Ashurst is sizing up a potential launch in Luxembourg, a market the firm says has become more important in the wake of last year’s Brexit vote.
The launch of an on-the-ground office in the country is currently under consideration by the firm, six years after it added a Luxembourg desk to its City corporate practice.
In 2011, Ashurst recruited corporate partner Isabelle Lentz from Luxembourg firm Oostvogels Pfister Feyten to provide Luxembourg law advice out of London.
Prior to her move to London, Lentz worked with a number of Ashurst’s private equity clients, including Apax Partners and Duke Street Capital.
Ashurst’s website currently lists 10 lawyers, including seven partners, as advising on Luxembourg legal matters.
An Ashurst spokesperson said: “Luxembourg has become a key financial centre over the last 20 years, with Brexit only enhancing its status as financial institutions look for alternative hubs in order to safeguard market access. Like many firms, we regularly review our options, but we have made no firm decisions as yet.”
If an office launch goes ahead, it will be Ashurst’s ninth European base, alongside London, Brussels, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Madrid, Milan, Munich and Paris.
Other UK top 50 firms to have launched in Luxembourg in recent years include Bird & Bird, Norton 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.
Separately, Ashurst’s City base has shaken up the way it assesses its London corporate associates with the introduction of more frequent feedback, following a successful pilot of the new system.
To date, associates have been given feedback twice a year by partners, but London managing partner Simon Beddow told Legal Week this January that he wanted to ensure junior lawyers were given proper feedback in a formalised way as each matter closes.
Following a successful pilot in the corporate department this summer, the measure has now been rolled out formally.
Beddow said: “Associates have said for some time they have wanted more regular feedback. We thought we could use our work allocation scheme to identify when a matter closes and then use that as a prompt for the key partner or senior associate to feed back on the associates who worked on the matter with them.”
Once a deal closes, the senior lawyer on the matter receives an email with questions on the associate’s performance on the deal, which they then return to the work allocation officer. The results are then distributed to the associates.
Beddow added: “It has immediately been very popular and has had interest from other practice areas. We would hope that over the next 12 months other practice teams that use the work allocation process will start using the same feedback programme.”