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Interview Series

Peter Montegriffo

Hassans International Law Firm Limited, Gibraltar

14 Aug 2020

Legalink is a very active and versatile association of like minded law firms that we are very excited to be part of.

What is new with your firm?

It has been a busy time for the firm recently.

Following our recent move to a new building (bringing together all our various departments and divisions), as from the 1st July this year the firm has been restructured and now operates as Hassans International Law Firm Limited. This is in line with the development of many international practices into corporate vehicles. The change will mean greater efficiencies and a reconfiguration of departments. Much of the preparatory work related to this exercise has been brought into sharper focus as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Apart from working to a larger extent more remotely, various teams have been reconfigured. As always, our focus remains on being responsive and alive to clients’ needs.

Which practice areas are the most in demand in your firm?

Our firm is a multi-disciplinary professional organisation providing the full range of legal and fiduciary services. Practitioners have been busy throughout the last year, though clearly corporate restructuring, employment and litigation issues have featured highly, given current circumstances. Early signs of a bounce back in property and commercial transactions has been evident across various geographies as lock down measures have been relaxed. In addition to traditional areas such as fiduciary business and commercial work, DLT licensing work and Brexit related planning opportunities have also featured. 

Can you share an example of cross-border work with another Legalink member?

Even though we only joined the association in November 2019 we have already had a good number of interactions with other members. We visited our colleagues in Madrid, Spain, Lopez Ibor Abogados, where we explored opportunities and synergies that both our firms can exploit going forward. The UK, Spain and Gibraltar have recently signed a tax agreement that undoubtedly will create opportunities for both firms. Alfonso Lopez Ibor, who we met in the Malaysia conference hosted us in Madrid with a number of his partners.

We have also been working closely with Gary Jones of Weightmans, who was instrumental in making Hassans a member of Legalink. Again, we have met with Gary and some of his partners in London to look at ways in which we can collaborate and we have organised a workshop in Gibraltar, hopefully for later this year once travelling resumes back to normality.

In as much cross border works, we have worked with Paulo Camara at Servulo & Associates in a case where we needed validation of a Portuguese corporate guarantee and an on demand bond. The case was in the construction sector where a Portuguese company was carrying out business in Gibraltar.

What are your views on the Legalink expansion?

We support the continued expansion of Legalink across other jurisdictions and have been working with the board to introduce possible candidates in those jurisdictions where we have contacts.

As regards to Legalink, are you happy about your firm’s membership? What can we do better?

Legalink is a very active and versatile association of like minded law firms that we are very excited to be part of. No doubt as we become more involved in the association’s further initiatives, we will reap the benefits. We have now enrolled a good number of our lawyers in our various Practice Groups and look forward to becoming active in these areas. We are also actively contributing to the number of the association’s newsletters and publications. The Legalink Academy also appears to be an exciting project and one that we are open to participating in. There were some other good ideas discussed at our last conference that hopefully will develop. 

What is your favourite thing to do in your spare time?

Mostly reading, listening to music and cooking! When possible, travel is a major pastime – but we are getting used to doing less of that until circumstances improve.