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.

 

2021

Legal 500 2021

 

COMMERCIAL, CORPORATE AND M&A TIER 1

 

The ‘powerful, commercial team’ at Fenech & Fenech Advocates is experienced in M&A transactions,  restructuring and regulatory work. The practice head is Nicolai Vella Falzon, who has a ‘remarkable ability to leverage civil law expertise to negotiate an escrow contract.’ The firm sits as local legal counsel for several international clients and has worked on a number of cross-border transactions in the gaming sector. Antonio Ghio is also a key name, providing corporate and regulatory advice in the IT and gaming sectors.

 

Leading individuals

 

Nicolai Vella Falzon – Fenech & Fenech Advocates

 

Other key lawyers:

 

Antonio Ghio

 

Testimonials

 

‘Very well resourced firm, very insightful, detailed in their advice and opinion. The partners and associates are very well updated particularly in respect of legal developments in the area of technology litigation and civil law matters. ’

 

‘The lawyers are very well trained, carefully chosen.’

 

‘Excellent. The client receives top quality service at reasonable fees. Fenech & Fenech has a powerful commercial team, headed by partner Mr. Nicolai Vella Falzon. They are top notch professionals. We have absolute trust in them.’

 

‘They are very committed, reliable and dedicated lawyers. ’

 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION TIER 1

 

The practice at Fenech & Fenech Advocates fields a team of specialists. Ann Fenech and Adrian Attard head the marine litigation department and have worked on high-profile salvage cases for Tug Malta, claims by international carriers and marine litigation cases for Malta Freeport Terminals. Nicholai Vella Falzon is a key name for complex corporate litigation particularly unfair prejudice actions and shareholder disputes. Antonio Ghio is specialised in TMT and IP matters. Paul Gonzi heads the employment department, which is specialised in employment of seafarers and crew conditions; recent work has included unfair dismissals and constructive dismissals cases, discrimination, breach of employment contract, management of Covid-19 crisis and privacy breaches. Edward Debono handles general litigation.

 

Other key lawyers:

 

Deo Falzon

 

Testimonials

 

‘Accessibility and competence in various legal fields.’

 

‘Honesty and clear advice.’

 

‘The team at Fenech & Fenech possesses a wide spectrum of different specialisations in the legal field and related services. They have true specialists and truly dedicated professionals. Their professionalism runs deep in the fabric of this practice, and is evident when dealing with any person from this firm.’

 

‘Personally, I have worked a lot with Adrian Attard. I can easily say I have found him to be the most professional lawyer I have ever dealt with. So much so that I have consulted Adrian various times also on personal business not just professionally. He is extremely knowledgeable, a consummate professional and throughout the myriad of cases and instances we have required his service, has always been on top of the situation and with excellent advice.’

 

‘Fenech & Fenech provide us with full service assistance with multiple issues. They have a variety of specialised lawyers for different matters including commercial matters and court proceedings.’

 

‘We have worked with associate Deo Falzon on litigious matters involving intellectual property and general commercial matters. We found him to be knowledgeable and efficient and able to clearly explain the proceedings we face.’

 

‘Quality of work, experience on the ground and responsiveness. ’

 

‘Fenech & Fenech acts as arbitration counsel for our common client. During the last 12 months, Fenech & Fenech appeared on a number of hearings and made several submissions on behalf of the client.’

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY TIER 1

 

The team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates handles contentious and non-contentious IP matters. Led by Antonio Ghio, it has remained active on the litigious front in a variety of matters ranging from software copyright infringement cases to counterfeit goods in trans-shipment. Associate Deo Falzon is also highly regarded.

 

Leading individuals

 

Antonio Ghio – Fenech & Fenech Advocates

 

Other key lawyers:

 

Deo Falzon

 

Testimonials

 

‘Well trained counsel on technology matters, especially intellectual property litigation which is very valuable for contract negotiations.’

 

‘Deo Falzon and Antonio Ghio – Genuine interest in the fields they work in, passionate about technology, and very updated with not only legal, but also commercial developments in the tech world.’

 

‘Knowledge and speed of operations – these are two very strong traits that this firm has. Furthermore they also try to plan for the steps to come – hence they are also strategic in their advice.’

 

‘Deo Falzon – Very well organised and knowledgeable as well as strategic in his approach Antonio Ghio – Very knowledgeable and strategic in his approach’

 

‘The team at Fenech & Fenech are extremely reachable and provide timely updates about proceedings. Moreover their intellectual property knowledge, advice and experience is accurate and dependable.’

 

‘We work with Associate Deo Falzon who we refer to consistently with Customs – goods in transit proceedings as well as trademark and other intellectual property issues. We find Deo Falzon to be very knowledgeable about intellectual property and efficient.’

 

‘I mostly work with Dr. Deo Falzon and his team. Their reply is always instantaneous and their service absolutely perfect.’

 

‘Dr. Deo Falzon is one of those people who just gets stuff done.’

 

PRIVATE CLIENT TIER 1

 

Known for being ‘experts in its field’, the team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates represents high-net-worth-individuals, listed companies and multi-national groups in tax and immigration matters. The firm is popular among clients seeking to obtain citizenship through investment. Practice head Rosanne Bonnici provides ‘crystal-clear tax advice.’ Senior associate Rebecca Diacono is also highly regarded for her ‘efficiency and the clarity of her advice’.

 

Leading individuals

 

Rosanne Bonnici – Fenech & Fenech Advocates

 

Other key lawyers:

 

Rebecca Diacono

 

Testimonials

 

‘We appreciate Rosanne Bonnici’s  advice on tax issues.’

 

‘This team is top of the class in Malta and has a great understanding of international structuring in the jurisdiction.’

 

‘Rosanne Bonnici is our key contact and always provides responsive and helpful guidance when Maltese advice as needed. Rebecca Diacono is her main associate and is also very knowledgeable in tax issues for foreign companies and private clients.’

 

‘Very hands on approach and very reactive.’

 

‘Rosanne Bonnici – very good listener, well liked by clients because of her “practitioner approach” so that clients do not feel drowning in a sea of theory.’

 

‘Rebecca Diacono – very reactive and competent’

 

‘All the practice’s staff and partners work extremely well together and this makes for great effectiveness. This is not always the case with many firms, especially the bigger ones in bigger cities around the world.’

 

‘I have worked primarily with Rosanna Bonnici and Rebecca Diacono. Both solicitors I find highly professional and extremely productive in relation to all questions and problems I may ask and present.’

 

‘Even in the hard periods of the pandemic the availability of Fenech was outstanding with the same hour responses and assistance provided on all queries and arising questions.’

 

‘The team combines a deep understanding of international tax matters with strong local knowledge. This is ideal for a private client like myself.’

 

‘Rosanne Bonnici provided crystal-clear tax advice, taking the big picture into account and giving sound advice on the local circumstances in Malta. Compared to earlier advice I had received in Malta, this was much more thorough, and the ultimate solution for my long-term plans was simpler.’

 

‘Rebecca Diacono provided tax advice together with Rosanne Bonnici. Rebecca also coordinated the later discussions of a real estate matter. Impressed by her efficiency, and the clarity of the advice.’

 

‘Experts in their field, easy to work with, commercial, well-connected with key players locally. ’

 

‘Rosanne Bonnici is very commercial, strategic, experienced, knowledgeable. A real leader in her field.’

 

‘Rebecca Diacono is very detail orientated, solution focused, thorough, a pleasure to work with and inspires confidence. Clearly going places.’

 

SHIPPING TIER 1

 

Led by Ann Fenech, the team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates is ‘one of, if not, the leading Maltese law firms on maritime and ship finance matters’. The practice consists of separate marine litigation, yachting, ship financing and ship registration departments. Highlights included representing Malta Freeport Terminals and Royal Caribbean Cruises on several contentious matters. Other key names include Mark Fenech, who heads the ship finance department; Rowena Grima, head of ship registration; and Alison Vassallo, who handles yachting and marine litigation. Adrian Attard is also noted.

 

Leading individuals

 

Ann Fenech – Fenech & Fenech Advocates

 

Next Generation Partners

 

Adrian Attard – Fenech & Fenech Advocates

 

Other key lawyers:

 

Adrian Attard

 

Testimonials

 

‘One of the, if not, the leading Maltese law firm on maritime and ship finance matters’

 

‘Ann Fenech is very experienced and active in shipping litigation matters; promoting also international law projects such as the international convention on the judicial sale of ships’

 

‘Mark Fenech is our first point of contract regarding ship finance matters; always quick and to the point in his advice.’

 

‘Great network in the international and national industry as well as government authorities. Ability to think out of the box. Great knowledge about the legal framework, national and international.’

 

‘Dedication, knowledge, network, understanding of the customer’s requirements and sensitivity regarding the implementation of legal ideas.’

 

AVIATION TIER 2

 

The aviation team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates is experienced in structured sale or lease back transactions, financed leases, sale and purchase deals, management operations and aircraft registrations. The practice, jointly led by Nicolai Vella Falzon  and Joseph Ghio, is known for its ‘sector experience, efficiency and no-nonsense attitude’.

 

Testimonials

 

‘Sector experience, efficiency and no-nonsense attitude combined would be the main strengths.’

 

BANKING, FINANCE AND CAPITAL MARKETS TIER 2

 

The banking and finance practice at Fenech & Fenech Advocates advises on all elements of financial services. The team is jointly led by investment funds expert, Joseph Ghio and Rosanne Bonnici who handles financial services, tax and restructuring work. The firm has seen an increase in license applications work from within the insurance sector in preparation for Brexit. The team has also advised on regulatory and compliance issues in different sectors. Josianne Brimmer is also highly regarded.

 

Leading individuals

 

Rosanne Bonnici – Fenech & Fenech Advocates

 

Other key lawyers:

 

Josianne Brimmer

 

Testimonials

 

‘Close engagement with clients’

 

‘Joseph Ghio – personable and good knowledge of the sector.’

 

INVESTMENT FUNDS TIER 2

 

The practice at Fenech & Fenech Advocates advises across the entire spectrum of fund matters. Recently, it has been engaged in provided regulatory assistance to asset management companies and has assisted in the setting up of several alternative and loan investment funds. The co-heads of the department are Rosanne Bonnici and Joseph Ghio. Josianne Brimmer is also a noted partner.

 

Other key lawyers:

 

Josianne Brimmer

 

REAL ESTATE TIER 2

 

Led by Edward DeBono, the team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates handles conveyancing for both individuals and companies looking to purchase residential and commercial properties. The team also handles contentious and constitutional issues, and recently obtained a successful judgment from the constitutional court on behalf of a client over unconstitutional leasing agreements. Daniel Buttigieg and Carl Grech are key names at associate level.

 

Rising stars

 

Daniel Buttigieg – Fenech & Fenech Advocates

 

Other key lawyers:

 

Daniel Buttigieg; Carl Grech

 

Chambers Global 2021

 

Antonio Ghio is commended by interviewees for his expertise in IT matters, with one client describing him as a specialist when it comes to software IPR matters.” He acts for TMT sector clients on regulatory and transactional matters, as well as assisting with intellectual property mandates.

 

Joseph Ghio assists financial services clients with a range of matters, including regulatory investigations, licensing applications and capital markets transactions. An interviewee highlights his encyclopedic knowledge of the practice” and also appreciates his ability to break down complex matters into easily digestible information.”

 

Josianne Brimmer is lauded by a client for being very good at setting out and explaining complex legal matters and for providing good and accurate solutions for our problems.” She assists clients with authorisation requests and financial law disputes. Another commentator reports that her advice and client service are excellent.”

 

Clients report that Nicolai Vella Falzon has huge experience in commercial and business matters and he is smart, compelling and fearless in the courtroom.” He advises clients on M&A transactions and corporate restructurings. A source particularly highlights his experience in the aviation sector, saying: He knows this matter and he is one of the best in Malta.

 

Paul Gonzi advises clients on employment law matters, particularly the employment law aspects of corporate transactions, as well as data protection mandates. A client reports that he provides timely, well-considered and all-encompassing advice.

 

World Tax 2021

 

The firm has been ranked in Tier 1 in the Private Client and Tax Controversy categories respectively, and has ranked in Tier 2 in the General Corporate Tax category.  Partner and Head of the Tax & Immigration Law Department, Rosanne Bonnici, has been rated as ‘Leading Tax Advisor’ and ‘Highly Regarded’ while Associate Rebecca Diacono has been rated as ‘Highly Regarded’ in the ‘Women in Tax’ practice area.  Below is what our clients and peers had to say about our Tax Team:

 

“Highly professional, in time, good communication and process management.”

 

“Fenech & Fenech Advocates is efficient, pragmatic, and client orientated law firm.  Generally it was always appropriate value for money.”

 

Chambers Fintech 2021

 

What the team is known for

 

Fenech & Fenech is lauded for its multidisciplinary practice, which covers a wide spectrum of capabilities in the Maltese FinTech industry. The firm is a one-stop shop for clients seeking regulatory support and advice on tax, blockchain and cryptocurrency issues. Fenech & Fenech is also noted for substantial expertise in IT and IP matters, with particular strength in advising on copyright law.

 

Notable Practitioners

 

ICT lawyer  Antonio Ghio is well regarded for his capabilities in the technology sector, with particular expertise in data protection and cybercrime matters. He displays additional strengths in the financial services and crypto spheres, counselling e-commerce and gaming clients on solutions for new ways to run their services.

2020

 

SHIPPING

 

Ranked: tier 1

 

Ann Fenech and her team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates ‘are the go-to maritime lawyers in Malta’ and are ‘highly experienced and competent’ across the entire range of shipping matters. With separate departments for marine litigation, yachting, ship finance and ship registration, the firm has ‘professional specialists’ in each area. Its recent work includes towage disputes and salvage claims for Tug Malta Limited and acting for Virtu Ferries in a matter concerning a high-speed ferry public procurement process. In other work, it handled the lifting of an arrest warrant for XT Shipping Group, resulting in a clarification of Maltese law concerning bunker delivery notes – a case led by Adrian Attard, who made partner in January 2019. Mark Fenech, Rowena Grima  and Alison Vassallo are other names to note.

 

Leading individuals

 

Ann Fenech

 

Next Generation Partners

 

Adrian Attard

 

Testimonials

 

‘Ann Fenech and her team are the go-to maritime lawyers in Malta and are highly experienced and competent.’

 

‘You would want Ann Fenech on your side, and not against you.’

 

‘Very professional and reliable. Very good teamwork. Very professional individual specialists. Covering wide number of professional areas. Very trustful.‘

 

‘Mark Fenech, Lara Saguna, Charlotte Spiteri, Ann Fenech: very experienced, fast response, very efficient.‘

 

COMMERCIAL, CORPORATE AND M&A

 

Ranked: tier 1

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ practice, which has ‘very good knowledge’ across the commercial and corporate space, is headed by ‘excellent professional’ Nicholai Vella Falzon, who has ‘great experience in corporate law’. Recent work includes negotiating shareholders’ agreements, assisting with new corporate set-ups and establishment of services in Malta, as well as due diligence proceedings. Antonio Ghio provides corporate and regulatory advice in the IT and gaming sectors, while the wider team is also experienced in handling big-ticket acquisitions and international restructurings.

 

Leading individuals

 

Nicolai Vella Falzon

 

Testimonials

 

Management is very experienced in a wide variety of legal matters. We mainly seek advice on corporate issues which they have very good knowledge of and expertise in.’

 

‘Nicholai Vella Falzon is an excellent attorney, great experience in corporate law. His advice is always accurate and comprehensive. He is always available for the company and willing to resolve any issue that may arise. He is an excellent professional.’

 

‘Highly knowledgeable. Both academically as well as in practice. Clearly they have been involved in a large number of significant transactions and represent a number of large clients which allows them to provide advice hinging on that experience.’

 

‘Ability to advise in a practical manner.’

 

‘Their ability to grasp issues in relation to cross-border transactions was phenomenal. Further, their turn around time was exemplary.’

 

‘Josianne Brimmer: was available at short notice and provided simple, pragmatic advice.’

 

‘Expertise in IT legal and contractual matters.’

 

‘Antonio Ghio for his expertise in IT legal and contractual matters.’

 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

 

Ranked: tier 1

 

The team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates includes practitioners with expertise in a range of sectors. Ann Fenech, who leads the marine litigation department, represented Bezzina Ship Repair Yard Limited in proceedings against the British government and acted for the Grimaldi Group and Sullivan Maritime Limited in a matter concerning contentious claims over cargo damages. Nicholai Vella Falzon handles commercial and corporate litigation; he acted for SPI Energy Group in a damages claim for a share purchase agreement breach. TMT specialist Antonio Ghio represented KPMG Crimsonwing plc in proceedings relating to alleged software copyright infringements. Employment disputes work is handled by Paul Gonzi, while Edward Debono and Kenneth Grima handle general litigation. The ‘extremely knowledgeable’ Adrian Attard made partner in January 2019.

 

Testimonials

 

‘Personal attention beyond compare.’

 

‘Smart and capable, having an excellent knowledge of the law, giving the client time to express his or her opinion as the client sees things before the client is given advice. Very impressed with the younger generation joining this legal firm.’

 

‘I have dealt with Fenech & Fenech in various capacities for around 20 years. The firm has grown exponentially during that time, and has become a veritable trove of legal expertise on all facets of law. The firm has legal experts in all possible fields of law, which makes it a legal one-stop shop for any business. They have some of the most renowned and respected legal minds as partners, and the quality of their associates is second to none. The fact that even though the firm is probably the largest in Malta, the partners are very accessible, makes them without doubt the strongest legal office in the country and surely one of the best in Europe.’

 

‘We are involved in the maritime industry, and were drawn to the firm having watched Ann Fenech in action in court. In the last years we have been working with Adrian Attard, who I am pleased to say has now risen to partner in the firm. Adrian Attard is surely already one of the top maritime lawyers in the country. He is extremely knowledgeable, diligent, very organised and truly a pleasure to work with. I have consulted Adrian on a number of issues, his communication is excellent, and he is able to explain even the most complex legal issues in a way a client can easily understand him. He has also proven himself to be very reliable and a consummate professional. Most competitors I would term as either legally knowledgeable but unable to communicate clearly or disorganised (rushing from one thing to another), both things which make the client feel stranded.’

  

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

 

Ranked: tier 1

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ IP remit extends from reviewing agreements and due diligence exercises, to handling copyright infringement claims and trade mark registration, maintenance and vetting. Singled out as ‘leaders in music rights management’, the team represents PRS for Music in infringement proceedings before the Maltese courts. Other highlights include acting for Mobis, as the sole authorised importer of Hyundai and Kia Motors car parts, in an action concerning parallel trade. Practice head Antonio Ghio leads on all matters, while junior associate Sarah Cannataci provides ‘good advice and is always able to deal with any queries’. Jeanine Rizzo, formerly a senior associate at the firm, left in January 2019.

 

Leading individuals

 

Antonio Ghio

 

Testimonials

 

‘Fenech and Fenech are the territory leaders in music rights management and deal with all of our infringement cases.‘

 

‘Sarah Cannataci has always provided good advice and is always available to deal with any queries I have.‘

 

PRIVATE CLIENT

 

Ranked: tier 1

 

The private client team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates is ‘professional’ and ‘knowledgeable’, while providing a particular ‘closeness and personal touch’. It is a popular choice to advise on applications for citizenship by investment for clients from across Europe and the Middle East, and also assists individuals who are relocating or seeking tax residency on the island. Practice head Rosanne Bonnici, who ‘stands shoulders above other practitioners in her field’, and associate Rebecca Diacono are both ‘very efficient’ and form the backbone of a team who provide ‘best-in-class competences’.

 

Leading individuals

 

Rosanne Bonnici

 

Testimonials

 

‘They are unique because of their skill, knowledge, experience, network, co-operation, understanding of the client’s problems, and are custom-oriented in all aspects.’

 

‘Their service feels helpful, friendly, attentive, courteous, reminding with information and letters and they never forget anything.’

 

‘Well, Fenech & Fenech were hired for a specific reason, and the goal was achieved. I really think I have received best-in-class competences.’

 

‘For sure – knowledge of local market, custom, etc.’

 

‘We haven’t dealt with other firms in the sector and thus are unable to accurately draw a comparison to other competitors. However, we were very satisfied with the quality of service provided by the firm.’

 

‘Rebecca Diacono and Rosanna Bonnici were very efficient, and we were very happy with the level of professionalism and service provided.’

 

‘I work with several firms around the world, and at Fenech & Fenech have a very personal way of handling their clients/cases that makes you feel valued and understood. At the large international firms at times I feel as a number, a source of income, not a valued client. At Fenech & Fenech the closeness and personal touch that the partner and staff provide lets me know that they are looking out for my best interests. I have felt they understand what my needs/requirements are and they have implemented a strategy that is permitting me to achieve my goal.’

 

‘I have met personally on several occasions with Rosanne Bonnici, Rebecca Diacono, Sarah Pace and Sarah Rausi and have enjoyed working with them; they are very professional, knowledgeable and yet personal in their way of working. I am very confident that their knowledge of legal practices as well as their experience will guide me in concluding my business in Malta in a satisfactory way.’

 

‘I have known Fenech & Fenech for many years now and for me what makes them unique is the quality of their lawyers and their product. Their culture is international and their product is high-end.’

 

‘Rosanne Bonnici stands shoulders above other practitioners in her field. She is technically excellent and a pleasure to work with on complex cross-border projects. A safe pair of hands. Rebecca Diacono is clearly a rising star, responsive and reliable.’

 

AVIATION

 

Ranked: tier 2

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates handles commercial aviation transactions and regularly acts for large aircraft lessors in Gecas and AerCap, while also handling management operation set-up and aircraft registrations. The practice includes Joseph Ghio , who has a ‘robust’ approach, and Nicolai Vella Falzon, who ‘acts with flawless integrity’. New clients include Qatar Airways, following the client’s recent launch of daily flights from Malta to Doha.

 

Testimonials

 

‘My go to firm in Malta for aircraft finance matters. Knowledgeable, reliable, responsive and commercial.’

 

‘Fenech and Fenech are committed to providing an efficient, responsive and highly professional service to their clients. They have gone above and beyond to offer a diverse talent pool from across their firm to service our needs. We value them as a true partner.’

 

‘Joseph Ghio – an excellent lawyer, robust, responsive and practical.’

 

‘Nicolai Vella Falzon acts with flawless integrity and really cares for his clients. Nicolai and his team have been committed to servicing the complicated needs of our aviation business over the last few years and have always been at the end of the phone whenever we have needed their assistance and support. The quality of their deliverable is superb. On one occasion, Nicolai made the time to refer us to a competitor firm when he was not in a position to provide a direct solution to our challenges. This, in my view, is a true example of a preferred supplier; taking the time to seek a solution for us without benefiting from any financial gain.’

 

BANKING, FINANCE AND CAPITAL MARKETS

 

Ranked: tier 2

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ banking, finance and capital markets team is jointly led by Rosanne Bonnici, who handles all financial services and group restructurings, and investment funds expert Joseph Ghio. Recently, the team has assisted with obtaining licenses from the Maltese Financial Services Authority, handled pre-purchase due diligence work and defended various claims before the Office of the Arbiter for Financial Services. Corporate and asset finance expert Josianne Brimmer is frequently involved in high-profile matters.

 

Leading individuals

 

Rosanne Bonnici

 

INVESTMENT FUNDS

 

Ranked: tier 2

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates assists domestic and international investment entities with all fund matters. Its recent work includes providing regulatory guidance to professional investor funds. The firm has also acted for clients in two Maltese firsts: the setting-up of a loan investment fund and the registration of a fund able to issue tokenised units. Joseph Ghio is one of the ‘go-to guys when it comes to anything in the investment industry’; Rosanne Bonnici ‘marries her funds knowledge with her tax expertise’; and Josianne Brimmer is also noted.

 

Testimonials

 

‘Joseph Ghio is one of my go-to guys when it comes to anything in the investment industry. If there’s a solution, he will find it. Rosanne Bonnici marries her funds knowledge with her tax expertise. Comes in very useful!‘

 

REAL ESTATE

 

Ranked: tier 2

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates benefits from ‘a huge network’ and real ‘market know-how’ to handle property conveyancing, purchases of residential or commercial premises, and contentious real estate matters. Highlights included assisting C&F Building Contractors Limited and other companies in the group with property acquisitions and acting for Project Technik Limited in a dispute concerning finishing works related to the Malta Life Sciences Park. Edward Debono and Kenneth Grima lead a ‘to the point’ and ‘efficiently structured’ team, ably supported by senior associates Carl Grech, who ‘analyses complex cases and problems very efficiently’, and Daniel Buttigieg, who is well known for his litigation expertise.

 

Rising Stars

 

Daniel Buttigieg

 

Testimonials

 

‘Fenech & Fenech is very competent and professional with a huge network and market know-how. Additionally we appreciate the 24/7 availability and the excellent client service.’

 

‘Carl Grech is highly motivated and passionate about his profession. He anticipates our needs and advises us accordingly in a very social manner. Our partner Carl Grech analyses complex cases and problems very efficiently and explains them in an easy and understandable way. Additionally the discussed solutions have been to the point, efficiently structured and highly effective.

 

FINTECH

 

Ranked: tier 3

 

With particular knowledge of blockchain matters, Fenech & Fenech Advocates acts for clients including digital asset trading platforms and virtual finance service providers. It frequently advises on the set-up and ensuing regulation or maintenance of DLT entities in Malta. Rosanne Bonnici, Antonio Ghio – who also acts as a director and company secretary for a number of financial services entities licensed by the MFSA – and Joseph Ghio head the practice. Bonnici contributes to the drafting of regulations, most recently to the revenue guidelines on blockchain.

 

 

 

Corporate/Commercial (including Gaming & Licencing) – Malta  

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Band 2

 

What the team is known for

 

Particularly active on the Maltese aspects of cross-border corporate transactions, often assisting European companies with the acquisition of shares in Maltese groups. Particularly popular with clients from the gaming, transport and financial services industries. Also advises on restructuring and licensing mandates, as well as on the corporate governance aspects of setting up companies in Malta. Works closely with the firm’s strong shipping law team and is also able to advise on tax law matters.

 

Strengths

 

Clients appreciate that the team is “able to be agile quickly. If we need them to look into something, they can do it effectively and quickly.”

 

Another client reports that the firm is “really efficient in all the corporate matters.”

 

Notable practitioners

 

Antonio Ghio is particularly active on matters involving telecommunications and technology. He also advises on acquisitions and restructuring mandates in the gaming sector. Clients particularly highlight his ability to “provide valuable and constructive advice within IT law.”

 

Nicolai Vella Falzon advises international companies on acquiring and merging with Maltese entities. He also assists international clients with establishing branches in Malta. Clients appreciate his ability to provide “very accurate and risk-assessed advice” and describe him as “diligent and trustworthy.”

 

Paul Gonzi enters the rankings thanks to interviewees singling out his employment law practice, with clients reporting that he is “very knowledgeable in employment law” and stressing that he is “one of the best around in employment law.” Gonzi frequently advises on the employment law aspects of corporate transactions and company establishments.

 

Dispute Resolution – Malta

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Band 1

 

What the team is known for

 

Renowned litigation department handling domestic and cross-border disputes, including LCIA proceedings. Has additional experience in software copyright infringement cases and employment disputes. Noted for its strong focus on maritime litigation, representing shipowners, P&I clubs and financiers. Assists international banks and financial institutions with banking litigation. Also acts for clients from a broad spectrum of sectors including energy, telecoms and media.

 

Strengths

 

“The lawyers are dedicated to their work, they love what they do and the co-operation among them is integrated, fast and exemplary,” one client enthuses.

 

The “efficient and knowledgeable team” also elicits praise for its “excellent and prompt service.”

 

Work highlights

 

Acted for FIMBank on USD25 million recovery proceedings relating to misdelivery claims against vessels and their owners.

 

Notable practitioners

 

Ann Fenech has extensive experience representing marine insurance companies, banks and bunkers in shipping litigation and arbitration proceedings.

 

One market commentator believes that Edward DeBono “is an excellent lawyer for traditional civil law disputes.” His main focus is on real estate disputes.

 

Financial Services – Malta

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Band 2

 

What the team is known for

 

Advises domestic and international clients on transactions within the financial services industry. Also represents clients in regulatory investigations and other contentious mandates. Particularly assists clients with creating and licensing new financial sector institutions in Malta.

 

Strengths

 

Clients appreciate the firm’s commercial approach: “The lawyers are able to understand, interpret and present facts and results in a manner consistent with our practices.” They add that the team is “really good at putting themselves in our place.”

 

Another client highlights that the firm “always operates with a personal approach to the client and the client’s needs.”

 

Notable practitioners

 

Joseph Ghio assists financial services clients with a range of matters, including regulatory investigations, licensing applications and corporate transactions within the banking sector. Sources report: “We felt very comfortable with him in terms of his manner and the way he dealt with clients and explains things.”

 

Shipping (including Yachting) – Malta

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Band 1

 

What the team is known for

 

Renowned market leader advising domestic and international clients on the full spectrum of maritime issues. Dominant marine disputes practice involved in complex litigation in both wet and dry shipping mandates. Significant expertise in ship financing and yachting, advising high-profile private clients on registration and finance mandates. Also assists with shipping transactions and re-flagging of vessels. Has an impressive client roster consisting of international financial institutions, shipowners and maritime service providers.

 

Strengths

 

One interviewee enthuses: “We appreciate the lawyers’ straightforward and swift advice, their good connections to the Maltese ship registry and their expertise.”

 

Clients particularly appreciate that the lawyers are “always very quick to reply or act upon a specific request” and add that the firm’s “organisational level seems to be very high.”

 

Work highlights

 

Assisted Tug Malta with a salvage claim against the owners of the ‘Jill Jacob’ following a salvage operation.

 

Notable practitioners

 

Yachting specialist Alison Vassallo advises clients on all matters relating to yachts, such as tax, customs and tenders. She also assists with importation matters and acquisitions. One client attests that she is “very deadline-oriented – if I send an email, I immediately get an email back with a full explanation.”

 

Ann Fenech is renowned in the market for her expertise in trade shipping and contentious shipping matters. She boasts an extensive roster of domestic and international clients, including maritime service providers. One client enthuses that she is “by far the leader in shipping,” adding that “she has the technical knowledge and know-how” as well as “a very good understanding of the shipping business.”

 

Mark Fenech is praised by clients for his experience and particularly handles ship financing, advising international banks on mortgage registrations. Fenech is also noted for his work on shipping regulations.

 

Tax Malta

 

Rosanne Bonnici (Fenech & Fenech Advocates) – Band 2

 

Rosanne Bonnici of Fenech & Fenech Advocates is a respected lawyer working primarily on Maltese tax aspects for large multinational clients. She regularly assists with the income tax and VAT aspects of complex multimillion cross-border transactions. Clients state she is “very knowledgeable, very efficient and commercially minded.”

 

 

 

Corporate/Commercial – Malta

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Band 2

 

What the team is known for:

 

Particularly active on the Maltese aspects of cross-border corporate transactions, often assisting European companies with the acquisition of shares in Maltese groups. Particularly popular with clients from the gaming, transport and financial services industries. Also advises on restructuring and licensing mandates, as well as on the corporate governance aspects of setting up companies in Malta. Works closely with the firm’s strong shipping law team and is also able to advise on tax law matters.

 

Notable practitioners

 

Antonio Ghio is particularly active on matters involving telecommunications and technology. He also advises on acquisitions and restructuring mandates in the gaming sector. Clients particularly highlight his ability to “provide valuable and constructive advice within IT law.”

 

Nicolai Vella Falzon advises international companies on acquiring and merging with Maltese entities. He also assists international clients with establishing branches in Malta. Clients appreciate his ability to provide “very accurate and risk-assessed advice” and describe him as “diligent and trustworthy.”

 

Paul Gonzi enters the rankings thanks to interviewees singling out his employment law practice, with clients reporting that he is “very knowledgeable in employment law” and stressing that he is “one of the best around in employment law.” Gonzi frequently advises on the employment law aspects of corporate transactions and company establishments.

 

Financial Services – Malta

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Band 2

 

What the team is known for:

 

Advises domestic and international clients on transactions within the financial services industry. Also represents clients in regulatory investigations and other contentious mandates. Particularly assists clients with creating and licensing new financial sector institutions in Malta.

 

Notable practitioners

 

Joseph Ghio assists financial services clients with a range of matters, including regulatory investigations, licensing applications and corporate transactions within the banking sector. Sources report: “We felt very comfortable with him in terms of his manner and the way he dealt with clients and explains things.”

 

 

 

What the team is known for

 

Fenech & Fenech is lauded for its multidisciplinary practice that covers a wide spectrum of capabilities in the Maltese FinTech industry. The firm is a one-stop shop for clients seeking regulatory support and advice on tax, blockchain and cryptocurrency issues. Fenech is also noted for substantial expertise in IT and IP matters, with particular strength in advising on copyright law.

 

Strengths “The team is very strong in the tax and FinTech arenas.”

 

“They are a very well-respected firm.”

 

Notable practitioners

 

ICT lawyer Antonio Ghio is well regarded for his capabilities in the technology sector, with particular expertise in data protection and cybercrime matters. He displays additional strengths in the financial services sphere, with sources highlighting that “Antonio is a very good, very reputable lawyer who is strong in financial services.”

Client feedback

 

“The firm was excellent, providing professional and timely advice and turnaround of documents.” – Banking

 

“Fenech & Fenech are our go-to firm in Malta. They are always responsive and provide clear and pragmatic advice.” – Banking

 

“They review the cases in detail and are largely available for discussions.” – Banking

 

“An extremely capable Maltese law firm with market leading legal knowledge.” – M&A

 

“We are very satisfied with the attentive level of service, eye for detail and timely advice and action on matters. The various teams are highly experienced and knowledgeable of the ever-changing global regulatory scenario. They took their time to get to know the business, which is something special in today’s hectic environment.” – M&A

 

“The strength and depth of knowledge within the team was excellent. They were all extremely efficient and continuously delivered high quality advice within tight time frames. Joseph Ghio is an excellent lawyer with a strong commercial acumen.” – M&A

 

“They provided legal advice on all stages of the investment, including on diligence, transaction documentation and implementation of the transaction. Their knowledge and understanding of the legal issues were excellent, and they showed a keen awareness of the commercial aspects of the deal. In short, they provided top class service from inception to conclusion.” – M&A

 

“We have been utilising this firm since we entered the Maltese market, so they effectively operate as an extension of our own organisation. When required, they are extremely flexible and accommodating.” – M&A

 

“They are very professional and knowledgeable and always set out the options available at each stage of a transaction. They offer a robust challenge to our management team to ensure that the outcomes of a process are met.” – Project development

 

Josianne Brimmer

 

“Josianne was incredibly efficient, knowledgeable and practical. She was available on short notice at all times during what was a difficult transaction.”

 

“Josianne’s advice is clear and to the point.”

 

Joseph Ghio

 

“Joseph was exceptional. He was flexible and responsive. His advice was clear, concise and commercial. At all times, he impressed with his knowledge and understanding not just of the legal issues but the commercial realities of the deal too. A true professional and a market leader in Malta.”

 

Nicolai Vella Falzon

 

“A highly capable and articulate lawyer who provides concise but highly commercial advice.”

 

“Extremely responsive and dedicated; he attended a matter as a matter of urgency notwithstanding being on paternity leave.”

 

Rosanne Bonnici

 

“Dr Bonnici is incredibly knowledgeable and approachable. She takes time out of her schedule to get to know the business, which then reflects the level of accuracy and effectiveness of the advice given. Her practical approach clearly sets her apart from other competitors.”

 

“Rosanne takes the time to understand our business and what we want to achieve. She highlights the opportunities and challenges of our plans in an easily understandable way.”

2019

 

SHIPPING

 

Ranked: tier 1

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ shipping practice covers all aspects of marine litigation, ship finance, ship registration and commercial and private yachting matters. Leading on dispute resolution instructions, Ann Fenech is ‘always there to offer the right professional advice and guidance’ to her longstanding clients. Senior associate Adrian Attard is also a key lawyer in this department. Highlights included assisting Credit Suisse with the enforcement of a mortgage registered over a Maltese-flagged vessel. In addition, Fenech and Attard are acting for Grimaldi Group and Sullivan Limited in various actions arising from damage to cargo on board vessels. Mark Fenech and legal procurator Rowena Grima handle finance and registration matters respectively.

 

Leading individuals

 

Ann Fenech

 

Next generation lawyers

 

Adrian Attard

 

COMMERCIAL, CORPORATE AND M&A

 

Ranked: tier 1

 

In a significant matter, Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ corporate and commercial practice head Nicolai Vella Falzon assisted Gaming Innovation Group with acquiring a major commercial premises as part of its growth strategy.  Antonio Ghio and others are acting for GVC Holdings in a corporate restructuring. and also provide ongoing corporate and regulatory advice on the gaming sector. The firm is reputed for its corporate litigation work, and is currently defending Banque Nationale de Développement Agricole against an action filed by FIMBank. Elsewhere, the firm advises government bodies and private sector entities on compliance with public procurement rules, and also provides assistance with tender award appeals. Other areas of activity include corporate finance transactions and the emerging crypto and blockchain fields.

 

Leading individuals

 

Nicolai Vella Falzon

 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

 

Ranked: tier 1

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates is known for its leading marine litigation department, which is headed by Ann Fenech. She acted for Tug Malta in a salvage claim, and also represented Malta Freeport Terminals in various contentious matters, including proceedings before the French courts. Elsewhere, Antonio Ghio leads on TMT and IP instructions, with key clients including Evoke Gaming and PRS for Music. He is assisting the latter with various actions against third parties over alleged copyright breaches. Edward Debono and Kenneth Grima are also recommended for their litigation expertise. Paul Gonzi handles employment matters.

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

 

Ranked: tier 1

 

Antonio Ghio leads on the full range of IP matters for Fenech & Fenech Advocates with ‘a knowledgeable, clear and concise approach’. On the TMT side, the firm’s recent work has included multiple copyright infringement disputes, as well as advice to clients on licensing and distribution agreements, and GDPR strategies; Gaming Innovation Group is a key client concerning the latter. Senior associate Jeanine Rizzo has earned a name for herself in the field as a ‘highly knowledgeable lawyer’, who ‘is proficient at what she does’. She assists with both prosecution and litigation matters.

 

Leading individuals

 

Antonio Ghio

 

Next generation lawyers

 

Jeanine Rizzo

 

AVIATION

 

Ranked: tier 2

 

The team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates provides legal advice on the aviation sector ‘with in-depth knowledge and a high degree of practicality’. Nicolai Vella Falzon and Joseph Ghio lead on commercial aviation transactions. In 2017, a highlight involved acting for VistaJet Group on a $200m private equity investment in the company by Rhone Capital. The firm has also been engaged by international clients for aircraft financing and leasing matters, and can assist with air operator certificate (AOC) applications. Josianne Brimmer is also noted.

 

BANKING, FINANCE AND CAPITAL MARKETS

 

Ranked: tier 2

 

Rosanne Bonnici and Joseph Ghio jointly lead the ‘client-oriented, efficient and precise’ banking and finance practice at Fenech & Fenech Advocates. The team provides a full range of services for gaming and virtual currency companies, and also international banks. Its work includes regulatory advice on share purchase transactions, know-your-client matters and banking licence issues. Josianne Brimmer is a name to note.

 

Leading individuals

 

Rosanne Bonnici

 

INVESTMENT FUNDS

 

Ranked: tier 2

 

The investment funds team at Fenech & Fenech Advocates comprises Rosanne Bonnici, Joseph Ghio and Josianne Brimmer. The group provides the full scope of advice to local and foreign investment firms, collective investment schemes and high net-worth individuals. A notable highlight involved Ghio advising a retail fund on regulatory issues arising from a suspension on the fund’s dealing and its voluntary liquidation. Ghio ‘always seems to have the right solution for anything related to financial structures’. Bonnici has expertise in project restructuring, tax planning and trust and foundation management.

 

REAL ESTATE

 

Ranked: tier 2

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates

 

Edward Debono and Kenneth Grima handle Fenech & Fenech Advocates’ contentious real estate matters. Notable work includes representing Maria Pia Galea in a landmark property repossession claim at the Constitutional Court, and acting for Chemimart as the defendant at the Court of Appeal in an eviction case. Associate Daniel Buttigieg is also noted for his expertise in real estate litigation. Grima has been active on the transactional side. Vella Falzon Building Supplies and Metz Limited are among other active clients.

 

Next generation lawyers

 

Daniel Buttigieg

The Chambers HWNI have released their rankings.  Please find hereunder what they said about us.

 

HNW 2019 – Malta

 

Tax – Band 1

 

About the Firm

 

Described as “one of the oldest firms in Malta,” Fenech & Fenech is recognised as “a one-stop shop for high net worth clients.” It can provide in-depth advice on trusts and foundations, and the team also advises wealthy families on art transactions, yacht registration and international tax. One source notes that “they are one of the front runners for private client work.” Another interviewee explains: “They have the ability to deal with complex matters and have all the related expertise you need to give such clients an all-round service.”

 

Various lawyers recognise the firm as a market leader, and one expert enthuses that “no firm comes close to them in terms of service and expertise.” This expert adds: “They are excellent service providers and give good advice.”

 

Notable Practitioners

 

Rosanne Bonnici is lauded for her deep experience working with private clients and is “especially regarded for international tax structuring.” She also advises on trust and foundation matters, and a local adviser observes that “she gives very good advice.” Another source adds that “she is a real expert in anti-money laundering and disclosure matters.” Bonnici’s understanding of market developments is also praised. One insider reports: “She is very good at what she does; she is cautious, which is very important when providing tax advice these days. She is very ahead of the game and always knows what regulators and authorities are thinking.”

 

HNW 2019 – Global-wide

 

Yachts & Superyachts – Band 4

 

About the Firm

 

Fenech & Fenech is an established name in the yachting market and regarded as “top for Maltese work.” Sources note its “good reputation” and say that the team “know what they are doing.” The firm is best known for advising on Maltese yacht leases for VAT purposes, although the specialised team can also assist with a variety of matters such as yacht registration, importation and tax.

 

“They are a blue-chip firm in Malta,” says an interviewee. Another confirms: “No firm comes close to them in terms of services and expertise. They are excellent service providers and give excellent service.”

 

Notable Practitioners

 

Head of the firm’s yachting department Alison Vassallo has recognised experience handling a broad range of yachting transactions and disputes. She advises owners and financiers on sale and purchase, chartering, registration, financing and tax. Peers say she is “very pleasant, competent and responsive,” adding: “She is very helpful with new yacht providers, she is very proactive.”

 

Ann Fenech is managing partner of the firm and heads the marine litigation team. “She is active in the market and very well known in Malta,” says a peer, adding: “She is a figurehead of the Malta maritime community.” Another fellow practitioner describes her as a “force of nature,” saying: “She is very experienced, really quite something. She really stands highly in that Maltese environment.”

Chambers Europe have released their rankings.  Please find hereunder what they said about us.

 

Corporate/Commercial (including Gaming & Licencing) – Malta  

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Band 2

 

What the team is known for

 

Acts for clients on an array of corporate matters including mergers and acquisitions, share sales and restructuring. Regularly handles international mandates, assisting clients with cross-border transactions across Europe, as well as those involving the USA and Asia, particularly within the gaming sector. Expertise extends to TMT, IP and employment, additionally advising on shipping crew employment issues.

 

Strengths

 

Clients praise the team for delivering “very thorough advice, going into all ifs and buts,” and providing “a full picture of what matters are about.”

 

Interviewees also appreciate the firm’s “responsiveness, value and quality of work.”

 

Work highlights

 

Represented Bonnier Growth Media in the sale of Evoke Gaming to Mr Green.

 

Notable practitioners

 

Clients appreciate Antonio Ghio for being “very experienced” in devising corporate strategy. He advises on M&A transactions, restructurings and market exits. Ghio is also experienced in gaming and IT matters.

 

Joseph Ghio advises on financing and capital markets mandates, assisting with lending facilities, security packages and bond issuances.

 

Nicolai Vella Falzon advises clients on commercial investments, and acts on projects and maritime litigation. Clients laud him for being “very responsive and very knowledgeable.” His work includes assisting VistaJet with a USD150 million investment in the company by Rhone Capital.

 

Dispute Resolution – Malta

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Band 1

 

What the team is known for

 

Renowned litigation department handling domestic and cross-border disputes. Noted for its strong focus on maritime litigation, representing ship owners and financiers. Also assists international banks and financial institutions with banking litigation. Also acts for clients from a broad spectrum of sectors including energy, telecoms and media.

 

Strengths

 

Clients appreciate that “their advice is well founded and quickly received.”

 

Others describe it as a “a very serious firm that takes individual care of its clients.”

 

Work highlights

 

Represented Gard Marine & Energy Insurance in proceedings related to a collision in the port of Valletta in 2016.

 

Notable practitioners

 

Clients appreciate Adrian Attard ‘s “efficiency, ability to get things done and his quick, well-founded advice,” as well as his “willingness to go the extra step.” He assists with many of the firm’s complex cross-border matters.

 

Ann Fenech is regarded as “excellent,” with the source explaining: “She is extremely positive in her approach and always comes up with solutions.” She is an expert in marine litigation matters, assisting clients with issues including ship arrests, collisions and contract drafting.

 

Edward DeBono stands out because of his “knowledge of the law,” as well as his accessibility. He acts for clients on civil litigation and financial disputes as well as construction-related mandates. DeBono assisted Chemimart with litigation before the Court of Appeal regarding an eviction from retail premises.

 

Financial Services – Malta

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Band 2

 

What the team is known for

 

Considerable financial services practice handling a wide range of matters including shareholder matters, bond issuances and private equity investments. Additionally provides insurers with regulatory advice regarding domestic legislation. Assists both local and international companies with fund structures and pension schemes.

 

Strengths

 

A satisfied client says that “everything the firm delivered was very good and absolutely high-quality.”

 

Others value the team’s “reliable and sturdy” advice.

 

Work highlights

 

Assisted NewPort Capital with obtaining regulatory approval for the marketing of its AIF.

 

Notable practitioners

 

Joseph Ghio often advises on financial services regulatory mandates, acting on behalf of banks, insurance companies and investment companies. Market commentators praise his particular expertise in matters related to cryptocurrencies.

 

Shipping (including Yachting) – Malta

 

Fenech & Fenech Advocates – Band 1

 

What the team is known for

 

Renowned market leader advising domestic and international clients on the full spectrum of maritime issues. Dominant marine disputes practice involved in complex litigation in both wet and dry shipping mandates. Significant expertise in ship financing and yachting, where it advises high-profile private clients on registration and finance mandates. Has an impressive client roster comprised of international financial institutions, banks, shipowners and insurers.

 

Strengths

 

Sources praise the firm for being “excellent,” noting that the team is very responsive and deals with everything very efficiently.”

 

Clients also appreciate that the firm is “fast and client-focused,” adding that they “do very well at pointing out the essentials of litigation.”

 

Work highlight

 

Advised Credit Suisse on the enforcement of a mortgage registered over a Maltese vessel arrested in another EU jurisdiction.

 

Notable practitioners

 

Adrian Attard advises clients on a range of contentious and non-contentious shipping matters, including ship arrests, regulatory advice and cruise liner registration and employment matters. Sources describe him as “extremely knowledgeable and definitely someone to watch,” while others add that his work is “very meticulous and timely.”

 

Head of yachting Alison Vassallo is praised by clients for being “friendly, clever and efficient.” Her practice includes assisting clients with the sale and acquisition of yachts, as well as advising on mortgage, registration and tax implications. In addition to yachting, Vassallo also acts on marine litigation files.

 

Clients describe Ann Fenech as an “outstanding partner who enjoys great respect both locally and internationally.” Her practice centres around handling maritime litigation matters for clients including international cruise operators and financial institutions. She recently acted for Grimaldi Group on a number of cases related to damages to cargo aboard ship.

 

Mark Fenech offers substantial expertise in handling ship financing mandates for financial institutions, international freight companies and yacht owners. “He has a lot of experience and he’s a reliable partner,” says one client appreciating his “quick and to-the-point answers.”

 

Tax Malta

 

Rosanne Bonnici (Fenech & Fenech Advocates) – Band 2

 

Sources remark that Rosanne Bonnici of Fenech & Fenech Advocates “is very responsive, handling concerns in a comprehensive manner.” She handles mandates in both Malta and abroad, assisting with restructuring and re-domiciliation.

 

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.

2018

 

SHIPPING

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

 

 

COMMERCIAL, CORPORATE AND M&A

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

 

 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

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.

 

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY

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

 

 

AVIATION

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.

 

 

BANKING, FINANCE AND CAPITAL MARKETS

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

 

 

INVESTMENT FUNDS

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.

 

 

REAL ESTATE

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.

2017

top tier 2017

 

SHIPPING

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

 

 

COMMERCIAL, CORPORATE AND M&A – TIER 1

 

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

 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION – TIER 1

 

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.

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY – TIER 1

 

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

 

AVIATION – TIER 2

 

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

 

BANKING, FINANCE AND CAPITAL MARKETS – TIER 2 

 

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

 

REAL ESTATE AND CONSTRUCTION – TIER 2

 

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.

 

Chambers-Global-2017

 

CORPORATE/COMMERCIAL – BAND 2

 

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.

 

 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION – BAND1

 

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.

 

 

FINANCIAL SERVICES – BAND 2

 

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.”

 

SHIPPING – BAND 1

 

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.”

 

TAX MALTA – BAND 1

 

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.”

2016

Top_tier_firms

 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION – TIER 1

 

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

 

COMMERCIAL, CORPORATE AND M&A – 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.

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY – TIER 1

 

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.

 

SHIPPING – TIER 1

 

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.

 

BANKING, FINANCE AND CAPITAL MARKETS – TIER 2

 

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

 

AVIATION – TIER 2

 

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.

 


 

chambers-europe-2016_firm

DISPUTE  RESOLUTION — BAND 1

 

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.

 

SHIPPING — BAND  1

 

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.

 

TAX — BAND 1

 

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.

 

CORPORATE COMMERCIAL – BAND 2

 

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.

 

FINANCIAL SERVICES — BAND 2

 

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.

2015

legal-500-2015

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 – TIER 1

 

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’.

 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION – TIER 1

 

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.

 

BANKING, FINANCIAL AND CAPITAL MARKETS – TIER 1

 

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’.

 

CORPORATE AND M&A – TIER 1

 

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.

 

AVIATION – TIER 2

 

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.

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY – TIER 2

 

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.

 

REAL ESTATE AND CONSTRUCTION – TIER 2

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

 


 

chambers-and-partners

SHIPPING & YACHTING – BAND 1

 

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.

 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION – BAND 1

 

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.

 

CORPORATE COMMERCIAL – BAND 2

 

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.

 

FINANCIAL SERVICES – BAND 2

 

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.

 


 

Print

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


 

2015-corporate-live-wire-awards

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)


globalawards15logo-e1424169354542

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


 

2015-ai-wealth-and-finance

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


 

2015-ai-hedge-funds-award

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


lawyer-monthly-legal-awards-2015-2

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


gle-practice-awards-2015

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


corporateintl-2015

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


2015-expert-guides

Dr. Ann Fenech – Best of the Best


2015-ai-awards-2015

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


 

dealmakers_monthly_logo-2015

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

2014

legal500toptier2014_01

 

SHIPPING – FIRST TIER

 

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’.

 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION – FIRST TIER

 

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.

 

CORPORATE AND M&A – FIRST TIER

 

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’.

 

BANKING, FINANCE & CAPITAL MARKETS – SECOND TIER

 

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.

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY – SECOND TIER

 

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.

 

REAL ESTATE & CONSTRUCTION

 

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

 


 

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SHIPPING – BAND 1

 

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.”

 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION – BAND 1

 

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.”

 

CORPORATE COMMERCIAL – BAND 2

 

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.

 

FINANCIAL SERVICES – BAND 2

 

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.”

 


 

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FINANCIAL AND CORPORATE – TIER 2

 

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.

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CORPORATE AND M&A – BAND 1

 

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.

 

SHIPPING AND TRANSPORT – BAND 1

 

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.

 

DISPUTE RESOLUTION – BAND 1

 

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.

 

BANKING & FINANCE – BAND 2

 

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.

 

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY – BAND 2

 

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.

 

REAL ESTATE – BAND 2

 

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.

 

 


 

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SHIPPING – BAND 1

 

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 – BAND 1

 

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.”

 

CORPORATE AND COMMERCIAL – BAND 2

 

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.

 

FINANCIAL SERVICES – BAND 2

 

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.”

 

TAX

 

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.”