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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
Breaking new ground – advisers hope shale revolution can restart CEE market
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
Click here to read the feature.
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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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27 July 2016
9 August 2016
The RAIF benefits from flexibility in terms of legal structuring, and from all the advantages known to the SIF and SICAR regimes: umbrella structure, toolbox assembly approach and the “well-informed” investor concept. Please refer to our newsflash, to get all the details about the RAIF.
The new simplified regime regarding legal publication relating to companies and associations has been implemented in Luxembourg on June 1, following approval of the legislation by the Chamber of Deputies on May 10. The legislation, which was published in Luxembourg’s Official Journal on May 30 as the Law of May 27, 2016, is complemented by a circular issued by the Luxembourg Trade and Companies Register on March 24 (Circular RCSL 16/01).
On June 9, 2016 the CSSF issued the latest update of its Frequently Asked Questions document on the Luxembourg law of July 12, 2013 implementing the AIFMD and the European Commission’s Level 2 regulation on implementation of the directive, last revised on August 10, 2015. The new version provides clarity about the ability of Luxembourg-domiciled alternative funds to conduct loan origination, participation and acquisition, an important issue given the role of Luxembourg as a leading centre for funds conducting or investing in loans.
The Luxembourg Government presented on 29 February 2016 a new set of tax measures to be implemented by 2017, known as the 2017 tax reform package. The new measures concern both corporate and individual taxation, with a particular focus on social justice and international competitiveness. The amendments may be summarised as follows:
On 24 March 2016, the European Commission Delegated Regulation EU 2016/438 supplementing the UCITS V Directive with regard to obligations of depositaries was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The Delegated Regulation will apply from 13 October 2016.
On 6 April 2016 ESMA published a second discussion paper on UCITS share classes. The discussion paper builds on the feedback received in relation to ESMA’s first discussion paper on this issue which was published in December 2014. In analysing the responses to the first discussion paper, ESMA has identified diverging national practices as to the types of share class that are permitted, ranging from very simple to much more sophisticated share classes. ESMA is now seeking stakeholders’ views on common principles which could form the basis for a regulatory framework that all UCITS share classes should comply with. These common principles are as follows:
On 24 March 2016, the European Commission Delegated Regulation EU 2016/438 (the “Delegated Regulation”) supplementing the UCITS V Directive with regard to obligations of depositaries was published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The long-awaited so-called level 2 measures for Directive 2014/91/EU of 23 July 2014 as regards depositary functions, remuneration policies and sanctions (“Directive UCITS V”) provide for the following:
After more than 4 years of negotiation and roughly 4,000 amendments, the General Data Protection Regulation has finally been adopted yesterday by the European Parliament.
Piracy and copyright infringements are on the increase. As such, it is all the more important to take appropriate measures to protect one’s trademarks and intellectual property.
On October 12, 2016, VEGAS LEX organized a workshop, Advertising in the pharmaceutical sector: risk matrix , for representatives of pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers of medical devices and dietary supplements.
No distinction is made between “Mac” and “Mc” for the purposes of trademark law. The General Court of the European Union (EGC) ruled that whether the syllable includes an “a” is of no great significance (Az.: T-518/13).
Anyone who includes false statements in their application documents risks having their employment contract terminated with immediate effect.
The renewable energy company OX2 has been retained to construct the Lehtirova wind farm generating 148 MW (41 wind power turbines) in Norrbotten. The customer is Aquila Capital. Foyen Advokatfirma assisted OX2 in the negotiations regarding the turbine supply agreement and the service agreement with the turbine supplier, Vestas. The partner in charge at Foyen was Jacob Hamilton.
Members of the truck cartel will have to pay a fine totaling approx. 2.9 billion euros, and things could become even more expensive if damages claims brought by clients follow.
The IFLR1000 2017 Financial and Corporate rankings were published on October 14, 2016. VEGAS LEX improved its positions in Project finance and Mergers and acquisitions. Chairman of the Board of Partners Albert Eganyan was noted as a leading lawyer in the Project finance category.
The inheritance tax reforms have still yet to be finalized. With the Bundesrat, the upper house of the German parliament, having blocked the draft legislation on July 8, no further decision is expected to be taken before the autumn.
In an action brought by CL Educate Limited, the company behind Career Launcher (popularly known as CL), India’s premier test prep institutions, the Delhi High Court has restrained competitor Think and Learn Pvt. Ltd. (popularly known as Byju’s) and its directors from infringing and misusing CL’s trademarks to lure prospective students into enrolling.
Early signs of the new shape of IP litigation under the Commercial Courts Act are being seen in the speed with which the Delhi High Court disposed of a suit filed by Tata Sons Ltd. on the second date of hearing, applying the ‘summary judgment’ provisions contained in this Act.