Led by Jean Schaffner, Allen & Overy Luxembourg's full-service offering remains best-known for its 'very effective' tax structuring work on behalf of alternative asset management firms. Senior partner Patrick Mischo is also regularly involved in funds-related structuring matters, in addition to taking the lead, from a Luxembourg tax perspective, on domestic and international M&A handled by the firm. Counsel Julie Carbiener is viewed as a 'rising star' in the market with niche expertise on VAT matters and tax litigation.
Tax in Luxembourg
Allen & Overy Luxembourg
Oaktree Capital Management
- Advised Nordea Bank on the tax issues associated with the sale of its Luxembourg-based private banking business to UBS Europe.
- Advised Morocco’s Saham Group, Africa’s leading service provider, on the tax issues associated with the merger of its CRM business with that of Germany-based Bertelsmann, Europe’s largest media company, creating a joint venture company.
- Acted for ABN Amro Bank on the tax issues associated with the acquisition by Luxembourg-based banking group BGL BNP Paribas of all the outstanding shares in ABN Amro Bank (Luxembourg) S.A. and its fully-owned life insurance subsidiary ABN Amro Life.
Led by the 'smart and experienced' Thierry Lesage, Arendt & Medernach's six-partner team has 'unsurpassed technical knowledge, commercial understanding and legislative and administrative insight', enabling it to provide 'client-oriented, proactive and solution-driven' advice to clients across the gamut of tax structuring and discrete advisory work. Eric Fort 'has an unparalleled expertise in tax-related financial matters', including as it relates to private wealth, as well as real estate and private equity. Jan Neugebauer regularly provides the tax structuring input to M&A mandates handled by the firm, while the 'outstanding' Vincent Mahler is forging a strong reputation in the market advising on the tax aspects of unregulated and regulated real estate structures.
‘The tax team has a solid knowledge of the law and is always supportive in finding a solution when it comes to complex matters.‘
‘Thierry Lesage has a full and strong knowledge of international tax law.‘
‘Thierry Lesage is, without doubt, one of the very top Luxembourg tax advisers. He is calm, knowledgeable and very well-connected to the Luxembourg tax authorities.‘
‘Eric Fort provides practical solutions and accurate tax advice regarding the Luxembourg tax implications of corporate transactions that involve Luxembourg.‘
‘The brilliant Vincent Mahler is an outstanding professional.‘
Braas Monier Building Group
Tunsdall Real Estate AM
- Provided regulatory, legal, corporate and tax, transfer pricing assistance to Citic Capital Partners in connection with the envisaged acquisition of the Ileos Group.
- Advised Honeywell on the spin-off of Garrett Motion Inc, Honeywell’s former transportation systems business, into a stand-alone structure, and financing of the structure.
- Advised HSBC on tax-related matters relating to the reorganisation of its activities consequential to Brexit.
Baker McKenzie remains a towering force in the market for tax matters by virtue of a loyal client base, existing strong practitioners, and in November 2019, the recruitment of the 'outstanding' Diogo Duarte de Oliveira from Stibbe. The team has a strong focus on international tax structuring and advisory work for corporates, funds and financial institutions, and is able to tap into the expertise of a huge expanse of tax practitioners from across the firm's global network of offices. Antonio A. Weffer excels at advising on international tax matters and is recognised by some as 'the best transfer pricing practitioner in Luxembourg'.
‘Well-qualified lawyers and strong network providing value-added advice in a fast moving and challenging tax environment.‘
‘Amar Hamouche is a brilliant tax expert, who combines strong technical skills with an innate solution-oriented mindset and deep understanding of the characteristics of the market and industry of the client.‘
‘Diogo Duarte de Oliveira is very focused on the client, he provides innovative solutions supported by his deep knowledge of tax laws on cross-border transactions.‘
- Advised a US multinational diversified hospitality company on a global restructuring of its operations, particularly dealing with the transfer of assets and liabilities sitting at the level of a US branch of a Luxembourg entity to Switzerland.
- Acted as Luxembourg tax adviser for a global technology leader that designs, develops and supplies semiconductor and infrastructure software solutions, on the re-domiciliation of its headquarters from Singapore to the US.
- Assisted a multinational telecoms company with the global re-organisation of its Luxembourg entities, aiming at simplifying the European group structure.
'Highly specialised in tax matters', Bonn Steichen & Partners provides 'extremely commercial and focused advice' to clients in the context of M&A and investment fund structuring, transfer pricing and tax disputes. 'Extremely knowledgeable' team head Alain Steichen is at the forefront of the highest-profile matters handled by the team, including its continued representation of the Luxembourg government in its ongoing state aid litigation with the European Commission for certain advance tax agreements granted to Amazon and Fiat. Recently promoted to counsel, Daniel Riedel 'stands out with his pro-active and commercial approach' across the gamut of contentious and non-contentious matters.
‘The team really goes deep into the issues and tries to find highly technical legal arguments.‘
‘The team is extremely commercial and focused on the key issues at hand.‘
‘Alain Steichen is very reliable.‘
‘Alain Steichen and Daniel Riedel are hands on, responsive and attentive.‘
‘Pol Mellina is very conscientious with his work.‘
Global Infrastructure Partners
JR AMC Co. Limited
- Assisted Global Infrastructure Partners, as sole Luxembourg advisers, with the tax and corporate aspects related to the disposal of its investment in a German wind farm project.
- Representing the Luxembourg government in its ongoing state aid litigation with the European Commission for certain advance tax agreements granted to Amazon and Fiat.
- Advised Catalyst Capital on the set-up of Catalyst Core Plus European Property Fund, a €1bn “evergreen” real estate fund.
Led out of Luxembourg by the 'outstanding' Geoffrey Scardoni (following his arrival from DLA Piper in January 2019) and able to leverage an extensive international network of offices, Clifford Chance provides 'answers to cross-border tax questions and has the ability to explain complex tax matters to the layperson in a clear way'. Praised for his ability to provide 'pragmatic tax and structuring solutions', Scardoni has 'great experience of international tax', particularly as it pertains to investment fund-related matters.
‘Clifford Chance Luxembourg is a one-stop-shop that is very useful for private equity houses with needs in tax, but also corporate and fund structuring.‘
‘The team is highly recommended for fund structuring matters and complex multi-jurisdiction tax advice.‘
‘Geoffrey Scardoni has a very good understanding of the larger legal issues that can be met by a fund and has a precise knowledge of market practice.‘
- Advising Rothschild – Five Arrows, the fund manager, on the setting-up of a fund platform.
Appreciated by clients for its 'high level of integration' with other complementary practice groups, Elvinger Hoss Prussen provides 'excellent tax advice', particularly in relation to funds structuring work and on M&A mandates in the private equity and real estate fields. Jean-Luc Fisch left the firm in 2020.
‘Beyond providing excellent tax advice, we particularly value the high level of integration with the corporate law aspects, ensuring that the tax advice is correctly and efficiently implemented.‘
Signal Capital Partners LLP
Permira Credit Solutions II Master L.S. S.A.
- Provided tax advice to the creditors of the luggage bags maker, Delsey, on the latter’s acquisition of control over Delsey by way of a purchase of shares and bonds.
- Assisted Avenue Europe International Management, CarVal Investors GB and Marathon Asset Management with the tax aspects associated with the debt and capital restructuring and refinancing of the French fashion retailer IKKS.
- Provided tax structuring and transfer pricing advice to Signal Capital Partners on several real estate acquisitions in Europe.
Led by the 'excellent' Jochem van der Wal, Loyens & Loeff's seven-partner team has the strength-in-depth to act for clients across a wide range and volume of tax mandates, including on compliance, VAT, transfer pricing and in tax litigation matters. It also handles a considerable amount of fund structuring work for private equity sponsor clients relating to their investment strategies. Peter Moons is noted for his cross-border tax structuring expertise and also heads up the firm's transfer pricing team.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team keeps abreast of key local government and EU Initiatives.‘
Round Hill Capital
- Provided the tax input to Round Hill Capital on the €1.4bn disposal of a vast residential property portfolio in the Netherlands to Heimstaden.
- Provided legal and tax (transfer pricing) advice to Jack Wolfskin on its takeover by American Callaway Golf.
Benefiting from a 'deep understanding of the tax law and a critical and unique thought process on various tax topics', boutique firm TS&P has continued to pick up market share since its establishment in 2018. Headed by André Pesch, who benefits from 'deep knowledge, strong experience and excellent connections with the government and local tax authorities', the firm advises a myriad banks, funds, corporates and high-net-worth individuals on complex cross-border deals and structures involving a Luxembourg nexus.
‘The firm is very professional and is composed of individuals that are extremely good at their specialty.‘
‘The firm creates a one-of-a-kind tailored service experience for its clients.‘
‘Romain Jacques manages large workloads in an efficient manner.‘
- Luxembourg tax advice on multiple private equity deals.
- Luxembourg tax structuring of double tier Luxembourg structure (involving top Luxembourg holding companies).
- Luxembourg tax structuring and restructuring of European infrastructure investments.
- Advising Chinese state-owned investment company, Citic Cwei, on the structuring and financing of the acquisition of a Brazilian holding company active in the green energy market.
- Advice on the Luxembourg tax implications related to the establishment of a Luxembourg company under the legal form of a private limited liability company, held by a Luxembourg Sicav-SIF to invest in units of an Italian real estate fund financed out of notes issued to a bank.
- Advising on the direct and indirect tax aspects, as well as other tax issues, accounting and legal matters (e.g. FATCA and CRS obligations) concerning the demerger and establishment of a branch in Luxembourg by an Italian fund management company.
Now headed by Frederic Feyten following his arrival in January 2020 from Dentons, the 'reactive and client-focused' team at CMS works on its own or in unison with lawyers from across the firm's network across a wide range of international tax work impacting on institutional investors, asset managers and high-net-worth individuals.
Dentons' 'proactive and responsive' six-strong team is particularly well-positioned to provide international tax structuring advice to funds and corporates, where it is also able to tap into the expertise of practitioners spread throughout the firm's vast international network of offices. Jean-Luc Fisch joined in 2020 to head the team.
‘Their professionalism and efficiency are highly appreciated.‘
Terra Firma Capital Partners Limited
Dubai Aerospace Enterprise
KanAm Grund Group
Kering (ex PPR)
- Advised Cogito Partners on tax issues related to setting up a fund and financing granted by several investors, including PFR Ventures and European Investment Fund.
- Advised a consortium led by Terra Firma on the tax aspects of the acquisition of Parmaco Group.
- Assisted Barings Real Estate with the tax aspects of the acquisition of five office buildings within Avalon Business Park, Madrid, Spain.
Working on its own, as well as in conjunction with practitioners from across the firm's international network, Hogan Lovells (Luxembourg) LLP's four-strong team is noted for its ability to 'provide a co-ordinated technical approach on cross-border subjects', including as it relates to M&A mandates handled by funds and corporates. 'Pragmatic and knowledgeable' team head Gérard Neiens has a strong reputation for transactional tax mandates, in addition to VAT matters and restructuring.
‘The team has tremendous relationships among the various Luxembourg service providers.‘
‘The advisors were not only responsive in their technical approach but also very proactive in proposing solutions.‘
‘Gérard Neiens has known our group very well for fifteen years, which allows him to be reactive on the slightest subject.’
‘Counsel Jean-Philippe Monmousseau is an excellent professional.‘
CPI Property Group
- Advising Acon Investments on the tax aspects of its co-investment with Torreal on the acquisition of Alicante-based cosmetics company Germaine de Capuccini, via a twofold layer of Luxembourg joint venture companies.
- Providing corporate and tax assistance to RiverRock regarding its acquisition of a minority interest in Hospital University Complex of Vigo.
- Advised CPI Property Group on the tax implications of its €550m resettable undated subordinated notes issued under the €5bn euro medium-term note programme.
Led by Olivier Van Ermengem, Linklaters' two-partner team regularly provides the concomitant international and domestic tax structuring work generated by the firm's market-leading corporate and finance transactional teams. The team also provides tax input for alternative funds clients (particularly in the real estate space), and advises on current regulatory changes.
‘The team provides practical, insightful and responsive advice.‘
‘The team provides exceptional research, pertinent industry updates and other resources that we’ve been able to leverage as a powerful value add.‘
DBG Managing Partner GmbH & Co. KG – Deutsche Beteiligungs AG
Axa Real Estate Investment Managers
CBRE Global Investors
- Advising Abengoa on the tax aspects of several refinancings following the implementation of a global restructuring involving the reduction of pre-restructuring old money group corporate debt from c.€8.9bn to c.€2.6bn.
- Assisted Oaktree from a corporate and tax point with the upstream mechanics of its disposal of various real estate investments, mostly based in the UK, Spain, and Portugal for an aggregate value over €1bn.
- Advised Equitix from a corporate and tax point of view on the restructuring of its Italian subsidiaries’ financing structures.
NautaDutilh's team has a transactional focus and regularly provides tax structuring advice to corporates, private equity companies and banks on M&A and financing mandates. 'Excellent' team head Jean-Marc Groelly regularly advises on the tax aspects of alternative investment funds and structured finance transactions.
‘Jean-Marc Groelly provides commercial and clear advice in a very understandable manner.‘
- Assisting an ad-hoc group of senior lenders of a French retail fashion group with the tax and legal implications of the restructuring of the existing debt in the context of a debt-for-equity swap.
- Acting for a leading UK investment management firm on the acquisition of an office and hotel asset located in Madrid.
- Assisting a leading US investment management firm with the acquisition of a global leader in service, maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft safety equipment.
Stibbe's tax team is now headed by Johan Léonard, who joined in November 2019 from NautaDutilh. Léonard has considerable national and international tax expertise (particularly from a Benelux perspective) in an advisory and litigation capacity. A traditional strength of the firm is providing the tax structuring pursuant to M&A activity handled by its roster of private equity clients. Diogo Duarte de Oliveira joined Baker McKenzie.
‘The team is accessible and proved to have a high knowledge of the tax environment.‘
Amundi Asset Management
Accor Invest Group
- Advised Rhône Capital on the Luxembourg and Dutch tax and corporate aspects of a post-completion distribution following its sale of RanPak.
- Provided tax advice to Rhône Group on the sale of Garda World Security Corp to BC Partners.
- Providing tax advice on an ongoing basis to property investment and development company Almacantar.
Appreciated by clients for its 'technical and professional skills' across a range of advisory, tax structuring and litigation, Ashurst's two-partner team has 'an outstanding comprehension of the market environment and industries of its clients'. In addition to a considerable amount of work for corporate clients, the team also excels in advising high-net-worth individuals and family-owned businesses.
‘The team is very strong in real estate tax and corporate tax matters.‘
‘The tax team of Ashurst is technically strong and provides excellent and fast services.‘
‘Georges Simon is highly skilled and provides a top quality service fitting the specific requirements of an international commercial group with a strong presence in Luxembourg.‘
‘Georges Simon is well connected with the tax authorities.‘
‘Cécile Henle and Chiara Bardini have an excellent knowledge of Luxembourg and international taxes.‘
‘Cécile Henle and Georges Simon are both trusted advisors with the highest possible competencies in tax structuring and tax advisory for both individuals (who often have set-up corporate structures for their tax structuring needs) and corporations.‘
- Assisting various taxpayers before the European Court of Justice as regards the request for a preliminary ruling in relation to the Luxembourg fiscal unity regime.
- Acting for various taxpayers (high-net-worth individuals, family owned business) before the European Court of Justice as regards the request for a preliminary ruling from the Luxembourg Administrative Court.
Charles Russell Speechlys
The 'highly motivated' team at Charles Russell Speechlys provides 'agile and very efficient' tax advice to private clients to ensure the most effective preservation of their wealth, as well as to a growing roster of corporates and funds in the context of international tax structuring. The 'highly skilled and pragmatic' Yacine Diallo receives effusive praise from many clients, who are appreciative of his 'comprehensive tax law experience'.
‘Yacine Diallo has in-depth knowledge of tax affairs on the African continent.‘
‘Yacine Diallo is one of the best lawyers I’ve ever worked with. He has an amazing problem-solving attitude and I always know that I can count on his advice.‘
‘Rafael Moll de Alba is a very knowledgeable and experienced tax expert, having a deep understanding not only of the tax law but also of the business and financial aspects.‘
‘Rafael Moll de Alba is not only extremely knowledgeable in connection with the Luxembourg tax environment, but he is also absolutely familiar with the Spanish one, as well as with the Spanish sensitivity regarding international tax structuring.‘
- Provided Luxembourg tax assistance to Future Processing in the context of the spin-off of a division of one of its Polish subsidiaries as a preparatory step of a future disposal to third party investors.
- Provided Luxembourg tax assistance to Tele Europa Group (and its owners) in the context of the reorganisation required in order for the structure to comply with the new US tax provisions.
- Assisted Casa Grande with a cross-border reorganisation.
Clément Konrad & Partners
Established in December 2018, tax is one of the principal areas of focus of Dupont Partners by virtue of name partner Frédéric Dupont's 'huge knowledge' across a range of tax issues, including those in the real estate sector.
‘Frédéric Dupont showed exceptional dedication in carrying out the requested job.‘
Led by David Maria , Wildgen's five-strong team provides 'practical and commercial advice' to international clients on the tax aspects associated with cross-border corporate finance mandates. Clients include corporates, funds and high-net-worth individuals.
‘The team is very responsive and prioritizes matters.‘
- Advised on the tax aspects of Innit International’s debt restructuring.