Like many other Maltese firms, Ganado Advocates does a
considerable amount of corporate social responsibility that you
never hear about. However, this year's initiative needs
publicity for the simple reason that it wants to recruit
Project Anew will offer start-ups the services of this law firm,
managing partner Louis Cassar Pullicino explained.
This is by no means the firm's first foray into corporate
social responsibility. Three years ago, however, it put its
campaigns on a more structured basis, setting up a committee
chaired by one of the firm's partners to select suitable
beneficiaries, allocating a percentage of income – not
profits – for worthy causes. These were not tied itself down
to particular sectors and the recipients varied over time, with
last year's project having an emphasis on education, for
Project Anew is going to take a different approach, combining
two different elements: enhancing the firm's pro bono
work, linked with professional legal initiatives that would really
help budding entrepreneurs. "We want to help young and
innovative potential entrepreneurs set up – 'young'
not necessarily in the sense of age but in the sense that we want
to help those who have never gone into business before, rather than
established ones who want to try something new," Dr Cassar
Pullicino said, adding that these would most likely be involved in
sectors like IT, science and finance, mirroring the development of
Malta at the moment.
"We are also not excluding the social entrepreneur, so if
anyone has an idea which has a social objective – addressing
a community problem – we can also help with that." The
services offered will vary from case to case, tapping into the
enthusiastic expertise of Ganado Advocates' 81 professionals,
of which 68 are lawyers.
However, the firm anticipates that the most likely assistance
sought will be with preparations for getting finance, setting up
the company and its structure, all the way to securing intellectual
property rights – such as the registration of a design or of
"As a member state of the EU, there are various European
instruments that can afford protection within the EU – so we
can help with trademarks on a pan-European level," he
The firm has left the scheme flexible, not setting any cap on
the amount of hours that any beneficiary can enjoy or any cap on
the time period over which the services can be offered.
"We were considering a possible scenario where we would
give the assistance for a year – but decided not to get
bogged down as projects do not always go as planned and we did not
feel it would be fair to cut off an initiative just because the
clock runs out!"
The assistance Ganado Advocates can offer is not limited to
direct services: it can also share its considerable network with
"We summarise our offering as international commercial law,
meaning that our day-to-day work brings us into regular contact
with numerous people and institutions, whether foreigners doing
business here or clients in Malta doing business in other
"We are also the exclusive Maltese member firm in the Lex
Mundi professional services network, which has over 160 member
firms – totalling more than 21,000 attorneys. This gives us
access to a number of jurisdictions in various continents,
including guaranteed initial advice when there is a problem –
within 24 hours." The firm's lawyers are excited about the
project, seeing it as a great way to get involved in a hands-on way
with dynamic start-ups, besides rounding out their corporate social
"The point is to do CSR so this is not a soft attempt to
advertise our services in any way. I want to reassure any
applicants interested in the scheme that there are no strings
attached. At the end of the scheme, there will be no binding
obligation of them to use our service going forward. On the
contrary, we will wish them all the best," he said.
Ganado Advocates is not stopping there: it is offering one
start-up office space within its award-winning premises in Valletta
for an initial period of six months.
"We are aware of other initiatives for start-ups –
including office space – and will seek to complement them, as
we feel that we are in a position to offer particular services
which will be another piece of the jigsaw for them," Dr Cassar
Previously published in the Business Observer (6 October
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