Isabelle Lentz.

 

Ashurst will open a Luxembourg office in October, having received license approval to launch in the country.

The launch, which has been mooted since last year, has now been approved by the Luxembourg Bar Association.

The office will be led by corporate partner Isabelle Lentz, who currently heads up Ashurst’s Luxembourg desk in London but will relocate to the country to lead the new base.

The move is part of a push by the firm to expand its continental European coverage in response to an uptick in Brexit-related work.

“Over recent years, Luxembourg has secured its status as a key financial center and as one of the front-runners of preferred EU locations for transfer of business related to Brexit, that is only set to increase,” Lentz said. “I am really looking forward to capitalizing our presence in Luxembourg and enhancing our capability.”

The firm is planning to recruit for the new office, and is expecting to have between 15 and 20 legal and business services staff based in Luxembourg within a year of launch.

Ashurst currently has a core team of five lawyers, including Lentz, who advise on Luxembourg law. Recent mandates the team has been involved in include advising Samsung on the acquisition, structuring and financing of U.K. real estate assets, and acting for private investment firm Castlelake on a restructuring of Luxembourg companies prior to the Madrid IPO of Spanish property developer Aedas Homes.

“As a leading investment fund center 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,” said managing partner Paul Jenkins. “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.”

The office will be Ashurst’s ninth European base, alongside London, Brussels, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Madrid, Milan, Munich and Paris.

Other U.K. top 50 firms to have launched in Luxembourg in recent years include Bird & BirdNorton Rose Fulbright and Eversheds Sutherland, which opened an office in the country last month with the hire of a two-partner team from Simmons & Simmons.