

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 $4.7 billion;
  • 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 £14 million;
  • 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 $12 million and possible additional consideration of a maximum of $6 million;
  • 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 £50 million 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 EUR 70 million; 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: EUR 49.8M).
  • Advising a growth company in the food and beverage industry on fundraising through a listing on the ‘Prospects’ MTF in Malta.

FinTech, Blockchain & 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 & 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 & 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
Taxation, Private Client, Citizenship, Residence and Immigration, Trusts and Foundations Ramona Azzopardi ramona.azzopardi@whpartners.eu
Photo Name Position Profile
Dr Ramona Azzopardi  photo Dr Ramona Azzopardi Tax Partner
Dr Joseph F Borg  photo Dr Joseph F Borg Partner
Dr Olga Finkel  photo Dr Olga Finkel Partner. Provides advice on strategic, commercial and regulatory matters to businesses in…
Dr James Scicluna  photo Dr James Scicluna Partner. Government relations, gambling regulation, devising strategic commercial solutions within a regulated…
Dr Robert Skalina  photo Dr Robert Skalina Senior Advisor. Provides advice to wide range of investment managers, advisors and…
Dr Robert Zammit  photo Dr Robert Zammit Partner
Number of lawyers : 24
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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