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Pritchard Englefield's two-partner Italian department has split away from the firm to form its own practice advising on Italian trade.
Dominic Pini, corporate partner and former head of the Italian group, has left together with litigation partner Dimitri Iesini and commercial assistant Rocco Franco, and has joined forces with former in-house Eagle Star Insurance litigator Nicholas Bingham.
All four will be partners in the new practice, Pini Bingham & Partners, which will be based at St John's Lane, London EC2.
Pini pointed out that Italian companies preferred to deal with smaller law firms, with their lower overheads and lower fees.
The three lawyers from Pritchards would remain as consultants to their old firm, and have signed an agreement to give Pritchards first refusal for referrals of work that they do not have the expertise to handle.
Pritchards likewise agreed to refer Italian work to Pini Bingham.
The four will specialise in advising on English law Italian companies which are seeking inward investment, and advising UK companies on investing in Italy.
Pini said they have no plans to open an office in Italy, because this will avoid "treading on the feet" of Italian firms who refer work to them.
Pini also pointed out that when the UK eventually joins the European single currency, demand for this type of cross-border advice will increase.