Italy

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Overview

Solicitors governing body: Local bar associations

Competition authority: Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato

Financial regulator: Bank of Italy

IFLR1000 ranking categories for this jurisdiction: 

Banking, Capital markets : Debt, Capital markets : Equity, Capital markets : Structured finance and securitisation, M&A, Project developmentProject finance, Restructuring and insolvency

Jurisdiction overview

The Italian legal system is underpinned by the country’s constitution (originated in 1948) and the civil code, which are based on a variety of sources including Roman law, the Napoleonic code and the civil code of Germany.

Due in part to its membership of the EU, there are few restrictions on foreign law firms or lawyers practising in Italy, particularly if they come from an EEA state, and they governed by the same regulations as local firms. Equally there are no separate naming requirements so firms can operate under their normal business brand. All lawyers have to be registered at one of the Italian regional bar associations. 

The legal market itself is made up of a combination of Italian, UK and US firms. The Italian domestics are a mix of large corporate firms who cover all areas of practice, and smaller boutiques who focus on one or two core areas, usually restructuring and insolvency or specialised financial products. The last decade has also seen a notable shift of firms adopting modern corporate structures as opposed to the more traditional family firm model that had dominated before.

Among the foreign outfits, UK magic and silver circle firms are the most established, and though they don’t have the same manpower as some of the largest Italian domestics, their networks and ability to offer UK law advice means they are competing in a slightly different market. The few US firms present are in a similar position and work in close conjunction with their London offices or focus on US investment into Italy and, in recent years, the willingness of Italian companies to tap US finance markets.

Italy is a sophisticated market and lawyers tend to be specialised in one or two specific practice areas or products rather than acting as generalists.

Financial and corporate
Accinni Cartolano & Associati

Accinni Cartolano & Associati has notable M&A practice where it has expertise in private equity transactions. 

During the research period the firm picked up several M&A mandates for private equity funds, such as advising Star Capital on the acquisition of Biochemical systems and on the sale of Codyeco. 

Client feedback

"High professional skills, quick response, full time availability and skilled junior team members." – Banking, M&A

Allen & Overy

The Italian office of Allen & Overy is active in financial and corporate area via its offices in Rome and Milan. Its main strengths are in banking and debt capital markets.

During the research period, the firm has advised international financial institutions and banks as issuers, managers and bookrunners on various bond issues, such as social bond and tier 1 CoCo bonds. One of the firm’s notable mandates saw the firm advise UniCredit on the issuance of first senior non-preferred bond in Italy. 

The securitisation team has been active in auto loan securitisations and CMBS transactions, where it acted for originators and arrangers. Key highlights have been in the NPL sector where the firm advised the master servicer on security of a portfolio, and acted for funds in the investment of project Fino.

In M&A, the firm has been advising domestic and international clients and new market entrants in acquisition, divestment and joint venture transactions across sectors including retail and real estate. One of the firm’s notable transaction is in the gambling industry where it advised Playtech on the acquisition of Snaitech.

In 2017, the firm recruited Elisabetta Mentasti and Juri Bettinelli as counsels from Chiomenti Studio Legale.

Notable clients include UniCredit, Goldman Sachs and JPMorgan.

Client feedback

"Very good work, fast and efficient advice." – Capital markets, insolvency 

Ashurst

Since opening office in Milan Ashurst has carved out a strong reputation in project work. It is also reliable in finance, capital markets and restructuring work.

In banking and finance, the firm has been active in the real estate advising the likes of Oaktree on its maiden real estate investment in Italy. 

In the projects space, the firm’s main highlight was a combination of capital markets and financing work as it advised the issuer on financing the Pedemontana Vaneta toll road through a mix of debt and a project bond. The firm’s primary focus has been on energy sector where it has advised the lenders and arrangers in financing several wind farms, however, it has also been active in financing work for airport and healthcare projects, advising lenders and borrowers respectively.

In capital markets, the firm advised the issuer on the first ever project bond in the wind sector in Italy. Elsewhere, it acted for global coordinators and placement agents on private placements of shares, and trustee and security agent in the issuance of uni-tranche notes.

The firm’s M&A work has been a mix of buy and sell side mandates advising primarily on deals in energy and infrastructure sectors. Elsewhere, it has also acted on the joint venture agreement between Landlease and Milano Santa Giulia in connection to a real estate development.

During the research period, the firm’s restructuring and insolvency practice has been advising on various corporate and financial restructurings, and bankruptcy proceedings. 

The firm has recently hired Mario Lisanti as head of the banking and finance practice from Norton Rose Fulbright along with his two senior associates. Annalisa Santini has also joined the firm as counsel from Paul Hastings.

UniCredit, Santander, Oaktree and EIB are some of the firm’s key clients.

Client feedback

"All practice offered." – Banking, investment funds, M&A

"Carloandrea Meacci, the managing partner is very fast, concise and commercial, and tries to find solutions balancing risks. Sometimes a bit aggressive on simplifying situations but effective. He is the real driver of the law firm success." – Banking, project finance 

"Very professional and highly experienced top lawyers." – M&A, project finance

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird operates in Italy from offices in Rome and Milan. During the research period the firm picked up work in the capital markets, M&A, and restructuring and insolvency areas.

In capital markets, the firm’s equity transaction involved advising a mix of issuers and sponsors on capital increase and public tender offers. One clear highlight saw the firm advise Stefanel on its issue of strumenti finanziari partecipativi, in what was the first time this instrument had been issued in Italy by a listed company.

In M&A the firm picked up mandates for both domestic and international clients in a mix of buy and sell side roles. The firm’s highlight deal took place in the industrials sector where it advised Giulio Fiocchi on the sale of Fiocchi Munizioni’s to NewCo.

The firm’s restructuring and insolvency team has primarily focused on advising banks, as creditors, in a mix of debt and corporate restructurings, and drafting turnaround plans. The firm’s publishable highlight were all on the debtors’ side where it assisted Stefanel in its debt restructuring process.

Staffing changes include the departure of senior counsel Matteo Almini to DLA Piper.

Key clients include Alcedo SGR, Stefanel, and Banca Akros.

Client feedback 

"Bird & Bird is well known for its innovative approach and has deep expertise in advising major clients across corporate, litigation and IP issues." – Banking, M&A, restructuring 

Caiazzo Donnini Pappalardo & Associati

Caiazzo Donnini Pappalardo & Associati is recognised for work in banking and finance and M&A.

In banking and finance the firm has been active in financing transactions acting for lenders and arrangers the likes of Banca Nazionale and UBI Banca in a mix of syndicated and secured financing transactions. 

In M&A, the firm’s publishable highlights include work in the IT sector where it advised One Equity Partners on the acquisition of Lutech and Sinergy. 

Key clients include UBI Banca, One Equity Partners, Augustea Holding and European Investment Bank.

Carnelutti

Carnelutti is a corporate law firm notable for its M&A practice.

During the research period, the firm picked up M&A mandates for a mix of funds clients in transactions in sectors including real estate, food and beverage, and healthcare. Work examples include advising BNP Paribas REIM on its acquisition of Garage Traversi from Banco Popolare, and Royal Unibrew’s acquisition of a lemon soda business from Campari.

Key clients include BNP Paribas REIM, Progressio SGR and Kos Group.

Chiomenti

Chiomenti is one of Italy's leading firms and highly rated in all IFLR1000 ranking categories. 

In banking and finance the firm represented domestic and international banks in transfers of non-performing receivables and in the securitisation of non-performing loans. For example, it advised a pool of four Italian banks on the sale and subsequent securitisation of its large NPL portfolios.

In project finance the firm advised Banca Europea per gil Investmenti (BEI) as lender on the financing of 600MW/h merchant line between France and Italy.

The firm's debt capital markets team has acted on a mix of EMTN programmes updates and bonus issues mandates. Its clients were mainly issuers, but it saw some work for arrangers, underwriters and joint bookrunners. The firm's other bond work comprises issuances of high yield, yankee and covered bonds for the likes of Banca Carige and Enel. The firm's work for Enel in its issuance of yankee bond is the largest bond issuance ever guaranteed by an Italian company on the US market.

In equity space, the firm has been advising companies on the listing and re-listing of shares. The firm has also been advising financial institutions as joint bookrunners and global coordinators in potential IPOs and on rights issues.

The firm's securitisation work focussed mostly on the banking sector during the research period. It advised banks on securitisation of NPL's and non-performing receivables and represented the likes of Veneto Banca, HSBC and Banca IMI. It also acted for financial institution the likes of HSBC and Credit Suisse as lenders on the securitisation of Berenice's newly acquired receivables.

In M&A one deal highlight in the insurance sector saw the firm advise Unipol Gruppo on its sale of stake holdings held in UniSalute and Compagnia Assicuratrice Linear. It also represented UnipolSai on its sale of stake in Popolare Vita. In the private equity space, the firm acted for Lone Star Funds on the sale of Italian financial company, and SCP EPC on its acquisition of stake in Eolo.

In restructuring and insolvency the firm advised Banca d'Italia as managing entity of National Resolution Fund on the sale of three insolvent banks, in a deal completed during the research period. Elsewhere, the firm has been engaged in various financial restructuring mandates advising the creditors including Morgan Stanley and Banco BPM. Equally active on the debtor side, the firm acted for Waste Italia in relation to its pre-insolvency workout agreement with creditors.

There were three partner departures from the firm during the research period. Banking and finance lawyers Carmelo Raimondo and Giovanni Diotallevi and corporate lawyer Michele Delfini left the firm.

Key clients include Morgan Stanley, Lone Star Funds, Barclays Bank and Banco Santander.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has a strong reputation in M&A. The firm is tightly integrated with London and New York offices providing support to the team in large cross border transactions.

In the banking and finance area, the firm has been active in acquisition financing and refinancing transactions, advising the likes of Sogefi in refinancing its senior debt. Notable transactions include advising Belron on a leveraged loan. Elsewhere, the firm has had a prominent presence in regulatory matters, advising foreign clients on compliance procedures in accordance with Italian law, and on the precautionary recapitalisation of Atlante Fund’s assets.

In capital markets, the firm has been predominantly involved in equity work, advising the underwriters on IPOs, and issuers on capital increases and private placements. In one highlight deal, the firm advised Malacalza Investment on the capital increase of Banca Cariage.

In M&A, the firm has been active in both cross border and domestic transactions across numerous sectors including telecoms, media and financial services. One of the key transactions saw the merger of F2i’s third fund with its first fund. The firm has also advised private equity funds such as Warburg Pincus, White Bridge Investments and Lone Star in acquisitions and sales of companies.

The restructuring and insolvency team mostly represents the creditors on restructuring mandates. The firm’s publishable work is a highlight of debt restructuring on the creditor’s side, and acquisition of a distressed steel plant Ilva. 

Staffing changes include the departure of M&A lawyer Roberto Casati.

Some of firm’s notable clients include Allianz Capital Partners, Goldman Sachs and American Express.

Clifford Chance

With more than 20 years presence in the Italian market, Clifford Chance is strong across all financing and corporate area with particular expertise in finance.

In banking and finance, the firm is mostly active on the lender’s side, advising the likes of UniCredit and HSBC, among others, on various arrangements of credit facilities and financing transactions. On the borrower side, the firm has advised the likes of CEREIT in acquisition financing and Leonardo in renegotiating and signing of new revolving credit facilities.

In project work the firm has been active in the energy sector where it has acted on the financing of windfarms for investment funds. The firm has also focused on financing of international projects involving Italian sponsors in energy and infrastructure sector. Notable highlight includes the financing of hydroelectric power plant in Ethiopia.

In the equity markets, the firm has primarily advised global coordinators and joint bookrunners on IPOs, including the first ever listing of a factoring company on the Milan Stock Exchange. In the debt space the firm advised the joint book runners including the likes of JPMorgan and UniCredit among others in the first ever issuance of senior non-preferred notes in Italy. It has also been active in bonds work where it advised bookrunners and managers on euro and green bond transactions.  

In structured finance and securitisation, the firm has advised on securitisations of loan portfolios for European investment funds. It also advised Deutsche Bank on one the largest CMBS transactions in the market. 

In M&A, the firm has acted for the likes of ITV studios in its strategic acquisition and LIXIL Group in a cross border transaction involving Japan, China and Italy. 

The firm’s restructuring team has been active on debt restructuring mandates, acting for the likes of BNP Paribas. Elsewhere, the firm has been active in insolvency mandates advising both distressed companies and creditors across aviation and transport sector. Publishable matters include the firm’s advisory role for Citi in a dispute against Parmalat in relation to the company’s collapse.

UniCredit, F2i and BNP Paribas are some of the firm’s notable clients.

Dentons

Dentons is one of the more recent international firms to open in Italy but has already earned recognition for its financial and corporate work.

The firm’s financing transactions include a mix of leveraged, acquisition and real estate finance where it has acted for lenders and arrangers the likes of UBI Banca and Unicredit. The banking team also provided regulatory service to BNP Paribas Leasing Solutions in relation to its acquisition of Hewlett Packard’s leasing portfolio.

The firm’s capital markets team has been active on the equity side where it acted for global coordinators and issuers on the listing of companies in the Alternative Investment Market. Example work includes advising CFO SIM as global coordinator in the listing of DBA Group.

In M&A the firm picked up work across a wide range of sectors, primarily advising both domestic and international companies, including funds. Clear highlight transactions took place in the healthcare sector where it acted as local counsel to Johnson & Johnson on its global sale of Codman Neurosurgery, and in the publishing sector where it led Editions Lefebvre Sarrut’s acquisition of Dr A Giuffrè Editore.

In the projects space, the firm has been active in the renewables energy sector, advising investors on the acquisition of several photovoltaic plants. 

The firm’s restructuring and insolvency team has seen a combination of corporate and debt restructuring work, representing both debtors and creditors. 

During the research period, the firm expanded adding lawyers from Chiomenti. New recruits include project finance lawyers, partner Giovanni Diotallevi and managing counsel Andrea De Luca Picione; and M&A and capital markets partner Antonella Brambilla.

Key clients include Johnson & Johnson, Unicredit Bank, UBI Banca and Astaldi.

Giovannelli & Associati

During the research period, Giovannelli & Associati’s banking and finance team typically represented the borrowers and acted on various types of financing mandates, including debt restructurings, acquisition financings and refinancings. Example work includes advising Car World Italia on its debt restructuring with a pool of major Italian banks, and acting for White Bridge Investments on financing its acquisition of Nutrilinea.

In the capital markets area, the firm has been active on a mix of equity and debt work. On the equity side the firm advised guarantor on the rights offering of Banca Carige. It also acted for sponsor on the listing of BF Holding and represented Aquafil on listing on the Milan Stock Exchange. On the debt side the firm has acted for the issuers on the listing of bonds and fixed rate notes. 

In M&A the firm has been active for private equity clients on a mix of domestic and cross border transactions. Notable highlights included advising French private equity company Ardian on the sale of Irca to Carlyle. The firm also provided due diligence support to Space Holding’s two SPACs on two separate mergers with Aquafil and Guala Closures. 

The firm recently hired partner Michele Delfini, recognised for his work in M&A and capital markets, from Chiomenti.

Key clients include Space Holdings, White Bridge investments, Car World Italia and Equita SIM.

Client feedback

"Strengths: Excellent technical legal skills, deep knowledge of our business, high quality and accuracy of their work. Weakness: room for improvement in responsiveness." – Banking, M&A

"Very client-oriented. No particular weaknesses" – M&A

Hogan Lovells

The Italian office of global firm Hogan Lovells has a reputable financial and corporate practice.

The banking and finance team’s transactional mandates in the research period were mostly confidential but included work for both lenders and borrowers in acquisition financing, credit facilities, security arrangements and structured commodities transactions. It also acted for lead arrangers in two separate debt-refinancing transactions. On the regulatory side the firm’s highlight work includes advising Single Resolution Board concerning the necessity of its resolution action towards two Italian banks.

In the capital markets area the firm’s equity highlights include advising the global coordinator on the listing of Life Care Capital on the AIM of Borsa Italiana. On the debt side, the firm picked up work for Banca IMI (as manager and arranger) and Banca Monte Dei Paschi di Siena (as issuer) advising on their issuance of subordinated Tier 2 notes and on the update of notes and debt issuance programmes. 

The firm’s recent structured finance and securitisation work includes advising Banca IMI and IBL Banca as arranger and originator respectively on the establishment of €10 billion asset-backed notes programme. It also advised Alba Leasing on its securitisation of lease receivables.

In M&A the firm acted on several cross border mandates in the healthcare and insurance sectors, among others, advising both buyers and sellers. Highlights include advising BNP Paribas Cardif on its acquisition of Cargeas Assicurazioni and acting for Recordati on its acquisition of commercial rights to three medicines from AstraZeneca.

In restructuring and insolvency, publishable highlights include work for Eithad Investment Holding Company, a minority shareholder, in the restructuring process of Alitalia’s indebtedness following its administration.

Key clients include BNP Paribas Cardif, PIMCP Europe, Banca IMI, Deutsche Bank and UniCredit.

Legance

Legance has a strong presence in the Italian market with expertise across all the areas covered by IFLR1000.

In banking and finance the firm has been active on acquisition and real estate financing where it largely advises the lenders and arrangers. Notable deals include advising Enel on the revolving credit facility made available to it, and acting for the lenders including UniCredit and Banco BPM on a facility agreement in the acquisition of TotalErg.

In debt capital market the firm has acted on several notes issuance and update under the EMTN programme advising the likes of SIAS and Alperia. The firm has also acted on tender offers and private placements, advising issuers. 

On the securitisation side the firm has acted on the securitisation of NPL portfolios, advising the likes of Agos Ducato and Fortress Investment Group.

The firm’s equity practice has acted on voluntary tender offer and share repurchase programmes in the MTA and NYSE for Ferrari and Banca Farmafactoring.

In M&A the firm has been active across numerous sectors including real estate, pharmaceuticals and energy, advising the buyers and sellers equally. One of the key deals saw the firm advise Intel in the establishment of McAfee, Cybersecurity Company via sale and transfer. 

In projects work the firm has advised the lenders on the financing of several windfarms and hydroelectric plants. Its infrastructure mandates saw the firm advise the lenders on the EPC contract between the contractor and Tern Interconnector. 

The firm’s restructuring and insolvency practice has mostly focused on debt restructuring where it acts for both creditors and debtors.

Staffing changes included Alberto Vaudano join the team again, as senior counsel, following his departure in late 2016, while Paolo Pototsching has left the firm.

UniCredit, BNP Paribas, EIB, Next Energy and ING bank are some of the firm’s key clients.

Client feedback 

"Comprehensive all round services with a deep understanding of legal implications of corporate finance deals." – Banking, capital markets, M&A, restructuring 

"Generally business-oriented, pragmatic and problem-solving. A bit expensive." – M&A

"Good client service, partner attention to the matter and good coverage of different legal areas. A full service firm." – M&A

"Legance law firm is a high professional firm with really good lawyers who have good preparation and an ability to manage high-profile deals." – Project finance 

"Outstanding renewable energy sector knowledge covering not only the legal, but also technical and commercial framework." – Project development 

"Strengths: pro-active attitude, highly skilled sectorial knowledge, excellent negotiation skills, readiness and responsiveness. Weaknesses: could benefit with a boost in its international presence." – Project development, project finance   

"Very good expertise, delivery time and interpersonal relationship." – Banking, project finance 

Linklaters

The Italian office of the magic circle firm provides services across the financial and corporate spectrum, with a stronger reputation in banking and capital markets.

In the banking space the firm has been acting for arrangers and lenders in acquisition financings. On the borrower’s side, one notable highlight saw the firm advise Unieuro in the refinancing of its existing debt. 

In project work, the firm has been active in the financing aspects of development both in and out of the country. Domestically, the firm has been involved in important projects such as the Italian subsidy-free solar plants, where it advised the sponsor, and the construction of Pedemontana Veneta highway, where it worked on the structure of bonds and assisted the mezzanine investors. Internationally, the firm has been advising Italian banks in financing projects such as the Yamal LNG in Russia.

In debt capital markets the firm has been mostly employed by joint lead managers on bond issues. The firm advised Telecom Italia in relation to its notes issuance under an EMTN programme. In the equity area, the firm has worked on rights issues and IPO transactions, acting for issuers and bookrunners. In one notable mandate, the firm advised on UniCredit’s biggest ever rights issue. 

In structured finance and securitisation, the firm was a transaction counsel on project Fino. It has also acted on covered bonds programme advising the likes of Unicredit and Barclays.

The firm’s M&A team has acted for both private equity firms and corporate companies on acquisitions of shares, and disposals. During the research period the firm has advised the likes of KKR and Three Hills Partners.

The restructuring and insolvency practice has acted for both the debtors and creditors in debt restructuring mandates. Some of the clients the firm is acting for include MBA, Glencore International, and UniCredit.

During the research period the firm hired Roberto Casati and Stefano De Dominicis as partner and counsel respectively. They both join the firm from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton bringing with them expertise in corporate area. Structured finance and securitisation counsel Elio Indelicato left the firm and joined Riolo Calderaro Crisostomo. 

Client feedback 

"Great advice, great team." – Banking, restructuring and insolvency 

Lombardi Segni & Associati

Lombardi Segni & Associati is an independent firm known for its restructuring and insolvency practice which is considered one of the strongest in the country.

In banking and finance the firm has mostly represented the borrowers in debt refinancing and acquisition financing transactions. 

In the capital markets the firm’s equity team acted on a mix of IPOs, accelerated book building and listing in the MTA markets. Example work includes advising Wellness Holding (owner) on the accelerated book building and placement of Technogym’s shares, assisting NOMAD (nominated advisor) on the Oresero IPO, and assisting the sponsors in the listing process of Giglio Group in the MTA market. 

In M&A the firm has acted for a mix of private equity and corporate clients in a mix of private and public M&A transactions. Predominantly active on the sell side, one of the firm’s high value transaction comes from the hospitality sector where it advised the Boscolo family on its sale of luxury hotel group to Värde Partners. On the buy side, the firm primarily worked with private equity clients, such as Armonia and BlueGem Capital Partners.

The firm’s restructuring and insolvency practice has acted for a mix of creditors and debtors in liquidation and debt restructuring procedures across the industrials, real estate and retail sectors. It also represented the commissioners on the administration of ILAV and Alitalia.

During the research period the firm hired counsel Massimo Fabiani to join its restructuring and insolvency practice.

Key clients include Armonia, Artsana, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, UniCredit and Barclays.

Client feedback 

"Excellent full service law firm. Partners are real deal makers who are highly respected by counter parties and opposing counsel." – M&A, project finance 

"Focused and smart." – Project finance 

"Lombardi Segni's project finance team is one of the most interesting and innovative teams in the Italian market. We appreciate their highest care in documentation and problem solving activities." – Banking, project finance 

Nicola Gaglione

"She is a brilliant lawyer with strong knowledge and academic preparation, and a very impressive commercial sound." 

"Project Finance partner. Excellent lawyer with a particular ability to interact with finance teams."    

Carla Mambretti

"Top level corporate lawyer who is always available for the client. Represents most of the major players in the energy/finance worlds."

"Highly professional, really fast in understanding the needs of the customer, really effective and practical."

Luigi Pontrelli 

"Excellent administrative lawyer who masters perfectly the interactions of administrative issues with finance and M&A deals."

Macchi di Cellere Gangemi

Macchi di Cellere Gangemi is an independent firm with notable expertise in the projects space, especially in the energy sector.

During the research period the firm worked on financings for project companies Veronagest and ASI Cellino San Marco, advising the borrowers and lenders respectively on the two deals.

The firm also picked up work in M&A where it provided due diligence and transactional support on various acquisitions in the energy sector. Highlights include due diligence work on the UGI’s acquisition of Totalgaz Italia and Veronagest’s sale of F2i (Italian wind-power plants portfolios). Other highlights include work in the life science sector where it advised Regional Foundation for Biomedical Research on the sale of a 90% stake held by third party.

The firm recruited two new corporate partners from Studio Legale Sartor, Giulia Verga and Enrico Storari. Meanwhile, banking partner Alessandro Sergio left the firm to take up an in-house position for a power company.

Asi Cellino San Marco, UGI Corporation and SGCD are some of the clients the firm acted for during the research period.

Client feedback 

"Excellent and customer oriented." – Banking, restructuring and insolvency

McDermott Will & Emery

McDermott Will & Emery has strength across its transactional and regulatory practices in Italy. 

The firm’s banking team picked up work on the lender’s side in relation to several term loan facilities granted to real estate investment funds. For example, it advised Banca IMI, Banco BPM and UniCredit on a term loan facility granted to Fondo Immobili Pubblici and advised the lenders on a term loan facility to Milan Development 1 for its acquisition of real estate in Milan.

In M&A the firm advised foreign private equity funds and other investment groups on acquisition of Italian companies across sectors including education, life sciences and financial services. Highlights include advising Principia Health on its acquisition of Trifarma and Palamon Capital Partners’ acquisition of Il Sole 24 Ore’s education business.

The firm’s recent project work was primarily concentrated on infrastructure where it acted for a grantors, concessionaires and developers on the financing aspects of projects. The firm’s standout transactions comes from the transport sector where it advised Autovie Venete (concessionares) on the extension of the concession agreement in relation to a highway in the north east of Italy.

During the research period, the firm boosted its financial and corporate practice by recruiting the team from King & Wood Mallesons. Among the recruits include banking and finance partner Giancarlo Castorino and corporate/M&A partner Ettore Scandale. Counsels Pierandrea Bonali, Francesco Romeo and Agata Todarello also joins the banking and finance practice while Enrico Raso joined the corporate M&A practice.

Key clients include UniCredit, BNP Paribas, Palamon Capital Partners and Municipality of Milan.

Molinari & Associati

Molinari & Associati is recognised for work in the real estate sector and its strong restructuring and insolvency practice.

In banking and finance the firm acted for a group of lenders including Unicredit on the partial financing of the acquisition of real estate portfolio in Rome.

The firm has been active in debt restructuring, working for the lenders on several high value mandates. For example, it advised syndicate of lenders on the debt restructurings of Condotte and Trevi Group respectively. Its debtor side clients include the likes of Piaggio Aerospace and Carlo Colombo.

The bulk of the firm’s M&A work came from the hospitality industry where it primarily acted on domestic transactions. One exception saw the firm advise Patron Capital on the transfer of Generator Hostels to Queensgate Investment Fund II. Other highlights include advising CFT on its merger with Glenalta, and Bayer Italia on the sale of its diabetes business.

Corporate lawyer Nicolo Juvara joined the firm as equity partner from Norton Rose Fulbright.

Key clients include Patron Capital, UniCredit, Banco BPM and York Capital Management.

Client feedback 

"Competent, always on time, and always available." – Banking, M&A

"Excellent for industry legal turnaround competence, risk management, and relationship management." – Restructuring 

"High professional skills and quick to provide feedback." – Banking, restructuring  

"In my experience, the team headed by Ugo Molinari has proven to be highly skilled in private equity, M&A and financial restructuring practices." – Banking, restructuring 

"Molinari & Associati has been assisting us on complex transactions with high risk profile. The firm was proactive and familiar with the business and provided excellent level of service. The firm has an extensive and consolidated expertise on corporate and M&A matters as well as on financial and insolvency questions." – Insolvency, investment funds, M&A, regulatory 

"Professional, reliable, proactive, expert, and good management of complex processes." – Banking, restructuring 

"The practice offers a full range of services. Since we need to manage a portfolio of non performing exposures, we focus on restructuring services where the team headed by Ugo Molinari has proven to have a very strong expertise developed along the years. Molinari & Associati is always available to provide assistance in a very professional manner." – Banking, restructuring 

"They are skilled professionals, and they negotiate calmly but firmly. They understand the environment and adapt accordingly, and can handle complex transactions involving multiple parties. Though the Molinari lawyers have always successfully covered their task, increasing the number of lawyers would reduce the client's anxiety on the amount of work a single advisor have to bear." – Banking, investment funds, restructuring and insolvency 

"Unique competences and the team's approach are the firm's strengths, together with a good business acumen allowing them to support clients in the financial structuring mandates. Sometimes, the firm's lawyers need Ugo Molinari's final blessing to take their final view." – Banking, M&A, restructuring and insolvency 

"Studio Molinari is one of the top Italian law firms. Ugo Molinari is an ideal negotiator, and he also has a very clever approach in structuring a deal. Margherita Santoiemma and Maria Milano are outstanding along with the team." – Banking, M&A, restructuring 

Nctm Studio Legale

NCTM is an independent Italian firm with two offices. The firm has notable strength in equity capital markets.

In banking and finance, the firm has been advising the borrowers on the amendments of existing facilities. Notably, it advised Hypo Alpe Adria bank in the sale of its assets and portfolios as part of its restructuring plans. Elsewhere, it has acted on corporate, real estate and acquisition financing acting for guarantors, arrangers and borrowers.

In the capital markets space, the firm has been active in equity transactions advising issuers on various IPOs on AIM. In the debt capital markets, the firm has advised issuers on the issuance of convertible bonds and standard bonds, among others, with highlights being the issuance of zero-coupon bonds on Vienna’s stock exchange.

In M&A the firm has primarily acted for private equity firms such as Peninsula Capital and Andrea partners in acquisition of shares in Italian companies. The firm acts for both buyers and sellers in domestic and cross border transaction across wide range of sectors including railways, industrial and telecommunications.

The firm’s restructuring and insolvency practice acted on the biggest Veneto bank rescue where it advised the government, the bank of Italy and the liquidators in the sale of two distressed banks to Intesa Sanpaolo. Elsewhere, the firm has also advised both the debtors and creditors in various restructuring mandates.

In project work, the firm has been largely active in the energy sector advising the lenders on the financing aspects of multiple windfarms. 

Equity partner Giuliano Lanzavecchia left the firm during the research period.

Royal Bank of Scotland, China Construction Bank and Peninsula Capital are some of the firm’s key clients.

Client feedback 

"Highly satisfactory with a high knowledge of the industry sector and a good response to the unexpected legal case." – Banking, restructuring 

"The firm is very accurate but also gives quick feedback to the banks and demonstrates a strong knowledge and experience in the project finance segment. Partner Eugenio Siragusa is very helpful and follows the process in first person. Such commitment by a partner is not so usual in other law firms." – Project finance 

"The team around Eugenio Siragusa is strictly forced to achieve the prospected goals and Eugenio´s ability in problem solving for the scheduled target is business-oriented and very efficient." – Banking, project finance, restructuring 

"Very flexible in terms of budgetary needs and very competent in the field we deployed them. The firm should better cultivate the overall relationship beyond the specific engagements." – Insolvency, M&A, regulatory

"Very proactive and responsive. Experts in their field." – Banking 

"We are very satisfied with the law firm's work." – Capital markets, M&A, project finance 

Alice Bucolo

"She is extremely talented, and she works on tight timeline."

Giovanni di Capitani 

"Technically excellent and responsive."

Paolo Montironi

"Excellent advisor not only for legal matters but also for his track record and business acumen."

Gian Carlo Sessa

"Very high standing among the best Italian lawyers."

Eugenio Siragusa

"He is very helpful for the bank and follows the process in first person with a valuable commitment."

"He is primarily a leader, able to organise and to work on different matters (also on non-legal items) with a great efficiency and a non-common ability in negotiation between the involved parties."

"We are very satisfied with his work."

Nunziante Magrone

Nunziante Magrone is an Italian firm with offices in Italy, Albania and Turkey. The firm is recognised for its banking and corporate practices in Italy.

In banking and finance the firm acted for lenders on acquisition financing and restructuring mandates, with a focus on real estate transactions. 

In M&A the firm has seen mandates across range of sectors including packaging, media and banking, acting for a mix of buyers and sellers on cross border mandates. Publishable highlights include advising Luxos Italia on the sale of its share capital to Tink Labs.

During the research period, the firm hired Partner Claudio Giordano from Macchi di Cellere Gangemi for its corporate team.

Client feedback 

"My overall judgment is really good. This law firm is characterised by an excellent quality to price ratio. It combines knowledge of specific practice areas such as acquisition, corporate and real estate financing with in-depth experience in the field of restructuring. Therefore, they are able to provide customized solutions and have greater coverage in relation to any problems that may arise in the future. In particular, I would like to point out that several definitions and clauses have proven to be very useful during the life of the loan. We use Alessio Lombardo's team, which we have always found very fast and proactive in identifying solutions to the themes from time to time occurred." – Banking, restructuring 

"The overall level of service is very good specifically their ability to make the contractual provision adhere and follow the bank’s internal procedures. Furthermore, I can outline the response time, appropriateness of advice and business acumen in the transaction I was involved with the firm." – Banking 

Orsingher Ortu Avvocati Associati

During the research period Orsingher Ortu Avvocati Associati was active in M&A, advising both public and private companies in acquisitions across an array of sectors. Highlights include advising Toshiba on the acquisition of 52% in Nucelar Fuel Iindustries and acting for Tegtik on its sale to Wolters Kluwer.

Staffing changes include the addition of new M&A partner Federico Bonnetti from Lombardi Segni e associate.

Notable clients include Edison, Toshiba, Avara Pharmaceuitcal and Tagetik.

Client feedback 

"Extremely strong technical knowledge and problem solving approach. Very pragmatic and user-friendly. Sometimes tight on resources due to their success." – M&A

Portolano Cavallo

Portolano Cavallo has a good reputation in Italy and is commended for its work in the TMT sector. The firm is also recognised for work in the M&A and restructuring and insolvency practice areas.

The firm’s work is confidential but it can be said it advised private equity clients and holding companies on the Italian law aspects of several M&A mandates across the gaming, industrials and media sectors. It also acted for funds on the acquisition of insolvent companies.

In restructuring and insolvency the firm has acted for creditors on debt recovery mandates and advised an agri-food company in its debt restructuring process.

Counsel Clemente Perrone Da Zara joined the restructuring and insolvency team from CBM & Partners during the research period.

Shearman & Sterling

Shearman & Sterling is notable for its international work, and its Italian team has expertise in both US and domestic law. The firm is known for its work in real estate, acting on financing and M&A transactions.

In banking, the firm advised Blackstone and Kryalos in financing acquisitions of portfolios of office and logistic assets in Italy. Elsewhere, the firm advised the syndicate of lead arrangers in the refinancing of Pirelli Group and on the financing of Marco Polo International in relation to the capital increase of Pirelli Group.

The firm’s M&A work mostly comprises acting for buyers and included advising Allianz on the acquisition of units in Kensington, a real estate fund. In the oil and gas sector the firm advised General Electric on its carve-out in the context of its merger with Baker Hughes.

The firm’s capital markets work has included work for issuers and initial purchasers in a mix of equity and debt transactions. On the equity side, the firm acted for UBI Banca on its rights offering and acted for the global coordinators in the proposed IPO of Estra. On the debt side the firm’s work included a mix of high yield bonds and senior notes offerings, where it mostly advised the issuers. It also acted for hosts of initial purchasers such as Goldman Sachs and Credit Suisse in relation to the issuance of senior secured notes.

Key clients include Credit Suisse, UBI Banca, JP Morgan, ZZ Capital international, Blackstone and Kryalos.

Client feedback 

"Always well prepared, helpful, proactive, and easy to work with." – Capital markets

"Shearman & Sterling is always responsive and focused on client's needs. Their lawyers are well trained and knowledgeable on the practice area concerned. They are able to manage difficult legislative issues." – Capital markets 

"Superb team that balances legal excellence with business acumen. I always want to have them on my side for best executions." – Banking, M&A, project development 

"Very professional and highly skilled in all activities related to equity capital markets." – Capital markets 

Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons is active across all areas of financial and corporate work, and has a notable debt capital markets practice.

Acting on a mix of Italian and English law governed mandates, the firm’s banking and finance practice has acted on several acquisition financing, corporate loans and refinancing transactions. Highlights include advising a Mediobanca-led banking syndicates on a revolving credit facility granted to Enel.

In capital markets, the firm is more active on the debt side than equity. The firm’s debt work included sovereign bonds issues, where it mostly acted for dealers and co-dealers. The firm is has also been active on EMTN programmes, advising the arrangers and dealers on 2i Rete Gas and Italgas’s update and Ferrovie dello Stato Italiane on its issuance of green bonds. On the equity side, the firm picked up work in IPO and listing of shares on AIM, acting for issuers.

The firm’s corporate team has seen a steady stream of M&A transactions with roles on the buy and sell side. On the buy side, the firm acted for a mix of Italian and Chinese clients on the acquisitions of Italian companies across the financial services, automotive, construction and chemical sectors. Highlights include advising Gangtai Group on its acquisition of 85% stake in Buccellati Holding. On the sell side, one highlight saw the firm act on the sale of Dynamic Tenchnologies to Ardian North America.

In restructuring, the firm largely advised creditor banks, with its clients including Banco BPM and Deutsche Bank. 

Key clients include Deutsche Bank, Banco BPM, UniCredit and Goldman Sachs.

Watson Farley & Williams

Watson Farley & Williams has offices in Rome and Milan. The firm is known for its work in energy and infrastructure sectors.

In banking and finance the firm acted on financings in the energy and shipping industries. In energy, the firm acted on both the lender and borrower sides on the refinancing of two separate photovoltaic plants. In the shipping sector, highlights include advising the lenders on the acquisition financing of passenger cruise ships.

The firm’s M&A team has been active in the renewable energy sector where it acted for Blue Elephant Energy and Capital Stage on the acquisitions of several solar farms and one wind farm in Italy. It also advised Saffron Energy on the acquisition of Italian oil and gas portfolio from Sound Energy and Po Valley Energy.

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm acted on several bankruptcy proceedings in the shipping industry. It mostly acted for banks but has picked up mandates on behalf of the distressed companies.

Former DLA Piper lawyer Mario D’Ovidio joined the firm as a banking and finance partner while corporate lawyer Alessia Marconi joined as counsel from Macchi di Cellere Gangemi.

Key clients include a BNP Paribas, UBI Banca and Capital Stage.

Client feedback 

"The law firm has always been very consistent and effective." – Banking 

White & Case

The Italian office of international firm White & Case is known for its strong banking and finance and capital markets practices.

In banking and finance the firm has carved out a strong presence in Italy, and has been advising on both lender and borrower side recently. It picked up notable work for Italian companies in the energy and telecommunications sector where it advised the likes of Wind Tre and Open Fiber on senior facilities agreements and bridge financing transactions. It also advised notable international financial institutions such as UniCredit, Goldman Sachs and BNP Paribas as lenders and arrangers on acquisition financing and loan facilities mandates.

On the debt capital market side, the firm worked on a mix of high yield bond and senior notes issuance recently, advising a mix of issuers and global coordinators. One highlight saw the firm act for issuer Wind Tre. It also advised Intesa Sanpaolo on its issuance of multi-billion Yankee bonds under its Medium Term Note Programme. EMTN programmes added further work for the firm as it mostly represented issuers, including Acea and Altantia, on the update of EMTN programmes. 

On the equity side, the firm acted on three IPOs, including one of the largest in Italy in 2017, where it represented the listing companies. Elsewhere, it also acted on UniCredit Rights issue where it advised UniCredit, Morgan Stanley and JP Morgan Securities. 

The firm also had a strong portfolio of securitisation work. Clear highlights includes its work on project Fino, where it advised doBank, master servicer and special servicer, on the securitisation of UniCredit's three non-performing loan portfolios. 

In M&A the firm primarily provided advisory services to private equity firms on potential acquisitions across various sectors. CVC Capital partners, Goldman Sachs and Summit Partners are some of the firm's notable clients in this area.

Key clients include UniCredit, CVC Capital Partners, York Capital Management and Bank of America Merryll Lynch.