Simmons expands into Luxembourg with five-partner office

Simmons & Simmons has announced plans to launch a five-partner office in Luxembourg to capitalise on the jurisdiction’s funds industry.

The office will be led by partner Stéphane Ober, who joins from his own firm Ober & Partners. He is bringing with him fellow partner Pierre-Régis Dukmedjian.

The duo will be joined by Arendt & Medernach senior adviser Viviane De Moreau d’Andoy and senior associate José Ignacio Pascual Gutiérrez, as well as Linklaters managing associate Louis-Maël Cogis, all of whom join Simmons as partners. Simmons is also hiring a team of eight associates.

The firm is aiming for the office to be open in early 2015, depending on regulatory approval.

Simmons’ asset management group head Colin Leaver said the firm’s clients would “immediately benefit” from the launch.

The Luxembourg office will focus on advising clients in the asset management, funds and financial institutions sectors, in relation to funds formation, structuring, capital markets, banking and tax.

Leaver said there was clear demand for advice from across Continental Europe, particularly Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Paris, as well as Beijing, Hong Kong and London, for Luxembourg structures.

“It makes complete sense for us to be in Luxembourg so we can offer a one-stop shop to our clients when pitching for these transactions,” Leaver added.

Simmons joins a number of other Anglo-Saxon firms in Luxembourg. Allen & Overy, Baker & McKenzie, Clifford Chance and Linklaters have large offices in the jurisdiction. More recent arrivals include Hogan Lovells (23 July 2013) and SJ Berwin (2 January 2013), while legacy Speechly Bircham also launched in Luxembourg in 2011 (6 June 2011).

Luxembourg is the latest in a series of new international bases for Simmons. In the past two years the firm has launched offices in Munich (10 January 2013) and Singapore (8 May 2013) as well as forging an alliance with Canadian firm Fasken Martineau in South Africa (1 August 2014). The firm posted solid financial results for the last financial year, with turnover up 7 per cent and profits rising 13 per cent (8 July 2014).