Termination clauses in a contract

Contract lawyer Malta

Termination clauses are essential and necessary to any contract. There are several methods for which a contract may be ended, such as a dated expiry, breach of contract, a contract that becomes void, a discharge by agreement, a release, performance related issues resulting in the end of a contract, a termination due to an event of force majeure, or a rescission, amongst others.

As much as most contracts include a termination clause, it is always advisable to ensure that there is one and that it is convenient for both parties, to make sure no major harms and damages are caused by such termination. Sometimes in the rush and excitement to sign a business deal, many don’t focus on termination provisions in these commercial contracts and this is often because they don’t anticipate the need to end a contract early due to the rush of the moment. However, one needs to ensure there are exit routes in the contract itself, that is why it is important to have suitable termination clauses.

Termination clauses in a contract allows parties to cease an agreement without breaching the contract under ‘early termination’ and ‘mutual termination’. The parties involved can avoid a dispute between them by allowing a termination clause in an agreement to trigger. Two types of termination clauses include:

  • Termination for convenience
  • Termination for cause

For obvious reasons, incorrect use of the termination clause can also result in a legal conflict. In other words, termination clauses set the terms and conditions surrounding the cancellation of a contract and will address who may cancel the contract and for what reason/s. Negotiating these terms carefully will ultimately safeguard you and your business. Possibly, breach of contracts, including early termination can result in penalties, depending on how the contract was negotiated and concluded. A termination clause could also be a resolutive condition, one which terminates the obligation of the contract upon a specific condition listed in the contract.

A good lawyer will be able to advise of sector specific termination clauses during the drafting of contracts to ensure they are fit for the specific deal. To note is that exit clauses, (also known as escape clauses), in a contract allow one party to leave the agreement without having to follow through on their obligations. When you want to cancel a contract, it is important to carefully consider if you have the grounds to do so because failure to check the contractual terms could be an expensive mistake. Always get advice from a lawyer for a solid termination clause in a contract to avoid costly mistakes.

Article written by Ms Charlene Sciberras, B.A. (Hons), guest writer, is a marketing and business administration specialist with a special focus on corporate, accounting, and legal matters.

Sciberras Advocates founded by Dr Adrian Sciberras, is a law firm based in Malta. The firm prides itself to be multi-disciplinary, innovative and flexible in order to meet the changing times and any challenges in the local and international legal scenario. No matter what private or corporate complex demands are called for, Sciberras Advocates offers practical and cost-effective legal solutions to achieve your desired results. You may reach Sciberras Advocates by phone on +35627040903 or via email on [email protected].

Tax Matters: What is an Executive Title?

Tax Lawyer Malta

An executive title promotes enforcements. On tax matters, an executive title is legal proof by which a creditor, in this case, the Commissioner for Revenue, can present to proceed with the implementation of such claim. In other words, it is a document which proves a fact that indicates that a tax debt is due and cannot be challenged. To note, the issuing of tax assessments and the collection of tax and penalties/interest thereon fall under the function of the Office of the Commissioner for Revenue. 

The Income Tax Management Act from the laws of Malta gives the Commissioner for Revenue the right to obtain an executive title against anyone who fails to settle their taxes. In other words, when tax returns and VAT returns are not submitted and the tax due is not paid to the tax department or the VAT department, within the Office of the Commissioner for Revenue, the individual or the business become in default of their tax obligations. Therefore, the Government’s Commissioner for Revenue can initiate legal proceedings and present the individual or business with an executive title by means of a judicial letter. This is an enforcement done by the Government of Malta to combat tax evasion. Tax avoidance and tax evasion threaten government revenues, and ultimately the sums due by various individuals and businesses run into millions of euros. This type of enforcement has become a very regular implementation in the most recent times.

As we explain in further details in our web page VAT and Tax Summons, these notifications are Court Orders, and normally amounts needs to be settled within a few days from the notification date. Should this happen, however an appeal can be officially sent to the tax commissioner by means of a legal letter, indicating objections to the executive title and willingness to regularise the tax position. Therefore, it is important to understand that any person can contest such executive title.

Sciberras Advocates can assist with non-filed VAT and tax returns and challenge any VAT summons and tax intimations by becoming your legal and tax representatives, dealing directly with the tax department lawyers and the courts to contest executive titles issued.

Article written by Ms Charlene Sciberras, B.A. (Hons), guest writer, is a marketing and business administration specialist with a special focus on corporate, accounting, and legal matters.

Sciberras Advocates founded by Dr Adrian Sciberras, is a law firm based in Malta. The firm prides itself to be multi-disciplinary, innovative and flexible in order to meet the changing times and any challenges in the local and international legal scenario. No matter what private or corporate complex demands are called for, Sciberras Advocates offers practical and cost-effective legal solutions to achieve your desired results. You may reach Sciberras Advocates by phone on +35627040903 or via email on [email protected].

Digital Nomad? Welcome to Malta

Digital Nomad Malta

The number of remote workers around the globe has grown significantly, and many countries are working hard to attract digital nomads. Malta started welcoming digital nomads through the Nomad Residence Permit in 2021.

A flexible career and a stable Internet connection is all one needs to become a digital nomad. With this, one can travel and settle into new countries, enjoy different lifestyles and cultures, whilst enjoying the flexibility of working remotely.

This specific residency permit, the Malta Nomad Residence Permit, is open to individuals who can work remotely and independent of location, meaning they are not tied to a specific office or desk. The Nomad Residence Permit enables holders to retain their current employment based in another country whilst legally residing in Malta for up to a year, with the opportunity to renew if the applicants meet the eligibility criteria. Applicants must prove they can work remotely, either for an employer or as a freelancer and earn at least €2,700 gross of tax a month.

The Nomad Residence Permit in Malta is of particular interest as it is open to individuals from third countries, who would normally (but not necessarily) require a Visa to travel to Malta. To note is that to facilitate the process, third-country nationals who require a Visa to enter Malta, may apply for a Premium Visa offered by Identity Malta Agency, at an additional charge. Family members of applicants will also be considered.

As a multi-cultural, cosmopolitan country Malta is hosting an ever-growing nomad family. The island offers good weather, a safe environment, good quality accommodation venues, a vibrant nightlife and much more. The Internet infrastructure offers stable connection. Throughout the years government has created a thriving business ecosystem that has attracted many expats that are today Maltese residents, thus making the island of Malta an international location. Maltese are warm and generous, speak many languages, and will make you feel at home. In brief, Malta ticks many boxes for a digital nomad life.

If you want to migrate to Malta as a digital nomad, you will join a global community already present on the island. For more information and to seek assistance in applying for the Nomad Residence Permit in Malta, please contact Ms Charlene Sciberras on [email protected].

Article written by Ms Charlene Sciberras, B.A. (Hons), guest writer, is a marketing and business administration specialist with a special focus on corporate, accounting, and legal matters.

Sciberras Advocates founded by Dr Adrian Sciberras, is a law firm based in Malta. The firm prides itself to be multi-disciplinary, innovative and flexible in order to meet the changing times and any challenges in the local and international legal scenario. No matter what private or corporate complex demands are called for, Sciberras Advocates offers practical and cost-effective legal solutions to achieve your desired results. You may reach Sciberras Advocates by phone on +35627040903 or via email on [email protected].

Reviving a defunct company

Company Malta

It is a known fact that in the past few years over ten thousand Maltese Limited Liability Companies have been struck off from the Malta Business Registry (MBR). The primary reason was typically the non-compliance with the Beneficial Ownership Regulation rules that came into force in 2018. The clampdown by the registry on companies that were not fully compliant led to a number of companies being struck off as per article 325 of the Companies Act.

A Maltese Limited Liability Company has a number of obligations to follow and duly inform the MBR on the record keeping of various board minutes, the filing of annual returns, the filing of Beneficial Owners (BO) declarations and the filing of accounts. There are also other requirements, such as record keeping of shareholder registers and the issuing of share certificates, list of directors, company minutes. These are to be physically stored in the registered address of the company and easily available for inspection.

Typically a company that has corporate shareholders in excess of 25% of their share capital is susceptible to be ready for such an inspection. This is an exercise which the MBR has to do periodically since the Registry is also a subject person and subject to various rules of compliance.

The case under review involves a company that has been struck off from the MBR for non-compliance of the Companies Act. The company was incorporated in 2015. The company had a corporate shareholder and subsequently failed to notify the MBR to submit the BO form since the new rules came into place in 2018. Consequently a notice was sent to the company’s registered address in 2020 to inform it that it was in breach of Regulation 8 of the Companies Act Regulation (Register of Beneficial Owners) and since the company failed to rectify it’s position, it was eventually struck off in 2021.

The client company came to Sciberras Advocates to request assistance and the procedure of Article 325(4) of the Companies Act (Chapter 386 of the Laws of Malta) was used to restore the company. Through intermediaries, the company filed it’s BO Declaration, submitted pending annual returns, updated the accounts and paid the respective fines. After that, the MBR issued a no objection notice and in 2022 the company was restored.  Such notice was published on a local newspaper and the MBR website. In terms of the law, a company that has defunct and has been revived is considered to have continued in existence as if its name had not been struck off.

Speak to Sciberras Advocates should you require any assistance in keeping your company in good standing and in case the company has been struck off from the Registry for non-compliance. Sciberras Advocates can assist with any of above procedures.  

Article written by Dr Adrian Sciberras, FCCA, MIA, CPA, LL.B. (Hons) (Melit.), M. Adv (Melit.), Advocate and Certified Public Accountant is the founder of Sciberras Advocates.

Sciberras Advocates founded by Dr Adrian Sciberras, is a law firm based in Malta. The firm prides itself to be multi-disciplinary, innovative and flexible in order to meet the changing times and any challenges in the local and international legal scenario. No matter what private or corporate complex demands are called for, Sciberras Advocates offers practical and cost-effective legal solutions to achieve your desired results. You may reach Sciberras Advocates by phone on +35627040903 or via email on [email protected].

Malta, property, law: A complex scenario

property lawyer Malta

Property law is vast and complex and so are issues related to this sector. When one thinks about property law, the main thoughts go into buying or selling, renting or leasing, notary services, bank loans, condominium matters, Planning Authority permits, and so on.

Some communalities found in property transactions for people buying and selling real estate include problems with title, with access, with disclosures, and with enforcement. However, over and above these, within property law there is so much more. Property owners often encounter issues of spoliation (spoll), servitudes issues, constant noise pollution from neighbours, incorrect use of property – from residential to commercial, airspace rights, recovery of deposits related to property, dangerous demolitions and excavations next to residential properties, disputes between neighbours, landlords suing tenants, property boundaries, latent defects, depravation of the use of one’s property, and so on.

These scenarios have become very common in Malta as expected because of an increased population due to the influx of expatriates and new businesses, and the construction boom on the island. This construction boom is not only responsible for many blocks of apartments for housing, but also new commercial and entertainment buildings. Malta’s skyline has changed drastically over the years creating challenges for residents and property owners.

Sciberras Advocates holds extensive experience in real estate transactions and property related issues in Malta. It is advisable to get legal counsel from a property lawyer whenever concerns arise, not only because contracts and agreements are filled with legal jargon, but also because one would need to understand properly and know the rights one holds on to certain matters before they are escalated. Hiring a property lawyer today to review a promise of sale agreement can save you a lot of money in the future. This is the same as safeguarding yourself during legal proceedings and disputes in or out of court for any issues related to property such as the scenarios mentioned above. Our property lawyers will be able to consult you on the best way forward when it comes to matters related to property.

Article written by Ms Charlene Sciberras, B.A. (Hons), guest writer, is a marketing and business administration specialist with a special focus on corporate, accounting, and legal matters.

Sciberras Advocates founded by Dr Adrian Sciberras, is a law firm based in Malta. The firm prides itself to be multi-disciplinary, innovative and flexible in order to meet the changing times and any challenges in the local and international legal scenario. No matter what private or corporate complex demands are called for, Sciberras Advocates offers practical and cost-effective legal solutions to achieve your desired results. You may reach Sciberras Advocates by phone on +35627040903 or via email on [email protected].

Case Study: Still Abroad – Embassy of Malta in Egypt refusal

Immigration lawyer Malta

A success story for our client, a Third Country National of Egyptian nationality, wanted to submit an appeal on a Visa refusal from the decision taken by the Embassy of Malta in Egypt. Our client, assisted by Dr Adrian Sciberras of Sciberras Advocates and Dr Karl Cordina of Belgravia Advisory was issued an approval letter by Identity Malta Agency following an application dated 16 October 2020, requesting a residence permit for the purpose of employment in Malta with a local Maltese company.

Following this approval letter our client applied for a Visa to enter Malta. On the 17th of August the client received a letter of refusal by the Embassy of Malta in Egypt informing him that his application was refused on the following grounds: “The information submitted regarding the justification for the purpose and conditions of the intended stay was not reliable”.

Our client had grounds for an appeal which Dr Adrian Sciberras and Dr Karl Cordina submitted to the Immigration Appeals Board for consideration on various grounds. Our groundwork included reviews of the rejection letter, focusing on discriminatory matters, setbacks for the applicant and for the prospective employer and other related matters.

For these reasons stated above and more, on behalf of our client, we requested the Immigration Appeals Board to re-consider the facts of the case. Following our submissions, evidence produced and considerations, the Board took a decision to accept the appeal on the condition that within two weeks from receipt of the decision, the prospective employer provides the Central Visa Unit with an affidavit in which he declares that the appellant’s services, being our client, are still required.

Sciberras Advocates can assist in appeals at the Immigration Appeals Board or written requests to Principal Immigration Officer to appeal, overturn bans and challenge removal orders. More information about immigration services can be found here: https://sciberras.legal/practice-areas/immigration-law/ or contact us directly to speak to one of our immigration lawyers.

Article written by Ms Charlene Sciberras, B.A. (Hons), guest writer, is a marketing and business administration specialist with a special focus on corporate, accounting, and legal matters.

Sciberras Advocates founded by Dr Adrian Sciberras, is a law firm based in Malta. The firm prides itself to be multi-disciplinary, innovative and flexible in order to meet the changing times and any challenges in the local and international legal scenario. No matter what private or corporate complex demands are called for, Sciberras Advocates offers practical and cost-effective legal solutions to achieve your desired results. You may reach Sciberras Advocates by phone on +35627040903 or via email on [email protected].

Malta: Top jurisdiction for ships and yacht registrations

Malta Ship & Yacht Registration

The maritime industry in Malta is highly established and holds a solid reputation even though Malta is one of the smallest members of the European Union. It holds the largest maritime registry in Europe and the seventh largest in the world.

Most of the world’s ships are registered in just a few nations. Around 50% of the world’s ships are registered in just three locations: Panama, Liberia and the Marshall Islands. Around 70% of the world’s ships are registered in 7 locations, the three above as well as Hong Kong, Singapore, Bahamas and Malta.

The Maltese flag appears on many ships and yachts. This success has been mostly triggered by Malta’s strategic location in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea combined with its vast maritime history and since it has established itself as a white flag state. This means that the Maltese flag is not a flag of convenience but a flag that’s trusted by foreign investors interested in the Maltese shipping industry.

The Maltese flag is also chosen for the highly affordable registration costs and fees, resulting in major savings. Transport Malta, the authority that regulates this sector, that has the lowest fees in the European Union.

The Maltese Merchant Shipping Act is largely based on its English counterpart and principally governs the registration and operation of vessels. The Merchant Shipping Directorate at Transport Malta is responsible for the registration of vessels under the Maltese flag and the provision of all aspects of the on-going administration of Malta-flagged vessels.

At Sciberras Advocates we provide advisory services to individuals and legal persons who would like to register their commercial or pleasure boat in Malta. We can handle the registration process assisting you in benefitting from the highly affordable registration costs and fees of service charged in Malta, all whilst ensuring a smooth process. More information here: https://sciberras.legal/practice-areas/ship-yacht-registration/ .

Article written by Ms Charlene Sciberras, B.A. (Hons), guest writer, is a marketing and business administration specialist with a special focus on corporate, accounting, and legal matters.

Sciberras Advocates founded by Dr Adrian Sciberras, is a law firm based in Malta. The firm prides itself to be multi-disciplinary, innovative and flexible in order to meet the changing times and any challenges in the local and international legal scenario. No matter what private or corporate complex demands are called for, Sciberras Advocates offers practical and cost-effective legal solutions to achieve your desired results. You may reach Sciberras Advocates by phone on +35627040903 or via email on [email protected].

Labour shortage, TCNs and employment

Employment Lawyer Malta

A major crisis is happening in Malta and other European counties. There is a huge shortage of employees in many industries, but especially in the service industry. With tourism reaching its peaks during the hot months in Malta, many restaurants and hotel owners are struggling to find employees.

Authorities indicate that supplying multiple applications at once is normally flagged, so employers and recruitment agencies are therefore advised to focus their efforts on quality of applicants rather than quantity. Companies and recruitment agencies are urged to source employees more efficiently.

Despite that fact there is no country that is more favoured than others when it comes to the issuance of work permits, the Maltese government has several agreements with certain countries to make the process of obtaining work permits more efficiently.

When sourcing employees it is important to follow certain standards and procedures such as that the employer should make direct contact with the prospective candidates, confirm backgrounds checks, ask on intention to work in Malta and any future plans, and ensure that the qualifications match the job description you have presented to the prospective employees. Once again, as mentioned above, it is not advisable to apply in bulk. Applying wisely will give you higher chances of obtaining an ‘Approval in Principle’ for your new Third Country Nationals employees

As an employer, if you have difficulty with the procedure and paper works, Sciberras Advocates can handle the work permit, visa and residency process for you. The team at Sciberras Advocates will be happy to assist you in getting your new employees to Malta, by applying for the Single Work Permit, Visa, and Malta Residence Card for them, ensuring that all steps go smoothly, with the opportunity also to do appeals directly with our firm in case of rejections. If your company or business requires assistance on work permit documentation in Malta, then you can reach to us to handle all your paperwork.

For more information, please follow this link: https://sciberras.legal/practice-areas/work-permits-residency/.

Article written by Ms Charlene Sciberras, B.A. (Hons), guest writer, is a marketing and business administration specialist with a special focus on corporate, accounting, and legal matters.

Sciberras Advocates founded by Dr Adrian Sciberras, is a law firm based in Malta. The firm prides itself to be multi-disciplinary, innovative and flexible in order to meet the changing times and any challenges in the local and international legal scenario. No matter what private or corporate complex demands are called for, Sciberras Advocates offers practical and cost-effective legal solutions to achieve your desired results. You may reach Sciberras Advocates by phone on +35627040903 or via email on [email protected].

Civil cases: Legal advice that helps

Civil cases lawyer Malta

Disputes, conflicts, or offences can take place easily. It could be with a neighbour, a client, a business partner… There are many scenarios for disputes, and normally these can be broadly divided into two types: criminal cases and civil cases.

Let’s talk about civil cases. A civil case involves a dispute between people about the rights or obligations of the people or businesses involved. A civil case usually involves one or more persons seeking a remedy of some kind from another person or group of persons to resolve a private dispute between them.

Examples of areas of law that are classified as civil law are:

  • Financial or commercial issues
  • Housing/tenancy/property/spoliation issues
  • Defamation
  • Inheritance and succession issues
  • Family law
  • Employment law

In civil cases, each person involved in the case is called a ‘party’ to the case. The party who makes a claim or commences the case is generally called the ‘applicant’. The party defending themselves against the claim is generally called the ‘defendant’.

Having a lawyer by your side is essential to protect yourself legally. Together with a lawyer the process becomes easier through the knowledge of your legal rights about any issue of concern. Your interests are protected, documents are handled correctly, implications are known in case you want to take a risk, and solutions are presented in an orderly and efficient matter. It is particularly important in the legal practice that the client perceives the lawyer as a solution. That is why it’s important for a lawyer to express him/herself simply and clearly.

Furthermore, it’s crucial to choose a law firm that is operating in litigation before the respective courts and/or respective tribunals but also has experience in negotiating an out-of-court settlement so that the dispute could be settled through mediation and arbitration.

Sciberras Advocates lawyers will ensure to give you an analysis of the situation and solutions for a positive outcome. We see ourselves as a hands-on law firm that provides practical assistance tailored to the client’s needs. We are therefore committed to give a complete legal situation so that our clients can make an informed decision themselves.

Our team of professional and experienced lawyers can provide a comprehensive and cost-effective service, which is tailored for every single client. You can expect a personalised approach when dealing with your requests and queries. For more info or assistance please contact us: https://sciberras.legal/contact/.

Article written by Ms Charlene Sciberras, B.A. (Hons), guest writer, is a marketing and business administration specialist with a special focus on corporate, accounting, and legal matters.

Sciberras Advocates founded by Dr Adrian Sciberras, is a law firm based in Malta. The firm prides itself to be multi-disciplinary, innovative and flexible in order to meet the changing times and any challenges in the local and international legal scenario. No matter what private or corporate complex demands are called for, Sciberras Advocates offers practical and cost-effective legal solutions to achieve your desired results. You may reach Sciberras Advocates by phone on +35627040903 or via email on [email protected].

Case Study: Malta Entry Ban Appeal

Immigration lawyer Malta

Few months ago, Sciberras Advocates has helped a student on a genuine case with the Principal Immigration Officer (PIO) to overturn an entry ban into Malta. Our client had invested in over €10,000 in study fees for his medical degree, as well as he was renting and apartment since was living in Malta for a long time.

Case:

Our client left from Malta to the UK and was issued with a re-entry ban because he had overstayed in Malta. The client is a UK citizen in possession of a Maltese residency card and has been in Malta since starting a medical degree in 2017. He had, however, spent a year in the UK as part of his degree requirements. He eventually returned to Malta. He was not in Malta during the period when UK nationals in Malta had to exchange their residency cards due to Brexit, and he mistakenly believed that his current residency card would remain valid until it expires in November 2022. This was not the case, so the client was issued with a ban that stated an overstay of 343 days.

Conclusion:

Thanks to our intervention with the PIO, we managed to overturn the ban by firstly getting approval for our client to apply for a visa at our High Commission in London. When this was granted, we dealt with the PIO to remove the re-entry ban by giving enough reasons in justifying his return also his oversight regarding his residency documents following BREXIT.

This was another success story for Sciberras Advocates, assisting our client to remove an entry ban with an appeal.  Sciberras Advocates can assist with appeals at the Immigration Appeals Board or written requests to Principal Immigration Officer to appeal, overturn bans and challenge removal orders.

More information about immigration services can be found here: https://sciberras.legal/practice-areas/immigration-law/ or contact us directly to speak to one of our immigration lawyers.

Article written by Ms Charlene Sciberras, B.A. (Hons), guest writer, is a marketing and business administration specialist with a special focus on corporate, accounting, and legal matters.

Sciberras Advocates founded by Dr Adrian Sciberras, is a law firm based in Malta. The firm prides itself to be multi-disciplinary, innovative and flexible in order to meet the changing times and any challenges in the local and international legal scenario. No matter what private or corporate complex demands are called for, Sciberras Advocates offers practical and cost-effective legal solutions to achieve your desired results. You may reach Sciberras Advocates by phone on +35627040903 or via email on [email protected].