Hogan Lovells has hired a two-partner team from Benelux firm NautaDutilh as it confirms plans to launch in Luxembourg next month.
The hire of investment funds partner Pierre Reuter and corporate partner Jean-Michel Schmit, both former Linklaters lawyers, leave the Benelux firm with just three partners in the Luxembourg office. The pair will initially lead the new office and join Hogan Lovells with four of their current associates.
The decision to launch in Luxembourg ends a week-long voting process which began on Friday 12 July (15 July 2013). Global co-CEO David Harris said that Luxembourg is an “increasingly important jurisdiction for investment funds” and confirmed that the new office will offer corporate, real estate, private equity and tax law.
Reuter said the recent implementation of the EU’s alternative investment fund managers directive (AIFMD) made the jurisdiction even more attractive for fund managers, adding to its existing attractions of being a stable and flexible regulatory environment.
Regional managing partner Christoph Kueppers confirmed that the firm had worked with Reuter and Schmit on client matters in the past.
Hogan Lovells joins a growing number of international firms in the jurisdiction. SJ Berwin launched a Luxembourg office in January this year (2 January 2013) while Speechly Bircham, which opened in Luxembourg in 2011, recently announced it was expanding (16 April 2013).
Other international firms in Luxembourg include Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance and Linklaters, all of whom have been present for some time.
Sandwiched between Belgium, France and Germany, Luxembourg has developed a reputation as a leading international financial centre, with its stable political system and strong economy proving fertile ground for financial industries such as investment funds, reinsurance and banking.
The past year has seen Luxembourg affected by the global crackdown on banking secrecy and tax evasion. In April, it agreed to automatically exchange information with the US about bank accounts held by US citizens and residents in the country. It also signed the EU Savings Directive, ensuring the same automatic exchange of information within the EU (8 July 2013).