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).
Dr. Emerson Bonello
Dr. Emerson Bonello obtained a Bachelor of Law (Honours) degree before obtaining a Master in Advocacy degree in 2017 from the University of Malta. He has also obtained a Foundation Certificate in Trust Law and Management awarded by the Institute of Financial Services Practitioners, has successfully completed the “Introduction to the Virtual Financial Assets Act” course organised by Institute of Financial Services Practitioners by achieving a pass on the 29th September 2018, and is also a member of the Chamber of Advocates.
Dr. Bonello is currently an Associate within Zerafa Advocates and dedicates a considerable amount of his time researching and providing legal opinions in the field of cryptocurrenices, virtual financial assets, blockchain, and distributed ledger technologies.
He also advises collective investment schemes and investment services licence holders and has been involved in the submission of application for a licence to several collective investment schemes.
Dr. Bonello is also a Director, MLRO 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.
Dr. Bonello is also approved by the MFSA to act as Compliance Officer for trustees and company service providers, and is a Compliance Officer for several licensed Company Service Providers in Malta.
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.
Mr. Silvio Vella
Silvio Vella graduated from the University of Malta with a Bachelor of Laws and is currently in his third and final semester of the Master of Advocacy course. 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 a trainee lawyer, Silvio is primarily focusing on investment services, financial institutions and collective investment schemes.