Deguara Farrugia Advocates > Sliema, Malta > Firm Profile

Deguara Farrugia Advocates

Malta > Aviation Tier 3

At Deguara Farrugia Advocates, the aviation practice is jointly led by Maria Paloma Deguara, who is especially sought after to act on complex restructurings, M&A deals and other major transactions in the aviation sector, and associate Filippo Maria Arcaleni, whose expertise spans aviation, yachting, IP and data. The team’s offering includes aircraft registration and financing, assistance with operational matters, and setting-up new lines of business. Leveraging the firm’s cross-practice capabilities in corporate, tax and employment, the group is equipped to assist clients with various aspects of their projects.

Practice head(s):

Maria Paloma Deguara; Filippo Maria Arcaleni


‘Fillipo Arcaleni is an outstanding lawyer with an excellent expertise and an impressive focus on customer satisfaction. We had to navigate a couple of complex issues, hence he needed to be highly resourceful to look for solutions. He was always available to speak to me and he even put me in contact with his network to assist me further with my business. I am very impressed.’

‘Excellent knowledge of the aviation industry and of its players. Fully dedicated to its customers to find solutions and assist them in their project and to defend their interests.’

‘Filippo Arcaleni is well connected with the people of the aviation sector and has good relationship with the authorities, he has an excellent expertise in aviation law.’

‘Very knowledgeable and efficient.’

‘Filippo Maria Arcaleni is very focused and organised and very knowledgeable.’

‘Very good team.’

‘Filippo Arcaleni is a very good corporate and aviation lawyer.’

‘Always willing to schedule short-notice meetings. They have an excellent grasp of the commercial realities and work hard to help. They made maximum use of video calls to overcome our travel obstacles. A cheery and friendly team.’

Key clients

Luxwing Ltd

Rare Air Limited

IAM Aviation

Malta > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 3

Deguara Farrugia Advocates’ financial services department, typically acts for a varied client list, including insurance companies, start-ups, banks, pension funds and fintech companies. As part of its offering, the group advises on the structuring and issuance of securities, the setting up of investment services companies, and listings on regulated markets and multilateral trading facilities. Co-head Jean Farrugia specialises in financial services and corporate law with a focus on restructurings, IPOs, M&A deals and equity issues. Co-head Johan Farrugia is a key contact for digital markets, investment services, ICOs and capital markets mandates.

Practice head(s):

Jean C. Farrugia; Johan Farrugia

Other key lawyers:

Alejandro Borg (associate)


‘Knowledgeable team; excellent client service.’

‘Their uniqueness comes from the top class customer service and proactivity. They guided us every step of the way with legal and business advice.’ 

‘Alejandro Borg has been of tremendous help to us, advising on all aspects of our activities.’

‘They are helpful and proactive.’

‘They understand that we as clients are not necessarily familiar with all the legal obligations and requirements that a Maltese structure requires. The are always available and dependable.’

Key clients


Shoreline Group

AgriBank plc

APS Bank plc

Brown’s Pharma Holdings plc

Ozo Group

AgriHoldings plc

Work highlights

  • Advised on the co-issuance of senior notes by VistaJet Malta Finance plc and XO Management Holding Inc.
  • Acted for Brown’s Pharma Holdings Plc on the issuance of €13m bonds and the listing thereof on the main market in Malta.
  • Assisted Ozo Group of Companies with  the proposed acquisition of an equity stake in one of the major insurance companies in Malta.

Malta > Dispute resolution Tier 3

The team at Deguara Farrugia Advocates is able to ‘provide impeccable assistance‘ to both private individuals and corporations in all disputes related to commercial, company, property, inheritance, administrative, maritime, public and family law. The practice is headed up by Jonathan Thompson – who is singled out by one client as being ‘renowned for handling high-calibre cases on a daily basis‘.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Thompson


‘DF Advocates is laden with experienced and energetic lawyers, well versed in numerous areas of law. The firm can easily be used as a one-stop shop for any legal issues that a client comes across, and anyone working at DF Advocates would surely provide impeccable assistance.’

‘We engaged Jonathan Thompson who handled our firm’s commercial/litigation matters. He is renowned for handling high-calibre cases on a daily basis. To this effect, his experience in the field is vast and this gave all the reassurances required at such a delicate time for our company.’

‘On numerous occasions Jonathan Thompson offered his time to explain to our firm’s representatives and meticulously highlight the process of what was a complex legal court case. His ability to simplify an intricate legal process and be available all around the clock was highly appreciated by our management. Furthermore, his constant availability throughout the engagement made sure that we were constantly kept abreast of all legal developments and outcomes of the case. All this occurred during the tough times of a quasi-lock-down period, and he successfully succeeded in keeping up such a high tempo virtually.’

Malta > Shipping Tier 4

The maritime practice at Deguara Farrugia Advocates advises multinational yacht owners, agents, and financiers on ship and yacht building, sale and purchase of vessels, financing and enforcement of claims including the arrest of vessels and judicial sales. Kenneth Deguara heads the team which also includes Andrew Massa who provides ‘pragmatic advice with a commercially sensible approach‘.

Practice head(s):

Other key lawyers:


They have very good relations with clients and provide good services.’

Andrew Massa is very quick and reliable and immediately updates on the status of things.’

Professional and direct clients according to their individual needs.’

Very knowledgeable and responsive team with good expertise in shipping and yachting sector. Excellent commination between different teams to support novel questions across areas of expertise.’

Andrew Massa is responsive and particularly helpful in providing valuable insights into Maltese jurisdictional matters. Pragmatic advice with a commercially sensible approach.’

Super helpful and very efficient.’

The level of expertise, approachability and insight of the people in the team is simply outstanding.’

The team has great legal, fiscal and marine practical knowledge.’

The firm: Deguara Farrugia Advocates is a Malta-based law firm advising clients on general and complex business transactions and assisting in disputes across a range of industries and sectors.

The practice has established itself as a prominent commercial law firm covering various practice areas, including funds and investment services; banking law; capital markets; corporate and commercial law; gaming and betting law; litigation and arbitration; public procurement and privatisation; trust and fiduciary services; real estate, aircraft registration and finance; shipping and Admiralty law; and taxation law, notably international tax planning.

Deguara Farrugia Advocates acts for and advises international organisations, private and listed companies, funds and investment service providers, financial institutions and high-net-worth individuals from around the globe. Throughout the years the firm has assisted clients on a multitude of deals and local and cross-border transactions, including the provision of legal assistance and advice on the setting up of businesses and joint ventures; licensing and regulatory matters; mergers and acquisitions; listings; setting up of international corporate structures; and group reorganisations. The firm assists bidders in acquiring and taking control of state-owned entities in the course of privatisation and tender processes, and acts as legal advisor for the privatisation unit of the Government of Malta in connection with public concessions and tenders.

Areas of practice: The financial services department at Deguara Farrugia Advocates has grown from strength to strength. The firm has advised both financial services providers, including investment funds, investment management companies, funds administrators, and credit and financial institutions, as well as investors, on a plethora of legal, regulatory, compliance and commercial issues.

Deguara Farrugia Advocates is also active in the corporate, trust and fiduciary services field. DF Corporate Services Limited, a sister entity within DF Group, is licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) to provide fiduciary and trustee services.

The corporate law department is central to Deguara Farrugia Advocates. The general corporate advice given by the firm includes advice on local company legislation in connection with the incorporation of private and public limited liability companies; shareholder rights; directors’ duties; mergers and acquisitions, liquidations and company recovery. Members of the corporate law department are also frequently involved in security issues, listings and IPOs.

The specialised lawyers composing the transport law team are highly knowledgeable in aspects related to the shipping and aviation industry, particularly registration; sales and purchase contracts; finance and mortgages; crewing; importation and fiscal matters; chartering; management and insurance. Admiralty law and wet and dry claims also fall within the competence of the transport law team.

To co-ordinate clients’ projects and transactions across various jurisdictions, Deguara Farrugia Advocates has established close relationships with leading law firms around the world. Through memberships and contacts in leading international legal services and law firm networks, the firm provides clients with quality resources and the expert local knowledge of fellow colleagues in Europe, the US, North Africa, the Middle East and Latin America.

Banking Dr Jean C Farrugia
Funds and investment services Dr Jean C Farrugia
Corporate and commercial Dr Maria P Deguara
Mergers and acquisitions Dr Jean C Farrugia
Mergers and acquisitions Dr Maria P Deguara
International tax planning Dr Maria P Deguara
Trusts Dr Maria P Deguara
iGaming and betting Dr Maria P Deguara
Aircraft registration and finance Dr Maria P Deguara
Ship registration, ship arrest and admiralty Dr Jonathan Thompson
Education Dr Maria P Deguara
Private clients Dr Kevin Deguara
Dispute resolution Dr Jonathan Thompson
Capital markets Dr Jean C Farrugia
Public procurement and privatisation Dr Jean C Farrugia
Filippo Maria Arcaleni photoDr Filippo Maria ArcaleniAssociate and Head of Business Development
Marlon Borg photoDr Marlon BorgMarlon is a qualified lawyer and partner with DF Advocates
Maria P Deguara photoDr Maria P DeguaraHer principal areas of practice comprise of corporate law, general commercial law,…
Kevin Deguara photoDr Kevin DeguaraDr Kevin Deguara is a qualified lawyer and the managing partner of…
Johan Farrugia photoDr Johan FarrugiaPartner
Celia Mifsud photoDr Celia MifsudPartner
Jonathan Thompson photoDr Jonathan ThompsonJonathan is a qualified lawyer and partner with DF Advocates. He heads…
Number of lawyers : 17
EuroJuris International
Other offices : Valletta