Maitre Jacques Loesch is pictured in this photo taken at Linklaters in January 2020
Photo: Emmanuel Claude/Focalize/archives
Friends and relatives have paid tribute to Maitre Jacques Loesch, a doyenne of the Luxembourg legal profession and a supporter of British-Luxembourg relations who has died aged 92.
A Luxembourg City native, Loesch hailed form a long family tradition of lawyer. His grandfather had founded the Loesch law firm, which Jacques joined in 1952 after studying at the Athénée and then graduating in law from the University of Paris Law School.
The firm combined with Jean-Claude Wolter to form Loesch & Wolter which, in 1999 merged with De Bandt, van Hecke & Lagae and later became part of Linklaters in 2002.
According to one of his sons, Tom Loesch, Jacques loved his job and was a “true practising lawyer” who continued to visit the office from time to time long after retirement age.
Born in 1928, Jacques was 12 when WWII broke out and Luxembourg was occupied by the Nazis. Because of his young age, he narrowly escaped forced conscription into the German army, a fate that befell some 12,000 young men in Luxembourg and cost the lives of 3,000. “Had the war lasted another year, I don’t know what would have happened to my father,” Tom told Delano.
The situation during and after the war deprived Jacques of some educational opportunities, which he later made up for, mastering English and taking a great interest in relations between the UK and Luxembourg.
Maitre Loesch is pictured with justice minister Sam Tanson (déi gréng) in this 2018 archive photo. Photo: Eric Chenal/archives
Maitre Loesch was invested in the British-Luxembourg Society, which was founded by Luxembourgers in 1947, and served as president of the council then honorary president of the society.
For these and other contributions to furthering relations between the two countries, in 1992, he was awarded Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE), the highest ranking Order of the British Empire Award outside of knighthood or damehood.
“He was a terrific moral and practical support to me in re-establishing the council. He had wonderful connections as a doyenne of the legal profession in Luxembourg at the age of 92,” current society president David Clark told Delano. A classical music fan, Clark would encounter Jacques at the Philharmonie in Luxembourg and once met him at the Les Amis de l’Opera in Venice.
“I can only say he was a wonderful giant of a man a real gentleman in every way. It’s difficult to find words to express how much I admired him.”
Jacques Loesch also co-founded the British Chamber of Commerce for Luxembourg along with Edmond Israel and became honorary chair in 2012.
A father of four, Loesch was proud when two of his sons, Tom and Marc, underwent post-graduate studies in the UK. “He said ‘I think I’m a little bit jealous’. He was very happy that we did what he couldn’t do,” Tom explained.
In Luxembourg, Maitre Loesch served on several boards, which are attested to in the numerous tributes posted in recent days. He was chair of the committee of company law for the justice ministry, a founding member and honorary chair of the Lions Club Luxembourg, and was member of the Council of the Luxembourg Bar, serving as President in 1985 and 1986.
The lawyer also served for over two decades as honorary chamberlain to the late Grand Duke Jean, up until his abdication in 2000. Tom said his father did not favour large celebrations and the family quietly marked his 92nd birthday during lockdown in April.
Maitre Loesch is fondly remembered by Linklaters Luxembourg, where another son, Guy, works.
“Jacques was not only one of the founding fathers of what has become Linklaters Luxembourg, but he was also a man combining superior legal and intellectual skills with a practical mindset and vision, all this always in an elegant, refined and modest manner,” said Patrick Geortay, Linklaters LLP Luxembourg managing partner.
Maitre Loesch passed away on 5 September. He is survived by his wife, Marianne, four sons and their children.