Banking, Financial Institutions, and Asset Management

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Monaco is not a member of the European Economic Area and banking and financial activities in the Principality are governed by specific rules.


The teams at Gordon S. Blair advise clients on a wide range of activities, from distributing financial products and services and financing projects or real estate assets, to setting up management firms or conducting bank mergers.

Banking regulations and the regulatory environment

We advise overseas banks and other financial sector stakeholders on how to approach potential clients and partners in Monaco without falling foul of local regulations.


If a client decides to establish a presence in the Principality, we can help them to determine the best legal form for their new activity, particularly during preliminary talks with the authorities, and to ensure that the solutions they choose are in line with Monegasque regulations, and also EU rules where applicable. We can also assist with all aspects of governance, such as drafting shareholder agreements or internal policies and procedures.


Where a transaction involves banks or other financial stakeholders, our business law teams can assist the buyer with all of the contractual, banking and financial, regulatory, tax, and social security aspects, including due diligence, legal and tax arrangements, applications for approval, transfer deeds, and so on.


Finally, we are able to advise clients on the compliance and regulatory reporting systems they need to adopt, particularly with regard to anti-money laundering and KYC procedures and obligations.

Operational partnerships

At the operational stage, we offer expertise in the drafting of legal documents and ensure that transactions are legally secure and watertight, while arranging and completing transactions with the parties concerned.


We can also work with banks’ in-house specialist departments, in sophisticated areas such as structuring real estate purchases, defining and implementing asset holding structures (transferable securities and other portfolios), and more generally offering support with asset engineering.


We also negotiate and draft major commercial agreements for banks and other financial stakeholders, such as agreements on outsourcing of services or IT contracts.


For doing so, we can bring highly skilled specialists coming from our other practices, such as Business and Corporate law, or Real Estate.

A multidisciplinary approach

Indeed, and so as to guarantee maximum efficiency and top-class expertise, we employ a multidisciplinary approach that enables us to take full advantage of the breadth of talent at our firm.


So as not to take an oversimplified approach, we rely on the skills of multidisciplinary teams, whose members are used to working together in a strictly coordinated fashion under the supervision of a lead associate.


Naturally, where circumstances require expertise that we are not able to offer in-house, particularly as regards foreign jurisdictions, we can call on our network of trusted contacts in the main financial centres.


The disciplines we cover can be summarised as follows, in coorperation with our other practices :

  • Banking law and the law of financial transactions
  • Personal and corporate taxes
  • Private international law (successions and divorce)
  • Trusts and foundations
  • Employment law and social security law
  • Immigration law
  • Peripheral banking and finance regulations: laws regulating new technologies, automatic exchange of information, data protection and privacy, anti-money laundering and compliance.

Partner and Of Counsel in charge of this practice

Xavier de Sarrau

Managing Partner

Gilbert Delacour

Of Counsel

Jean Castellini

Of Counsel