Freshfields appoints eight lawyers to Rome office

Freshfields' fledgling Rome office has got off to an ambitious start with the appointment of eight new lawyers, bringing the number of lawyers based in the Italian capital to 10.

More hirings are planned for later this year.

The appointments include one at partner level. Raffaele Lener, a well known banking lawyer, has joined from local firm Mole and becomes the office's second Italian partner after Fabrizio Aroosa who has transferred from Freshfields' Milan office.

Meanwhile, London-based corporate finance partner Neil Falconer has been sent to the office as its resident UK partner.

Arossa said that the office must reflect “the peculiarities of the Rome legal market” – which, as home to government ministries, the Italian Competition Authority as well as numerous industry regulators, means a strong competition and administrative law capability.

Lener, who has acted for the Italian central bank and securities industry watchdog CONSOB, is one of a number of appointments designed to boost the office's regulatory practice.

Another new recruit is Luciano Vasques, who has joined the office from the legal department of the Italian Competition Authority.

The firm plans to continue building up this side of the practice and Arossa said that the office could grow to up to 20 lawyers by summer.

But he added that future growth would be “step-by-step” with the main focus now on “consolidation”.

“In Milan, we build on an existing base of people who knew how to work together. Here, we are creating a common home from scratch,” he said.