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Jean-Christian Six and Pierre Schleimer head Allen & Overy Luxembourg’s 17-strong funds team, which attracts praise for its ‘practical and helpful’ advice and for its particular focus on structuring real estate, private equity and debt investment funds. Aided by Yannick Arbaut, Six advised DECA Investments on its restructuring from an umbrella SICAR to a standalone SICAR.
Praised for its ‘responsive and technical advice’, Arendt & Medernach is best known for its UCITS expertise. Praised for his ‘excellent knowledge of the regulator’, Claude Niedner acts for State Street Global Advisors SICAV on day-to-day legal, regulatory and compliance issues associated with this umbrella fund with approximately €8.5bn under management. Claude Kremer, Gilles Dusemon, Pierre Beissel, Isabelle Lebbe and Michele Eisenhuth are also recommended at a partner level, while ‘technically brilliant’ senior associate Frank Brülin ‘has an impressive knowledge of local and EU law and regulation’.
FIRMS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Chevalier & Sciales
Chevalier & Sciales celebrates 10 years of existence this year. It has strong expertise and in-depth knowledge of investment and asset management, providing comprehensive advice on legal and regulatory issues for asset management firms and investment funds. Their interdisciplinary approach assists clients with the organisation, establishment and operation of investment funds, including retail and sophisticated UCITS, master-feeder structures, Specialised Investment Funds, closed-ended funds, hedge and private equity funds, as well as the negotiation of service and management agreements.
Headed by the ‘experienced and knowledgeable’ Joëlle Hauser, Clifford Chance’s ‘impeccable’ 21-strong team has particular strength in the cross-border structuring of alternative investment funds. With assistance from the firm’s New York and Frankfurt offices, Hauser recently advised Mercer Private Markets on the establishment of a new umbrella SICAV-SIF. Other key figures include Paul van den Abeele, ‘outstanding’ counsel Arne Bolch and senior associate Alexander Wagner, who is ‘incredibly knowledgeable in all AIFM-related issues’.
Elvinger Hoss Prussen’s nine-partner team handles the full range of issues associated with the structuring of alternative investment funds and UCITS. The firm was at the forefront of the industry’s push to introduce the Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF) into the market; the ‘knowledgeable and articulate’ Jérôme Wigny has represented Quilvest in the establishment of the first two RAIFs in the market under the newly enacted law. Jacques Elvinger and Gast Juncker are also recommended.
Led by Emmanuel-Frédéric Henrion, Linklaters’ four-partner team attracts praise for its ‘outstanding service’ and ‘business-sensitive and industry-savvy’ sensibilities. Henrion has been particularly active advising UCITS on their increasing adoption of hedge fund-like strategies, including the enhanced use of derivatives as opposed to more commoditised stocks and fixed income strategies. Clients also benefit from the firm’s ability to provide a harmonised service across the firm’s additional European, US and Asian offices. Silke Bernard is at the forefront of developments in the market, as underscored by her work for Partners Group on the structuring of its first two European Long-Term Investment Funds (ELTIF). Hermann Beythan and Freddy Brausch are also recommended.
Bonn & Schmitt advises on the structuring and operational issues associated with UCITS and alternative investment funds, including private equity, real estate and hedge funds. Team head Corinne Philippe continues to advise Euromobiliare International Fund SICAV including on the creation of new sub-funds and the transformation of existing ones. Other clients include Banca Generali and ING Asset Management.
Led by the ‘excellent’ Luc Courtois, Bonn Steichen & Partners is recognised as a ‘very reputable firm in the funds industry with solid links to the regulator’. Evelyn Maher is also recommended for her work on behalf of international clients on the structuring and establishment of alternative investment funds.
Led by the ‘commercial and knowledgeable’ Marc Seimetz, Dechert Luxembourg’s four-partner team provides a ‘responsive and value-for-money service’ to a growing roster of clients in the asset management industry. The team also provides due diligence to investors when investing in Luxembourg investment vehicles. Johan Terblanche recently advised AMP Capital on establishing its new infrastructure debt fund. Patrick Goebel has ‘in-depth knowledge of investment funds regulation’.
A ‘safe pair of hands and a true business partner’, Loyens & Loeff handles the full range of regulatory, transactional and operational work for real estate, infrastructure, private equity and debt funds. Marc Meyers (who attracts praise for his ‘encyclopaedic knowledge and phenomenal experience’ heads the three-partner team, which includes the ‘pragmatic’ Thibaut Partsch and Max Welbes, following his move in July 2016 from MNKS.
Baker McKenzie’s two-partner team provides ‘pragmatic and solutions-oriented advice’ to many of the largest and most sophisticated independent global fund managers and bank-affiliated asset managers. Team head Laurent Fessmann (who provides ‘succinct and efficient’ advice) continues to represent the real estate arm of BNP Paribas with several subscriptions from prestigious investors and the acquisition of the fund’s target portfolio of real estate assets. The team was strengthened by the arrival in September 2016 of ‘respected and well-established funds lawyer’ Catherine Martougin from the Paris office of Jones Day.
The ‘responsive and hardworking’ team at Chevalier & Sciales provides ‘a value-for-money service’ on the establishment and restructuring of UCITS and SIFs. Name partner Olivier Sciales recently assisted a Latvian promoter on the establishment of an equity fund specialising in indirect investments into Euro-denominated mortgage loans in Spain.
Led by Pierre Reuter, Hogan Lovells (Luxembourg) LLP’s team is viewed as a ‘safe pair of hands’ within the alternative funds sector, and is particularly accomplished within the real estate space. Clients include Areca SICAV SIF, Pareto Asset Management, and United Trust.
Wildgen, Partners in Law’s two-partner team has experience advising clients across the spectrum of fund structures including UCITS, SIFs and SICARs. The ‘very experienced’ Samia Rabia has ‘deep knowledge of the laws governing finance’ and is particularly conversant with shari’ah-compliant funds.
At CMS, team head Françoise Pfeiffer recently advised on the establishment of an alternative investment fund investing in IT start-ups. The team, which forms part of the firm’s global funds sector group, regularly works particularly closely with the German offices.
OPF Partners’ recent merger with Dentons gives the legacy firm’s clients the benefit of a wider international footprint. Jeannette Vaude-Perrin heads the team, which was bolstered by the arrival of regulatory compliance expert Eduard Koster from King & Wood Mallesons in August 2016.
At Kleyr Grasso, the ‘knowledgeable and pragmatic’ Patrick Chantrain and counsel Sophie Arvieux are regularly instructed by major US-based credit-oriented alternative asset manager GSO Capital Partners on the Luxembourg elements of its investment strategies.
Ogier provides a one-stop-shop service to sponsors and investors across the lifecycle of regulated and unregulated investment funds. Team head François Pfister is recommended for his work in the private equity sector.
Vandenbulke handles every aspect of the fund lifecycle, including formation, investments and the development of products for entities within the alternative space. The firm is also regularly engaged in restructuring mandates and has been appointed liquidator for a number of regulated investment funds. Denis Van den Bulke is recommended.
Led by David Louis, Charles Russell Speechlys provides a one-stop-shop service to funds with a focus on alternative investment strategies for private equity and hedge funds.
Recent highlights for D.law include advising a leading Spanish financial group on the establishment of various Luxembourg alternative investment funds. ‘Extremely knowledgeable and responsive’ team head Ingrid Dubourdieu is recommended.
Established in March 2016 by three former partners from Bonn Steichen & Partners, GSK Stockman (GSK Luxembourg SA) is noted for its ‘excellent knowledge in the investment funds business’. The ‘very knowledgeable’ Marcus Peter provides ‘pragmatic and solutions-oriented advice’.
LexField ‘punches above its weight’ and provides ‘technically excellent and responsive advice’ on the structuring and pursuant investments of private equity and real estate funds. The ‘exceptional’ Aldric Grosjean is ‘reassuringly knowledgeable’ and heads the team alongside the ‘efficient and very pleasant’ Pierre-Yves Magerotte.
Headed by Vincent Linari-Pierron, Linari Law Firm provides ‘sophisticated and innovative advice’ to fund-industry clients.
At Luther S.A., counsel Julie Thai handles the structuring, marketing and distribution of UCITS and other regulated vehicles. The team was strengthened by the arrival of the ‘pragmatic and knowledgeable’ Hervé Leclerq from Stibbe.
Molitor Avocats à la Cour provides a ‘responsive and knowledgeable service’ to clients engaged in establishing new funds as well as restructuring existing ones. Team head Martina Huppertz regularly represents German clients with their investment fund requirements. Augustin de Longeaux joined from Clifford Chance.
Leveraging its strong roster of international hedge and private equity funds, Simmons & Simmons LLP In Luxembourg’s recently formed Luxembourg office is ‘doing well in the market’ and is particularly strong in the alternative investment funds sector.
Tiberghien Deynecourt represents both sponsors and investors and is able to provide ‘practical and insightful’ advice across a raft of regulatory and corporate issues associated with regulated and unregulated funds. Pierre de Backer is recommended.