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Editorial

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
www.deynecourt.com

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
www.bonnschmitt.net

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.

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Legal Developments in Luxembourg

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to
  • New tax measures announced

    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:
  • UCITS V level 2 measures published in the Official Journal of the EU

    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.
  • ESMA publishes discussion paper on UCITS share classes

    ​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:
  • Level 2 measures for UCITS V: an overview

    ​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:
  • Adoption of the EU General Data Protection Regulation

    ​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.
  • Luxembourg implements UCITS V

    ​Today, the Luxembourg Parliament (Chambre des Députés) adopted bill of law no. 6845 implementing Directive 2014/91/EU of 23 July 2014 on UCITS as regards depositary functions, remuneration policies and sanctions (“UCITS V Directive”) by way of amending the Luxembourg law of 17 December 2010 on undertakings for collective investment (the “UCI Law”).
  • the arendter n°5

    ​Luxembourg and China have developed a long-lasting and significant business relationship. Established diplomatic protocols extend back over 40 years and we are observing increasingly close business ties between the two countries.
  • Amendment of the Luxembourg Transparency Law

    The Transparency Law*, which is the implementing act for disclosure and dissemination of regulated information by issuers whose securities are admitted to trading on a regulated market and whose home Member State within the meaning of the Transparency Directive** is Luxembourg, has been amended by the Luxembourg Parliament on 21 April 2016 (the “Transparency Amending Law”). The Transparency Amending Law implements, among others, Directive 2013/50/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2013 (the “Transparency Amendment Directive”)***. The Transparency Amending Law is yet to be published in the Luxembourg official gazette before it will come into force.
  • Reform of the legal publication regime adopted

    - Mémorial C to be replaced by the “RESA” electronic platform
  • UCITS V legislation to come into force in Luxembourg in June

    Luxembourg’s Chamber of Deputies has approved legislation incorporating the European Union’s UCITS V directive into national law, following a legislative odyssey lasting just over nine months. Bill of law no. 6845 amends the grand duchy’s fund legislation of December 17, 2010, which transposed UCITS IV, and was finalised by publication on May 12 in the Mémorial, the country’s official journal, as the Law of May 10, 2016, the day it was signed by Grand Duke Henri. The legislation will come into force at the beginning of June.

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