Pierre-Yves Magerotte shares his vision of the legal profession and discusses the challenges faced in creating and developing his firm in the white paper “Law, audacity and innovation – Luxembourg lawyers testify” published by PREDICTICE. You can download the white paper here .
The interview is below:
Until 2009, you worked, first in a large audit firm, then as a lawyer in an independent firm before founding the firm LexField. What prompted this change?
I started as a tax advisor at PWC in Luxembourg. This period was very formative, but after three years in the company, I felt a certain limit in terms of direct relationship with the client and the possibility of developing a clientele. So I made the choice to join an independent law firm specializing in business law to have this direct contact with clients. When I arrived, we were still few lawyers, but the growth of the firm was rapid and we quickly grew to 70. In this firm, I was able to learn the legal profession, observe the aspects related to the management of a study and develop my clientele and my teams. I was equally able to develop the practice of wealth planning. I learned a lot, both technically and entrepreneurially.
I was a young lawyer with a drive, the desire to undertake, the desire to create his own company. When I was 29, the firm was going to take a direction that I liked less and that’s when I decided to found my own firm. A few clients followed me, which allowed me to start the business.
What challenges have you encountered as a founding partner ?
Above all, the first challenge was to find a name. LexField was also one of the very first firms to receive the approval of the Bar to use a generic name and not the name of the partners. It was one of the partners at the time who had this brilliant idea.
The second challenge was to develop the firm’s clientele. We very quickly joined an international network of lawyers who initially helped us find our first files. We have chosen a network of firms similar to LexField, it is very important to share the same problems in order to be able to discuss, help each other and benefit from a lot of advice. Furthermore, this network has enabled us to extend LexField’s services internationally. I have been very involved in this network, in particular by developing the practice of tax law.
Another challenge was to find people who share the same vision of the profession. The firm was first created as an association, but I quickly realized that it would be difficult to have a common vision in this legal form. This is why I decided to create a company. With the company, identification is easier and we can work in the same direction for a common project. Building a team with employees who share this entrepreneurial spirit, who are involved in the management, development and evolution of the firm, was my desire from the start and this is what makes up the DNA of LexField. It’s also one of our strengths: when a business manager asks us about a problem, we can give him the best advice, because as entrepreneurs we have encountered the same obstacles.The last challenge we encountered concerns the successive regulatory layers in tax matters and the fight against money laundering and the financing of terrorism: the resulting obligations and the recruitment of specific personnel, as well as the various preventive actions and measures. to put in place are elements that take up a considerable place in the management of the practice.
Why did you choose a generic name?
First of all, it was preferable to find an international sounding name for reasons of image and attractiveness, our work being multi-jurisdictional in the service of an international clientele. We also wanted to differentiate ourselves from the tradition of bar associations. Moreover, it is much easier to integrate an external partner into the project if the name is generic.
What is your firm’s development strategy?
Since the beginning, the firm has developed on four pillars: private wealth, private equity, investment funds and mergers & acquisitions. Starting from a blank page, our objective is to position LexField as a study recognized for its expertise and advice in these four practices, which we are in the process of achieving and which is reflected by our presence in several rankings of legal guides.
In an increasingly complex and restrictive regulatory context, companies and entrepreneurs are subject to enormous pressure. In order to respond appropriately and effectively to clients’ needs, our strategy is to strengthen teams and develop expertise in specific areas, such as, for example, sustainable finance or insurance.
In addition, we want our lawyers to have a 360° view of the cases they handle: it is important that everyone understands and has the right reflexes, whether in investment funds, tax law or company law. .
We believe that our employees must learn to be entrepreneurs: you have to know the mysteries of the operation of the firm, know how to find new clients, how to approach them, find the right speech by proposing the appropriate solutions to their needs to convince them to come to we. The goal is to prepare them to become partners to ensure the sustainability of the firm and ensure its continuity.
How do you imagine the profession of lawyer in ten years?
This is an extremely complicated question. Before thinking about the situation in ten years, we will have to negotiate the post-Covid situation. Telework and a certain flexibility have taken a major place in the wishes of workers today.
It will be necessary to empower young employees, the relationship of trust is the basis of this development. Freedom and autonomy are extremely enriching for everyone as long as moments of exchange and encounter are maintained, such as events and meetings.
I also think that there will be a marked rise in legaltech, which makes it possible to speed up the preparation of documents and legal research. In this regard, I note that the way of seeking legal information has changed radically. My father was a lawyer and he had a much larger library of printed works than I have today! Now we have access to huge case law holdings through extremely powerful and relevant search engines.
In ten years, everything will go faster. Everything will be much more digitized to save precious time. But reflection and creativity will remain at the center of the lawyer’s daily life.
For further information, please contact:
Pierre-Yves Magerotte , Partner
LexField, Luxembourg City
t: +352 260 08250
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