Domestic and international proceedings

Due to the size of the territory of the State of Luxembourg, and also to the great degree of openness of its economy towards foreign involvement, our work is international to the extreme. Hence, we are regularly confronted by problems in co-ordinating proceedings between different legal systems, whether such proceedings are of a civil nature (see, for example, the problem of lis pendence or related actions), or a criminal nature (see, for example, the problem of non bis in idem) or which are both civil and criminal at the same time. Depending on the case, it may also prove  judicious to institute criminal proceedings in one country (e.g. in France), but to give instructions for a civil case in another country (e.g. Luxembourg), in order to avoid the criminal proceedings blocking the civil proceedings,  whilst enabling the civil proceedings to benefit from the results of the criminal investigation abroad. In this situation, the co-ordination of proceedings is an a priori exercise, that is to say, a problem to be resolved prior to engaging in such proceedings, subject to an interdisciplinary and transnational strategy defined in collaboration with the client.

However, we are also called upon to advise clients on co-ordinating problems a posteriori, that is to say, which are presented as a fait accompli on which the client has hardly any influence. For example this is the case in fraudulent bankruptcies, often international, which give rise on the one hand to the implementation of regulations applying to collective proceedings and, on the other hand to the rules of criminal law. One of the serious problems presented by this kind of situation is the problem of the application of criminal preventive seizures to liquidation operations. More generally, the competition between criminal and civil law can lead to problems of conflict between standards, e.g. between civil and criminal procedures, which need to be resolved.

The practice of international litigation also leads us to serve summons abroad on a regular basis, and amongst other things , this may be within legal systems that  have not joined any international treaty with regard to the notification of judicial acts. In such cases, we can depend on the International Lawyer’s Network (ILN), of which the firm of LUTGEN + ASSOCIES is a member, which can inform and support us regarding  the particular features and potentialities of  the local law.