Shipping

GANADO has the premier practice in Malta in relation to Shipping.

Our Shipping Industry Grouping is focused on assisting ship owners, ship operators and their financiers with all transactions concerning ships, on the registration of vessels and of mortgages under the Malta Flag and on all related legal and technical aspects.

This leading player maintains its position at the forefront of shipping matters in Malta. The lawyers cover all aspects of maritime law, including vessel registration, finance and litigation, and attract praise for their wealth of experience and outstanding negotiation skills.” Chambers Global, 2012

Our Shipping Industry Grouping offers the following core services to the Shipping Industry:

  • Transactional Support

    The transactional support provided to our clients typically revolves around the commissioning of a “newbuilding” or the acquisition or sale of a second hand vessel registered or to be registered in Malta. Members of the Shipping Industry Grouping will typically advise clients on both the logistics of the transaction (closing meetings) and also on the content of the legal documentation that is typical of such transactions, particularly since such documents will need to be adapted in order to cater for the legal requirements for the vessel’s eventual registration under the Malta Flag.

  • Ship Finance

    One of GANADO’s major strengths is its long involvement in ship finance. It has acted for numerous ship financing banks and institutions throughout the world and is one of the leading players in this field in Malta. Our Ship Finance Team is dedicated to registering and perfecting the registration of mortgages and security interests over Maltese-registered vessels.

  • Flag Registration Support

    Apart from transactional support, we are proud of the bespoke assistance that we offer ship owners in connection with the procedure for the registration of ships, yachts and other vessels under the Malta Flag. Given the nature of the industry, we offer this service round the clock.

  • Technical Support

    The administration of the Malta Flag by the Merchant Shipping Directorate of Transport Malta is being increasingly driven by safety considerations and compliance with international obligations. In this context, we typically advise clients on all major international maritime conventions concerning safety at sea, pollution and tonnage measurement. We also assist clients in handling port state and flag state control, crewing requirements, armed guards requirements in the context of piracy, renewal of certification and all other related technical and administrative aspects concerning Maltese ships.

The Shipping Industry Grouping comprises two dedicated practice teams, the Ship Registration Team and the Ship Finance Team each headed by dedicated partners supported by a team of lawyers, a former Registrar of Ships and support staff all with extensive legal and technical experience in the sector. This Industry Grouping also includes leading partners from other practice areas including in particular litigation and taxation.

Related Practice Areas

GANADO’s legacy as a leader in the Maritime and Shipping legal fields is reflected in the active involvement the law firm has increasingly had over the years in relation to ship arrests and enforcement procedures in the shipping industry. GANADO has assisted claimants (in particular mortgagees) in enforcing their rights through the arrest, judicial sales by auction, court approved private sales of vessels and the filing of injunctions over vessels in the Shipping Registry, as well as ship owners in arrest proceedings, ship releases and counter-security measures.

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GANADO has long recognised the pivotal role that EU and national competition and antitrust law plays in most domestic and cross-border commercial transactions. Our competition and anti-trust law practitioners advise clients and public authorities in all the industry areas serviced by the firm in relation to privatisations, public procurement processes, mergers, acquisitions, joint ventures and major transactions involving issues of dominance, intellectual property rights, State Aid and other competition related matters.

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GANADO has a leading and well-developed corporate practice. It regularly advises a broad portfolio of international corporate clients on commercial and corporate law matters and provides company administration support services.

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GANADO’s Corporate Finance Team has advised on a number of the major corporate transactions in Malta for the benefit of international corporate groups, and is recognised as a leader in this sector.

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Corporate insolvency, whether domestic or cross-border, raises numerous issues that need to be thoroughly and efficiently addressed in most transactions, particularly financial services ones. GANADO constantly assists creditors and insolvent companies or traders that experience financial difficulties, in preserving their rights efficiently in accordance with the relevant provisions of law.

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GANADO offers a broad spectrum of corporate and administrative services in conjunction with its corporate law advisory. It does so principally through its affiliated entities, Ganado Trustees & Fiduciaries Limited (licensed by the Malta Financial Services Authority as a fiduciary and trustee) and Ganado Services Limited. They range from registered office, process agent, resident agent and fiduciary shareholder services to company secretarial services and the maintenance of statutory records, such as Registers of Members, Minute Books and the filing of Annual Returns and other statutory forms.

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Our Employment & Pensions Team acts for many of the islands’ employers on an array of areas such as the drafting of contracts of employment, employment handbooks, employment policies, share option schemes, pension schemes and other related documents. GANADO also assists clients in relation to dismissals, termination of employment, redundancies (including collective redundancies), matters relative to employee information and consultation, the transfer of undertakings and employee protection, employment discrimination and harassment, industrial disputes and all types of litigation connected with such matters.

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In recent years GANADO has turned its attention to and dedicated resources to the development of this practice area, seeking to keep the pace up with this fast growing field of law. The main focus points within this practice area have been the legislative developments instigated as a result of “climate change” concerns, the regulation of waste, development planning and the protection of the natural environment and sites of national importance.

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Commercial and Contract Law is at the centre of every activity performed by GANADO’s lawyers. Apart from the various aspects dealt with in the specific practice areas, the firm assists traders, corporate entities and private individuals alike in the more generic and non-sector specific aspects of commercial and contract law.

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GANADO has significant experience in advising shippers, freight forwarders, carriers and consignees on matters relating to the international transport of goods, whether by sea, road or air. Malta being an island, this industry is deemed to be central to the economic activity and competitiveness of the country.

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GANADO’s leading Investment Services & Funds Team has extensive experience in advising investment funds of all types at all stages of their life-cycle.

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GANADO has an extensive and well respected Court practice, concentrated mainly around commercial and maritime litigation.

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GANADO is regularly involved in the redomiciliation or continuation of companies into and out of Malta and has developed a strong practice in this field. Over the past several years, we have collaborated closely with many lawyers and corporate service providers worldwide to ensure that the company continuation process allows companies to transition their operations effectively and uninterruptedly into their new jurisdiction of choice.

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The importance of well documented facility agreements and creditor-friendly collateral documentation has grown considerably over the past years. Within a very competitive market, banks and financial institutions are continuously trying to protect and insulate themselves from credit risk. In this environment, GANADO strives to achieve the highest possible levels of legal certainty for its clients.

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With Malta currently boasting the largest flag in Europe in terms of tonnage, the need for banks to have Maltese registered security is a daily occurrence. International ship finance is one of GANADO’s major strengths and the firm assists numerous ship financing banks and institutions throughout the world in registering and perfecting the registration of mortgages and security interests over Maltese-registered vessels.

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From its earliest days, GANADO has been one of the protagonists in local legal practice and has contributed specifically to Malta’s internationally recognised reputation as a centre for maritime law. GANADO is at the forefront of the local ship registration practice area having also been involved in the re-drafting of much of the legislation in this field of law. We are able to handle all specialised legal, technical and administrative aspects of the ship registration process.

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Safety-at-sea, clean seas and adherence to international conventions and standards particularly those set out by the EU and the IMO are a priority for Malta. The industry is, therefore, comprehensively regulated and compliance issues need to be continuously monitored and addressed in good time. The members of GANADO’s Ship Registration Team are, in this sense, technically oriented ensuring that clients find the required support to ongoing flag or port state issues that invariably arise during a vessel’s trading life.

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GANADO’s shipping practice also extends to advice and assistance to shipping clients on typical transaction documents concerning the sale or acquisition of ships and charter parties.

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GANADO provides Maltese tax advice to a variety of international corporate entities out of which a good number are listed on international stock exchanges. These include financial institutions, insurers, investment funds, fund managers, pension funds, private equity groups and shipping entities. We also advise private clients from across the globe on a range of tax matters.

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GANADO has a team of professional advisors with a range of expertise and experience to advice and assist yacht owners and their financiers with all transactions involving yachts and superyachts including registration and leasing.

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