Interview with: Michel Molitor, Managing Partner

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Michel Molitor, Managing Partner, gives his perspective on how MOLITOR benefits its clients in these uncertain times, and on areas of growth in the legal sector.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate MOLITOR Avocats à la Cour from your competitors?

MOLITOR is effectively a one-stop shop for legal excellence, combining renowned savoir-faire in contentious matters, with in-depth expertise in varied practice areas – this is a unique combination in Luxembourg. We also have a robust internal social network which promotes a cycle of respect, trust and candour within the firm that is then reflected in our interactions with our clients. The size of the firm means we can continue to operate as a family, in that the departments are very cohesive and work well together on complex matters requiring specialisms from our various practice areas; and further, because of our size, our clients receive a holistic, personal and targeted service from us, and they know the particular lawyer or lawyers dealing with their respective matters. This sets us apart from other law firms and allows us to deliver a seamless service to our clients and add value where necessary.

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

There is no doubt about it, there will certainly be further growth in the technology, cyber-security, data and space industries. Although banking and finance in Luxembourg have continued to be at the forefront of the economy, various other sectors continue to develop as well. Growing industries, in which we are also actively involved, include insurance, international real estate, private equity, and IP/IT. We have already seen a noticeable increase in insurance houses setting up here, and I expect that increase to continue over the next 12 months.

Research and development grants also attract a good number of businesses to either set up or branch out in Luxembourg.

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

Historically, we have provided our clients with breakfast clubs and evening seminars to provide overviews of legal updates to them in our practice areas, but this has of course not been possible over the past year. We now not only provide regular written newsletters to our clients to keep them apprised of changes in the law applicable to them, but also present webinars, which benefits clients as they are more accessible and can be viewed, and re-viewed, at our clients’ convenience.

Remote working is also a significant change for us. I don’t believe that virtual interaction replaces physical meetings, but I do think that remote working allows for more fluidity in our clients’ interactions with us.

Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?

Whilst MOLITOR has always remained up to date with changes in technology so as to efficiently run the firm and provide our clients with the best service, technology has inevitably changed how we interact with our clients over the last year. It would have been fairly common, pre-Covid, for us to have conference calls rather than virtual meetings but I would say that all our lawyers now have increased (virtual) face-to-face interaction with clients as a result, which I consider very positive.

It is important for me to emphasise here that our clients don’t pay us to be technology whizzes – what they seek from us is our legal expertise, and that is what we are known for.

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

My view is that one of the main purposes of our service is to add value to all our clients’ businesses. A recent example springs to mind where the Dispute Resolution and Corporate teams worked closely on a multi-jurisdictional multi-million Euro potential dispute. Thanks to their skills, and input from our international desks, our client benefitted not only from our lawyers securing the desired outcome, but also in terms of setting our client up to achieve future market goals. With each client, our lawyers carefully consider the nature of their business, the market sector in which they operate, and provide legal advice – with a commercial edge – tailored to that particular client and their needs.

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

I have no doubt that clients seek stability and strategic direction from us. MOLITOR is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, which in itself demonstrates our stability in the legal sector. The firm has grown steadily since its conception, and we will continue to grow at a solid pace in line with rapidly changing market trends and developments. Our lawyers consistently work on strengthening core skills, but we also look to the future – my vision of MOLITOR is that we will of course be a strongly independent firm maintaining, if not improving, our reputation and rankings in the core practice areas, but also potentially seeing an expansion of our media, data, technologies and IP department in order to cater to clients’ needs.