The financial services industry is the biggest enabler of global business and, compared with other industries, has been subjected to the most complex and fast-paced regulatory reforms.
The industry brings together an ecosystem of players such as banks, asset managers, insurance companies, investment funds, pension schemes, brokers, financial institutions, payment and e-money institutions, and investment advisors.
Trust is a key driver of business in financial services and compliance is a critical component of that trust. Maintaining that trust while staying ahead of the innovation curve is a complicated task. With technology disrupting the market landscape, financial services businesses need to tread carefully when looking to the future. That’s where we come in.
Our lawyers are often called on to advise clients anticipate and implement regulatory developments in a pragmatic way. From day to day conduct of business to transactional regulatory support, market conduct, and regulatory investigations we can help you mitigate regulatory risk and preserve the reputation of your business.
Data Protection & Privacy
We work closely with our clients to design and develop strategies that enable the utilisation of data without endangering the trust in their brand.
Data is increasingly becoming a core asset for most businesses as it provides insights upon which new services and products can be developed. However, operations regarding personal data are subject to onerous laws and regulations in Malta and the European Union. Oftentimes violations lead to reputational damage that require both effort and time to repair.
Our knowledge on data protection and privacy laws, together with our ongoing relationship with the Office of the Information and Data Protection Commissioner in Malta places us in an excellent position to advise clients on all matters related to data protection and privacy in Malta.
Our experience includes:
- Advising clients on the usage of data in marketing, including consent forms relative to the placements of cookies
- Assisting clients comply with data protection laws and regulations in Malta and the EU
- Assisting clients with information requests by the Government, regulators and the Courts of Malta
- Developing and drafting IT and privacy policies, whistleblower policies and international data transfer agreements
- Advising clients in relation the effects and changes brought about by the General Data Protection Regulation.
DLT & Fintech
We offer comprehensive regulatory and transactional assistance to businesses operating in the distributed ledger technology and fintech space.
Distributed ledger technology (“DLT”), of which blockchain is a key example, has the potential to disrupt those industries where end users could benefit from decentralisation.
Decentralisation is a concept in which parties to a transaction are able to transact directly with one another without the necessity of intermediaries that are ordinarily employed to enable such transaction.
Being a relatively novel technology, many are the solutions that are being proposed that are yet to be tested in the market. Only a selected few will achieve the desired commercial outcome, as an increasing number of participants attempt to deliver competing solutions that seek to radically change the way we transact with each other.
Our DLT and fintech practice brings together financial regulatory, data protection, intellectual property, KYC and e-commerce issues and applies them to the nuances surrounding the new wave of regulations on DLT, related virtual currencies and DLT service providers.
With these tools, we are able to guide clients prepare the required documentation and by curating important details that can differentiate an initial coin offering (“ICO”) from an security token offering (“STO”) or a related service from one regulatory regime to another.
Our in-depth understanding of distributed ledger technology, token generating events and the ecosystem of related service providers makes us well positioned to advise and assist clients on all aspects of:
- Regulatory profiling of ICOs or STOs pursuant to the ‘financial instrument test’ set forth by the MFSA
- Licensing of brokers, dealers, portfolio managers, sponsors and exchanges of virtual currencies
- Anti-money laundering regulations, due diligence and KYC implications of ICOs and related service providers
- Business formation
- Review of marketing material and websites
- Advising on associated aspects of intellectual property, data protection, regulatory compliance and e-commerce.
Boards are facing increased scrutiny on how they administer businesses.
Corporate governance is no longer a buzzword that only public companies should be concerned with. Shareholders, regulators, clients and the general public demand that businesses are governed in accordance with the highest ethical standards and best practice.
Issues such as conflicts of interests, concentration of power, diversity and executive compensation are considered to be unacceptable risks and boards would be well advised to take such matters into consideration when administering a company.
Our lawyers are constantly up to date with latest trends and best practices in corporate governance. Our work in the regulated sector, particularly financial services, exposes us to the highest standards and practices expected by regulators and with this experience we assist businesses with:
- Recording of board and shareholder meetings and maintenance of minute books
- Composition of boards and board committees
- Succession planning of senior executives and directors
- Periodic reviews of constitutive documents
- Shareholder communications
- Periodic identification of business risks.