Luxembourg updates

Arbitration & ADR

Refusal of enforcement: interpretation of New York Convention
  • Luxembourg
  • 27 September 2018

In 2017 the Court of Appeals confirmed a change in position regarding the enforcement of awards annulled in the seat of arbitration. This decision broke with the court's earlier interpretation – which had favoured enforcement and been standard practice since 1999 – and solidified its new approach of denying enforcement when an award does not produce effects in its jurisdiction of origin.


Banking & Financial Services

Contributed by NautaDutilh Avocats Luxembourg S.à r.l.
Impact of COVID-19 crisis on liquid and illiquid funds and their managers
  • Luxembourg
  • 07 July 2020

Due to the capital markets conditions caused by the COVID-19 crisis, liquid funds may need to activate their gating provisions in order to limit redemptions, in accordance with the terms of the fund's prospectus. Further, illiquid funds, such as private equity and loan-originating funds, should consider whether the COVID-19 crisis could constitute a material adverse effect under agreements or deals that have yet to close. This article examines the impact of COVID-19 on liquid and illiquid funds and their managers.

Investment funds: recommendations for fund managers
  • Luxembourg
  • 30 June 2020

The Luxembourg Financial Supervisory Authority and the European Securities and Markets Authority are closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation and have issued a number of recommendations for fund managers concerning remote working, risk management and compliance, disclosure and reporting requirements.

PSD2 implementation in the Grand Duchy – six months later
  • Luxembourg
  • 10 May 2019

In recent months, the Luxembourg Financial Supervisory Authority (CSSF) has been active and the industry is preparing for the open banking wave. The changes in response to the EU Payment Services Directive aim for a generally positive evolution of the payment scene in Luxembourg. The CSSF has published the fallback exemption request form and adopted several circulars that are applicable to payment service providers.

PSD 2 implementation in the Grand Duchy
  • Luxembourg
  • 23 November 2018

By way of the Law of 20 July 2018, Luxembourg has finally implemented the EU Payment Services Directive (PSD 2). As the PSD 2 is a full harmonisation directive, most of Luxembourg's PSD 2 provisions are identical to the legal framework implemented across the European Union. Nonetheless, EU member states were given scope to decide on certain topics and the Grand Duchy seized the opportunity to define its own rules.

EAPOs: new pro-creditor enforcement mechanism under Luxembourg law
  • Luxembourg
  • 20 July 2018

EU Regulation 655/2014, which established a European Account Preservation Order (EAPO) procedure, aims to facilitate the collection of claims in civil and commercial matters by introducing a uniform EU procedure for identifying and freezing funds held in a debtor's bank accounts in another member state. This increased transparency is a particularly new development for Luxembourg, which recently introduced a straightforward EAPO enforcement procedure that is in line with its existing enforcement measures.


Corporate Finance/M&A

Contributed by NautaDutilh Avocats Luxembourg S.à r.l.
Utopia SA – a test for squeeze-out procedures
  • Luxembourg
  • 08 October 2014

After three shareholders representing 99.24% of the share capital of listed company Utopia SA announced their intention to exercise their right of squeeze-out, the remaining minority shareholders commenced judicial proceedings in a bid to block the squeeze-out. The case may open the way for minority shareholders in listed companies to oppose squeeze-outs more frequently.


Employment & Immigration

Contributed by Castegnaro
COVID-19: new support for self-employed workers
  • Luxembourg
  • 27 May 2020

A new Grand Ducal Regulation has introduced a certified emergency allowance for self-employed workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. The new allowance is available for merchants, artisans and intellectual workers who work as self-employed persons, including insurance agents and brokers, and may be granted regardless of the number of employees.

COVID-19: information for employers
  • Luxembourg
  • 25 March 2020

This article provides information for employers with regard to the government's recommendations in the context of COVID-19. The recommendations include a preference for teleworking, the authorisation of employees to take extraordinary family leave, the use of short-time working to prevent dismissal of full-time employees, the use of quarantine as a preventative measure, the introduction of certificates for frontier workers and the introduction of a new tax measure.

Non-compliance with leave request procedures: unjustified absence?
  • Luxembourg
  • 05 February 2020

In the event of disputes concerning absences from work, employees must provide proof of their agreement with their employer regarding leave requests; otherwise, their absence may be considered unjustified and could lead to dismissal. In a recent case, the Court of Appeal fully recognised the binding force of internal regulations on employers and employees – provided that the latter are aware of such regulations.

Absenteeism due to depression: is dismissal valid?
  • Luxembourg
  • 29 January 2020

Under certain conditions, frequent absenteeism due to health reasons may constitute a valid reason for dismissal. However, what happens when an employee's absenteeism is linked to depression caused by work stress? A recent Court of Appeal decision considered this issue and shows that dismissal based on frequent absenteeism could, in principle, be considered abusive.

Drink or work: a choice must be made
  • Luxembourg
  • 22 January 2020

Employees may drink a small glass of alcohol in the workplace, whether at after-work events or professional lunches or during festivities organised by the company. However, what happens if an employee arrives at work intoxicated? The Court of Appeal was recently confronted with such a situation and had to consider the conditions under which an employee's state of intoxication can justify their dismissal.


Insurance

Contributed by NautaDutilh Avocats Luxembourg S.à r.l.
Are administrative fines insurable in Luxembourg?
  • Luxembourg
  • 03 December 2019

As the insurability of administrative fines is not specifically provided for by the Insurance Contract Act, it may not be prohibited per se. Nonetheless, the industry is reluctant to offer insurance cover for administrative fines. Given the increasingly high penalties that can be imposed by administrative authorities following the entry into force of the EU General Data Protection Regulation, a legislative response would be appreciated at a supra-national level.

Luxembourg life insurance – a European adventure
  • Luxembourg
  • 23 July 2019

With more than 93% of premiums collected outside the Grand Duchy, Luxembourg life insurance has undeniably contributed to the dynamism of the European passport with regard to both freedom of services and freedom of establishment. Luxembourg life insurance is mainly a passported activity and thus marked by cross-border issues shaped by local developments that require constant monitoring, particularly when it comes to one of the sector's leading products: life insurance linked to investment funds.

Third-country (re)insurance operations in Luxembourg post-Brexit
  • Luxembourg
  • 09 April 2019

The United Kingdom's planned exit from the European Union would result in it losing the fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and its qualification as an EEA third country. As such, it is timely to examine the regulatory framework governing the Luxembourg activities of (re)insurers registered outside the European Economic Area.