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Hammonds' Italian ally Hammonds Rossotto has boosted its Milan office with the hire of Jones Day partner Ettore Scandale.
The hire is part of a plan to build up the banking and finance practice at Rossotto in preparation for a downturn in M&A deals.
Managing partner Riccardo Rossotto said: "When the market's going shopping then it's best to be a corporate lawyer. When the market's coming down it's best to be in banking and finance."
Hammonds London corporate head William Downs flew to Milan for a two-day meeting with Rossotto and Scandale to give support to the Italian banking and finance strategy.
Scandale joined Jones Day on its Italian launch in 2001, having previously worked at Macchi di Cellere e Gangemi. His Hammonds move coincides with the promotion of three associates to partner, bringing the number of partners to 21.
The firm made up corporate lawyer Paolo Grandi in Milan, IP specialist Filippo Manassero in Turin and Bologna office head Giovanni Zilli.
Rossotto said: "These guys have been with us for 10 years. It shows that, if you start young and have a positive career, you can achieve the dream of becoming partner."