Zabaldano Law Office once again highly ranked in Leader’s League

27 March 2018

Once again, the French magazine Leader’s League distinguished Etude Zabaldano for its excellence in the Litigation & Competition Intelligence report 2018.

Listed among the leaders of the Monaco market, Arnaud Zabaldano is particularly noted for « defending international interests » in complex cases and recommended for « investigations and evidence-searching issues ».

Leader’s League provides rankings based on in-depth analysis, examined in terms of qualitative criteria. To accurately rank top firms, Leader’s League rankings compile advisors’ best practices in different area of business and/or specific field of speciality.



Zabaldano Law office strengthens its administrative team

23 March 2018

We are pleased to announce that Alexandra Veniat and Oksana Moskalenko have joined our administrative team.

Alexandra has been appointed as Office Manager. She brings with her considerable experience in both legal and administration areas. After taking her law degree, Alexander worked as a lawyer then continued in several positions in administrative and logistics management giving her current skills to enhance the operational effectiveness of our team . She speaks French and English.

Oksana has been appointed as Legal Assistant providing a variety of legal assistance and office support. After taking a law degree and a certificate as legal assistant, she worked for 4 years in similar positions. She speaks Russian, French and English.

Unaoil case: Court of Appeal rules against UK request for extradition

27 February 2018

Zabaldano intervened in the case of suspicions of corruption against the Monegasque company UNAOIL and its leaders, which had led to a large search and seizure operation in Monaco in March 2016, widely reported in the press.

In October 2017, the Serious Fraud Office in London sent a request for extradition to the Monegasque authorities, concerning one of the persons being investigated in the United Kingdom, for alleged acts of bribery of foreign public officials.

On 7 February 2018, the Court of Appeal in Monaco, sitting in Chambers, issued an unfavorable opinion on this request for extradition. Following the argument developed by Mr Zabaldano in the interests of the wanted individual and following the writings of the Prosecutor’s office, the Court found that the alleged offenses were not in accordance with Monegasque law at the time of the facts, so the dual criminality requirement of Article 2.1 of the European Convention on Extradition was not fulfilled

Zabaldano once again achieves strong rankings and recommendations in the prestigious Chambers Global guide 2018

21 February 2018

Arnaud Zabaldano received considerable recognition in the recently released 2018 edition of Chambers Global that acknowledged him as a “highly regarded lawyer known for his good technical skills”. This distinction is a direct result of the firm’s continued efforts to provide the highest calibre legal advice to clients in criminal and corporate international disputes.

The Chambers Guides have been ranking the best law firms and lawyers since 1990, and now cover 185 jurisdictions throughout the world. Chambers ranks both lawyers and law firms based on the research of 150 full-time editors and researchers employed at its head office in London.

Esq. Zabaldano elected Trustee-Rapporteur of the Monaco Bar Council

30 November 2017

At the Annual General meeting of the Monaco Bar Council, Mr Zabaldano was honored to be elected by his colleagues as Trustee-Rapporteur.

He will carry out a one-year mandate with the Bar Council alongside the President, Mr Yann Lajoux, and the Treasurer, Mr Thomas Giaccardi.

Estoppel, legal principle of limited application

28 September 2017

Estoppel is a legal principle of Anglo-Saxon origin whereby a party is prevented from making assertions that are contradictory to the detriment of its opponents. It is generally referred to as “the prohibition of contradicting oneself to the detriment of another”. It constitutes, in civil proceedings, a plea of ​​inadmissibility, that is to say, a means of defense which results in a final termination of the proceedings without any debate on the merits.

Far from embodying a general prohibition of contradicting itself to the detriment of others, the principle of estoppel may only be usefully opposed only under certain conditions: the contradiction which it is supposed to sanction must result from a change of position in law of a litigant liable to mislead the other party in its intentions and intervene in the same proceeding.

In a recent decision of 22 June 2017, the Court of Cassation persists in its restrictive tendency by imposing two additional conditions:

– The first requires that the contradictory positions be adopted in the course of a “judicial debate”. In the present case, a party was accused of having contradicted itself in its “writings” by adopting a position contrary to that taken in correspondence exchanged with its opponent before referral to the courts. The Court of Cassation considered that only judicial writings filed by the parties had to be taken into account in assessing whether there was a contradiction. The formula used by the High Court also suggests that even exchanges after the issuance of the summons could be indifferent.

– The second consists in taking only into account a contradiction between “claims” (that is to say, claims made in the context of the legal proceedings initiated). Only allegations (i.e. the facts relied upon) would not allow a characterization of a breach of the duty of coherence of the litigants.

In the Principality of Monaco there is little published case law on the subject. The Higher Court has a tendency to leave the task of defining the elements capable of characterizing estoppel to the discretion of the trial judges. It merely states that the principle requires a contradiction capable of characterizing procedural disloyalty. The Court of Appeal was able to point out that the contradiction must take place within the same procedural framework (thus meeting the requirements of the Court of Cassation) and between the same parties. It also seems to require that the contradiction be invoked in bad faith by the litigant to whom it is reproached, thus, in a way, referring to the notion of procedural disloyalty

It can therefore be argued that the Monegasque courts, like those in France, have a restrictive interpretation of the principle of estoppel, thus demonstrating their willingness to grant the litigants a certain tolerance in the development of their arguments.

Zabaldano maintains strong rankings in Legal 500

14 April 2017

Zabaldano has once again been ranked in the highly respected Legal 500 guide to outstanding legal professionals.

The world-renowned legal referral guide recommends our team in Commercial, Corporate and M&A and Private Client practice areas further reinforcing the firm’s reputation for delivering high-quality legal advice and giving clients present and future confidence to represent them

According to the Legal 500, “the ‘excellent and very professional’ Zabaldano Avocat Defenseur handles a range of contentious and non-contentious matters for clients, including corporate, construction and real estate law”.

According to clients, Zabaldano is recognized as being “among the very best trial lawyer firms in Monaco”’.

Arnaud Zabaldano is noted as “very good on Monaco legal procedure’ and Senior associate, Valerie Zoccola is recommended for private client issues.

The announcement comes at a time of continuing growth of Zabaldano’s operations reflected in the appointment of associates in order to expand notably our litigation offering.

Zabaldano ranked in leading Monaco Best Law Firms for Commercial & Corporate Litigation in Leaders League Litigation & International Arbitration Intelligence report 2017.

27 March 2017

We are happy to announce that we have been ranked in leading Monaco Best Law Firms for Commercial & Corporate Litigation  in Leaders League Litigation & International Arbitration 2017 Edition, recognized as being « Among those who count » with the following comments:

“Track record : The law firm has a first class international client base, ranging from building and construction companies, international banks, cosmetics and pharmeceutical companies to luxury retail companies. The law firm has excelled dealing in international criminal law cases and investigations, and is seen as one of the leading experts in the market.

Team & differentiation : Arnaud Zabaldano, the founding partner, has built a 12-strong team – one of the biggest in the market, which has been recently reinforced in litigation .The team handles complex litigations in civil and criminal law, as well as white-collar crime and real estate for a wide range of clients. The law firm has a strong employment law practice.»

Arnaud Zabaldano ranked in prestigious Chambers Global guide 2017

22 March 2017

We are pleased to be ranked for the fifth year running in this world renowned guide with the following quote :

“Arnaud Zabaldano of Zabaldano Avocat Défenseur is recognised in the Monegasque legal market for impressive skill in litigation.

Peers comment: “Arnaud has always been outstanding in corporate international disputes. He’s always done a fantastic job.”


17 March 2017

The Government of Monaco, by Ministerial Order No. 2017- 4 of 12 January 2017, has implemented proceedings for obtaining permission to travel abroad of a minor who is not accompanied by a holder of parental authority, similar to proceedings that have been made mandatory in France since 15 January 2017.

This authorization to leave the country was reintroduced by the French Parliament by Article 49 of Law 2016-731 dated 3 June 2016, the details of which have been specified under a decree of 2 November 2016 and an order of 13 December 2016, to deal with the departure of minors to conflict zones.

In order to avoid any inconvenience to its residents in the event of a minor’s departure from France, the Principality has introduced a similar obligation.

In practice, this authorization is requested by filling out a form (, providing the following information:

–       surname (and commonly used surname, if applicable), first name and middle names, date and place of birth of the minor authorized to leave the country;

–       surname (and commonly used surname, if applicable), first  name and middle names, date and place of birth of the holder of parental authority who is signatory to the authorization and the capacity under which that authority is exercised, address and, where appropriate, telephone contact details;

–       duration of the authorization, which may not exceed one year;

–       signature of the holder of parental authority.

This duly completed and signed form must be accompanied by a legible copy of a valid official identity document of the holder of parental authority.