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Keith Azopardi QC

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Former Deputy Chief Minister of the Government of Gibraltar [2000-2003], Keith served in Government for seven years holding various ministerial portfolios including that of financial services. He led the Gibraltar negotiating team in intergovernmental constitutional talks with the UK Government [1998-9], was Vice-Chairman of the House Select Committee on Constitutional Reform [1999-2002] and was then a member of the Gibraltar delegation that negotiated the 2006 Constitution [2004-06].

Keith has been regularly rated as one of Gibraltar’s top litigators by the major international directories. “Highly rated by peers, Keith Azopardi is a recommended figure for dispute resolution. Valued by clients as "a constructive, innovative and assiduous advocate," his work spans cases relating to financial services, wider commercial litigation and public law.” [Chambers Europe]; “Keith Azopardi is widely recommended and is ‘very well regarded’ in the jurisdiction” [Legal 500].

He regularly appears at all levels of Gibraltar courts and tribunals and is among the few lawyers in Gibraltar to have appeared and led at the Privy Council in London.

His advocacy skills have been recognised by the highest courts with the Privy Council remarking on his “excellent oral submissions” [per Lord Neuberger in Cerisola v Attorney General 5 LRC 111 and the Court of Appeal noting his “impressive arguments” [Secretary of State for Defence v Williamson & Attorney General Gib LR.

Keith was called to the Bar of England & Wales and the Supreme Court of Gibraltar in 1990. He took silk in 2012. His main areas of litigation practice are Commercial, Financial Services [including regulation], Trusts and Contentious Probate, Bankruptcy and Insolvency, Public Law & Human Rights, Professional Discipline and Regulation, Shipping and Mediation. He is also an ADR Group Accredited Mediator.

He has represented parties in most high profile public law cases or high value commercial or trust cases in Gibraltar over the last few years. His clients have included major multi-nationals, trustees, banks, underwriters, liquidators, regulators, government departments, developers and all manner of licensed financial services entities among others. He has appeared in numerous reported cases at all levels.  His recent work has included appearing in the Court of Appeal in a dispute over the image rights of Argentina and FC Barcelona striker Leo Messi, acting for the US Trustee for the liquidation of the business of Bernard Madoff in various Gibraltar actions, representing the Government in a judicial review brought by a former Minister, representing clients in litigation against Chevron, advising in various contentious trust disputes of large international and multi-jurisdictional structures or family settlements, being Counsel for the Inquiry in a Public Inquiry into allegations of misconduct, mismanagement, malpractice and abuse and advising on constitutional and administrative law matters.

Keith holds a first degree in Law/History [Keele] and then a PhD on constitutional law from the University of Nottingham. His book “Sovereignty and the Stateless Nation”, Oxford, Hart, 2009 has been described as “The first systematic study of the constitutional status of Gibraltar in the context of inter-state relations, international law and European Community law.” A review in the Cambridge Law Journal [2011] considered it “essential reading” for “those with a particular interest in the legal status of Gibraltar.”

Keith is also an Associate Member at Blackstone Chambers in London.

Keith is currently the Chairman of the Bar Council having been elected in April 2015.

 

 

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