Law Firm MNKS Celebrates 10 Years in Business

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One of the five largest independent law firms in Luxembourg

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This redefinition of the role of the lawyer involves much broader qualities and has greatly increased the pressure on the individual while making it even more fulfilling to exercise the role of a lawyer. These changes also affect the so-called "support staff" of law firms to much the same extent, thus becoming an essential part of innovation, efficiency and performance. For example, while the legal market is approaching maturity and becomes more competitive, firms have realized the importance of visibility and marketing in the last 5 years, before which these roles were almost non-existent

Marie-Béatrice Noble

MNKS is one of the ten largest law firms in the country– and one of the five largest independent law firms.

The firm provides both local and international clients with a full range of legal services across eight departments – corporate, employment law, new technologies and IP, litigation, banking and finance, investment funds, tax and administrative law.


Innovation is at the heart of the strategy of MNKS

Marie-Béatrice Noble and Katia Scheidecker met within Landwell, the international law firm launched in 1998 by the global PwC network.

Following certain changes in regulation, which resulted in the end of the Landwell structure in Luxembourg, Marie-Beatrice and Katia decided to commence their entrepreneurial adventure in 2004 by starting up their own firm with the existing team. They had a vision to manage the firm in a way that would create an entrepreneurial spirit, and having a strategy and group values, which would apply to all the partners and employees of the firm alike.

At the outset, the service offering was innovative, and « niche » (corporate law, employment law and new technologies), so as to differentiate the firm from other law firms in Luxembourg, who essentially all offered financial services. Progressively, the firm evolved to become a full service law firm, particularly with the creation of litigation, tax and investment funds departments.

MNKS has developed relationships with numerous international law firms who do not have a presence in Luxembourg over the years and who look for independent law firms to treat Luxembourg related aspects in their files.

Thus, the turnover of the firm has more than tripled in a decade.


The legal profession has changed considerably in recent years

In its development, MNKS experienced two distinct periods: (i) from its inception until 2008, when the firm has developed in a context of strong economic growth, and (ii) from 2008 onwards.

The severe global crisis that began in 2008 triggered profound challenges for the legal profession. Faced with an unprecedented crisis, customer expectations changed considerably: client requests became much more sophisticated, there was a marked pressure on costs, legal advice moved away from academic expert advice to be implied more in the practical decision making process. Lawyers have had to develop their "soft skills" to attract a more demanding clientele of General Counsels and CEO’s, who expect lawyers to simply do "more, better and cheaper".

« This redefinition of the role of the lawyer involves much broader qualities and has greatly increased the pressure on the individual while making it even more fulfilling to exercise the role of a lawyer. These changes also affect the so-called "support staff" of law firms to much the same extent, thus becoming an essential part of innovation, efficiency and performance. For example, while the legal market is approaching maturity and becomes more competitive, firms have realized the importance of visibility and marketing in the last 5 years, before which these roles were almost non-existent", explains Marie-Béatrice Noble.

 

The firm gradually covers all client segments

Our clients have diversified, both geographically and in their nature: initially, having primarily a large multinational English or American origin, and today, companies in the fields of high technology (ICT), international institutional investors, many players in the private equity field and more recently entrepreneurial individuals.

Geographic diversification has been notably marked by an important development of German client base, and also our clients in Luxembourg. MNKS was able to gain market share on the Luxembourg local market by focusing on accessibility, proactivity, pragmatism and an, always collaborative approach.


MNKS « a different law firm », a daily philosophy

“Our intention was to create a modern and unique firm. Our vision was that a law firm is first and foremost a services company like any other, a "corporate" structure, which need to be efficient and effective but with a work environment conducive to a lasting relationship, both with its employees and its customers. This allowed us to attract and keep many talented individuals and thus offer our customers a high quality service", noted Marie-Béatrice Noble.
Various initiatives have been taken in the course of the last decade for the sake of the well-being of employees and the quality of the work environment (Great Place to Work, plan of positive actions undertaken in collaboration with the Ministry of Equality, satisfaction surveys, internal working groups ...).

As a result, MNKS offers a large degree of flexibility to its employees by offering them the possibility for part-time employment, working hours adapted to their needs, reassignment of jobs, telecommuting opportunities, coaching sessions, buying additional annual leave…

The legal profession is a very demanding profession, requiring long working hours, often under intense pressure. In this environment, the firm has introduced many creative and new measures to ensure employees - especially women - can thrive in this business. For example, the firm employs more than 65% women.

“If employees thrive personally, they become much better professionals. In addition, we are privileged to have a wide variety of profiles who, working together, bring a higher added value. This internal HR approach gives the firm a particular culture, which is experienced and appreciated by clients when working with MNKS”, continued Marie-Béatrice Noble

The size of the firm has more than tripled in a decade, with more than 70 people now being part of the team (including 9 partners).


The quality of services is recognised both in Luxembourg and in international markets

In 2013 MNKS won the award for "Best Luxembourg Labour Law firm", and managing partner, Marie-Béatrice Noble, won "Inspiring Women of the Year" in the Corporate Business category in 2012.

In the international rankings of lawyers (Legal 500, Chambers Europe, etc.), the firm is very well positioned in all its areas of activity each year.

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