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Remi Delforge, Founding partner

Remi Delforge, founding partner of DL Corporate & Regulatory in Monaco discusses how the firm is adapting to clients' changing needs.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate DL Corporate & Regulatory from your competitors?

We have a practical and business oriented approach and we have a true team spirit both within our firm and with our clients. Most of us have worked as inhouse counsels of international groups and banks and we understand the bigger picture, with an international outlook. For instance, when we work with banking groups, our Monaco advice is also consistent with Group policieQs.

We have also developed working methods enabling law-firms to use their internal resources while we concentrate on the specific Monaco implications at minimal costs. We strive to deliver concise, to-the-point advice to meet clients’ objectives in a cost-effective manner within short deadlines.

Also, having worked for international firms (Freshfields, Eversheds,) our working methods and delivery times follow international standards.

Which practices in your member firm do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

We see the consolidation trend for banks and asset management companies continuing with a number of banking M&A transactions. We are currently working on several deals as well as restructurings and outsourcing projects or branching which we see increasingly. The drivers are strategic decisions, IT, cost reductions and regulatory compliance.

On the regulatory side, we are working on innovative banking compliance projects, in particular following European Banking Authority (EBA) capital requirements under CRR/CRD IV with novel hybrid instruments and assisting banks implementing CRS procedures, MiFID, EMIR and cross-border manuals.

More generally, we see the attractiveness of Monaco continuing to bring in investments from China and Asian groups. There are many areas of investments such as gaming, hotels, luxury, shipping and real estate development.

We also see our sports law practice growing, with new governance rules for Federations and Clubs. For instance, in Formula 1 racing, as a result of the sale to Liberty Media, we anticipate changes in the organization of F1 motor racing and teams. Sebastien Bernard, former FIA head lawyer, has joined our firm to reinforce our team in this area.

What’s the main change that you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?

As just discussed, we have brought in new lawyers to reinforce specific areas (e.g. sports law) and we strive to keep up to date with legal developments affecting our clients.

We continuously try to improve our level of service and the quality of our advice, by adapting to clients needs and keeping up to date in all our practice areas. As for our methods of delivery, our clients like our “tailor made” approach and responsiveness.

How is technology changing the way you interact with your clients and the services you can provide them?

Like our clients, we are concerned with security and confidentiality of information so that we can interact on the same level and ensure our systems are compatible.

Because our clients are developing advanced technology, such as Ultra High Definition for filming images of Formula 1 racing, blockchain in payment services, trading platforms in distribution and franchising, etc, there are new challenges in data protection, secrecy and all sorts of legal, IT and commercial issues that we have to resolve.

Can you give a practical example of how you’ve helped a client add value to their business?

We are great believers of simplification. We recently have helped a major Private Banking Group simplify its credit documentation and account opening documents. Instead of 15 signatures on separate documents, the same result can be achieved with only 1 or 2 clients’ signatures on a set of documents. This helps gain time both for the Bank and the client. It reduces the paperwork and increases client satisfaction.

Also, we helped a sports Club launch and develop licensing and merchandising projects that were financially rewarding and good advertising for their image.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?

We have worked with the majority of our clients for over 15 years and our team is very strong and works well together. We hope to continue with new hires in our areas of expertise such as corporate, banking regulatory and sports law. The Principality of Monaco is a stable environment. Although a small territory, Monaco has ambitious projects and we help our clients to achieve large scale projects.

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