ITALIAN trio Bonelli e Associati, Erede e Associati and Pappalardo e Associati have snubbed foreign merger proposals in favour of an all-Italian link-up. Genovese firm Bonelli is keen to build on the reputation of its partners in commercial and corporate law. Senior managing partner Franco Bonelli admits international interest spurred them into action: "We considered the possibility of going international, but thought this would be preferable. The trend has been important for the Italian market - and beneficial. It has forced us to think about our structure and position. We would have become a branch of another law firm." Francesco Ago, a partner at rival firm Chiomenti, says: "It is an interesting link. Sergio Erede and Franco Bonelli are very prominent, well connected lawyers. It's now a question of how they can get along."