Joseph Ghio is a Partner at Fenech & Fenech Advocates where he co-heads the Financial Services and Aviation Departments.  He graduated as a Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) from the University of Malta in 2001 and was admitted to the Bar in Malta in January 2002. In 2006, he completed a Masters Degree (MA) in Financial Services also from the University of Malta.


Joseph started his career with Fenech & Fenech Advocates in 2002, working principally in the International Practice and Financial Services Department of the Firm and being involved in a number of privatisation and restructuring deals, advising overseas financial services institutions on the local regulatory framework, as well as being on the legal advisory team of the Firm for Air Malta plc.


He was admitted to Partnership within the Firm in 2010 where he continues to practice within the International Practice and Financial Services Department.


Joseph Ghio is ranked as a leading Maltese practitioner in Financial Services and Corporate / Commercial by the Chambers and Legal 500 directories.


Joseph Ghio has a wealth of experience and expertise in the areas of financial services, securities law, corporate law, asset finance and related areas, aviation, as well as being active in M&A work.  He has acted for Government on various assignments.


Joseph’s principal fields of practice are investment funds, securities law and asset financing.  Within the investment funds field, he advises firms in the setting up and licencing of investment management and fund entities, and also holds directorship and MLRO posts with a number of financial services firms licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority principally within the hedge fund and investment firm fields.  He also advises regulated entities with obtaining regulatory approval for necessary changes to their licences, offering documentation and authorised personnel.


Joseph is also active in the asset finance space, including aviation financing, wherein he acts as local counsel to both financiers and corporate firms in corporate and asset finance transactions, including the taking of appropriate security over locally-based assets.


Joseph Ghio also forms part of the Firm’s Mergers and Acquisitions Team, which has assisted potential acquirers in the privatisation or purchase of Go plc (formerly Maltacom plc), the Malta Freeport, FIMBank plc, Volksbank and the Valletta Cruise Port Terminal, amongst others, advising also on matters relative to local securities legislation.


Joseph also advises clients on general corporate/commercial law matters on an ongoing basis.  He is a visiting lecturer in Aviation Finance at the Doctorate degree within the Faculty of Laws of the University of Malta and in Securities Regulation within the MA (Financial Services) programme of the same university.


2003 – 2006  Faculty of Laws, University of Malta – Masters of Arts in Financial Services with a dissertation on ‘Asset Securitisation in Aviation Finance: A Maltese Perspective’.


1998 – 2001  Faculty of Laws, University of Malta – Doctorate in Laws with a doctoral thesis on ‘Indirect Taxation of Electronic Commerce: The Challenge to the European VAT System’.


1998 – 1999  Faculty of Laws, University of Malta – Diploma as Notary Public.


1995 – 1998  Faculty of Laws, University if Malta – Bachelorship of Arts in Legal and Humanistic Studies (International Relations stream).

Involvments and Memberships

Admitted to the Bar in November 2001 and holds Warrant to practice as Advocate in Malta.
Member of the Camera degli Avvocati, Malta.
Member of the International Bar Association.
Member of the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners, Malta.
Member of the European Air Law Association.
Member of the Malta Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry.
Associate of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom.

Articles & Publications

Co-author of ‘The Right Tools for the job: An outline of the versatility of the Maltese regulatory framework for investment funds ’ published in the HFM Magazine


Co-author  of ‘Revamped Aircraft Register for Malta’ published in the IBA Aviation Law Committee Newsletter


Legal 500 2021: 


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’.


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


Chambers Global 2021:


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.”


Legal 500 EMEA 2020:


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


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.


Chambers Europe 2020:


Sources report: “We felt very comfortable with him in terms of his manner and the way he dealt with clients and explains things.


Chambers Global 2020:


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.


Chambers Europe 2019:


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


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.


Legal 500 2019:


Joseph Ghio jointly leads the ‘client-oriented, efficient and precise’ banking and finance practice at Fenech & Fenech Advocates.


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’.


Chambers Europe 2018:


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


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.


Legal 500 2018:


Banking expert Joseph Ghio listed as one of the key practitioners.


Joseph Ghio is ‘a go-to lawyer in the field; extremely knowledgeable, quick to respond and well respected’.


Chambers Europe 2017:


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.


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.”


Chambers Europe 2016:


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.”  


Legal 500 2016:


Joseph Ghio referred to as a ‘top-quality professional’.


Chambers Europe 2015:


Joseph Ghio is widely recognised for his expertise in investment funds and remains a well-known figure in financial services.


Legal 500 2015:


Joseph Ghio is ‘very highly regarded with strong technical abilities and admirable client focus’.


Chambers Europe 2014:


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


Legal 500 2014:


Joseph Ghio is regularly called on to advise on the structuring and formation of collective investment schemes.


Chambers Europe 2013:


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.”


Legal 500 2013:


Joseph Ghio ‘excels in producing draft agreements’.


Chambers Europe 2012:


Interviewees appreciate Joseph Ghio’s innovative and solution-oriented approach. His areas of expertise include financial services, investment funds and aviation. He is another standout name at the firm and clients praise him as “innovative and solution-focused.”


Chambers Europe 2011:


Young partner Joseph Ghio specialises in financial services, investment funds and aviation.