SJ Berwin expands European footprint with launch of Luxembourg base

SJ Berwin has launched an office in Luxembourg with a double partner hire from local firms in the jurisdiction.

Stephen Kon
Stephen Kon

The City firm has recruited Alexandrine Armstrong-Cerfontaine from Armstrong Cerfontaine Avocats as office managing partner. The private equity specialist and former Allen & Overy lawyer launched Armstrong Cerfontaine Avocats in Luxembourg in 2009 and brings with her a team including an associate and a trainee.

Meanwhile, tax lawyer Geoffrey Scardoni has joined SJ Berwin as a partner from Loyens & Loeff, where he was a senior associate.

The firm is also set to bring aboard regulatory specialist Jean-Noel Lequeue as a part-time consultant. Lequeue is chairman of Alco, Luxembourg’s association of compliance offices.

As part of the launch, which takes effect today (2 January), SJ Berwin private equity funds senior associate Martin Brockhausen is transferring from Munich to Luxembourg.

SJ Berwin senior partner Stephen Kon said in a statement: “Opening an office in Luxembourg is consistent with our international expansion to date. Luxembourg is already an important jurisdiction for many of our clients, with most pan-European funds and continental European domestic funds having some part of their structure there. This growing importance of Luxembourg meant it was an obvious choice for SJ Berwin, to ensure we continue to offer our clients the very best service.”

Armstrong-Cerfontaine added: “Geoffrey and I believe that we are very fortunate to work with a group of very talented people and by joining forces with SJ Berwin, we will offer an exceptional platform for our corporate, finance, private equity, funds and tax practices. The opening of SJ Berwin in Luxembourg, a world class platform for investment banks and investment funds, will provide a unique opportunity for our clients to benefit from a seamless service in the UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Brussels, China and the UAE.”

The launch, giving the firm its 12th office globally, has long been on the cards for SJ Berwin because of the potential benefit of a base in Luxembourg for the firm’s funds practice. It comes amid plans for global expansion for the firm, with Kon highlighting international growth as one of his targets following his election as senior partner last year (16 March 2012).