Our Senior Advisory and Consulting Team

Reuben Portanier Partner Afilexion Alliance

Mr Reuben Portanier - Partner

Reuben is a C-Level professional with executive management experience in the consulting, technology and gaming sectors.

Reuben is the former CEO of one of the European leading gaming regulatory bodies, the Malta Gaming Authority (previously known as LGA) whilst he also acted as an advisor to the Government of Malta on Gaming Policy and European Regulatory policy.

Mr. Portanier was also one of the European Commission’s Expert Group Members on the European Union Action Plan for Online Gaming and was the author of Malta’s submission to the European Union’s Green Paper on On-line Gaming.

In 2013, Mr. Portanier was awarded as one of the 50 most influential persons in the gaming industry by the Gaming Intelligence Magazine.  Mr Portanier also served as board trustee with the International Association of Gaming Regulators (IAGR) in 2013.

Mr. Portanier also held management consultancy experience with Arthur Andersen, and held C-Level positions in the ICT sector with MITTS Ltd (now MITA) and with the Siemens part owned Datatrak Holdings plc (now Loqus).  

In 2014, Mr Portanier founded Avviza, an advisory firm serving the gaming, fintech, media and technology sectors.  As from July 2014, Mr Portanier is a Board Member of the Malta Football Association, sitting on the board which adjudicates charges on bribery and illegal betting in football. Mr Portanier is also a member of the International Masters of Gaming Law  (IMGL).


Licensing - Gaming

Licensing - Fintech

Licensing -Exchanges / ICOs (VFA)

Compliance

Strategy

Policy and Regulation

Corporate Services

Due Diligence

Governance


Ian Gauci Partner Afilexion Alliance

Dr Ian Gauci - Partner

Dr Ian Gauci is the Partner responsible for Communications, Media and Technology within GTG Advocates. He is engaged primarily in electronic communications, information society, data protection, DLT/Blockchain and Crypto regulation whilst also focusing on consumer law, competition law, broadcasting law, cyber law, e-commerce, m-commerce, e-health, e-payment, information technology, new technologies, unfair commercial practices and misleading advertising.

Dr Gauci provides legal, regulatory and strategic advice to the Government of Malta on DLT and Cyrpto matters, to operators in the gaming industry, content providers, electronic communications providers, data centers, e-commerce providers, payment institutions and software providers. He also advised and assisted in mergers and acquisitions and represented clients in local and cross-border negotiations, mediation and arbitration. Dr Gauci holds substantial experience in drafting international commercial and technology contracts, including platform and hardware agreements, sourcing, outsourcing and software license agreements, sponsorship agreements, product and service supply, distribution, franchising and broadcasting agreements.

He also assisted the Maltese Government in drafting the DLT & Crypto laws, on issues dealing with E-Commerce and E-Trust certification as well as assisted the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).

Prior to joining the firm Dr Gauci was the regulatory and legal advisor for the Malta Communications Authority (MCA) and co-authored the Maltese Electronic Communications Framework. Dr Gauci also lectures Communications Law at the University of Malta. 


IPR

Trade Marks and Patents

Data Protection Law

Company Law 

Gaming Law

Consumer Law

Technology Law

Competition Law

DLT/Blockchain Laws

Dr Ivan Gatt - Partner

Dr. Ivan Gatt is the Managing Partner of GTG Advocates. He represents clients in a broad spectrum of substantive legal areas, with a particular emphasis on civil litigation, property conveyancing and commercial law. Having vast experience in advising companies and board committees on corporate governance, he has facilitated a variety of transactions, including securities offerings, venture capital investments and corporate acquisitions. In addition, he assists clients with annual meeting preparation and gives advice on numerous regulatory and compliance matters. Ivan Gatt is a non-executive company director and company secretary to a number of corporations and has presided over the Levy Appeals Board and the Customs and Excise Tax Appeals Board of the Ministry of Finance.

Dr. Gatt is a graduate in law from the University of Malta and has handled major cases involving debt recovery, industrial and administrative law, sale of goods, transport, insurance, and judicial review.


Mergers and Acquisitions

Employment Law

Insurance Law

Governance

Dr Robert Tufigno - Partner

Dr Robert Tufigno heads GTG’s Shipping department, specialising in ship registration and finance, advising numerous leading international banking and financial institutions with regard to the registration of statutory mortgages and the financing of Maltese-flagged vessels.

Dr Tufigno also provides extensive ongoing legal assistance, advisory and litigation services to Maltese and foreign ship owners with regard to mortgages and financing, as well as ship registration under the Maltese flag. Possessing vast sector experience, he provides comprehensive legal services in the formation and maintenance of shipping companies, ship sale and purchase agreements and maritime contracts such as charter contracts, carriage of goods by sea, tug and tow and marine insurance.

In addition, he also assists clients in the fields of employment law, civil litigation and dispute resolution and handles major cases in a variety of fields. Dr Tufigno is a graduate in law from the University of Malta and has led a number of state entities including the Malta Housing Authority, the Employment and Training Corporation, as well as serving on the national Planning Appeals Board.


Employment Law

Dispute Resolution

Governance

Policy

Mergers & Acquisitions

Mr Andrew Demanuele - Partner

 

Mr Andrew Demanuele joined GTG Advocates as Chief Financial Officer in 2015. His main areas of practice are corporate and financial services. Together with his team he services a number of Maltese and foreign clients.

He graduated from the University of Malta majoring in Accounts and Economics. In furtherance of his studies, Mr. Demanuele read for a Diploma in Tax with the Institute of Taxation in Malta.

Mr Demanuele is a member of the Malta Institute of Accountants and is fluent in Maltese and English, with a working knowledge of Italian.








Financial Management

Tax 

Corporate Services

Our Team

Dr Terrence Cassar


Senior Associate

   

Dr Terence Cassar specialises on technology, media and telecommunications, intellectual property, gaming and betting, data protection, e-commerce, cybercrime, Blockchain and cryptocurrencies.


He graduated as Doctor of Laws (LL.D) in 2015 after reading law at the University of Malta, defending a thesis entitled “Patent Rights and the Infringement thereof under Maltese Law”. Dr Cassar is currently furthering his education by reading for an LL.M. in Internet Law & Policy at the University of Strathclyde.


Dr Cassar is a member of the Chamber of Advocates and a frequent speaker and publisher on technology laws.

Dr Cherise Abela Grech


Associate


Dr Cherise Abela Grech's main areas of practice are corporate and financial services law, blockchain and DLTs and Cryptocurrencies, including  ICOs. She also regularly assists clients in citizenship and residence matters.

She was called to the bar in 2014 after successfully reading Law at the University of Malta. In furtherance of her studies, Dr Abela Grech read for a Masters in Financial Services at the University  of Malta and submitted her Masters thesis entitled 'Exchange Traded Funds: an area for growth for the Maltese Funds Industry?'.

Dr Abela Grech is a member of the Chamber of Advocates and is fluent in Maltese, English and Italian, with a working knowledge of French.

Dr Michele Tufigno


Associate


Dr Michele Tufigno was admitted to the bar in 2011 after reading Law at the University of Malta following the successful submission of his thesis entitled ‘Adaptation to Climate Change: Legal Implications for Malta’ concerning Malta’s national and supranational legal obligations with regard to the implementation of concrete adaptation measures relative to climate change issues.


Dr Tufigno’s main areas of practice concern insurance, civil and commercial litigation as well as administrative law and legal drafting. He is regularly involved in matters of alternative dispute resolution, negotiation and mediation. 


He is fluent in English, Italian, French and Maltese.

Dr Cynthia Borg Barthet


Associate


Dr Cynthia Borg Barthet graduated as Doctor of Laws (LL.D) from the University of Malta in 2008 after successfully submitting a thesis on “Criteria for Expropriation Compensation Revisited – an assessment in the light of recent developments”. 


She completed the Malta Institute of Financial Services Practitioners (IFSP) Trusts Law course in 2007 and formed part of the Editorial Board for the Maltese Trusts Law Cases and Materials Volume Two, published by the IFSP, Malta in 2009. She then completed the Diploma Course in Taxation in 2009. Dr Borg Barthet was admitted to the Bar in 2009. 


Her areas of practice are Civil and Commercial Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution which includes Arbitration, Mediation and out-of-court Settlements, Contract Drafting and Negotiations as well as General Legal Advisory Services.

Dr Maria Attard

  

Junior Associate


Dr Maria Attard joined the firm as a Junior Associate in 2018. Dr Attard was admitted to the bar in 2018 after graduating with a Master of Advocacy degree from the University of Malta following the successful submission of her thesis entitled “Jurisprudential developments relating to the nature and standard of medical liability (2000-2016)”.

Dr Attard is fluent in English and Maltese, and has a basic knowledge of Italian.

Mr Samuel Gandin

 

Junior Associate


Samuel Gandin holds a Master degree in Private Law, from the Université Pierre Mendes France of Grenoble (France) as well as a Master degree in Languages (English, Spanish, International Trade) from the University de Savoie (France).

He lectured in different universities in various countries and worked in different international organisations including UNIDROIT (Rome) and the European Central Bank (Frankfurt). He joined the firm in February 2018.

Former linguist, he has a solid knowledge of English, French, Spanish and Italian and a fair knowledge of additional languages.

His main areas of interest include, but are not limited to, IT Law, virtual currency regulations and data protection regulations.

Dr Bernice Saliba

Junior Associate


Dr Bernice Saliba joined the firm in 2018 as a Junior Associate, following a three month stage in Luxembourg working for the European Commission as a Bluebook Trainee with DG Connect. 


After graduating with a Doctor of Laws from the University of Malta in 2017, Bernice was admitted to the Maltese Bar in 2018. Her Doctor of Laws’ thesis discussed issues of national security  and law enforcement in comparison to matters of privacy arising out of the global discussion on the possibility of mandating backdoors into encrypted software/hardware.


Dr Saliba’s main areas of practice with the firm concern DLTs, cryptocurrencies and corporate law. Dr Saliba is also familiar with civil and commercial matters, including litigious ones. 


Bernice is proficient in Maltese and English and has a working knowledge of French and Italian.

Mr Gabriel Fenech

Junior Associate


Mr Gabriel Fenech joined Afilexion's sister firm, GTG Advocates as a trainee in 2017. Mr Fenech is currently reading for a Masters of Advocacy at the University of Malta, having completed his Bachelors of Laws Degree in June 2017. Prior to joining GTG Advocates, Mr Fenech was a trainee at the FIAU.


His main areas of focus are Corporate Law and Compliance, Citizenship and Residence Schemes, IT Law and Gaming.

Mr Sean Xerri de Caro

Junior Associate

  

Mr Sean Xerri de Caro joined as a Junior Associate in 2018. He is currently reading for a Masters of Advocacy Degree at the University of Malta after having completed his Bachelor of Laws Degree in June 2017. 

Prior to joining Afilexion Alliance Mr. Xerri de Caro was an intern at Ganado Advocates where his main practise areas were Maritime and Aviation Law. His Thesis/Term Paper discussed the concept of lease as an asset-based security instrument in Aviation and Maritime Law.

Currently Mr. Xerri de Caro’s areas of practise within the firm are related to Blockchain (DLTs) and Cryptocurrencies.

Mr David Spiteri Gingell

Senior Advisor


Mr Spiteri Gingell held a series of high level appointments with the Government of Malta which include Executive Chairman of the Malta Information Technology Agency; Chief Executive Officer of Enemalta Corporation; Executive Chairman of the Malta Council for Science and Technology (MCST);  and Chief Executive Officer of the Management Efficiency Unit.  David was also a Policy Advisor to the Cabinet. 


In June 2008, David left the Government of Malta to carry out consulting work in Malta and overseas, covering 15 countries on behalf of the Commonwealth Secretariat, the World Bank, and national governments on e-/m-government, national ICT strategies, and cyber legislation.  In Malta, David has provided consulting on IT, change management, strategy design, and change management to government, the big 4 consulting firms, and large private sector firms.  


David is also heavily involved in corporate governance roles, sitting on the boards of major enterprises. 


David holds a BA (Hons) in Public Administration from the University of Malta and a Master in Public Administration (with distinction) from the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom. David was bestowed the Order of the Terra Mariana by the President of Estonia in 2001.


David is a Senior Advisor with the firm, covering technology advisory and corporate governance.

Mr Iulian Matache

Advisor


Iulian is engages primarily in privacy and data protection compliance, bringing in a dualististic legal & technology perspective. He is currently involved in the telecom sector advising a global industry player on their GDPR compliance work. Iulian is also providing GDPR consultancy to gaming and gambling companies operating both online and land-based models. 

Previously Iulian has lead the Legal Department of a major IT integrator delivering solutions primarily to Romanian governmental clients. During such tenure he coordinated the due diligence steps of the M&A process involving IFC (World Bank’s investment arm) and BSTDB (Black Sea Trade and Development Bank).

Iulian maintains a cross-disciplinary approach and adds value by leveraging technology insights with legal mindset. Over the past year he developed interest in various blockchain technologies particularly from a privacy / data protection angle.

Dr Mireille M Caruana

Advisor

  

Dr Mireille M Caruana main areas of practice are technology law, DLTs and Cryptocurrencies, including  ICOs, Gambling law, eCommerce Law, Intellectual Property and Data Protection. Dr Caruana was awarded a PhD from the University of Bristol in 2014 on the basis of her thesis on data protection and the differing European approaches to uses of personal data in the criminal justice sector. She graduated Doctor of Laws (LLD) from the University of Malta in 2002 and Magister Juris in European and Comparative Law in 2004. She was called to the bar (Advocate) in Malta in 2003. She specialised in Computer and Communications law at Queen Mary University of London (LLM 2008).

Mireille’s research focuses on aspects of Information Technology law and society, running across a number of legal subject areas including, but not limited to: information technology law, e-commerce law, intellectual property law, human rights and the protection of privacy, data protection law, cyber-security including cyber-crime and cyber-terrorism, Internet governance including regulatory theory and practice. Mireille currently lectures Technology, eCommerce, Gambling and EU consumer laws at the University of Malta, whilst she had also lectured at the University of Bristol.  

Recently she has been appointed as member of the newly formed UM Board of the Centre for Distributed Ledger Technologies. 


Dr Nikita Cuschieri

 Advisor


Dr Cuschieri was admitted to the bar in 2010 and practised in various areas of law.  Dr Cuschieri held various in-house legal counsel positions in the maritime, ICT and online gaming sectors.  Dr Cuschieri first practiced as a lawyer within the civil and commercial litigation division with one of Malta’s leading law firms, and subsequently set-up her own practice.  Over the past years Dr Cuschieri developed an interest in gaming law and joined the Betclic Everest Group, where she held the position of Legal Counsel for three years until 2015.  Dr Cuschieri is currently also the Legal Counsel of a leading international ICT company.

In her capacity as Gaming Compliance Advisor, Dr Cuschieri handles regulatory and compliance matters, provides legal advise on various remote gaming topics and leads the Key Official service line. 

Mr Andre Stivala

Data Protection Compliance Advisor


Mr Andre Stivala graduated from SAE Institute London accredited by Middlesex University Majoring in Sound and Audio Engineering following the successful submission of his thesis titled 'Analogue Controlled Digital Mixer, Using off-the-shelf Components’. 


He furthered his education and is now a certified GDPR Practitioner by IT Governance UK. His role is of a Data Protection Officer, assisting organisations comply with the GDPR by implementing tailored data

protection and information security frameworks. 


Mr Stivala is fluent in English, Maltese and Italian.

Corporate Support

Mr Steve Camilleri

Corporate Services Officer

Ms Stephanie Cutajar

Accounts Officer

Ms Elaine Gauci Scerri

Marketing Executive

Ms Theresa Cachia

Personal Assistant to the Partners