Deguara Farrugia Advocates > Sliema, Malta > Firm Profile

Deguara Farrugia Advocates

Malta > Shipping Tier 2

Deguara Farrugia Advocates' practice stands out for its 'deep understanding of the intricacies of maritime law'. The team is 'a formidable force in the yachting industry, with an impressive track record of handling complex cases related to yachting'. The group regularly acts for financiers, managers, charterers, carriers and agents in a broad range of matters, including chartering, vessel registration, sale and purchase, and financing and securities work. Kenneth Deguara heads up the practice, and is ably supported by senior associate Andrew Massa.

Practice head(s):

Kenneth Deguara

Other key lawyers:


‘Personal contact and quick turnaround. Team with a variety of capabilities and competences.’

‘Very competent team partners. ’

‘What sets DF Advocates apart is their deep understanding of the intricacies of maritime law and their unwavering commitment to their clients. The legal team is a formidable force in the yachting industry, with an impressive track record of handling complex cases related to yachting. The team at DF Advocates operates with a level of professionalism that is second to none. Their meticulous attention to detail and dedication to providing tailored solutions for their clients is truly remarkable.’

‘Andrew Massa is a standout lawyer in the yachting industry because of his deep expertise, personal approach, commitment to excellence, and genuine passion for yachting. Andrew’s grasp of the nuances in international maritime regulations, and yacht transactions is unparalleled, giving his clients a distinct advantage in this complex industry. Beyond his legal acumen, Andrew Massa possesses a unique ability to connect with his clients on a personal level. As a client, I can confidently say that Andrew is not just a lawyer; he’s a trusted ally in the world of yachting.’

Malta > Aviation Tier 3

Deguara Farrugia Advocates' 'highly dedicated' team is well known for advising on aircraft registration, aircraft financing and AOC applications. Corporate expert Maria Paloma Deguara and senior associate Filippo Arcaleni are the key practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Maria Paloma Deguara; Filippo Arcaleni


‘Highly dedicated team, well-experienced in their niche of Business Aviation and a very hands-on approach.’

‘The people at the firm are what makes this firm unique. They were flexible in dealing with those of us in other time-zones and were hugely helpful in the planning and execution of the sale of an aircraft. They understood the dynamics of a complicated transaction.’

‘I worked closely with Filippo Arcaleni. He was both knowledgeable and able to clearly communicate how Malta law applies to our transaction. The practice provided useful suggestions about how to proceed when issues arose.’

Key clients


Aviation Services S.P.A.

Insignia Jets Limited

Delta Aerotaxi

Work highlights

  • Advised an international aircraft lessor/owner on the deregistration of an aircraft under the Maltese flag.
  • Advised Malta-based aviation company Luxwing Ltd on establishing its commercial operations.
  • Assisted Aviation Services Limited with setting up operations at Malta’s airport.

Malta > Banking, finance and capital markets Tier 3

Deguara Farrugia Advocates' team is 'very dynamic and efficient'. The group acts for funds, banks, and fintech companies in connection with the setting up of e-money and payment institutions, licensing matters, and issues pertaining to listings on markets. Practice co-heads Jean Farrugia and Johan Farrugia are the names to note.

Practice head(s):

Jean Farrugia; Johan Farrugia


‘The firm’s team is very dynamic, efficient and provide practical solutions to their clients.’

‘I work closely with Jean Farrugia. He is very smart, professional and provides a personal level of attention. The quality of the teams’ work coupled with their network of contacts and associates, often ensures a logical and successful solution. ’


Key clients

PNC Bank, National Association

The Convenience Shop (Holding) p.l.c.

VistaJet Group Holding Limited

APS Bank plc

GPH Finance plc

Finrails Holding plc

Work highlights

  • Assisted PNC Bank with an amendment to a credit agreement and term loan credit agreement.
  • Acts as external legal counsel to APS Bank plc.

Malta > Dispute resolution Tier 3

Under the leadership of Jonathan Thompson, the dispute resolution team at Deguara Farrugia Advocates handles a broad range of contentious work. The practice is sought after by clients in the gaming, financial services, real estate and shipping sectors, and the group brings expertise in advising on employment and administrative law disputes.

Practice head(s):

Jonathan Thompson


‘Swift responses and excellent advice to resolve matters.’

Key clients

Jebmed Srl

Ministry for Planning and Public Works

Grenke Renting Ltd

IZI Group plc

DIZZ Group of Companies

The Convenience Shop Ltd


OZO Group of Companies

Malta > Fintech Tier 3

At Deguara Farrugia Advocates, the financial services practice brings experience in representing e-money companies, banks, financial institutions and fintech clients seeking authorisation to operate in the virtual financial assets space. Jean Farrugia specialises in handling regulatory matters, and Johan Farrugia is well versed in advising on initial coin offerings and distributed ledger technology issues.

Practice head(s):

Jean Farrugia; Johan Farrugia

Key clients

Andaria Financial Services Limited

Koala Group

Payage Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisting Andaria Financial Services Limited with various regulatory issues.
  • Advised the Koala Group on an e-money licence and a virtual financial asset service provider licence issued in Malta.

Malta > Investment funds Tier 3

Deguara Farrugia Advocates is best known for assisting with the setting up of funds, investment services companies, and fintech entities seeking authorisation for operating within the virtual financial assets space. The practice is jointly led by Jean Farrugia and Johan Farrugia; the duo are ably supported by senior associate Alejandro Borg.

Practice head(s):

Jean Farrugia; Johan Farrugia

Other key lawyers:


‘DFA is characterized by professionalism and know-how. In addition to the comprehensive specialist knowledge and good networking in the market, the employees know how to establish practical relevance and thus achieve quick and good results.’

‘Jean Farrugia who, as an expert and practitioner, always has a good solution ready. In him you have a partner and friend.’

‘As a young lawyer, Alejandro Borg quickly recognized the needs of an investment company and is increasingly able to implement the theory and regulatory requirements as part of the team.’

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.

Department Name Email Telephone
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
Photo Name Position Profile
Filippo Maria Arcaleni photo Dr Filippo Maria Arcaleni Associate and Head of Business Development
Marlon Borg photo Dr Marlon Borg Marlon is a qualified lawyer and partner with DF Advocates
Maria Paloma Deguara photo Dr Maria Paloma Deguara Her principal areas of practice comprise of corporate law, general commercial law,…
Kevin Deguara photo Dr Kevin Deguara Dr Kevin Deguara is a qualified lawyer and the managing partner of…
Jean Farrugia photo Dr Jean Farrugia Dr Farrugia is a qualified lawyer and partner with DF Advocates. Having…
Andrew Massa photo Dr Andrew Massa Lead Senior Associate
Celia Mifsud photo Dr Celia Mifsud Partner
Jonathan Thompson photo Dr Jonathan Thompson Jonathan is a qualified lawyer and partner with DF Advocates. He heads…
Number of lawyers : 40
EuroJuris International
Other offices : Valletta