Working in the Legal & Compliance Sector in Malta

As Malta continues to attract more businesses and startups to its shores, the necessity and opportunity for more talented individuals working in the legal and compliance sector keep growing.

Conducting your business in an EU member state means that companies in Malta need to operate in conformity with a number of legal frameworks, most notably the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA), the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) in the case of the gaming industry, and the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU).

Adhering to such frameworks and maintaining the levels of excellence that local entities have come to expect is the responsibility of legal and compliance individuals occupying various roles or as external service providers. These have become the backbone of many companies’ operations.

Roles and Responsibilities for the Legal and Compliance Sector in Malta

A service offered by large and small organisations alike across Malta, legal and compliance practitioners work with firms to help them maintain ethical and legal soundness by developing the right procedures for their businesses.

The multi-faceted and diverse nature of the sector and its operations creates opportunities for professionals with different skills and backgrounds. These include legal associates and lawyers, compliance officers and compliance advisors, risk analysts, client relationship officers, AML officers and money laundering reporting officers (MLRO), corporate service administrators, and many more.

As a professional in the sector, your role is essentially to ensure that your company (or your client’s company) functions within Maltese and EU laws and regulations all the while helping the business to meet its goals and needs.

Compliance Professionals in Malta

Compliance professionals carry out projects and checks in relation to anti-money laundering and/or combating financial terrorism (AML/CFT). They monitor and manage a company’s risk controls while communicating their findings and liaising with management to ensure accountability and responsibility while maintaining effectiveness and efficiency. This includes regulatory requirements on the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID); a European regulation controlling transparency and standardisation across the EU’s financial markets. They are also responsible for providing periodical reports to the relevant authorities.

Compliance assistants normally earn anywhere between €25,000 to €35,000 and Compliance and Money Laundering Reporting Officers (MLRO) can expect a salary between €55,000 – €65,000 gross per annum.

Discover Working Malta

There are many benefits that come with moving to and working in Malta. Apart from the pleasant climate and the lure of living the island life, Malta is an EU member state with a sound economy and plenty of opportunities. The ease of getting yourself to Malta and being legally registered to live and work all depends on where you’re coming from.

We’ve prepared this quick overview to help you get better acquainted with relocating to Malta for work.

Legal Professionals in Malta

Lawyers and legal professionals provide companies with advice and assistance on a number of different activities and areas such as commercial or corporate services, financial services, shipping, investment funds, iGaming, data protection (GDPR), AML, regulatory and compliance. Legal associates will also be responsible for drafting and reviewing various contracts, corporate documents, agreements, company announcements and financing agreements. This includes carrying out general legal research and keeping up-to-date with changes and developments in AML, regulatory, data protection and various other related areas.

Whereas in previous years we have seen the largest pay increases in the financial services industry, 2020 saw wages rise in the legal profession, with junior associates earning from €20,000 to €30,000 and senior positions earning up to €60,000, depending on experience and qualifications. This reflects the wider challenges that the industry faces within the sector.

Corporate Services Activities in Malta

Corporate services refer to a number of activities that are centred around the multiple needs or requirements of a company. Professionals in the sector are often involved in the company’s activities from as early as the prospect phase to assist company clients with company incorporation, the opening of bank accounts and any other administrative requirements needed such as participation at client meetings, handling client on-boarding, performing due-diligence checks and so on. The work also involves; tax supervision (while liaising with accounts departments), problem-solving, general accounting and administration, and keeping up-to-date with legal and fiscal developments in order to keep the business on the front foot. This opens the door for people from various backgrounds including financial and legal.

A Corporate Administrator’s salary generally starts at around €25,000 and can go up to €35,000 gross per annum depending on their experience.

Qualifications Required for the Legal and Compliance Sector in Malta

Working within the industry requires the right experience and qualification depending on the roles and fields you’re looking to get into. Compliance professionals should obtain, and constantly keep updated, recognised compliance qualification and in-depth knowledge of Anti-Money Laundering and Anti-Terrorist Financing (AML/ATF) as well as Know-Your-Customer (KYC) procedures. Legal positions would naturally require legal qualifications, a warrant to practise as a lawyer in Malta as well as knowledge in regulatory financial services. Finally, the corporate services industry values varying skills and expertise from knowledge and experience in company setup and due diligence as well as an understanding of Maltese Corporate Law.

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