Fenech & Fenech is a multi-award winning law firm recognised internationally as a top-tier for its work, year after year.


Several of its professionals are individually ranked and listed in international publications and regularly win international awards.


Below is a list of the most prestigious ranking and awards received by the Firm and its lawyers during the past few years.



Fenech & Fenech has been ranked as a Tier 1 law firm.


Client feedback ranges from “We are very happy with their services. The lawyers are knowledgeable and always available with a quick turnover” to “They are very familiar with international companies and provide competitive services while being very sensitive to our concerns. These aspects definitely distinguish them from other firms which are less caring towards small to medium issues.” Additionally clients have reported that “Fenech & Fenech provide excellent legal services to our group of companies. They are technically very capable on the intricacies of Maltese law and are commercially astute” and “Fenech & Fenech owns a positive reputation from us.”. Another interviewee commented that “To date, we have been satisfied with their level of service, attention to detail and timelines of advice and action on most matters. They have key personnel that are very knowledgeable and on the forefront of their changing regulatory environment. They also take the time to know our business, not just our instructions, and essentially function like a natural extension of our in-house legal team.


Partners Joseph Ghio and Nicolai Vella Falzon have also been ranked as highly regarded lawyers in their respective practice areas of Capital Markets, Investment Funds and Banking, MA.




Ranked: tier 1


Covered by four separate teams, Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ shipping practice includes marine litigation led by Ann Fenech, ship registration headed by legal procurator Rowena Grima, Mark Fenech’s ship finance group and yachting work under Alison Vassallo’s leadership; other noteworthy practitioners include employment specialist Paul Gonzi and senior associate Adrian Attard. Malta Freeport Terminals and Royal Caribbean International are clients; Fenech assisted the latter with multiple vessel registrations. The practice is also representing Grimaldi Group and Sullivan Maritime in litigation relating to damaged cargo, and handling contentious and non-contentious issues for Virtu Ferries.


Leading individuals


Ann Fenech


Next generation lawyers


Adrian Attard




Ranked: tier 1


Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ high-profile client roster includes BNP Paribas (Suisse) and CA+; Antonio Ghio acted for the latter on its sale to Gentrack. Further highlights include advising WinSystems on the local law elements of its acquisition of the Gold Club Group and assisting Royal Caribbean International with the Maltese elements of its joint venture with Springwater Capital. The team also counts Nicolai Vella Falzon, employment specialist Paul Gonzi, Josianne Brimmer, Monica Galea John and banking expert Joseph Ghio as key practitioners.


Leading individuals


Nicolai Vella Falzon




Ranked: tier 1


Divided into four specialist teams, Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ department is ‘the first choice for maritime dispute resolution’ and also handles TMT and IP cases, employment disputes and general litigation. Clients include Vodafone and PRS for Music; the group represented the latter in a dispute with local radio stations, cinemas and entertainment establishments which transmitted copyrighted material without a licence. Ann Fenech is ‘one of the best in the market for marine litigation’, Antonio Ghio focuses on the TMT sector, and Paul Gonzi handles employment cases. Edward DeBono is also noted.




Ranked: tier 1


With ‘the best informed team in the region’, Fenech & Fenech Advocates handles contentious and non-contentious matters across copyright, design rights, patents and trade mark law. Practice head Antonio Ghio recently acted for PRS for Music in multiple infringement proceedings and licensing matters; he also defended KPMG Crimsonwing in a copyright infringement claim brought by IBS and represented Novomatic Group in several disputes relating to copyright and trade mark infringements. Hotjar, Anchovy and Evoke Gaming are also clients. Associate Jeanine Rizzo focuses on the film, music and publishing sectors.


Leading individuals


Antonio Ghio


Next generation lawyers


Jeanine Rizzo




Ranked: tier 2


The transaction-focused team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates leverages the firm’s transport, asset finance and tax strengths to advise a broad client base including VistaJet and AerCap; department head Nicolai Vella Falzon advised the latter on the lease of an aircraft to Air Malta.




Ranked: tier 2


At Fenech & Fenech Advocates, co-heads Rosanne Bonnici and Joseph Ghio provide ‘truly personal service which pairs incredible experience and knowledge with exceptional attention to detail’. The practice, which ‘fields some of the top experts in the market’, handles the full range of financial matters including asset management, banking issues, public listings and insurance mandates. Monica Galea John leads the firm’s compliance team.


Leading individuals


Rosanne Bonnici




Ranked: tier 2


Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ financial services practice includes Rosanne Bonnici and Joseph Ghio, who is ‘a go-to lawyer in the field; extremely knowledgeable, quick to respond and well respected’. The department has substantial experience advising professional investor funds and also acts for real estate funds, loan investment funds and private equity funds.




Ranked: tier 2

Fenech & Fenech Advocates


Fenech & Fenech Advocates focuses on contentious mandates; it recently acted for an individual in litigation relating to unlawful land expropriation and represented an individual in a warrant relating to halting the sale of a hotel in Sliema. The group’s client roster also includes Barclays Bank (Suisse), BNP Paribas, Emmanuel Delicata Winemaker and Gamma Entertainment. Edward DeBono and Kenneth Grima jointly lead the department, which also includes well-regarded associate Daniel Buttigieg.


Next generation lawyers


Daniel Buttigieg


Corporate/Commercial (including Gaming & Licencing) – Malta  

Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Band 2


Basic facts about the department:


– 6 partners

– 12 other qualified lawyers


 What the team is known for:  Advises clientele from a wide range of sectors on significant corporate and asset finance deals. Regularly handles M&A, aviation-related matters and corporate and commercial litigation. Expertise extends to the TMT, IP and labour and employment areas. Also strong on gaming and licensing matters. Experienced on cross-border transactions across Europe, as well as those involving the USA and Asia.


Strengths:  One interviewee highlights the team’s commitment, saying: “The lawyers at the firm were all willing to go the extra mile in order to assist us, including late night calls and working on the weekend.”


Work highlights:  Advised CA+ on its 75% share sale to Gentrack.


Assisted WIN Systems with the local law aspects of its acquisition of the Gold Club Group.


 Significant Clients:  Autobuses de León, BNP Paribas Suisse, WIN Systems Group, IBM, Evoke Gaming.


 Notable practitioners 


Nicolai Vella Falzon maintains a distinguished reputation in the corporate space. He is recognised for his ability in the aviation space, and assists clients with M&A, corporate contracts work and project finance. Clients consider him “a remarkable professional.”


Antonio Ghio focuses on TMT, IP and gaming matters. One client says: “He has always given us the advice which we needed, in a format we could easily understand and in a timely manner,” explaining that he manages to explain complicated legal concepts in layman’s terms – something which is quite hard to do but which he manages perfectly.”


Joseph Ghio has established a solid reputation among peers in the market. He is noted for his expertise in banking and finance-related matters.



Dispute Resolution – Malta

Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Band 1


Basic facts about the department:


– 7 partners

– 7 other qualified lawyers


What the team is known for:  Renowned litigation department handling domestic and cross-border disputes. Noted for its strong focus on banking and marine litigation, where it represents a range of local and international banks and other financial institutions. Additional expertise in employment, intellectual property and TMT-related disputes. New client wins include Fimbank, Evoke Gaming and PetroPlus.


Strengths : A client reports: “They are top-notch on maritime law. I would go to them for dispute resolution in this area without a doubt.”


Another interviewee comments says: “They provide practical solutions and are technically great in IP.”


Work highlights:  Advised Standard Chartered Bank UK on a USD1.2 million suit filed by HSBC Malta relating to a letter of credit dispute which was issued by Standard Chartered Bank Bahraini branch.


Assisted PRS for Music before the Maltese courts with various claims against local media and entertainment establishments in relation to alleged use of copyrighted material for public transmission without a licence.


Significant Clients:  Mediterranean Bank, Tug Malta, Malta Public Transport Services, Afriqiyah Airways, GVC Holdings.


 Notable practitioners 


Department co-head Ann Fenech is acclaimed by sources for her acumen in marine litigation matters. She is praised by clients, who say: “She is experienced, a hard negotiator, and she provides a Rolls-Royce service.” They also praise her bedside manner, highlighting that she “is very good with people and she listens well, while always looking for win-win advice.”


Co-head of department Edward DeBono is considerably experienced in handling civil litigation matters, according to market commentators. He also assists clients with matters of inheritance law and in financial disputes.


Associate-to-watch Adrian Attard is highly active assisting maritime and shipping clients with a range of disputes. One client recommends him because “he is very meticulous and thorough, two qualities that I believe every lawyer should possess given the intricate nature of certain disputes.”



Financial Services – Malta

Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Band 2


Basic facts about the department:


– Heads of department: Rosanne Bonnici and Joseph Ghio

– 4 partners

– 4 other qualified lawyers


What the team is known for:  Respected financial services practice handling a wide range of matters including asset management, banking and regulatory issues, and experienced dealing with complex fund structures. Also advises local and international companies on pension schemes and insurance matters.


Strengths:  One client highlights that “the service was excellent – efficient, to the point and easy to understand,” and particularly values that “before providing us with the advice they took the time to fully understand our business needs to make sure that the advice was tailor-made and not just a synopsis of the law.”


Another commentator says: “The firm has the size and scale to provide a broad yet specialised service in the financial services sector,” adding that “the firm is proactive, very responsive and has the ability to solve complex client problems.”


Notable practitioners 


Joseph Ghio co-heads the department and leads some of the most complex transactions handled by the practice. Clients have been “highly impressed with the level of knowledge” that he delivers, “which was not just legal but also business-oriented.” He primarily advises investment entities.


Department co-head Rosanne Bonnici advises domestic and foreign clients on varied financial fronts. She is best known for her work on regulatory and tax matters.



Shipping (including Yachting) – Malta

Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Band 1


Basic facts about the department:


– 3 partners

– 6 other qualified lawyers


What the team is known for : Renowned market leader advising domestic and international clients on the full spectrum of maritime issues. Highly specialised in handling both dry and wet shipping matters for an impressive client roster, comprising financial institutions, international banks and shipowners. Maintains a dominant position in the yachting arena, where it advises high-profile private clients on registration and finance mandates. Rosetti Marino, Lasadene and TUI Cruises are new client wins for the firm.


 Strengths:  Interviewees recommend the shipping team at Fenech & Fenech “due to the level of their expertise, the timely manner in which requirements are followed up, and their constant availability to address clients’ queries.”


Another client agrees that “the lawyers are very efficient and responsive to any request” and adds that “Fenech & Fenech provides the entire range of services required for any shipping transactions.”


Work highlights  Assisted the Maltese Association of Ship Agents with an initiative to pass legislation for the regulation of the local ship agency industry.


Represented Grimaldi Group in a number of litigation cases relating to alleged damage to cargo during transportation on vessels.


Significant Clients:  Malta Freeport Terminals, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Sullivan Shipping Agencies, Virtu Ferries, Medserv Operations.


Notable practitioners 


The “superb” Ann Fenech focuses on maritime litigation matters. Market sources say that “her personal expertise is unparalleled in matters of shipping law” and appreciate her “professional yet open and friendly approach, with a can-do attitude that is infectious.”


Mark Fenech maintains a solid reputation in the market thanks to his skills dealing with ship finance matters. He is especially well versed in mortgage matters pertaining to yachts.


Alison Vassallo is endorsed by clients and peers for her skills in dealing with yachting and shipping matters. “She is very experienced and reliable,” sources report, adding: “On top of that, she has a very pleasant personality.”


According to market commentators, associate-to-watch Adrian Attard “is incredibly hard-working and has confidence and expertise” in this field. He assists clients with a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, including regulatory compliance.



Tax Malta

Rosanne Bonnici (Fenech & Fenech Advocates) – Band 1


Department head Rosanne Bonnici of Fenech & Fenech Advocates is described by clients as “a true professional with enormous experience and knowledge of both Maltese and international law, together with an efficiency and attention to detail which goes with her delightful personality.” She is experienced in Maltese and international tax law.


top tier 2017



Shipping – ranked: tier 1


Fenech & Fenech Advocates ‘excels in the maritime field’, handling shipping matters through four specialised departments overseen by three partners. Ann Fenech, Adrian Attard and Paul Gonzi ‘distinguish themselves with their overall service and make the customer feel protected and taken care of’; they advise clients such as Royal Caribbean Cruises, Tug Malta and the Grimaldi Group on a variety of contentious and non-contentious and maritime matters. Alison Vassallo handles marine litigation and yachting matters and was recently promoted to partner.


Leading individuals

Ann Fenech – Fenech & Fenech Advocates


Next generation lawyers

Adrian Attard – Fenech & Fenech Advocates





The ‘diligent and competent’ team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates was reinforced by the promotion to partner of employment law expert Paul Gonzi in January 2016. The firm handled due diligence on behalf of leading Maltese telecoms provider GO in the context of an outright sale. Nicolai Vella Falzon assisted Greentube with the cross-border sale of two subsidiary companies and the implementation of all share transfers upon completion. Clients also recommend associate Luca Amato. Other notable clients include UEFA, Vodafone and Lidl.


Leading individuals

Nicolai Vella Falzon – Fenech & Fenech Advocates




Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ litigation department is divided into four specialised teams: TMT and IP, employment, general litigation and, the area for which it is best known, marine litigation. Notable clients include Deutsche Bank, GVC Holdings and Standard Chartered Bank. The firm advised PRS for Music in relation to the unauthorised broadcasting of privately owned material. Ann Fenech adopts a ‘tough, no-nonsense, but still reasonable approach that helps to find solutions’. Recently promoted partner Paul Gonzi represented the Malta Public Transport Services in its negotiations with the two strongest unions in Malta.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ IP team is known for its ‘excellent level of service all around’ and advises clients such as UK collecting society PRS for Music and Brenda Camilleri Casting.


Leading individuals

Anthonio Ghio – Fenech & Fenech Advocates




Nicolai Vella Falzon heads the aviation practice at Fenech & Fenech Advocates, which benefits from the sterling reputation of the firm’s transport group.




The financial services team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates is headed by Rosanne Bonnici and Joseph Ghio and advises on the full range of matters. The firm advised Mezzanine Capital Funds on licenses for a number of loan investment funds, which are to provide financing across several EU member states, and it assisted new client Hawkview with the setting up and licensing of a UCITS fund manager. Other notable clients include Arizun and Principal Global Partners.


Leading individuals

Rosanne Bonnici – Fenech & Fenech Advocates




Headed by Edward Debono and Kenneth Grima, the real estate department at Fenech & Fenech Advocates recently added Gamma Entertainment to its list of active clients. Recent work includes representing a client in unlawful land appropriation litigation and advising Marquis Marcus John Scicluna on the division of the estate of his late grandfather, which included €30m in real estate.






Basic facts about the department:


– 6 partners

– 11 other qualified lawyers


What the team is known for: Advises lenders and borrowers on significant corporate and asset finance deals. Regularly handles M&A, aviation-related matters and corporate and commercial litigation. Expertise also extends to the TMT, IP and labour and employment areas. Strong focus on gaming and licensing matters.

Strengths Interviewees value the firm’s service: “The lawyers at Fenech & Fenech are thorough, knowledgeable, very responsive and highly professional in their approach.”

Another source adds: “The firm is very serious, meticulous and offers expertise in all legal fields through its different departments.”


Work highlights: Advised VistaJet on the transfer of its business from Switzerland to Malta.

Advised Greentube Internet Entertainment Solutions on the sale of two of its subsidiaries.


Significant clients: UEFA, Malta Public Transport, Klesch Group, Argus Group, GVC Holdings.


Notable practitioners: Nicolai Vella Falzon receives extensive praise from clients and peers alike who say: “He is one to watch.” They add: “I found him to be knowledgeable, very responsive and professional in his approach.”


Antonio Ghio remains an active player in the corporate and commercial sphere, with a focus on TMT and IP law.


Joseph Ghio enters the rankings based on positive comments from interviewees who consider him “a very good lawyer.” He is well known for his financial knowledge and experience of M&A transactions.





Basic facts about the department:


– Heads of department: Ann Fenech, Edward DeBono and Kenneth Grima

– 4 partners

– 5 other qualified lawyers


What the team is known for: Renowned litigation department handling disputes in the banking and environmental law fields. Noted for its strong focus on marine litigation, where it represents a range of local and international banks and financial institutions. Additional expertise in employment and TMT-related disputes.


Strengths Clients describe the firm as “always responsive and very effective in all maritime matters dealt with.”


Work highlights: Represented GVC Holdings in a series of disputes concerning the transfer of its gaming business to third parties.


Advised Vodafone Malta on a range of disputes regarding electronic communications.


Significant clients: PRS for Music, Malta Public Transport Services, Standard Chartered Bank, Deutsche Bank, Rina Services.


Notable practitioners: Managing partner Ann Fenech heads the firm’s marine litigation and yachting departments. She elicits high praise from interviewees who consider her a leading practitioner in this space and describe her as “a top maritime lawyer.” They also praise her “responsiveness and clear, straightforward opinions” and go on to say: “She is well-prepared and sharp, with a great approach.”


Edward DeBono is recognised by market sources as a prominent practitioner in the civil litigation arena. His additional areas of expertise include estate management and inheritance law.


Partner Adrian Attard is described as “a focused and effective lawyer” by interviewees. Clients add: “I have found him to be meticulous and thorough, two qualities that I believe every lawyer should possess. He also follows up on requirements in a timely manner and always ensures that he is available to address his clients’ queries.” He is a member of the marine litigation department.





Basic facts about the department:


– Heads of department: Rosanne Bonnici and Joseph Ghio

– 4 partners

– 3 other qualified lawyers


What the team is known for: Respected financial services practice handling a wide range of matters including asset management and regulatory issues. Provides a comprehensive and full-service offering to clients with the support of other departments. Also advises local and international companies on pension schemes, insurance matters and tax.


Strengths Sources are impressed with the firm’s service, stating: “I have a very good impression of the firm. The lawyers are responsive, practical and add value to transactions, while charging reasonable fees.”


One client reports: “The firm’s strong reputation in the market is complemented by a team of capable partners and knowledgeable and professional associates.”


Work highlights: Assisted Linear Asset Management with the licensing of a UCITS Fund Manager.


Significant clients: Arizun, Principal Global Partners, Tangiers Group, Valletta Fund Services, Kambi Group.


Notable practitioners: Joseph Ghio is held in high esteem by clients, who consider him “a very diligent and highly professional lawyer.” They also describe him as “extremely knowledgeable, responsive and practical” and go on to commend his “willingness to go the extra mile.”


Rosanne Bonnici comes recommended by sources, who state: “She is a seasoned adviser with strong expertise in the field.” They also praise her “structured and concise communication, strong network and ability to pick things up quickly.”




Basic facts about the department:


– Heads of department: Ann Fenech, Mark Fenech and Rowena Grima

– 3 partners

– 6 other qualified lawyers


What the team is known for: Renowned market leader advising domestic and international clients on the full spectrum of maritime issues. Highly specialised in handling both dry and wet shipping matters for an impressive client roster, comprised of financial institutions, international banks and shipowners. Maintains a dominant position in the yachting arena, where it advises high-profile private clients on registration and finance mandates.


Strengths The team attracts praise for its client-focused approach and international expertise: “My impression of the firm is overwhelmingly positive. Its main strengths lie within the professional yet personalised outlook its lawyers adopt and the client-oriented culture it embraces. The reputation and reach of the firm also extends beyond the Maltese Islands, and I do not hesitate to ask the firm for its recommendations whenever there is need for a law firm abroad.”


Sources are very impressed with the team and note: “The lawyers are first-class and extremely efficient. They play to their strengths, are client-oriented and very smart.”


Work highlights: Represented Malta Freeport Terminals in two disputes, regarding damaged cargo claims, before the French civil courts.


Advised Royal Caribbean Cruises on the registration of its vessels.


Significant clients: International Fuel Suppliers, Tug Malta, Virtu Ferries, Medserv Operations, Grimaldi Group.


Notable practitioners: Managing partner Ann Fenech has unparalleled expertise in the Maltese shipping arena, where sources deem her “a leader, who is capable of dealing with tight deadlines.” They also praise her “professional yet friendly approach and can-do attitude.” One source adds: “Her style, approach and expertise can be described in one word – excellent.” Her practice has an additional focus on yachting matters.


Mark Fenech co-heads the firm’s ship finance department. He specialises in advising local and international clients on the registration of vessels. Sources note his prominence in the ship mortgage area.


Alison Vassallo is highlighted by interviewees as “strong in yachting.” Her practice also covers marine litigation.


Partner Adrian Attard comes recommended by clients, who describe him as “professional and thorough” and commend his “sound legal knowledge of matters related to shipping and cargo.”




Rosanne Bonnici of Fenech & Fenech Advocates heads the firm’s tax practice. She frequently advises leading local and international companies on cross-border transactions and offers particular expertise in tax planning matters. Market interviewees describe her as “an excellent and very diligent lawyer.”






The ‘outstanding’ group at Fenech & Fenech Advocates has a longstanding reputation for contentious work, with senior partner Edward DeBono, the ‘highly respected’ Ann Fenech, Nicolai Vella Falzon, Alison Vassallo, Kenneth Grima (who is ‘very good for civil cases’) and ‘up-and-coming’ partner Adrian Attard all singled out by clients. The firm is best known for its premier maritime litigation offering but has a broad practice and recently represented Gaming VC Corporation in a series of disputes regarding software licences; the team also handled cases in the automotive and energy sectors.


Ann Fenech is ranked as a Leading Individual – Tier 1




Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ highlights in a typically active year included advising Autobuses de Leon on its acquisition of the Maltese public bus operator, and advising Argus Insurance Agencies on its purchase of a Maltese insurance company. Nicolai Vella Falzon and Joseph Ghio are the key corporate contacts, with Antonio Ghio displaying impressive credentials in commercial IP and gaming work.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates is a ‘go-to’ firm for Maltese IP issues, providing ‘meticulously researched and intelligently argued advice’. Team head Antonio Ghio attracts copious praise. The team recently assisted a multinational pharmaceuticals company in achieving an out-of-court settlement in a parallel import case.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates ‘knows the shipping industry inside out’ and, for some, ‘outperforms other firms in the market for shipping finance and litigation’. Team head Ann Fenech is ‘the queen of the Malta maritime Bar’, and ‘a joy to work with notwithstanding her prominence’. Mark Fenech is ‘a superb drafter of finance documents and very client oriented’; and partner Adrian Attard is ‘very knowledgeable’. Shipping registration head Rowena Grima and Alison Vassallo are two other key contacts in a very large team which is regularly instructed by international firms such as Stephenson Harwood, and counts Bank of America and Close Brothers among its clients.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates fields ‘one of the best teams on the island’ and is recommended for investment fund licence applications, acting for clients such as C8 Investments and Valetta Fund Services. The firm is assisting Malta-based Arizun in relation to its innovative and high-profile purchase of distressed home loans from mortgage providers in Ireland. Rosanne Bonnici is ‘excellent on tax matters’, and jointly leads the practice with ‘top-quality professional’ Joseph Ghio.


Rosanne Bonnici is ranked as a Leading Individual – Tier 1




Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ aviation practice is led by Nicolai Vella Falzon, and is able to leverage the reputation of the firm’s leading transport group.






Renowned litigation department handling disputes in the banking, energy and environmental law fields. The team frequently co-ordinates with the firm’s ICT department to provide comprehensive advice to clients. Particularly present in marine litigation cases.


Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) “It is one of the leading firms in Malta. The lawyers are highly professional and thorough, and the firm is very active on the international scene.” “Fenech & Fenech is considered to be one of the most professional legal offices in Malta. Its local and international reputation is outstanding.”


Work highlights Advised Sullivan Maritime on a range of different disputes, primarily regarding damages claims. Represented Mediterranean Insurance Brokers (Malta) in a casualty-related claim.


Notable practitioners  Managing partner Ann Fenech is lauded by clients, who describe her as “very professional, highly knowledgeable and well prepared.” Peers also consider her a standout name in the market and praise her specialisation in shipping litigation. Edward DeBono specialises in civil and commercial litigation and property law. Peers recognise him as a significant player in the dispute resolution market.


Significant clients Al Masalleh Group, Virtu Ferries, Chemimart, Malta Freeport Terminal, Palumbo Malta Shipyard.




Renowned market leader advising domestic and international clients on the full spectrum of maritime issues. Highly specialised in marine litigation, ship finance, ship registration and yachting matters, all handled by dedicated departments within the firm. Impressive client roster comprised of financial institutions, international banks and shipowners.


Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) “The lawyers are always available, responsive and flexible in delivering very good service to the client. They know the shipping industry very well.” “A big player in the shipping market.”  


Work highlights Advised Macquarie Bank on the arrest of the MV ‘A Ladybug’. Assisted Deutsche Bank Nederland with the arrest of the MV ‘Alaya’ in Malta and the enforcement of its mortgage.


Notable practitioners  Managing partner Ann Fenech heads the firm’s yachting and marine litigation departments. She earns extensive praise from market commentators, who label her a “shipping expert.” They also describe her as “one of the global authorities on maritime law.” Mark Fenech is lauded by interviewees who deem him “one of the most reputable shipping lawyers in Malta.” Alison Vassallo focuses on marine litigation and yachting cases.Clients are impressed by partner Adrian Attard, who debuts in this year’s rankings. He specialises in marine litigation.


Significant clients Island Bunker Oils, Bank of America, ERKAL Uluslararası Nakliyat ve Tic, Close Brothers.




Head of department Rosanne Bonnici of Fenech & Fenech Advocates receives extensive praise from market sources, who appreciate her ability to “arrange everything in a very helpful and timely way.” She focuses on both international and domestic taxation.




Advises lenders and borrowers on significant corporate and asset finance deals. Regularly handles M&A, aviation-related matters and corporate and commercial litigation. Also has a strong focus on gaming and licensing matters.


Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) “We have a very high opinion of the firm. We find the lawyers to be very pragmatic and technical in their approach.”


Work highlights Advised Jetscape Group on a securitisation project involving several airlines.


Notable practitioners  Nicolai Vella Falzon is cited by clients as a “strategic professional with solid knowledge of corporate matters.” Also highlighted are his “wise solutions” and availability. Antonio Ghio focuses on corporate, IT and IP matters. Sources describe him as an “accessible lawyer with very sound knowledge of the market.”


Significant clients Island Hotels Group, Autobuses de León, Argus Group, Klesch Group, Oiltanking Group.




Respected financial services practice handling a wide range of matters including asset management and regulatory issues. Provides a comprehensive and full-service offering to clients with the support of other departments.


Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) “The team has a friendly approach and infinite patience. Teamwork is high on the lawyers’ agenda and they are very skilled in interpreting what is needed for the client.” “The lawyers are creative, maintain the human touch and are positive in their belief in a project entered into.”


Work highlights Advised Kambi Group on all Maltese law aspects of its spin-off from the Unibet Group.


Notable practitioners   Joseph Ghio is co-head of the financial services and aviation departments. Clients state: “He is very knowledgeable and frequently uses his investment funds expertise to produce creative solutions.”  Rosanne Bonnici receives praise from clients, who regard her as “an effective communicator who delivers results.”


Significant clients C8 Investments, Arizun, Principal Global Partners, BBVA Bank, Mansard Capital Management.



The 2015 Legal 500 directory identifies Fenech & Fenech Advocates as being singled out by clients and peers for its reputations based on sizeable partner-level strength as well as longstanding presence.


Managing Partner and Head of the Marine Litigation Department Dr. Ann Fenech has been listed in their guide for outstanding lawyers nationwide as an Elite Leading lawyer for Dispute Resolution.




Shipping department team head Ann Fenech is identified as ‘the number-one expert in maritime matters in Malta’; while Alison Vassallo and Adrian Attard  both attract high praise. The firm is  listed as ‘outstanding in all regards’ and, according to one instructing lawyer, ‘the best non-US maritime team I have used’. The shipping team were also being praised as having ‘in-depth knowledge of the Maltese superyacht industry’.




Fenech & Fenech is recommended for complex multi-jurisdictional cases involving EU and international law, as well as for regulatory and tax disputes. The firm is prolific in the maritime and gaming sector, with both Ann Fen and Antonio Ghio named.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates is ‘one of the leading banking and finance teams in Malta with the strength-in-depth you would expect from one of the largest firms in the market’. Practice co-heads Rosanne Bonnici and Joseph Ghio are ‘both very highly regarded with strong technical abilities and admirable client focus’.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates is ‘a true heavyweight’ in the market. Nicolai Vella Falzon   who heads the team, Joseph Ghio  and Antonio Ghio were all listed.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ ‘high-calibre’ aviation team combines ‘excellent legal skills with detailed industry knowledge’, and is part of one of Malta’s best-regarded transport practices. Nicolai Vella Falzon is singled out by clients.




Antonio Ghio’s team is particularly well known for its capabilities in copyright and trade mark matters, with a significant number of clients in the creative and entertainment industries.



Key contacts  Edward DeBono and Kenneth Grima have experience in major property-related cases and their expertise includes commercial conveyancing and real estate litigation.






Outstanding firm that maintains its market-leading position across the full range of maritime matters. Offers a dedicated marine litigation department handling both wet and dry matters. Provides notable expertise in ship registration and finance, as well as yachting.


Notable practitioners  Managing partner Ann Fenech is unanimously regarded as a long-standing expert in maritime law. Sources say: “She is definitely a name in the maritime industry and very strong in litigation.” Mark Fenech focuses his practice on ship finance and frequently advises on transactions concerning mortgages on Malta-flagged vessels. Alison Vassallo handles marine litigation and yachting, and advises on all aspects regarding EU shipping


Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) “It’s obvious the lawyers have a lot of technical ability. They know the shipping industry and certainly know how to work within the Maltese system to accomplish our goals.” “Excellent – one of the first names that comes to mind for shipping.”


What’s new? New client wins include Macquarie Bank, Cathay United Bank and Hyundai Heavy Industries.


Work highlights Assisted Macquarie Bank with the enforcing of a mortgage over an arrested vessel. Represented Pullmantur on a personal injury claim by a former employee.




Highly specialised in maritime law, handling the full spectrum of shipping litigation including wet and dry disputes. The team offers a breadth of experience in contentious gaming and IP matters, with a dedicated ICT law department, as well as covering property, energy and insurance.


Notable practitioners  Ann Fenech is an acknowledged leading practitioner in maritime law and handles contentious as well as transactional matters. Clients greatly appreciate Edward DeBono‘s availability to discuss cases with them, with one adding: “When you have an intelligent lawyer in front of you there is room for discussion,


Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) “The lawyers are very committed and passionate about their work. We could see that they wanted to do their best and studied our case hard. It was incredible how lawyers could get into the technical details so quickly.” “The team is always ready to help you get a settlement in a dispute. It doesn’t push you into going to court; it advises you not to and tries to get a settlement first.”


Work highlights Assisted Virtu Ferries with a contentious claim against the US government concerning a charter of a high-speed ferry vessel for the evacuation of persons from Tripoli. Advised Stanleybet Betting International on contentious and non-contentious matters concerning gaming law in Malta.




Widely regarded as an authority in maritime law, the firm also offers a solid corporate and commercial practice. It frequently advises clients from a variety of sectors on M&A, privatisations and IP.


Notable practitioners Nicolai Vella Falzon heads the department and handles mostly transactional work. Clients appreciate his personable approach and good collaboration with more junior members of his team. Clients are impressed with Antonio Ghio‘s work, which they describe as “timely and diligent.” He is an expert in IT, gaming and e-commerce.


Strengths (Quotes mainly from clients) “Our first choice in Malta for legal advice. The lawyers have a good understanding of regulations and give tremendous attention to their clients.”

Work highlights Provided regulatory advice on remote gaming matters to UK-listed company GVC in contentious gaming and IP matters, with a dedicated ICT law department, as well as covering property, energy and insurance.




Focuses on asset management and setting up companies and collective investment schemes. Also handles regulatory issues. Acts for an impressive client list of financial and corporate institutions.

Notable practitioners Joseph Ghio is widely recognised for his expertise in investment funds and remains a well-known figure in financial services. Rosanne Bonnici specialises in finance and tax, and her varied practice also covers restructuring and corporate law.


Work highlights Assisted United Gulf Bank with a voluntary bid and takeover of an entity listed on the Malta stock exchange.




Dr. Ann Fenech – Best in Shipping and Maritime Award
Fenech & Fenech – Best Law Firm (Malta)



Dr. Ann Fenech – Elite Shipping and Maritime Lawyer
Dr. Rosanne Bonnici – Tax lawyer of the Year (Malta)
Fenech & Fenech – Most Outstanding Law Firm (Malta)
Fenech & Fenech – Global Frunds Award (Malta)


Fenech & Fenech – Law Firm of the Year (Malta)



Fenech & Fenech – Best for Investment Funds (Malta)
Fenech & Fenech – Best Financial Services Law Firm (Malta)



Fenech & Fenech – Best Financial Services Law Firm (Malta)


Fenech & Fenech – Commercial Law Firm of the Year (Malta)


Fenech & Fenech – Marine Litigation Law Firm of the Year (Malta)
Fenech & Fenech – Ship Finance Law Firm of the Year (Malta)


Fenech & Fenech – Marine Litigation Law Firm of the Year (Malta)


Dr. Ann Fenech – Best of the Best


Fenech & Fenech – Best in Multidisciplinary Fund Services (Malta)
Fenech & Fenech – Tax Law Firm of the Year (Malta)



Fenech & Fenech – Shipping & Finance Law Firm of the Year (Malta)






Fenech & Fenech Advocates is a first tier firm, and is an ‘expert in the marine field’ and ‘a go-to firm when clients require Maltese legal support’. It is currently advising the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs on the preparation and drafting of subsidiary legislation to allow private maritime security companies incorporated in Malta to obtain an operating licence.


Ann Fenech – Sources say that Marine department head Ann Fenech is ‘always available to respond to any and all queries’.


Mark Fenech – Sources say that Ship finance head Mark Fenech has ‘excellent technical legal skills and knowledge’.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates is a first tier firm. Maritime litigation underpins the practice at Fenech & Fenech Advocates, which is many clients’ first choice for wet and dry maritime cases. In addition, the firm has experienced a rise in the number of disputes emanating from the ICT and e-gaming industries.


Ann Fenech is listed as a Leading Individual.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates is a first tier firm, for Corporate and M&A. In addition to strengths in corporate finance transactions and M&A, the practice is also noted for its privatisation capability. Sources say Practice head Nicolai Vella Falzon is ‘a trusted adviser’.




The firm has deep roots in the financial services industry, where it provides a comprehensive service to various local and international institutions. Rosanne Bonnici and Joseph Ghio are regularly called on to advise on the structuring and formation of collective investment schemes.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates supplements its strength in traditional IP matters such as trade mark and patent registration and enforcement by also advising on software licensing agreements such as drafting EU licensing agreements for apps. On the contentious front, the team is representing Gaming VC Corporation in a dispute concerning the alleged misappropriation of an online gaming client database. Practice head Antonio Ghio led on that matter.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ Edward DeBono and Kenneth Grima undertake real estate litigation for a broad client base.






The firm is known as a long-established market leader advising international players on topics including ship finance and the registration of cruise ships, cargo ships and other vessels. It also offers a respected yachting practice, as well as marine litigators with experience of disputes related to topics such as shipbuilding, charter parties and collisions.


Sources say “We are 100% satisfied – the firm is faultless in its work for us. The team provides clear and prompt legal advice, demonstrating its expertise in matters concerning Maltese shipping law, corporate law and ship arrests.”


Ann Fenech

Ranked as a star individual, and a notable practitioner, managing partner and department head Ann Fenech is considered “the respected authority” for questions in this area. One source states: “She has strong knowledge of shipping law, makes a clear analysis of the issues, and maintains a high level of involvement throughout the life of the case.”


Mark Fenech

Mark Fenech leads the ship finance team, advising a range of international financial institutions in relation to mortgages involving Malta-flagged vessels. Clients appreciate his combination of legal expertise and an awareness of “the commercial realities and practical issues involved.”


Alison Vassallo

Alison Vassallo operates in the fields of marine litigation and yachting. Interviewees appreciate her “fast, reliable advice.”




The firm is known for its notable experience in handling litigation across a broad variety of sectors and legal areas, including real estate, energy, environment, insurance, banking and public procurement. They are also known representing clients in major maritime and ICT disputes.


Ann Fenech

Listed as a notable practitioner, managing partner and marine disputes expert Ann Fenech is widely regarded as one of the best litigators in Malta.


Edward De Bono

Sources say Edward DeBono , also listed as a notable practitioner is “trustworthy and efficient in his ability to put a case on a sound footing before the court.”




The firm covers issues ranging from public and private M&A, corporate finance and commercial disputes to tax, employment and IP. It has notable experience in a number of industry sectors, including shipping, aviation and energy.


Sources say, they have very good experience, are quick to respond, helpful, and provide to-the-point advice.


Nicolai Vella Falzon

Department head Nicolai Vella Falzon handles both transactions and disputes, and is singled out for praise by interviewees: “He is very talented – I respect him highly.”


Antonio Ghio

Antonio Ghio heads the firm’s ICT law department and is sources say he is a well-regarded practitioner and is highlighted for his expertise in e-commerce and broader TMT and IP issues.




The firm advises domestic and international financial institutions, funds and corporates on banking, funds, insurance and capital markets issues. Drawing on the expertise of the firm’s other departments to offer a full service, covering regulatory, tax and finance-linked ICT questions.


Sources say “We are very satisfied with the responsiveness, insight, creativity and depth of understanding about our needs.”


Joseph Ghio

Co-department head Joseph Ghio “is fast and knowledgeable, with a very skilled team around him,” according to an impressed client.


Rosanne Bonnici

Tax and finance expert Rosanne Bonnici “is extremely straightforward, and quick to answer requests,” says an interviewee.


TAX (Note: no bands/categories awarded for this sector)


Rosanne Bonnici

Rosanne Bonnici is a well-regarded presence on domestic and international mandates, and is considered particularly strong for the creation of efficient cross-border structures. Clients describe her as “profound and articulate, and very prompt and helpful.”







The practice at Fenech & Fenech straddles finance, corporate and funds work across a variety of industry sectors. Nicolai Vella Falzon is the firm’s main contact for general finance and corporate matters with colleague Joseph Ghio handling capital markets and investment fund issues.


Like many of its contemporaries on the island, the firm can point to a specialisation in aviation, including financing, leasing and contentious matters. The last year has seen the firm score a first when it was engaged in two matters arising from a recent amendment to the island’s aviation law allowing for the arrest of aircraft during a dispute. In both matters the firm acted on securing the release of aircraft on behalf of Aercap and the International Lease Finance Corporation. For both the jurisdiction and the firm the development demonstrates the shift to a full-service offering for aviation clients, including greater options and flexibility in dispute resolution.






Fenech & Fenech Advocates is ‘a service and solution-oriented firm’, and is ‘very client focused and has a very good response time’. The group regularly acts for lenders and borrowers in corporate and asset finance transactions with a cross-border element, and recently advised International Lease Finance Corporation on insolvency risks and issues relating to de-registration and repossession of aircraft owned by Air Malta as part of the airline’s restructuring. Nicolai Vella Falzon is recommended.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ ‘excellent’ team is ‘attentive and sensitive to requests’ from its shipping and transport clients, and has ‘great industry knowledge’ across its four teams. The group recently advised Ovenstone Agencies on a pollution incident arising from a Malta-flagged vessel and affecting lobster fisheries in Tristan da Cunha. Clients include West of England P&I Club and Swedbank Lizings Sia, and the firm also attracts referral work from Holman Fenwick Willan LLP. Ann Fenech has ‘vast experience in shipping’, Joseph Ghio ‘excels in producing draft agreements’, and Rowena Grima and Mark Fenech are also recommended.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates provides ‘a high level of service’, and has notable expertise in shipping litigation, and ‘great industry knowledge’. Ann Fenech, who is ‘very fast on her feet’, is leading the team’s advice to Gaming VC in a €30m dispute relating to a service provider’s alleged misappropriation of a client database.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates is one of Malta’s leading ship finance firms, but also represents a number of banks and other clients on various financial services and investment fund matters. Rosanne Bonnici and Joseph Ghio are recommended.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates provides ‘immediate responses and turnaround of documentation and investigation work’. Clients include GVC Holdings, Lighthouse & Ashley and B3W Group. Antonio Ghio heads the team.




Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ Edward DeBono is a litigation specialist, but also has a significant property-based practice in matters such as conveyancing, leasing, estate management and property inheritance. Kenneth Grima is also recommended.







This firm retains its position at the top of the shipping market thanks to a highly specialised team and impressive client portfolio. The group is divided into four distinct departments that handle marine litigation, yachting, ship finance and ship registration. Its client portfolio is made up of a diverse set of local and international clients, which include Danske Bank, Malta Freeport Terminals, Swedbank Lizings and Transport Malta.


Sources say: “A first-rate service; the lawyers are friendly and easy to talk to, and the work is always done to a high standard.”


Ann Fenech (Band 1 – Star Individual)

Sources recognise Ann Fenech as “amongst the top shipping lawyers in Malta.” As one client attests: “She’s very responsive to what the client wants and really enthusiastic about her job. Simply excellent.”


Mark Fenech (Band 3)

Mark Fenech enters the rankings on the back of tremendous market feedback. Clients appreciate his availability and care, saying he is “responsive, precise, and dedicated to finding the best solution no matter how challenging.”


Alison Vassallo (Band U)

Alison Vassallo enjoys growing visibility in the field, with one peer noting that “she has great know-how of the industry.”




Dispute resolution is a key practice at this firm and it boasts market-leading expertise in marine and IT litigation. The team also has experience in advising on contentious matters of property, civil, family, energy and public procurement law. Amongst its impressive client portfolio it advises the Malta Freeport Terminal, Lloyds TSB and Gaming VC.


Ann Fenech (Band 1)

Marine litigation expert Ann Fenech has a towering reputation in the Maltese market. Clients describe her as “dynamic, efficient and straightforward.”




This leading firm has a strong standing in corporate law, and is renowned for shipping-related transactions. Its varied portfolio of work includes acting on the privatisation of a number of government entities, advising both lenders and borrowers on corporate and asset-finance transactions, and representing clients in corporate litigation.


Sources say: “A great service from senior partners down to junior associates. The firm has a very balanced business and its attitude is very growth-oriented.”


Nicolai Vella Falzon (Band 2)

Practice head Nicolai Vella Falzon wins praise for his efficiency, with one source saying: “He knows what is being asked of him very quickly and without any fuss. No need for going back and forth. He understands what is wanted and produces it.”


Antonio Ghio (Band U)

The up-and-coming Antonio Ghio is building a strong reputation in the market, particularly in IT law, e-commerce, gaming and cyber-crime.




This firm offers a multidisciplinary approach to financial services, advising on banking, investment funds, insurance and capital markets. The team also has experience in regulatory, tax and gaming matters, making it a popular choice with both Maltese and international banks, funds and companies.


Sources say: “The team is very commercial and practical. It does a great job negotiating with all parties.”


Rosanne Bonnici (Band 3)

Sources commend Rosanne Bonnici’s dedication and drive, saying: “She knows what she’s talking about and is strongly driven; once she starts something she sees it through to completion. This really instils confidence in the clients.”


Joseph Ghio (Band 2)

Joseph Ghio is building a strong reputation in the market and wins glowing praise for his knowledge and experience. As one client describes: “He is creative in finding solutions and extremely supportive; he never tells us we can’t do something. He takes a flexible approach to problems and provides accurate, precise advice.”




Rosanne Bonnici (Band 2)

Rosanne Bonnici handles most of the tax work at Fenech & Fenech Advocates. She wins praise for her in-depth knowledge, with one source saying: “She is a detail-driven lawyer who knows what she’s talking about, especially in regards to different law concepts. Very on top of things.”