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Legal market overview
For a country that has a population of just over half a million, Luxembourg has a remarkable input in terms of financial services globally. The jurisdiction’s stability, international orientation and innovativeness make it an attractive hub for private and institutional investors from all over the world. As well as its reputation as a centre of premier private banking, the Grand Duchy is also a haven of investment funds – notably, approximately 75% of the world’s Undertakings for Collective Investments in Transferable Securities (UCITS) are registered there. Although most investors historically have been drawn to the market by its low taxation policies, changes have been made recently in order to comply with international requirements; the move towards greater transparency was recently recognised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which upgraded it to a ‘largely compliant’ rating.
As well as funds work, law firms in the region are regularly involved in major cross-border M&A deals, where mandates are frequently structured using a Luxembourg investment vehicle to facilitate the deal. Similarly, in financing, the Luxembourg stock exchange is one of the leading locations for the issuance of high-yield debt, which accounts for a significant amount of work.
Independent domestic firms such as Arendt & Medernach and Elvinger Hoss Prussen compete at the top of the rankings with international firms Allen & Overy Luxembourg, Clifford Chance and Linklaters LLP and several Benelux firms – including Stibbe, Loyens & Loeff and NautaDutilh – which are prominent in numerous practice areas. De Wolf & Partners was wound up. In January 2016, OPF Partners became part of Dentons.
Firms in the spotlight
Deynecourt was established in 2013 by a team of attorneys and tax and finance professionals committed to creating a law firm more innovative and entrepreneurial than those they had left, and aiming to evolve in anticipation of the ever-changing needs of the client. The firm’s lawyers strive to deliver the highest quality legal work and service, to be accessible, efficient and responsive, and to find practical and effective solutions for clients.
Bonn & Schmitt
Bonn & Schmitt is a leading law firm in Luxembourg with an extensive international practice. The firm’s attorneys are experienced practitioners in Luxembourg’s legal environment and represent a broad spectrum of expertise that allows them to deliver unrivalled legal solutions in one of Europe’s leading financial centres.
Legal Business: country analysis
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Weighed down by political unrest and slowing economies, energy and infra projects look like one area to be driving
the CEE economy. Can the shale revolution power up
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INSIGHT: Hard graft
the pan-Europe bribery crackdown
As European agencies turn up the heat on bribery and corruption, we team up with Simmons & Simmons to assess how clients are responding.
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The Luxembourg government has placed before parliament on January 18 draft legislation amending provisions relating to specialised investments funds (SIFs), risk capital investment companies (SICARs) and non-UCITS funds issued under Part II of the grand duchy’s collective investment fund legislation. The proposals would notably restrict SIF funds and sub-funds that invest in so-called exotic assets to professional investors, a tighter definition than that for eligibility for SIF investments in general.
Bill No 6900 for the budget for 2016, presented on 14 October 2015 by the Luxembourg Minister of Finance Pierre Gramegna, is about to be adopted. It repeals the existing business-friendly tax regime encouraging the exploitation of intellectual property rights (“IPRs”) as from 1 July 2016, with a transitional period beginning on 1 July 2016 and ending on 30 June 2021.
The European Securities and Markets Authority has issued a fresh update on October 1 to its Questions and Answers document providing guidance and interpretation of the EU’s Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive as well as the European Commission’s level II delegated regulations on implementation of the directive issued in December 2012 and May 2013.
This quarterly tax update is dedicated to the main changes which have occurred over the last 3 months with regard to Luxembourg and international tax law: tax_update_-_october_2015 .
Luxembourg is pushing ahead with legislation to adopt the UCITS V directive into national law. Bill no. 6845, transposing Directive 2014/91/EU of July 23, 2014, was approved by the cabinet on July 10 and placed before parliament on August 5. It is expected to be debated and adopted during the fourth quarter of the year.
On August 10, the CSSF issued the latest update of its Frequently Asked Questions document on the grand duchy’s law of July 12, 2013 implementing the AIFMD and the European Commission’s Level 2 regulation on implementation of the directive, last revised on December 29, 2014. The FAQ document has now run to nine versions over the past year and a half. Its aim is to highlight aspects of the AIFMD rules from a Luxembourg perspective, for the benefit primarily of alternative funds and managers established in the grand duchy. It complements Q&A documents on the AIFMD published by ESMA, itself most recently updated last month, and by the European Commission.
On 23 July 2015, a new law concerning the reform of social dialogue (hereafter the “Law”) was enacted which profoundly impacts staff representation within companies. 09.09.2015_newsflash_-_new_legislation_on_staff_representation
>The Directive 2013/36/EU (CRD IV) has finally been implemented in Luxembourg and the most part of the CRD IV provisions is now incorporated into the Law of 5 April 1993.
The European Securities and Markets Authority has published – with a slight delay of six days beyond the July 22 deadline – its advice on extending access to the EU market under the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive to non-EU alternative investment fund managers and funds, recommending that the AIFMD passport be granted to Guernsey, Jersey and Switzerland.
On May 5 the Luxembourg Financial Supervisory Authority issued CSSF Circular 15/612, addressed to all managers of alternative funds subject to the 2013 legislation implementing the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive, regarding reporting on unregulated alternative funds, whether established in Luxembourg, another EU member state or in a non-EU jurisdiction, as well as alternative funds regulated outside the EU.
Benefits-Plaza offers an Employee Benefits platform for administration and communication relating to insurable employment conditions. By using this platform, insurers and brokers achieve efficiency, time and cost savings. Regardless of where the insured schemes are hosted, all arrangements can be managed in the platform, such as all types of pension schemes, group disability, absenteeism, accidents and medical expenses. Benefits-Plaza has years of experience and built up a strong position with leading clients, including Avéro Achmea, Allianz, Aegon, Delta Lloyd and Zwitserleven.- AKD
Employers ought not to rely on the rules of intestate succession but instead prepare a will. The law firm GRP Rainer has extensive experience in business succession planning.
Partner Emma Pitcher is quoted in World Intellectual Property Review’s (WIPR) feature about the “Trade in Counterfeit and Pirated Goods: Mapping the Economic Impact Findings” report released by the OECD and the European Union Intellectual Property Office.
Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, the Bundeskartellamt, has brought a close to the so-called “Schienenfall” (rail case) and imposed a fine amounting to millions of euros on a rail company for illegal price-fixing agreements.
The new regulation concerning European Union trade marks is set to come into force on March 23, 2016. What has hitherto been known as a Community trade mark will then become a European Union trade mark.
Kinanis Opens New Office in Shanghai China
The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the communications network linking physical objects and allowing them to exchange information without the need for human intervention. It is expected that many new businesses will be set up to create and use IoT technology, introducing new companies to the telecommunications industry, alongside the many and varied existing participants.
Chambers & Partners has published the latest edition of its guide this month, and we are pleased to announce that Karanović & Nikolić has once again been included in its list of the best legal practices in the world.
RSPP and VEGAS LEX have discussed the consequences of the planned compulsory licensing of pharmaceuticals in the context of growing competition, antitrust regulation and other restrictions in the regulation of intellectual property rights at a roundtable with the participation of FAS Russia.
In a recent statement to the press, the Slovenian Minister of Economic Development and Technology, Zdravko Počivalšek, labelled the Serbian spas as great tourism potentials and 'undiscovered gems', before continuing to declare Slovenian interest for investing in them. According to him, this investment would not be purely financial, as it would also include the investment of Slovenian industry know-how in the process of developing and upgrading the spa offer in Serbia, as a response to emerging health trends and increasing spa vacation demands.