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1). Consolidation in Italy as top firms agree to merge
On Saturday, the partnership at BonelliErede, Slaughter and May’s Italian best friend firm, unanimously voted to merge with litigation and corporate independent Lombardi e Associati, growing its headcount to 750 to make it the largest firm in Italy.
From July, the firm will take on around 70 legal professionals, including 21 partners, across litigation, corporate, banking and administrative law. This includes Lombardi’s head Giuseppe Lombardi, who will co-lead Bonelli’s litigation team.
The move was not without some fallout however, with a team of 15 corporate lawyers led by partners Antonio Segni and Andrea Mazziotti leaving Lombardi for Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners, Bonelli’s main rival.
Private equity specialist, Gattai Minoli Agostinelli & Partners also recruited an eight-strong team from Lombadi, including energy and infrastructure partner Carla Mambretti and co-head of project finance Nicola Gaglione.
Alongside Gianni and 300-lawyer Chiomenti, Bonelli is regarded as one of Italy’s top three independent firms. Key mandates the firm acted on in recent months include the €50bn merger between French lens manufacturer Essilor and Italy’s Luxottica.
Engineered to strengthen Bonelli’s litigation offering, the merger is a rare exception in the Italian market characterised by individualism rather than instances of consolidation.
However, the boutique-led nature of the Italian market has also meant firms have traditionally been over-reliant on one or two top partners to secure their success, making it difficult to grow. Despite expanding abroad, especially in the Mediterranean, Africa and the Middle East, Bonelli’s revenue has remained flat at an estimated €160m.
2). Movers & Shakers
Dentons has further bulked up its banking and finance practice with the hire of Simmons & Simmons partner Simon Middleton.
Eversheds Sutherland has launched in Chicago with Marc Benjamin from White & Case and Kirkland & Ellis partner Susan Kai
Former Linklaters capital markets counsel Xavier Amadei joins Baker McKenzie Wong & Leow as a local principal
DLA Piper has hired former Taylor Wessing chief operating officer Rachel Reid in a newly-created position
Former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer counsel Vincent Seah joins the global legal giant as a partner
Employment law specialist Tim Frost leaves Big Four for Australian local firm
GC at online money transfer business WorldRemit Sam Ross exits for new role at FinTech start up ComplyAdvantage
Mergers & Alliances
Inclusion & Diversity
Technology and Innovation