Johan Terblanche, Marjorie Allo (Maples and Calder): limitless opportunities
Managing Partner Johan Terblanche and Partner Marjorie Allo give insights into Maples and Calder’s Luxembourg office opening, broadening the law firm’s global footprint. Interview.
Can you present Maples and Calder in a few words?
Johan Terblanche: Maples and Calder is an international law firm advising financial, institutional, business and private clients around the world on the laws of the British Virgin Islands, the Cayman Islands, Ireland, Jersey and Luxembourg. The firm's Luxembourg office was established on 1 October, and offers advice on fund formation, finance, corporate, tax and associated regulatory work. I am Managing Partner of the Luxembourg office and head of the Luxembourg Investment Funds group at Maples. I chose to join the firm because I believe that it has the ideal combination of reputation, clients, referral partners and footprint - in terms of the locations from which we provide advice and the jurisdictions that we cover - to serve an international client base that is active in the main practice areas we service from Luxembourg – funds and investment management, banking and finance, corporate and tax. By joining Maples, I am able to collaborate with colleagues across our many offices as well as many of the premier law firms in the US, the UK and beyond and work on a wide variety of interesting matters with some of the largest fund managers in the world.
Marjorie Allo: I chose to join Maples as Head of the Corporate practice in light of the ground breaking project they have brought with this new opening in Luxembourg. The capabilities and the international presence, as well as the strength in the main financial centres worldwide that Maples offers to clients is the greatest opportunity in years within the Luxembourg market and will allow the corporate team that I am leading to be even more efficient in fulfilling our clients' needs across a spectrum of services and jurisdictions.
"The quality of our people enables us to provide the highest level of service to our clients."
How are your clients' needs evolving?
MA: My role as a corporate lawyer is to help clients, such as multinationals or investment firms, navigate a sophisticated legal environment, especially when most of the transactions involving Luxembourg have a cross-border element. At the same time, the pace of transactions continues to accelerate. The ability to offer our clients access to a team of lawyers that share the same client dedicated approach is seen as an added value in meeting their needs.
JT: From the perspective of a funds lawyer, the combination of regulatory changes and geopolitical events have resulted in a significant increase and move towards fund offerings which cover a combination of Cayman Islands, US domestic and European funds, often as parallel funds or "mini-master" funds. Clients also increasingly need multi-jurisdictional and jurisdiction-neutral advice to enable them to consider the best solutions to their unique and evolving needs. Lawyers who have knowledge of and access to accurate information in relation to a range of jurisdictions and regimes (like Luxembourg) will only better serve their clients' needs.
Which challenges and opportunities do you identify?
JT: The opportunities are almost limitless. Our firm has a great reputation with clients and an unparalleled referral network of like-minded top quality law firms around the globe. Most of our clients have a real and increasing need for quality legal services in Luxembourg. The primary challenge is ensuring that we continue to hire top legal talent as the quality of our people enables us to provide the highest level of service to our clients. We are off to a good start - as of our 1 October launch, we have a total of 30 staff which includes 17 lawyers. We will have a few more lawyers join before year-end and our recruitment efforts for lawyers and staff continues.
MA: The challenges we will face will stem from the competitiveness of the Luxembourg legal market where a lot of new players have emerged over recent years, while at the same time, Luxembourg, as a country, is facing pressure from other jurisdictions aiming to take its unique place in today‘s business environment. However, the opportunity remains to demonstrate that Maples has the talent and the people located in the best places to make clients' businesses and investments a success.