Corporate partner Isabelle Lentz – currently head of the firm’s Luxembourg desk in London -will take the helm at the new outpost, which is set to open in October.
The move is designed to bolster the firm’s position in the funds market and also take advantage of opportunities posed by Brexit as businesses transfer to the Grand Duchy.
Ashurst is hiring for the new office, with a view to having between 15 and 20 legal and business services staff ensconced within a year of opening.
Paul Jenkins, managing partner, said: ‘As a leading investment fund centre in Europe, the second largest globally in terms of assets under management and a hub for international banks and fintech, the opportunities in Luxembourg are significant. Growing our offering and building on the proven track record of our established Luxembourg desk is an exciting prospect and one which will greatly enhance our client service offering.’
Lentz added: ‘Over recent years, Luxembourg has secured it status as a key financial centre and as one of the frontrunners of preferred EU locations for transfer of business related to Brexit, that is only set to increase. I am really looking forward to capitalising on this by developing our presence in Luxembourg and enhancing our capability.’
The firm’s Luxembourg desk in London was set up in 2011 and advises on corporate, private equity, funds, restructuring, regulatory, real estate and banking matters. Recent mandates for the five-strong desk have included advising investor Digital Colony on its April 2018 acquisition from First State Investments on Digita Oy, the owner and operator of digital terrestrial television and radio broadcasting tower infrastructure network in Finland.
Other recent mandates have seen the team advise US fund Castlelake on the restructuring of a number of Luxembourg companies ahead of the IPO of property developer Aedas Homes, Aviva Investors and Shard Capital on the establishment of unregulated private debt funds, Nordic private equity shop CapMan Real Estate on its €425m fund raising of a private FCP- RAIF fund and the banks on a bridge financing for fund manager EQT.