Firm Profile > Gauci-Maistre Xynou (Legal | Assurance) > Valletta, Malta
Gauci-Maistre Xynou (Legal | Assurance) Offices
147/8, ST. LUCIA STREET
VALLETTA VLT 1185
Gauci-Maistre Xynou (Legal | Assurance) > Firm Profile
The firm: Gauci-Maistre Xynou (Legal | Assurance) is a boutique Greco-Maltese firm which was formed with the main scope of bridging the divide between the legal and assurance services sectors, particularly within the financial services industries. It is with this in mind that the founding partners, Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistre and Despoina Xynou setup GMX. Prior to founding GMX, Jean-Pie headed the Legal Department of a Malta based group of companies which had been active for over four decades in various sectors primarily corporate and financial services and ship and yacht registration. Despoina Xynou moved to Malta having spent her professional career with a renowned Greek law firm. Given that Dr Gauci-Maistre had established a strong client base in Greece, the partnership with Despoina Xynou was a logical development. The firm has since grown from strength to strength and today boasts of a large international client portfolio active in various sectors.
The law firm’s international desks allow GMX to offer unique tailor made legal services ensuring that an internationally holistic approach is adopted for every case. Gauci-Maistre Xynou is therefore well-placed to assist clients from various jurisdictions in their respective industries. It has truly emerged as an efficient and reliable one stop shop. Solidifying its presence both locally as well as internationally, the firm comprises a team of professionals, specialising in their respective fields, ready to provide tailor made services to their various clients.
Ultimately, Gauci-Maistre Xynou’s top priority is its clients.
Practice areas: Gauci-Maistre Xynou is a boutique multi-disciplinary practice offering bespoke legal, audit and assurance services. The practice comprises Gauci-Maistre Xynou (Law Firm) which includes a team of advocates warranted to practise law in Malta or their respective jurisdictions and exclusively authorised to provide legal services under the Gauci-Maistre Xynou brand. The law firm’s international desk allows us to offer unique tailor made legal services ensuring that an internationally holistic approach is adopted for every case.
Shipping and aviation are among the firm’s main practice areas, with the firm’s partners both being very competent in these areas. The firm has advised a number of shipping companies which are renowned to be industry leaders and assisted them with contentious matters such as the arrest of vessels as well as corporate matters, financial instruments and registration under the Malta flag. Gauci-Maistre Xynou is also very active in the fields of corporate and commercial law and regularly advises on matters relating to Maltese company legislation including company incorporation, corporate restructuring and matters relating to shareholders’ and company officers’ rights and obligations. Gauci-Maistre Xynou is linked with GM Corporate and Fiduciary Services Limited, which is licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority to provide fiduciary services.
The firm has also done notable work in Regulatory Compliance, assisting a number of entities licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority, particularly those active in Investment Funds, comply with their regulatory obligations. It has also assisted a number of clients, particularly ones operating in the real estate sector and notarial, legal and accountancy professions set up their anti-money laundering policies and procedures and regularly provides ad hoc advice in this regard.
|Aviation||Dr Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistreemail@example.com||+356 21247785|
|Aviation||Dr Deborah Mifsudfirstname.lastname@example.org||+356 21247785|
|Banking and financial institutions||Despoina Xynouemail@example.com||+356 21247785|
|Banking and financial institutions||Dr Stephanie Ellul Sullivanfirstname.lastname@example.org||+356 21247785|
|Banking and financial institutions||Dr Daniela Gaffarenaemail@example.com||+356 21247785|
|Corporate and commercial||Despoina Xynoufirstname.lastname@example.org||+356 21247785|
|Corporate and commercial||Dr Joseph Bugejaemail@example.com||+356 21247785|
|Corporate and commercial||Dr Stephanie Ellul Sullivanfirstname.lastname@example.org||+356 21247785|
|Taxation||Despoina Xynouemail@example.com||+356 21247785|
|Taxation||Dr Deborah Mifsudfirstname.lastname@example.org||+356 21247785|
|Citizenship and residency||Despoina Xynouemail@example.com||+356 21247785|
|Data Protection and IP||Dr Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistrefirstname.lastname@example.org||+356 21247785|
|Litigation and dispute resolution||Dr Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistreemail@example.com||+356 21247785|
|Litigation and dispute resolution||Dr Daniela Gaffarenafirstname.lastname@example.org||+356 21247785|
|Litigation and dispute resolution||Dr Joseph Bugejaemail@example.com||+356 21247785|
|Gaming||Dr Stephanie Ellul Sullivanfirstname.lastname@example.org||+356 21247785|
|Insurance and re-insurance||Dr Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistreemail@example.com||+356 21247785|
|Insurance and re-insurance||Dr Daniela Gaffarenafirstname.lastname@example.org||+356 21247785|
|Investment funds||Dr Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistreemail@example.com||+356 21247785|
|Pensions and employment||Dr Daniela Gaffarenafirstname.lastname@example.org||+356 21247785|
|Pensions and employment||Dr Joseph Bugejaemail@example.com||+356 21247785|
|Regulatory compliance & anti-money laundering||Dr Daniela Gaffarenafirstname.lastname@example.org||+356 21247785|
|Regulatory compliance & anti-money laundering||Dr Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistreemail@example.com||+356 21247785|
|Real estate and construction||Dr Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistrefirstname.lastname@example.org||+356 21247785|
|Real estate and construction||Dr Joseph Bugejaemail@example.com||+356 21247785|
|Shipping||Dr Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistrefirstname.lastname@example.org||+356 21247785|
|Shipping||Despoina Xynouemail@example.com||+356 21247785|
|Shipping||Dr Deborah Mifsudfirstname.lastname@example.org||+356 21247785|
|Yachting||Dr Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistreemail@example.com||+356 21247785|
|Yachting||Despoina Xynoufirstname.lastname@example.org||+356 21247785|
|Taxation||Dr Deborah Mifsudemail@example.com||+356 21247789|
|Dr Joseph Bugeja||Senior Associate||View Profile|
|Dr Stephanie Ellul Sullivan||Senior Associate||View Profile|
|Dr Daniela Gaffarena||Dr Daniela Gaffarena is an Associate, having joined Gauci-Maistre Xynou in 2018. She…||View Profile|
|Dr Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistre||Dr Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistre is Gauci-Maistre Xynou’s Managing Partner, having co-founded the firm…||View Profile|
|Dr Deborah Mifsud||Junior Associate||View Profile|
|Ms Despoina Xynou||Despoina Xynou is a founding Partner at Gauci-Maistre Xynou, having co-founded the…||View Profile|
Staff FiguresNumber of lawyers : 6
LanguagesEnglish French Greek Italian Maltese Serbian Portuguese
MembershipsAssociation of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS) European Maritime Law Organisation (EMLO) International Bar Association (IBA) International Tax Planning Association (ITPA) Finance Malta Malta Association of Compliance Officers (MACO) Malta Chamber of Advocates Malta Funds Industry Association (MFIA) Malta Institute of Management (MIM) Malta Institute of Taxation (MIT) Malta Maritime Law Association (MMLA) Ship Arrested Inter-Pacific Bar Association (IPBA) Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP)
Press Releases20th August 2020 In this issue of The Arrest News, multiple members share their perspective on the virtual “Zoom” auction of the MV Evolution as well as the the Indian High Court’s clarifications on issues regarding actions in rem under the Admiralty Act, 2017. Members also cover Covid-19 measures in India, recent amendments in Maltese law impacting the maritime industry, and new approaches to ship arrest in Ukraine.
31st March 2020 Not all lease agreements contain a force majeure provision. With respect to leases, force majeure is only referred to in “Sub-title I. Of the Letting of Things” of the Civil Code, article 1557, which refers to force majeure in one specific situation, namely the repair of damages: “The lessee shall in no case be responsible for the repair of damages caused by force majeure and without any fault of his own.” In this case, the legislator’s aim is that the tenant has to ensure taking care of the tenement as a bonus pater familias and ergo effects the ordinary maintenance of the tenement, except for repairs which are due to force majeure.
31st March 2020
On 26 March 2020 the Maltese government announced that with effect from Saturday morning 28 March 2020, people over sixty-five years of age and people with health-related conditions (irrespective of their age), including insulin-dependent diabetics, individuals with an immune suppression, patients currently undergoing chemotherapy or having done so over the past six months, and individuals on dialysis, together with pregnant women, should be required to stay at home at all times, barring a few exceptions. It is important to note that people in these categories and who work, are being asked to either work from home or benefit from special quarantine leave.
24th March 2020 The escalating pandemic of the Coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19), has taken a heavy toll on the workplace environment. As workers become perturbed about the risks they may be exposed to at the workplace, employers are striving to keep their businesses and companies afloat while adhering to all statutory obligations, particularly those obligations relevant to the Coronavirus pandemic.
13th February 2020 The European Court of Justice ruled in the case C-631/17 SF v Inspecteur van de Belastingdienst
13th February 2020 Maritime lawyer, Dr Jean-Pie Gauci-Maistre, highlights the pivotal role of Malta's legal framework in keeping the Malta Flag flying high.
13th February 2020 Risk Culture and Risk Appetite Statements
13th February 2020 The Private Residential Leases Act of 2019 (“the Act”)
13th February 2020 Through the implementation of Regulation 14.1.3 of Annex VI of the MARPOL Convention, the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) announced on the 27 October 2016 that it would implement a global sulphur cap of 0.5% on marine fuels starting from 1 January, 2020, for ships operating outside Emission Control Areas (ECA's)1; a decision which will inevitably impact refiners, crude producers and bunker suppliers. The current cap stands at 3.5% outside the four internationally designated ECA's where the sulphur limit has been capped at 0.1% since January 2015.
23rd May 2019 Gauci-Maistre Xynou (Legal | Assurance) is a dynamically developing Greco-Maltese law firm having its head office in Malta. Due to the expansion process being undertaken by GMX, the firm is currently looking to recruit a corporate lawyer to join its Valletta office on a full-time basis.
4th February 2019 Malta is among the 18 EU member states where new EU Regulations clarifying the rules applicable to property regimes for international married couples or registered partnerships, entered into force on 29 January 2019.
Legal Developments25th May 2021
On 30th April 2021 a legal notice (L.N. 199 of 2021) (the “Legal Notice”) introduced a number of amendments to the ‘Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations’ (the “PMLFTR”). The following is a short synopsis of the key amendments:
FIAU publishes revised version of Implementing Procedures – Part II for the Virtual Financial Assets22nd October 2020 On 18 September 2020 the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (the “FIAU”) published a revised version of the Implementing Procedures – Part II on the ‘Application of Anti-Money Laundering and Countering the Funding of Terrorism Obligations to the Virtual Financial Assets Sector’(the ‘VFA Procedures’).
2nd July 2020
By virtue of Legal Notice 248 of 2020, new regulations were issued under the Companies Act entitled Companies Act (Shipping and Aviation Cell Companies) Regulations (the “Regulations”). These Regulations were introduced to complement the recently introduced enabling provision under article 84E of the Companies Act (Chapter 386 of the Laws of Malta) (the “Companies Act”). The Regulations and article 84E extend the possibility of the creation of, or the conversion into, cell companies by companies carrying on or engaged in shipping or aviation business, which benefit could previously only be availed of by insurance companies, securitisation vehicles, investment companies with variable share capital and more recently by foundations and associations. These Regulations and article 84E of the Companies Act shall be read in conjunction with each other.
5th June 2020
The Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) has proposed a series of amendments to Part I of the Implementing Procedures issued under the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations (Subsidiary Legislation 373.01). These proposed amendments seek to make certain obligations more practicable particularly for the funds industry.
4th June 2020 There is no quibbling when it comes to applying IP enforcement measures
4th June 2020 The COVID-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented crisis practically grinding the world’s economies to a halt and which in turn impacted the backbone of the world trade, the maritime industry. The impact on maritime business is wide-ranging. Lars Jensen, CEO of the Copenhagen-based provider of container shipping analysis SeaIntelligence Consulting estimated that 17 million TEU would eventually be taken out of service globally this year, whilst ports and terminals may suffer a loss of 80 million TEU of handling volume. Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic hit China’s supply crunch, it has resulted in a ripple effect in the global maritime industry whereby the EU and the US were left with insufficient transport capacity for exports out of China. Furthermore, companies wishing to export goods out of China have been faced with a depletion of air freight capacity.
22nd April 2020 The Communication from the Commission to the Council, the European Parliament, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions – Towards a comprehensive European Investment Policy (Brussels 7.7.2010 COM (2010)343 final) outlines the first steps of the European Union to establish an investment policy, following the Lisbon Treaty through which investment too became a common Union policy within the framework of the EU’s common commercial policy. So foreign direct investment is today managed by the EU on behalf of the Member States, whereby the EU negotiates with third countries rules on both investment protection and market access for investment.
22nd April 2020 Tackling the pandemic and its economic implications as the world faces a global fallout has brought the G20 countries together in an extraordinary way. Tackling the pandemic and its economic implications as the world faces a global fallout has brought the G20 countries together in an extraordinary way.
31st March 2020 As Europe confronts the Covid-19 pandemic and economic upheaval looms large, business continuity plans are essential like never before. So is making the best out of a slow-down by assessing a given modus operandi not only in the light of what needs to be adapted and adopted, but also to improve structures and performance once the economy begins to recuperate. This hiatus can be particularly beneficial to hard-hit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
31st March 2020 As the looming economic crash induced by the COVID-19 becomes all the more imminent, the European Commission is stepping up its economic and fiscal measures to assist the EU Member States in combatting and mitigating the current economic shocks to the Internal Market.
31st March 2020 The outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic has compelled the European Union (EU) Member States to introduce border restrictions, amongst them curbs on or measures which heavily impede the cross-border circulation of goods. Consequent traffic jams at intra-EU borders have led to drivers of freight transport (transport workers) facing waiting times of up to 24 hours at land border crossings disrupting supply chains in the process.
7th February 2020 Deborah Mifsud The Commissioner for Revenue has published guidance relation to the 2020 budget measures introduced regarding the withholding tax due on the assignment of rights acquired under a promise of sale agreement (ċessjoni ta’ konvenju). This measure is retroactively applicable in relation to any assignments made from 1 January 2020 and the relative legislation will be made retroactive to that date.
17th January 2020 The Facts
17th January 2020 September 2019
17th January 2020 The facts
25th November 2019 Josette Camilleri vs The Malta Union Club et 
20th November 2019 The fight against money laundering and terrorist financing in the EU financial market has spurred on the drafting of the fifth Anti-Money Laundering directive (“5AMLD”)to eradicate the risk of having a repeat of such scandals and leaks in the future. The 5AMLD will reinforce what the fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive (“4AMLD”) had achieved, and will serve to ensure increased transparency, public scrutiny and accountability.
11th October 2019 The Senior Corporate Lawyer, who will be reporting to Partners, will be working with both the firm’s legal team as well as the financial services team. The successful candidate will be requested to show initiative, take on certain responsibilities within the firm, work in a multinational environment and will immediately be given the opportunity to further advance their career within the law firm.
18th September 2019
The lure of unmanned transport services is no longer a science fiction scenario but a living reality.
Crewless merchant ships are already operating along rivers in Norway, Finland, Singapore and China. The advantages are plentiful because they reduce crewing and fuel consumption costs, increase the safety of life and cargo as well as allow for more efficient use of space in ship design.
13th September 2019
Trade marks give a face to a product which enable us identify a brand. As consumers, we take them for granted even though they punctuate memories of our daily lives. How many of us ever think of the creative and strategic thinking that goes into their composition? In contrast, we are more familiar with trade mark infringement. And what is breaking news are the risks of re-filing new applications for the same trade mark that should not be glossed over.
23rd April 2019
Billionaire and crypto investor Tim Draper envisages a radical overhaul in payment systems; predicting that cryptocurrencies will replace fiat currencies within the next five years.
18th April 2019 The principle of equality between men and women is a fundamental value constantly on the European Union’s agenda. Ample EU institutes, programmes, and legislation provide for gender equality, and case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union (‘CJEU’) reaffirms the progress made in this respect. On a member state level, the enactment of gender neutral laws (particularly in the fields of inheritance law, marriage law, and employment law), may be considered as having reached its culmination in a number of EU member states, in the legal recognition of non-binary people. In turn, the European Parliament is now actively seeking to bring language evolution at par with gender inclusive legislation.
11th April 2019
Smart contracts are contracts which are written in computer code on a blockchain according to the terms set out by the parties to such contract and which are self-executing in the manner pre-determined by said code.
10th April 2019 Ever since the creation of Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies have been applauded and welcomed for constituting an innovative method of payment without any recourse to financial institutions and their entailing bureaucracy. While honest individuals rejoiced at cryptocurrencies’ legitimate benefits; ranging from an increased degree of privacy and confidentiality to less transactional costs, cybercriminals saluted the decentralised networks and perceived anonymity behind cryptocurrencies for presenting them with the perfect crypto cleansing opportunity to launder money in an unprecedented and largely unregulated sector in the financial industry.
5th April 2019
The whirling hype of blockchain and the race to benefit from its instant click efficiency and spiralling profitability continues to generate truckloads of excitement. It is rocking captains of industry and the maritime sector is on the front line of all the buzz.
But what really lies behind the seductive spin?
5th April 2019
The legal profession has evolved at an unprecedented speed. Technology and new emerging tools harnessing artificial intelligence and data visualization all help legal professionals now uncover valuable insights. It is almost impossible to attend a conference today and not encounter multiple discussions about artificial intelligence (AI). Many in the legal profession have begun to assume—that AI is the future of law. While still in its infancy, artificial intelligence-powered tools are at a point where new insights are now possible.
13th March 2019
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) as well as blockchain technology may both be lauded for having reached evolutionary milestones in their respective fields of data privacy and innovative technologies. Combining these fields is however giving rise to unprecedented concerns. Although GDPR and blockchain technology protect data, ironically data protection compliance is turning out to be significantly challenging for government agencies and private companies alike when seeking to make use of hashing technology. It is pertinent to observe that the GDPR was drafted prior to blockchain’s insurgent impact in the digital world hence any tensions between the two had not as yet been envisaged.
8th March 2019
Soaring. Flying. Whirling. Hovering. Diving. Landing. All at the press of a button.
Civil drones are the 21st century dancers in the sky. Tech savvy consumers have fallen in love with them and the romance is set to endure as technological advances have jaw-dropping models hit the market every few months. DJI Mavic 2, Mavic Air, Phantom 4 Pro, Inspire 2 and Walkera Voyager 5 have fingers itching and pulses racing for more.
8th March 2019
With more complicated company structures being used, it has become increasingly more difficult to establish who the ultimate beneficial owners of entities are. In light of the new regulation, do you believe that the Ultimate Beneficial Ownership (UBO) Register can help in any way to prevent financial crime?
7th March 2019 Although constantly evolving, in more recent years, the role of the Company Secretary has undergone a significant shift both in the way it is perceived externally and also in its actual fulfilment within an organisation. Whereas historically defined rather restrictively as mainly administrative in nature, the Company Secretary is now expected to fulfil a much broader brief. This change has mostly come about as a result of the need for a more effective corporate governance framework which promotes increased transparency and accountability within the organisation. In the wake of corporate scandals the likes of Maxwell, Enron and Polly Peck spanning over the last few decades, many changes have been brought about in the corporate field across different jurisdictions.
7th March 2019 The Malta Financial Services Authority has published a document outlining frequently asked questions in relation to the Virtual Financial Assets Framework. It provides key information on the framework itself, classification of DLT assets, VFA agents, Initial Virtual Financial Asset Offerings, VFA service providers, AML/CFT requirements and transitory provisions.
7th March 2019
Cross-border insolvency law has been gaining importance in the EU’s legal system over the past few decades. Harmonising insolvency laws is a difficult process as the legal framework interacts with a myriad of domestic laws.
7th March 2019
Bitcoin has raised the question of whether computer code, rather than a central bank, should control the money supply. But is it desirable for society to allow a digital money system which enables its users to operate outside the remit of the law, unlike physical cash which is more regulated.
7th March 2019
Guidelines concerning the taxation of DLT Assets under the Income Tax Act, the VAT Act and the Duty and Documents and Transfers Act were published by the Commissioner for Revenue.
7th March 2019
Identity Malta Agency launched the Key Employee Initiative (KEI) providing a fast-tracked service to highly-specialized Third-Country Nationals who are employed in Malta. The scheme will facilitate the issuing of work/residence permits to prospective key employees within five working days from the date of submission of the applications.
7th March 2019
Legal Notice 384 of 2018, Individual Investor Programme of the Republic of Malta (Amendment) Regulations, 2018, and Legal Notice 385 of 2018, Malta Individual Investor Programme Agency (Establishment) (Amendment) Order, 2018 were published on the 16th November 2018 in the Government Gazette, with the aim of setting up a new and separate agency which will be responsible for the Malta citizenship by investment programme.
7th March 2019
The shipping industry has been given a fresh opportunity to strengthen the security of their data that could spell the end of paper documentation. Blockchain technology promises to revolutionize container logistics by connecting the supply chain in a way the industry has never seen before. Should the technology enter operation it could also bring annual cost savings, eliminate time-consuming processes, as well as create trust and partnership to all parties involved. Blockchain establishes a shared, immutable record of data which is encrypted and inherently resistant to modification, requiring confirmation from all participants in the network before any changes can be made.
25th February 2019
the right to be forgotten in connection with the Financial Services Sector by Gauci-Maistre Xynou
Europe’s landmark data privacy law, GDPR, came into effect last May. What counts as personal data under the GDPR?
The General Data Protection Regulation, better known as ‘GDPR’ has at its heart, the notion of ‘Personal Data’, defined in article 4 as any information which can lead to the identification of a natural person. Cyphered Information which can still lead to the identification of a person falls within the scope of this article.
Personal data can vary from the most indisputable forms of identification, such as; the name, surname, home address, date of birth, phone numbers, eye and hair colour, tax information, religious beliefs, character traits, email address (containing the name and/or surname), identification card number extending to the Internet Protocol Address, location data setting on one’s phone, as well as data held by medical experts. It is imperative to note that one cannot assume that a simple name and surname falls within the ambit of this article, considering that many people have the same name; however, if that name is combined with other information it narrows down the number of people, which could eventually lead to the identification of a particular person, giving rise to rights and obligations.
25th February 2019
Forget generation gap issues in our ‘Copy & Paste’ habits. Unless you don’t use a computer, copying and pasting is part of our keyboarding lives – especially when it comes to downloading images/video clips to finish off a presentation, blog/vlog post or website update. Precious time is spent scrolling down myriad visuals until ‘the one’ appears. With a Cheshire smile and a gleeful blurting of ‘YES!’ we click away without batting an eyelid.
The good news is that our search is over. The bad news is that the days of worry-free Ctrl +C, Ctrl +V are over too.
25th February 2019
Picture the scene. An autonomous truck fully loaded with goods leaving the warehouse and arriving without a hitch at its destination almost 200 km away.
The stuff of a millennial James Bond movie? The latest commercial going viral? No, this is October 2016 when a self-driving semi-trailer heaped with Budweiser wheeled its way across the 1-25 from Fort Collins, Colorado through Denver to Colorado Springs. Surely a few beers must have high fived to celebrate the world’s first driverless commercial shipment.