Posted Saturday, December 14, 2019
Malta CEOs 2020 - The Island's Most Influential Business Minds - Malcolm Mifsud
"Set up in 2007 by its two founding partners, Dr Malcolm Mifsud and his brother Dr Cedric Mifsud, Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates is a multidisciplinary, boutique law firm. Specialising in nice sectors such as Maritime and Yachting, as well as in litigation and corporate law, the firm prides itself on offering clients a bespoke, solutions-oriented approach that is built on the cornerstones of honesty and integrity."
 
For Dr Malcom Mifsud, taking the leap from the security of working with a large firm into co-founding a new, specialized boutique law firm was an act of courage that would mark the beginning of more than a decade of success at Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates.
 
“I was working as an associate with a large law firm, enjoying the role and gaining a lot of experience” explains Malcom. “But I questioned whether I could do myself, and move from the safe, cocooned environment of a fixed salary and select responsibilities, to the perceived uphill struggle of setting up a new firm and overseeing all aspects of the company”.
 
“Then, in 2007, alongside my brother Cedric, I decided to take the leap and set up Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates, specialized in business law. We dived in at the deep end, so to speak, but it has helped me professionally to toughen up, and has taught me to trust in my own decision-making.”
 
That trust was soon reflected by the firm’s clientele, whose repeat custom has led Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates to grow from a two-lawyer outfit to a specialized team of 25 people in just 12 years, while maintaining its boutique status and prioritizing quality, personal care and attention to its clients.
 
“Building a good rapport with each client is extremely important to us – and, through that, we are more equipped to come up with creative, tailor-made solutions to whatever issues they have presented to us.”
 
“Our values revolve around being straightforward with our clients, offering a very fast response, seeking to fully understand their needs, and giving them the best advice possible with honesty and empathy, even if sometimes they may not wish to hear it,” Malcom continues. “Building a good rapport with each client is extremely important to us – and, through that, we are more equipped to come up with creative, tailor-made solutions to whatever issues they have presented to us.”
 
Combined with this focused approach upon the individual needs of clientele, Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates has steadily grown and diversified over the years, becoming more robust in the maritime and yachting sectors particularly. “The key to our success has been focusing on the competencies that we have: either we know what we’re doing, or we don’t,” asserts Malcom. “Besides our corporate and litigation clients, our niche area has become the maritime and yachting fields, and we now offer a one-stop shop in this area covering everything from boat employment law to crew payroll administration in Malta Maritime Payroll Services (MMPS). We have also established AEGIS Corporate Services to assist foreign companies in all aspects of setting up in Malta, from visa applications to work permits.”
 
With so many niches strings to the firm’s collective bow, Malcom also places the company’s success squarely at the feet of the select team driving it forward on a daily basis. “A typical business day for me as a co-CEO involves a lot of time management and relies heavily on the strong team ethic that we have. It’s by no means a one-man band – we assist each other as a team, with hard work, long hours and dedication. We also headhunt rather than advertise for new talent, so that we stay at the top of our game and can bounce ideas off each other to give the highest quality of service and expertise to our clients.”
 
“The firm’s cornerstones of honesty, empathy, and a strong work ethic are also somewhat inspired by Malcom’s own experience as a politician, having been elected five consecutive times as mayor of Pietà, elected as president of the Committee of the Central Region in 2009, and appointed as a member of the EU Committee of the Regions. “I was very proud to have taken on theses roles, and they were another learning experience for me. Politics teaches you how to deal with people, and to be sensitive to their issues, problems, and concerns, while creating a vision, persuading people to get on board with it, and implementing it. Conversely, it also teaches you that, although you’ll try to change things, you won’t always succeed in doing so, and that change doesn’t happen at the click of your fingers.”
 
Fortunately, reacting to failures has not been something that Malcom and his team has had to cope with throughout 2019 – quite the contrary, in fact. “Our key focuses for 2019 have been to continue to grow our relatively new MMPS department, building the team and promoting it further, while maintaining the steady growth at Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates in general,” Malcom explains. “The changing global economic climate has also affected demand, with more contract, transactional and employment work when the economy is strong. And, of course, we ensured that we stayed up-to-date with how litigation was being developed to keep up with business demand.”
 
Malcom foresees that this period of growth for the firm will continue over the course of the coming five years. “For us, 2020 onwards is about continuing to support AEGIS Corporate Services, with a view to it becoming self-reliant and its own entity; we are working to make it practically independent from Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates,” Malcom explains. “Meanwhile, the shipping industry in general is also on the rise, with competition internationally between law firms in this area, and new regulations regularly being introduced.”
 
Malcom’s foresight about the future of the firm also takes into account political changes occurring around the world, and Malta’s standing within it. “With so much uncertainty surrounding Brexit in particular, there is an ongoing need for British companies to have some access to the EU, and they are seeking international guidance as they react to new developments to the situation,” he points out. “Malta, meanwhile, must remain a competent financial centre as the country’s economy grows and explores new opportunities. Our reputation is of the upmost importance and, as a smaller island, we are less able to weather the storms that are experienced by all financial centres to some extent worldwide.”
 
As for the drive for 2020 and beyond at Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates? Well, that it set to further cement the firm’s awareness of the bigger picture, both legally and politically on a global scale, as well as focus on its signature attention to detail and passion to maintain its specialized expertise. “By the end of the year we plan to be one of the foremost law firms in Malta in the maritime and yachting sectors. Meanwhile, we continue to hone our skills in our other niche areas, so that we can hold our own when dealing with larger law firms both in Malta, and beyond,” Malcom adds.
 
This article may also be accessed on Malta CEOs 2020.
 
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