About us

Ganado Advocates has a long heritage. Founded originally in Valletta – Malta’s capital city – we trace our roots back to the early 1900’s. Today, we are one of Malta’s foremost law practices.

Having contributed directly over several decades towards creating and enhancing Malta’s hard-won reputation as a reliable and effective international centre for financial and maritime services, we seek to provide high standards of legal advisory services in a wide spectrum of international commercial and corporate activities.

Our values

Integrity, responsibility and loyalty are critical values for any team member on a personal level. On a professional level, preparation, creativity and an aptitude for problem-solving are key goals.

Teamwork and collegiality are basic tenets of both the culture and the philosophy of our firm. Mentoring and continuous training are undertakings to which we dedicate time and energy.

Our ownership structure is a shared one, with all associated lawyers being self-employed, working and striving for the team.

The pursuit of academic interests is a clear and unequivocal goal. We run a recruitment policy favouring lawyers having post-graduate qualifications.

Specialisation is another hallmark of our firm, as we have engaged Malta’s leading lawyers in specialised areas of law that have burgeoned over the last decades.

The firm has grown and adapted itself over the years to meet the changing needs of the international business and legal community. With a team of over eighty lawyers and professionals from other disciplines, supported by a growing complement of committed managerial, administrative and clerical assistants, we are confident of our ability to continue offering excellent client service and legal analysis, pragmatic solutions and attention to detail.

We have been consistently at the forefront of local legislative initiatives and have provoked on several occasions over the years major legislative change in many fields, not least in maritime, ship finance, banking, aviation, trusts and investment services.

We are proud of our strong commitment to fostering education in law. Several of our lawyers lecture regularly at various educational institutions, such as the University of Malta, and are often asked to attend as guest speakers in foreign and local fora.

The “Institute of Legal Studies”, founded by the firm, organises training sessions and courses for internal and external participants on a regular footing, and all aspiring associates are expected to take up post-graduate studies in pursuit of academic merit.

While we also provide corporate administration and related governance services, we have purposely avoided venturing into non-core legal areas and, particularly, from providing non-legal support services.

Our history

  1. Rise of the Ganado name

    The practice that gave rise to what Ganado Advocates is today started off originally as a typical Maltese law office, customarily made up of a sole practitioner, with other lawyers in the family supporting and taking over from one generation to the next. The first Ganado lawyer was Luigi Ganado, later judge (1833-1903), the father of Edgar Ganado and Robert Ganado, both lawyers and later judges. In his early years, Edgar Ganado (1884-1960) entered the law practice of Avvocato Massimiliano Debono (1850-1932), his father-in-law, before becoming Crown Counsel at a time when Malta was a British colony, and later judge.

  2. Office set up

    When Edgar’s son, Joseph (b.1925), returned to Malta from his PhD studies at the University of London in 1951, he continued the practice. He set up office in the Valletta building we still occupy today which, nowadays, still forms the core of our office premises.

  3. International dimension

    During the mid-1960s, the practice took more of an international dimension as the shipping industry in Malta started burgeoning. Up till the late 1970s, the practice was becoming even more known on international grounds thanks to Prof. Joseph M. Ganado’s connections with the International Bar Association (IBA).

  4. High-profile cases

    In the early 1970s, up until the early 1980s, the practice was involved in the most high-profile litigation cases happening on the island, most of which were led by Prof. Joseph M. Ganado.

  5. Transition into shared partnership

    The firm, as structured today, finds its genesis in 1983, when Prof. Joseph M. Ganado, his nephew Philip Bianchi (b. 1949) and his son Max (b. 1959) created Prof. J. M. Ganado & Associates, Advocates (later Ganado & Associates, Advocates, when Professor Ganado retired). As its maritime practice grew significantly in the 1980s, the firm shed its family ownership and admitted more partners, with initially Adrian Gabarretta, Louis Cassar Pullicino, Stefan Frendo and Adrian Borg Cardona.

  6. Launch of financial services practice

    As a result of Malta’s preparation for the application to EU accession, which saw a complete overhaul of the country’s financial services regulation and Malta gaining its status as an onshore jurisdiction, the firm expanded its service offering to include investments services and funds, banking, insurance and corporate as new practice areas.

  7. Membership in Lex Mundi

    In 1995, the firm continued expanding its global reach as it became the exclusive member firm in Malta for Lex Mundi. Today, Lex Mundi is the world’s leading network of independent law firms with in-depth experience in 125+ countries worldwide.

  8. Major practice growth

    As Malta became a full EU member state in 2004, the firm experienced significant growth as more practice areas were developed to better serve the international market.

  9. Office renovation

    The office space as seen today was created by joining several buildings (some built during the time of the Order of St. John) and fully renovating to blend functionality with the Order’s mannerist architectural style.

  10. Tribute to Prof. Joseph M. Ganado

    A tribute from the University of Malta was published in the local media to commemorate the founder of the firm, Prof. Joseph M. Ganado, who sadly passed away that year.

  11. Luxembourg office opens

    The firm’s first office located outside of Malta officially opens in Luxembourg, reflecting its continuous growth and ambitious plans for the future.

We pursue a philosophy which emphasises both study and pro-activity. We seek to identify trends in the international commercial and financial markets leading to opportunities for Malta once translated into tangible form.

Affiliates

Ganado Corporate is the practice name for Ganado Services Limited, a limited liability company with Company Registration Number C10785 and registered to act as a Company Service Provider by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Ganado Fiduciaries is the practice name for Ganado Trustees & Fiduciaries Limited, authorised to act as a trustee and as an administrator (of foundations) by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Ganado is the practice name for the independent law firm Ganado SARL, a limited liability company with RCS number B233656 and registered with the Luxembourg Bar.

What others say

We believe that our clients’ satisfaction is the best gauge of our success. We also appreciate the recognition of independent reviewers, industry pundits and our peers. Below is a selection of the recent reviews and awards that Ganado Advocates has received.

Malta

Facts & figures about Malta

  • Area: 316 sq km (spread over 3 islands: Malta, Gozo & Comino)
  • Population: 460,297 (2016)
  • Currency: Euro (€)
  • European Union Membership: since 2004
  • Official languages: Maltese and English
  • Time zone: GMT+1 (Central European Time)
  • GDP per capita / PPI: 99% of EU average (Eurostat, June 2020)
  • Unemployment: 3.4% (NSO, December 2019)
  • Climate: Mediterranean

Business & legal environment in Malta

Core economic sectors

Tourism, high value added manufacturing, financial services, life sciences and pharmaceuticals, shipping & logistics, ICT, education and training, creative arts and aviation.

Highly qualified, flexible and multilingual workforce

Maltese workers are widely praised for their skill, flexibility and industriousness. With one of the oldest Universities in the Commonwealth (the University of Malta traces its origins to 1592) producing approximately 3,000 graduates per year coupled with approximately 1,000 per year from technical colleges, Malta continues to provide a steady stream of highly qualified workers in all major disciplines. Almost all Maltese are bilingual speaking both Maltese and English fluently. The majority speak a third (mainly Italian or French) language or even a fourth (typically Italian, French or German).

Legal system

The Maltese legal system has been shaped by its diverse history resulting in somewhat of a ‘mixed’ system. Maltese private law is based on a codified civil code deriving from the Napoleonic code (dating back to Malta’s occupation by the Knights of Malta and the French) but Malta’s Commercial Laws (maritime/admiralty, company, tax, insurance and banking laws) and Criminal Law are all heavily based on English statute and principles (Malta was an English colony for 164 years until 1964). Maltese Public Law makes extensive reference to English common law. More recent innovations such as trust law (based on English and Jersey law) as well as the implementation of European Union legislation continue to invigorate Malta’s legal system.

Languages for laws

All laws are published in both Maltese and English. In financial services, the English version prevails.

Languages for business

English. Legal documents (eg. Prospectuses, KIIDs, M&As etc) do not need to be translated into Maltese.

Ship register

Largest in Europe, 6th largest in the world.

OECD Convention ratified

Yes.

Air travel

Malta’s national airline, Airmalta, operates direct flights to over 35 major European cities all year round. Malta is also served by low cost airlines such as RyanAir and EasyJet. Flight time from London or Paris is around 3 hours and just over 1 hour from Rome.

Lifestyle in Malta

With 300 days of sun a year and 11 blue flag beaches, Malta is a far cry from colder (and wetter) competing jurisdictions.

Malta is also much more than just a “sun and sea” destination offering over 7,000 years of history including the oldest freestanding structures in the world and 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites including its entire capital city, Valletta.

Malta financial information

Corporate tax rate: Flat rate of 35% – Malta operates a full imputation system of taxation

Personal tax rate: 0% to 35% according to income – specific incentives apply

Double tax treaty network: 70+ countries

Financial services regulator: Malta Financial Services Authority

Corporate responsibility

Pro bono

We believe that we have a moral obligation to give back to the community and accordingly regularly support charitable and philanthropic entities with legal assistance.

More on pro bono

Environment

We firmly believe that we have a duty to protect the environment for future generations. We have set up a green committee to ensure our governance is environmentally friendly.

Our environmental policy

Our offices

Malta, Strait Street

59, Strait Street,
Valletta VLT 1434, Malta

Malta, Old Bakery Street

171, Old Bakery Street,
Valletta VLT 1455, Malta

Luxembourg

15A, Boulevard Grande-Duchesse Charlotte,
L-1331 Luxembourg