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A Key Player in Malta’s Success Story

LexPractis specialises in all areas of law, albeit with a focus on financial services, tax, corporate and trust law, commercial, intellectual property, civil and family law, employment and labour law, criminal law and litigation. The firm recently celebrated success in receiving the exclusive Leading Adviser of the Year – Malta accolade, within the Leading Adviser Awards 2017. To mark this success, we spoke to the firm’s Joseph Giglio, to learn more about their extraordinary breadth of legal work.

In a rapidly changing economic and legal environment, LexPractis recognises the importance of continued education and accordingly, their lawyers regularly attend relevant training courses, seminars and conferences whilst several lawyers within the firm are engaged as lecturers and speakers in such events.

Joseph Giglio is one of the firm’s managing partners, heading up their financial services sector, which includes all aspects related to commercial and tax law. He kicks things off by providing some interesting background to the firm’s work and more about the legal areas they specialise in.

“Two of the firm’s partners have been working for us, in their field of practice for over 25 years and the third partner, for 15 years. They have decided to join their legal practice and set you the firm LexPractis Legal last year.

“One area we specialise in is aviation. Malta is building a steadfast reputation in the aviation industry, which has grown in the past few years. Malta has implemented a favourable legislative setup and fiscal incentives, to promote and strengthen this industry. This industry has flourished, attracting many major international companies in aircraft leasing and operators of commercial as well as private aircrafts. Airline services range from maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of aircrafts, engines and components to airline call centres, financial services, software development, aircraft management and support services.

“We also specialise in banking and finance. On this aspect of our work, Malta’s drive to become a leading financial centre has attracted some of the major operators in this industry. International and local players have established their operations here. Malta has witnessed an increase not only in the banking segment, but also in financial institutions that have set up their operations here since the regulatory framework, which also suits their demands.

“We also look at civil and family matters. This concerns disputes that involve civil matters, as well as sensitive family disagreements which unfortunately, are encountered frequently and touch on the everyday life of those concerned. Our team of lawyers have acquired many years of experience in this field and possess the necessary expertise in such matters. Due to the nature of such conflicts, we shall first attempt to resolve such matters, before redress to court.”

On corporate matters, LexPractis has exponentially built its repute in corporate practice, Joseph tells us. He reveals more about this aspect of the firm’s work, plus their undoubted expertise in commercial, criminal and other matters.

“Concerning corporate matters, we primarily assist international clients in cross-border transactions, providing realistic solutions in a timely manner. Our firm prides itself in offering a 360 degrees’ guidance and advice in relation to any issue regarding corporate matters. This includes corporate and tax planning, company and commercial partnership formation, mergers and acquisitions, redomiciliation in and outside Malta, share transfers, dissolution and winding-up, liquidator services, joint ventures, trust companies as well as corporate tax and VAT.

“The firm is also qualified to provide advice on corporate and commercial issues, including personal and corporate tax, franchising, intellectual property, immigration, banking, securities law, anti-trust and merger control. Other services we provide, include corporate compliance and company secretarial services for both private and public companies, setting up of brick-and-mortar or online business operations, formation of local and international companies, corporate finance, group restructuring, liquidations and commercial litigation.

“When it comes to our work around criminal matters, I would say firstly that Malta is a safe country, with a low percentage of crime. Nevertheless, unfortunate situations arise, when persons are charged with having committed a criminal offence. Although the firm deals with all the facets of criminal law, we are particularly focused on such issues which have a corporate aspect. These may range from accidents at the workplace, to money laundering or corporate responsibility in general. Our expertise in the criminal law field stems from the experience we have gained in tackling these issues daily, for the last 25 years.

“We can also assist in the re-domiciliation of a company, which was formed and registered outside Malta. The set-up of the company concerned, needs to be similar in nature to the Malta limited liability company for it to be able to be re-domiciled and continue in Malta, whereby the company would be registered as a company incorporated in Malta and be subject to the same rights and obligations established by the Companies Act. Our team has gained much experience in this aspect and can assist throughout the whole process as well as advice accordingly.”

In an island like Malta, human resources are the greatest asset a business might have, Joseph tells us. He also outlines the firm’s work around employment and labour, as well as foundations, trusts and estate planning.

“Employment and labour law plays an important role for a business’ success and accordingly, a deep knowledge of employment law is a must. In this respect, our team can provide its support on an array of areas, including drafting of contracts of employment, employment handbooks, employment policies, advice on tax issues including international employment. LexPractis also aids clients on issues relative to termination of employment, dismissals, employment discrimination and harassment and any litigation connected to that.

“On foundations, trusts and estate planning, during the past 20 years, Malta has become a prominent player in private wealth management and estate planning. This is because it has since introduced several legal structures, that are flexible to achieve and suit the different requirements as well, as the goals of clients. Malta is one of the few jurisdictions that has implemented legislation that regulates both trusts and foundations. Both structures have their specific use and must be carefully structured, to meet client’s requests. They are ideal financial instruments, that may be used to meet their wealth management requirements.”

LexPractis can assist you in achieving the necessary protection, when it comes to intellectual property matters, Joseph reveals.
“Our firm can assist you in achieving the necessary intellectual property protection, both on a national level and on an EU level for your trademark, by registering it and providing the required support with the formalities and documents required until actual approval of registration, together with longstanding requirements for renewal.

“We also offer other intellectual property related services, including searches at both local and EU level, compiling detailed reports in relation to such searches, filing applications for the registration of a community trademark and more. We pride ourselves in providing clients with a highly efficient and long-term service.”

Joseph stresses that LexPractis is set to provide holistic guidance and advice, in relation to immigration and citizenship. They provide professional assistance to individuals seeking work permits, permanent residence permits, business or tax relocation and visa assistance. He goes on to develop this point, before explaining the firm’s approach to litigation, arbitration and mediation. “During recent years, our island has obtained a reputation of being a tax-efficient residence alternative within the European Union. As such, the firm’s legal professionals together with our tax practitioners work together, to provide the optimal and most efficient immigration plan to the international clients we serve.

“The firm’s litigation department meets the requirements of numerous clients, both local and foreign. It is also fully equipped to assist all its corporate clients, when recourse to the courts or arbitration is required. Our litigation department deals with debt-collection, family matters, property issues, succession, commercial disputes, traffic collisions and all appeals from decisions of courts and tribunals, which are subject to review.

“The firm also practices extensively within the sphere of arbitration and mediation, which are a welcome alternative to court litigation, providing a more expedient means of resolving disputes and possibly saving both time and expense to the parties involved. Therefore, within our firm the custom is to attempt to lead the parties towards an amicable settlement or alternative dispute resolution methods, whenever these are feasible.”

The breadth of the firm’s work is clearly impressive and as such, it also includes services around securitisation as well as shipping and yachting, as Joseph is keen to underscore.

“LexPractis provides advice and assistance in the setting up of a securitisation vehicle, which may take the form of a private or public limited liability company, a securitisation cell company, a partnership, a trust or others. A securitisation vehicle holds the assets to then issue securities, which are made available to investors. Malta’s legal framework offers investors greater certainty, as well as flexibility in the creation of the transactions.

“In terms of services around shipping and yachting, it is true that Malta’s strategic position is at the heart of the Mediterranean. This has since led Malta to serve as an innate hub for the maritime industry, with the Maltese ship register currently being amongst the largest ship registers in the whole world.

“Our firm’s shipping and yachting team can advise on tax benefits and schemes relating to shipping and yachting, setting up of shipping organisations and the structuring of shipping groups, assisting in ship and yacht registration, registration of mortgages, arrests and other enforcement measures and other legal assistance catered, according to the needs and requirements of the client.”

LexPractis can assist in providing Maltese tax advice to local and international entities, to maximise fiscal efficiency, which may be achieved with the appropriate planning and structuring. They can assist in issues related to direct and indirect tax, as well as if this applies to individuals and/or legal entities. Malta enjoys an extensive and expanding double tax treaty network, with over 70 jurisdictions. Joseph is keen to tell us his reflections on the firm achieving the exclusive Leading Adviser of the Year – Malta accolade, within the Leading Adviser Awards 2017. He also highlights the opportunities that a firm such as LexPractis encounters in the region.

“This prestigious accolade is an achievement and we thank you for this opportunity to profile the firm. Our country is small, but it has a lot to offer, especially in the financial services sector. We are pleased to contribute to Malta’s success story in this area and shall strive to continue to provide clients with a professional and efficient service. “Malta has earned a strong reputation, as an ideal regional centre for financial services and expansionoriented business. The world is changing, the financial sector is dynamic and we look forward to face the challenges of the future.

Joseph then provides us with his concluding remarks, which include the nature of the firm’s client base and the vital role of the internal staff.

“The firm’s clients are diverse and active in various industries, both locally and abroad. Still, we recognise and appreciate that a singular common characteristic defines them. That is their demand for a quick reaction and an effective customised response from us, both of which should properly addresses their requirements and interests, as they arise. The team is set up around each individual
client, whereby we combine the optimum mix of proficiency and expertise, to meet the needs of the client.

“The firm are both determined and dedicated, to ensure we have a thorough understanding of the outcome our client would like to achieve. We are geared to meet the clients’ changing, differing requirements and interests. As such, we are committed to provide the clients with a personalised service of the highest quality and to do so speedily, but also with due care and diligence.

“Finally, I would like to highlight that we are a team at LexPractis and as such, all our staff play an important role. The key to the success of LexPractis is that we all seek to give the best service possible to our members, but this can only be achieved if staff members are motivated, as well as given responsibilities so they can excel.”

Company: LexPractis

Name: Joseph Giglio

Email: [email protected]

Web Address: www.lexpractis.com

Address: 98 Archbishop Street, Valletta, VLT 1446, Malta

Telephone: 356 2122 1030

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