Chief Jus­tice to open forth­com­ing an­nual Com­pany Law con­fer­ence

The Malta Business Weekly - - NEWS -

The new Chief Jus­tice Dr Joseph Az­zopardi will be ad­dress­ing his first con­fer­ence fol­low­ing his re­cent ap­point­ment. He shall be de­liv­er­ing the open­ing ad­dress of the forth­com­ing An­nual Com­pany Law con­fer­ence once again or­gan­ised jointly by the Depart­ment of Com­mer­cial Law at the Univer­sity of Malta and the Malta Law Acad­emy.

Dr Ge­orge Hy­zler, out­go­ing pres­i­dent of the Cham­ber of Ad­vo­cates who re­cently took up the post of Par­lia­men­tary Com­mis­sioner for Stan­dards will be de­liv­er­ing the wel­come ad­dress.

This an­nual con­fer­ence will be held at the Val­letta Univer­sity Cam­pus on Fri­day, 2 Novem­ber be­tween 1 and 5.30pm and shall be ad­dress­ing is­sues in com­pany law and re­cent cor­po­rate and reg­u­la­tory de­vel­op­ments.

“In the Mal­tese eco­nomic ex­pe­ri­ence, the com­pany has by far been the most popular and the most im­por­tant form of busi­ness or­gan­i­sa­tion with 90,000 com­pa­nies reg­is­tered. A com­pany can be used for sim­ple as well as com­plex trans­ac­tions and has served busi­ness growth well. Un­for­tu­nately, it has also pro­tected fraud­sters, spec­u­la­tors, tax evaders and sundry wrong­do­ers, as well as dodgy direc­tors. It is our busi­ness as lawyers and acoun­tants to un­der­stand it well.”

Such is the opin­ion of Dr David Fabri, head of the Depart­ment of Com­mer­cial Law at the Univer­sity of Malta and a mem­ber of the Cham­ber of Ad­vo­cates’ Malta Law Acad­emy, who is or­gan­is­ing and chair­ing the con­fer­ence.

“The com­pany was an ex­tra­or­di­nary in­ven­tion. It is a flex­i­ble, rel­a­tively sim­ple and very re­silient de­vice. The orig­i­nal com­pany was typ­i­cally a big, hugely ex­pen­sive and risky en­ter­prise cre­ated to buy and fit out ves­sels for cross-oceanic ex­pe­di­tions or for the build­ing of canals and rail­roads. To­day, it is used as a ve­hi­cle for less am­bi­tious ob­jec­tives and can un­der­take any busi­ness what­so­ever, even for sin­gle trans­ac­tions or to hold an as­set. None­the­less, it has proved a force for the mo­tor of the econ­omy. But it has also proved, like the un­for­tu­nate Ri­ley, to be a mas­ter of dis­guise with­out the heroic mo­tives,” added Dr Fabri.

“Within this con­text, Com­pany Law strives to ful­fil two ob­jec­tives: to al­low busi­ness to be car­ried on within pre­dictable and sen­si­ble pa­ram­e­ters, while con­trol­ling and try­ing to pre­vent ex­ces­sive be­hav­iour and abuse of the cor­po­rate form. In­deed, iron­i­cally, many re­cent le­gal re­forms have been the ben­e­fi­cial con­se­quence of ma­jor cor­po­rate fail­ures and wrong­do­ing.”

Top speak­ers have once again ac­cepted to par­tic­i­pate at this an­nual event.

Dr Fabri will deliver the first talk of the first ses­sion on the sub­ject of More truths about com­pa­nies: de­vel­op­ments since last year, fol­lowed by Prof. An­drew Mus­cat on the sub­ject of Direc­tors – mit­i­gat­ing the risk of li­a­bil­ity.

Key speaker Judge Dr Joseph Zam­mit McKeon will ad­dress the topic The D.A. Hold­ings Lim­ited saga: an anal­y­sis of the court pro­ceed­ings with a view to pos­si­ble amend­ments to the Com­pa­nies Act.

The first talk of the sec­ond ses­sion, af­ter the cof­fee break, will fea­ture Dr Man­fred Galdes who will dis­cuss Cor­po­rate crim­i­nal re­spon­si­bil­ity and as­set for­fei­ture laws. He shall be fol­lowed by Dr Christo­pher But­tigieg who shall ad­dress the sub­ject of Reg­u­la­tion of ini­tial coin of­fer­ings in Malta: Ad­dress­ing in­vestor pro­tec­tion and mar­ket in­tegrity risks.

The last speaker of the af­ter­noon shall be Dr Reuben Balzan who will talk on the top­i­cal sub­ject, Fu­ture trends in cor­po­rate struc­tures: brav­ery or folly?”

To regis­ter for the con­fer­ence, send an email to the Cham­ber of Ad­vo­cates on vic­to­ria@avukati.org

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