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06 April 2020 / news

Combining diversity, local roots and international influence

In early 2020, Loyens & Loeff and Martin Avocats joined forces to form a major litigation department in Luxembourg. Offering a local base for this international firm, the operation also further strengthens the diversity within the team.


Can you explain the genesis of the merger between Martin Avocats and Loyens & Loeff?

Véronique Hoffeld: Sabrina and I have known each other for a long time. We were sworn in at the same time in 1996. I can even say that we are friends in daily life and that there is great mutual respect between us. The Litigation & Risk Management department that I created when I joined Loyens & Loeff in 2009 has grown considerably in recent years. I realised that we needed additional support. This quickly brought Sabrina and her team to mind. As a partner, I was able to suggest this merger proposal, which finally came to fruition earlier this year.

Sabrina Martin: I can only confirm what Véronique said about our long friendship. After being sworn in, I took a different direction by creating my own law firm after a few years of work. It was particularly specialised in innovation law, that is to say everything related to IT contracts, legal support in setting up new start-ups, etc. The merger with the Loyens & Loeff litigation department was a great opportunity for the six members of my team and myself too. It will allow us to serve our customers even better and to reach others, internationally.

What exactly does this merger bring you today?

V.H.: The merger with Martin Avocats offers us the possibility of putting down local roots and strengthening our Luxembourg client base. In addition, while we already have a significant activity in FinTech, we will be able to further develop the innovative nature of our services. Martin Avocats, by virtue of its specialisation and recent initiatives, is in fact particularly well versed in these subjects. In 2017, for example, a legal advice platform, called MLO – Martin Lawyers Online – was launched by Sabrina. These are truly innovative initiatives that interest us a lot.

S.M.: Together, our service offer is more complete, more qualitative. Indeed, while Loyens & Loeff gains local roots in this merger, we obtain access to more international expertise, as well as to multidisciplinary teams of great talent. Henri Dupong, also a partner, has notably recognised experience in white-collar crime law. The Loyens & Loeff litigation department thus becomes one of the greatest in Luxembourg.

You are two women in leadership positions within your department. Is this a real trademark at Loyens & Loeff?

V.H.: I think it can be said without lying that Loyens & Loeff Luxembourg is a true model when it comes to diversity within a law firm. There are around 30% of women in leadership positions within our firm, while this figure is much lower elsewhere in Luxembourg, and also worldwide. Sabrina’s arrival has increased this ratio. The interesting thing to note, however, is that this is not the result of a deliberate strategy: we simply chose the best people available for the positions to be filled. And it turned out that they were women in 30% of cases. Whether these people are male or female should never be a criterion of choice.

S.M.: It should also be noted that the diversity of nationalities is also a reality at Loyens & Loeff. Among the employees of the Luxembourg subsidiary of the company, there are no less than 24 different nationalities. Again, this is not due to any strategy. Recruitment was simply carried out without taking into account the origin of the candidates. Obviously, we want to continue to nurture this diversity within the company, because it constitutes a real wealth. Besides, in terms of gender equality, the figure of 30% is not that high if we take into account the ratio of women and men in the world...


First published in Paperjam

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