Dr. Omar Zerafa
Dr. Zerafa has obtained the degree of Doctor of Laws from the University of Malta, following which he has also graduated from the University of Leicester with a Masters in European Union Law specialising in Commercial Law.
Prior to establishing Zerafa Advocates, Dr. Zerafa has worked as an associate with one of the leading financial services law firms in Malta where he was also admitted to partnership, responsible for the structuring and licensing of collective investment schemes, investment vehicles, investment services licence holders including asset management companies and financial institutions. Specialist areas of practice include UCITS, non-UCITS retail funds, AIFs, professional investor funds, corporate finance, investment products, listing of collective investment schemes, online forex trading companies, competition law and cross-border mergers. He was instrumental in redomiciling a number of funds into Malta and has successfully licensed several funds, fund managers and a Forex trading platform. He has also handled the application process of one of the first Binary Options trading platforms in Malta and has served as a Director, Compliance Officer and MLRO on a local Investment Management company.
Dr. Zerafa has a Foundation Certificate in Trust Law and Management awarded by the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners and is a member of the Chamber of Advocates, the International Bar Association, the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners and the Financial Services Lawyers Association (UK).
Senior Managing Associate
Dr. Emerson Bonello
Emerson Bonello obtained a Bachelor of Law (Honours) degree before obtaining a Master in Advocacy degree in 2017 from the University of Malta.
Emerson is ranked in the Chambers Europe 2021 Guide and is currently a Managing Associate heading a team of dedicated and skilful lawyers within Zerafa Advocates.
Emerson dedicates a considerable amount of his time providing legal opinions in the field of payment services, investment services, cryptocurrenices and distributed ledger technologies. Emerson has assisted a number of applicants in obtaining investment services licence from the competent authority in Malta and authorisations for financial institutions to issue electronic money and provide payment services. He also advised clients on the structuring and offering of digital securities and security tokens through his involvement in projects for the setting up of multilateral trading facilities targeting digital securities through DLT technology. Emerson regularly provides legal advice to regulated entities on the classification of financial instruments and has extensive experience with DLT technology from a legal perspective.
He is also a Director, MLRO and Designated Person to perform the activities of a VFA Agent of Zerafa.io Ltd, which is authorised by the MFSA to provide the services of a VFA Agent. Emerson is also approved by the MFSA to act as Compliance Officer for authorised trustees, company service providers, and de minimis AIFMs.
Ms. Martha Rizzo
Ms. Martha Rizzo has a Diploma in Administrative, Personal Assistant and Secretarial Duties.
She has a vast experience in administrative duties, coordinating and preparing meetings, handling clients and managing documents and files. She is in charge of the overall smooth running of the office.
Dr. Silvio Vella
Dr. Silvio Vella graduated from the University of Malta with a Bachelor of Laws and a Masters in Advocacy.
In his term paper entitled: “Is the Virtual Financial Assets Act satisfactory in creating a regulatory framework for Initial Virtual Financial Asset Offerings and in providing protection for investors?”, Silvio focused on the regulatory regime provided for ICOs in Malta. Notably, he received the Best Consumer Dissertation Award from the Faculty of Laws for his work on the 12th December 2019.
As an associate, Silvio is primarily focusing on investment services, financial institutions and collective investment schemes.
Dr. Malvina Mulliri
Dr. Malvina Mulliri obtained a master’s degree from University of Bari, Italy (Laurea Magistrale in Giurisprudenza – Ciclo Unico) in 2013. Dr. Mulliri completed the course of Master of Arts in Financial Service at the University of Malta in 2020 and is awaiting the award of the Diploma in Financial Services. She has also has successfully completed the “Introduction to the Virtual Financial Assets Act” course organised by Institute of Financial Services Practitioners by achieving a pass on September 2018, and has been awarded a certificate in Introduction to Blockchain by the University of Malta. She is a member of Chamber of Advocates of Tirana, Albania.
Dr. Mulliri is currently an Associate with Zerafa Advocates and dedicates her time providing legal and regulatory advice in the field of cryptocurrencies, virtual financial assets, blockchain and distributed ledger technologies. She is also involved in assisting with the licensing and compliance of investment service providers, payment service providers and collective investment schemes.
Dr Mulliri acts as Director and Designated Person to perform the activities of a VFA Agent for Zerafa.io Ltd, an associated company of Zerafa Advocates, which provides the services of a VFA Agent in terms of article 14 of the VFA Act.
Prior to joining Zerafa Advocates, Dr. Mulliri has worked with other local VFA Agents, Trustees, Company Service Providers and law firms where she has gained valuable experience in assisting clients on their ongoing businesses, handling of company and trusts incorporation, drafting and reviewing of policies, procedures and agreements as well as providing legal and regulatory advice.
Dr. Daniel Cachia
Daniel obtained a Bachelor of Laws Degree in 2020 and is currently reading for the third and final semester of the Master of Advocacy course at the University of Malta.
His dissertation entitled “The Notion of Un-Appealability from Decisions Concerning Article 402 Companies Act: Time to Consider a Change?” focused on the principle of the lack to the right of appeal at law within the “Protection of Shareholders Against Unfair Prejudice” section of the Companies Act.
Daniel’s areas of interest in law are primarily driven from the Financial Services field and this attests in his current line of work with the firm. Other notable areas of interest include Financial institutions, and Corporate law.
Mr. Samuel Buttigieg
Samuel is a fourth year student in the Bachelor of Laws (Honours) course at the University of Malta. He also aims to obtain a Masters of Advocacy upon graduating. Samuel has joined our firm as a legal trainee and has shown interest in focusing his studies and career path in investment services, virtual financial assets, and company service providers.