IFC Awards 2023: Spotlight on Boutique Law Firm of the Year

Date: 01 Feb 2023

Silvia Ricciardi

Citywealth puts under the spotlight the companies which were shortlisted for Boutique Law Firm of the Year at the IFC Awards 2023, whose awards ceremony was held at One Moorgate Place on 24th January.

After the success of the IFC Awards 2023, Citywealth focuses on some of the companies which were shortlisted for Boutique Law Firm of the Year. We learn more about how the firms are developing internal talent and what innovative services have been recently implemented for their clients. We also dig into the organisation’s leadership, vision and culture to better understand what makes them the best boutique law firms of the major International Financial Centres.

Learning more about the Boutique Law Firms which were shortlisted for the IFC Awards 2023

LINDEMANNLAW – A Swiss law firm located in the centre of Zurich, LINDEMANNLAW focuses on asset management, wealth management and entrepreneurs, helping with the structuring and implementation of international investment fund solutions. Operating in Luxemburg, Malta, Liechtenstein and the Cayman Islands, the firm works with global key players in industry and finance as well as UHNW entrepreneurs. The company covers regulatory and business law, tax and consultancy service, from escrow to relocation, residence permits, real estate, M&A, holding structures, trusts, foundations and mutual funds. Further, the firm is active in the markets of Eastern Europe and CIS countries, including the Russian Federation. LINDEMANNLAW won “Boutique Law Firm of the Year – GOLD Award”.

Belluzzo International Partners – With over 100 professionals in the UK, Italy, Switzerland and Singapore, and Correspondent Offices in Monaco, Miami and Luxembourg, Belluzzo International Partners offers bespoke professional solutions and consultancy services in the fields of wealth, law, tax and finance, with many of their professionals qualified in more than one jurisdiction. Belluzzo International Partners won “Boutique Law Firm of the Year – BRONZE Award”.

Corbett Le Quesne – A specialist family law firm, Corbett Le Quesne advises on all aspects of family law, helping clients with cohabitation and pre-nuptial agreements. They also advise in relation to children, surrogacy, adoption, relocation and offer alternative dispute resolution services (e.g., mediation). Their private client team provides Wills and lasting powers of attorney, estate planning, probate and intestacy, trusts and related services.

Fischer Ramp Buchmann – As a private client boutique law firm Fischer Ramp Buchmann advises individuals, families, enterprises and family offices regarding tax and real estate matters, succession, estate planning and philanthropic projects. With long standing experience as partners and associates in international firms, their employees teach at tax academies and regularly speak at congresses and seminars in Switzerland and abroad.

Nurturing internal talent, shaping external relationships

The professionals at Belluzzo International Partners are lawyers or accountants with bachelor’s or master’s degrees and professional accounting, tax or legal qualifications. Belluzzo International Partners’ professionals are constantly engaged in research and professional training. They carry out sector-related studies, publish papers and contribute to articles for national and international publications (e.g., International Tax Review, Step journal, European Taxation, Il Sole 24 Ore, Il Corriere della Sera). The firm keeps its clients constantly updated on news and events via their online newsletter and social media. Thanks to experienced professionals in multiple jurisdictions, they are active on an international level, with participation in research groups, events, associations and university teaching.

Belluzzo International Partners keeps an eye on future trends, encouraging study and research activities to ensure they remain up to date with new practices. They have internal focus teams where their professionals share their knowledge of the legal, regulatory and business systems in their areas of expertise. This encourages their future talents to participate in debate and discussion with senior colleagues.

LINDEMANNLAW has a team of 17 members among which there are highly skilled of-counsels from different fields and countries. The firm offers the opportunity for students and parents to work part-time, promoting a better work-life-balance. Flexible working hours and working from home are other benefits offered by LINDEMANNLAW. The company offers promising talents the opportunity to complete internships, guiding them to become leading individuals in the legal field. By delegating tasks LINDEMANNLAW encourages growth and challenges its team members to acquire new skills and knowledge by getting to work in new fields and going out of their comfort zones. LINDEMANNLAW’s team members are not only regular speakers at conferences, but they also attend events and seminars to enhance their knowledge and widen their expertise.

Corbett Le Quesne encourages its employees to improve their skills and qualifications in areas they love, even if this means a change of career. For instance, Louise Eden started working in family law but now specialises in private client as she was more drawn to that work. Katie De Andrade started with Corbett Le Quesne as a student doing a work experience and was recruited in 2022 to work as an administrative assistant. She wanted to study for her law exams and is now a junior paralegal.

Thanks to Fischer Ramp Buchmann’s boutique set up, young lawyers in the firm have the opportunity, and are indeed tasked, to interact with clients from an early stage. They trust junior members and are witnessing a very good return. They firmly believe in learning by doing, with the right measure of monitoring (and mentoring).

Client services: insights on innovation

Corbett Le Quesne boasts an HR service which offers legal help to businesses wishing to support employees experiencing relationship breakdown. This provides direct access to one of the firm’s family lawyers if one of their staff members is having a crisis. The private client team offers a Keylu account with every Will. Keylu is a secure data management system designed to ensure that assets are not lost when people pass away. Corbett Le Quesne also works with charities to provide essential legal information for the people they are helping (for instance, they are listed as experts on the website having provided the content for their FAQs about Wills, LPAs etc.). They are also planning free seminars for the public in autumn regarding unmarried couples, dower issues and care planning.

Belluzzo International Partners adopts an holistic approach: they collect all the information for an in-depth analysis of their clients’ current situation; they highlight inefficiencies and offer solutions; they create wealth mapping models for clear reporting of worldwide assets and tax implications in terms of income, capital gains tax and inheritance tax exposure. They also provide forecast reports relating to annual income, gains, costs and cash flows to provide the clients with a planning tool for their family and their future generations.

LINDEMANNLAW promotes client-centred innovation. The firm communicates faster with its clients, listening to their needs. They show pragmatic courses of action and select the most viable one with and for the client. The company implements the solution and supports the client with the necessary experts from LINDEMANNLAW in regulated structures, for example on the board, demonstrating the long-term reliability of the proposed solution. With their client-focused approach, LINDEMANNLAW either has the required expertise in-house or works closely with external specialists. They create a single entry-point and sometimes simply act as project leaders for complex solutions. In case clients need support with law areas the firm doesn’t offer in-house, for example criminal law or divorce law, they work with external partners to offer bespoke solutions within a short amount of time.

The importance of leadership, vision and culture: our experts from the IFC Boutique Law Firm of the Year category believe that…

… through flat hierarchy it is possible to elevate the employees’ level of responsibility in the organization, improve the coordination and speed of communication between team members which simplifies the decision-making process. At LINDEMANNLAW our goal is to educate and inspire the new generation of lawyers to come. We have created the Swiss Capital Market Forum where regular meetings are organised to exchange knowledge, views and knowhow amongst the participants. In our most recent event we discussed Crypto Asset and Crypto Banking Solutions, Blockchain and Non-Fungible Token (NFT) with international speakers who are leading individuals in the field. We do not engage in promotional activities, so client referrals are usually by ‘word-of-mouth, through satisfied clients, trusted advisory firms, banks or asset managers. Dr Ariel Sergio Davidoff, LINDEMANNLAW

… at Belluzzo International Partners we are a family business for family businesses. We have continued to grow, and this year we celebrate 40 years of activity – a testament to the hard work, dedication and talent of our team and long-standing relationships we have built with our clients. Our values guide us every day in our mission: to be the Firm of reference for our clients; to build and maintain professional and personal relationships based on reliability, expertise and confidentiality. We are enriched by a strong ethos of teamwork. Our founder, Umberto Belluzzo, has taught us to look forward and act proactively. Alessandro Belluzzo, Belluzzo International Partners

… Corbett Le Quesne is now the biggest family law team in Jersey through recruiting carefully at the right time and through attracting staff via word of mouth. We have four locally qualified family lawyers and the majority of our qualified lawyers have experience working in the UK as well as Jersey. We don’t anticipate moving into any other areas of law and don’t want to grow to be enormous but we want to provide the best family law and private client service in Jersey (and internationally in respect of Jersey law). We advise local authorities and courts in England on Jersey law. We want to retain all the benefits and culture of a close and friendly law firm but with the expertise and experience to help people at an international level. We want to be progressive and push for change within the Island legal system as well as help our local community. Barbara Corbett and Nicholas Le Quesne, Corbett Le Quesne

… at Fischer Ramp Buchmann the adoption of an old but still-working concept is crucial: we want to lead by example. The size of our firm is naturally conducive to a flat hierarchy. Our vision was best summarised by a client: “Magic Circle services delivered with boutique dedication.” Michael Fischer, Fischer Ramp Buchmann

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