A&O suffers as another partner quits in Italy

Allen & Overy has lost its Italian head of banking and finance less than a month after banking star Davide Mencacci defected to Linklaters.

Giancarlo Castorino has left A&O’s Milan office to join burgeoning Italian independent MBL & Partners. A&O confirmed Castorino’s departure and said they would look to fill the holes left by him and Mencacci.

An A&O spokesman said the situation in Italy was “pretty fluid at the moment. But we’re confident that when the dust settles we’ll still have one of the best international finance practices in Italy”.

Castorino’s departure is a blow to the magic circle firm, which has suffered problems in Italy over the last 12 months. The Turin office closed in late 2006, with managing partner Carlo Pavesio setting up his own independent that has a formal alliance with A&O.

It is understood that Italian managing partner Massimiliano Danusso, who is also a banking partner, will step into the void left by Castorino.

Meanwhile, Mencacci was the second boldface name to leave Milan for a rival Anglo-Saxon firm, after head of transport, banking and project finance Franco Vigliano went to Ashurst last year.