Loyens & Loeff has become the first major Benelux firm to open a Hong Kong office, building on its existing presence in Singapore and Tokyo.
The firm is relocating two partners to Hong Kong to staff the new venture. Tax specialist Carola van den Bruinhorst will lead the office, supported by Luxembourger Thierry Lohest. A team of senior associates will join the pair shortly, with the firm planning to add junior associates and trainees to Hong Kong later in the year.
Loyens & Loeff will advise on Dutch, Luxembourg and Belgian civil and tax law in Hong Kong as it does in its other foreign offices. The firm does not plan to practise local law.
Van den Bruinhorst said the firm wanted to leverage off its integrated structure of being a tax advisory and legal firm in Hong Kong.
“As the first large independent Benelux firm to open an office in Hong Kong and especially because of our unique integrated top level legal and tax advice we believe that there is great potential for us in this part of the world,” she said.
“Asian investors can benefit from the attractive Benelux tax climate, while being protected by a good network of bilateral investment. We will focus on international tax planning, M&A, investment management, asset protection and wealth management planning and banking and finance,” van den Bruinhorst added.
While rival De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek has had an office in Beijing since March 2010, no other significant Benelux firms are present in Asia. Boutique firm De Nerée Tuinman & Van Woensel Advocaten has small offices in Shanghai and Hong Kong.