Established as a law firm in 2000, EMD Malta today is a multi-disciplinary firm that comprises various advisory services, each branch led by a team of highly-skilled professionals. The strategic decision to branch out into corporate business was taken in the early days, partners and advocates Tonio Ellul and Pierre Mifsud state.

“The majority of our clients were, and still are, internationally based. They typically fly to Malta for a few days intending to settle all their business, so it makes sense that they would prefer to interact with one firm for all their requirements. The decision to expand our core team happened organically,” they start off.

Tonio Ellul

Tonio Ellul

Today, EMD Malta comprises various companies. EMD Advocates is the legal arm of the group, mainly assisting clients in commercial and corporate legal matters, including litigation in court and in arbitration, but also services clients in matters relating to tax law, iGaming, financial services, trusts and foundations, intellectual property, aviation and aircraft registration, ship and yacht registration, employment, and property conveyancing.

EMD Advisory Services Limited, on the other hand, is the advisory services arm and provides services relating to company administration, tax and VAT consultancy and compliance, accounting and book-keeping, payroll services, funding opportunities, residence and immigration.

Other companies within the group include EMD Trust Services Limited, which is licensed to act as trustee and co-trustee, as well as a corporate services provider, and EMD Private Clients Limited, which is licensed by the Community Malta Agency and the Residence Malta Agency.

The group also includes two companies active in the information technology field. The first, DataTech Consulting Limited, operates in Malta, Libya and India and provides solutions that enable clients to digitally transform their businesses. The other company, iPro Limited, develops IT systems for use in various sectors, and specialises in the retail industry.

“As part of our policy to extend our services beyond our shores, we have invested heavily in identifying reputable firms and associations with whom we have established strong collaborative ties to be able to provide our clients with cross-border advice and assistance, as required,” the partners explain.

But why is it important for companies to work with the right advisory partner? The answer to that is mainly tied to the cumbersome and voluminous regulatory framework within which most companies have to operate, with statutory obligations always on the increase.

“It is, therefore, crucial that when seeking an advisory partner for guidance - either to set up a new business or to ensure that things in an existing business are being done in an efficient and proper manner - one selects a reliable and reputable firm,” they explain, adding that if a company fails to act upon changes in regulatory requirements in a timely and efficient manner this can result in far-reaching consequences. Similar consequences could result from strategic and financial decisions taken on the basis of out-dated regulations or failure to comply with new statutory obligations.

Tonio Ellul

Tonio Ellul

“As a minimum, a company faces substantial penalties and, in the case of licensed entities, even more draconian measures. Thus, the role of a trusted service provider is key. At EMD we ensure that our clients are kept informed of any developments which may impinge on their business, ensuring that staff receive the necessary in-house and external training. Continued professional development is paramount for all and is the door to opening new channels of business,” the partners say.

Being a full-service firm, there are several other practical aspects where EMD Advisory offers support, from assisting clients to incorporate their business, to applying for authorisations when these are required and ensuring adherence to compliance obligations. Even more mundane matters, such as bill payments, liaison with banks and other local institutions, regulatory or otherwise, are included.

“It is our belief that our clients should focus their energies on the development and management of their business, while EMD supports them with specialised professional services as well as with back-office and compliance requirements, which are often time-consuming and bureaucratic,” they explain.

Pierre Mifsud

Pierre Mifsud

And, through EMD Advocates, clients are also supported with specialised legal advice particularly in connection with corporate, commercial, and civil law matters, contract drafting and review, employment issues, licensing and compliance, intellectual property matters, litigation and mediation, and any other legal concerns.

Undoubtedly, Malta has established itself as one of the world’s foremost jurisdictions for international business, financial services, information technology, advanced manufacturing, remote gaming, shipping and aviation. The partners attribute this to the county’s “robust legislative system we adopted several years ago and which we continue to strengthen, as well as to the can-do approach adopted by the professionals active in the various sectors and the support offered by the local regulators”.

They add that, international businesses and investors seek jurisdictions which offer stability and security - Malta offers all of these. Equally attractive is the highly qualified, diverse and skilled workforce fluent in various languages and an advantageous tax regime with an extensive double taxation treaty network. These factors, they say, coupled with the convenient geographical location and EU membership, make our island an ideal jurisdiction for international businesses and investors.

“EMD has a proven track record as a preferred service partner for international businesses and investors. The range of services provided by the firm, coupled with the fact that our multilingual team of professionals is fully qualified and experienced to provide clients with the services required, enable our clients to reach their goals. Providing a personalised, holistic and professional service to all our clients equally, is our key motivator,” the partners state, adding that membership of international professional networks is crucial for EMD Malta to be able to service clients operating in multiple jurisdictions or who are engaged in cross-border transactions.

“Through membership in Globalaw (a network of law firms available in over 80 countries), the Delphi Alliance (a newly set up multi-practice global alliance of professionals) and the Tax Representative Alliance (an association of independent VAT specialists from several European countries), EMD is able to assist clients all over the globe. Our correspondent firms are reputable firms in their respective jurisdictions who share the same goals as EMD - efficiency, promptness, and high-quality service.”

Pierre Mifsud

Pierre Mifsud

Of course, sourcing top talent in such a competitive field is also crucial, something that both partners agree is becoming increasingly challenging for all players in the market. EMD prioritises a people-oriented approach, with career paths regularly revisited. Employees are given opportunities to grow and develop their strengths by being exposed to different service areas and moving between various service functions.

“We encourage continued professional development through both internal and external training, and staff are supported in advancing their careers at their own pace while being mentored by their superiors. Of course, we also promote group dynamics on a social level as the mental well-being of the EMD team is paramount,” they conclude.

Main Image:

Pierre Mifsud (left) and Tonio Ellul (right)

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Written By

Ramona Depares

Ramona is an award-winning journalist and an author whose works have been published on both local and international fora. She is also the founder of a cultural blog - - dedicated to theatre, fashion, books and events in Malta. Ramona is fuelled by good coffee, music, the occasional glass of wine, and people-watching.