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01 June 2020

Debevoise hires lawyer from Allen & Overy to open Luxembourg office

US firm cites Brexit as driver for establishing office targeting private equity funds work

The philharmonic hall in Luxembourg City

Luxembourg: destination for Debevoise's 10th office Reinhard Tiburzy/Shutterstock

Debevoise & Plimpton has hired a lawyer from Allen & Overy (A&O) to open an office in Luxembourg to target private equity funds work.

A&O counsel Christopher Dortschy is moving across to head the office, the firm’s tenth, as a partner in the Luxembourg limited partnership (SCS) and an international counsel in the firm overall.

He joins former A&O colleague Marc Ponchione at Debevoise; in January Ponchione transferred to the US firm’s Washington DC office as a partner in its investment management group.

Dortschy will be assisted by London and Frankfurt partner Patricia Volhard, who joined Debevoise in 2017 from German private equity specialist firm P+P and expects to spend a significant amount of time at the office.

 “The regulatory sands for private funds in Europe have been shifting for some time, accelerated by the advent of Brexit and all of its implications,” said Volhard.  “As a result, we have made some bold moves in recent years to strengthen our European funds offering. It is one of the reasons I joined the firm in 2017, and we have continued to grow the team since.”

Dortschy served two stints at A&O’s Luxembourg branch between a three-year period as a senior associate at Dechert’s office there. 

He specialises in all types of Luxembourg regulated and unregulated investment vehicles, with a specific focus on alternative investment funds investing in illiquid asset classes.

Michael Blair, presiding partner at Debevoise, said “Even in this current environment, Debevoise remains focused on strategically growing our key practices to improve our offering to clients.

“Luxembourg has become an increasingly important jurisdiction for our private equity clients.”

Debevoise says it has advised sponsors of, or investors in, more than 2,800 private investment funds with committed capital of more than $3trn. 

Last week, Morgan Lewis announced the hiring of a two-partner private investment funds team from US top 50 rival Morrison & Foerster in London.

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