Eni shuns external advice on £4bn deal to cut costs

Eni shuns external advice on £4bn deal to cut costsItalian energy company Eni drew entirely on its in-house legal team when disposing of EUR 4.7bn (£4.18bn) worth of subsidiaries, amid a plan to drastically cut its future legal spend.

Eni restructured its legal department late last year to operate along geographical lines and the company aims to reduce its external legal spend by 20 per cent by the end of next year.

Eni chief counsel for finance and capital markets Gloria Dagnini said: “We’ve set ourselves a goal of reducing the aggregate cost for external legal assistance by about 20 per cent within 2010, leveraging on fewer specialised hires, better management of external lawyers and the recent legal department restructuring.”

Italian natural gas company Snam Rete Gas, which bought Eni subsidiaries Stogit and Italgas, was advised by Clifford Chance. The firm’s Milan office advised with partners Alberta Figari, Ian Tully and Filippo Emanuele leading.

Eni’s legal team included general counsel Massimo Mantovani and Dagnini, as well as Gina Falbo and Luca Franceschini.

Dagnini commented: “We have highly qualified in-house expertise to deal with transactions such as this one.”

Eni’s main legal department consists of around 140 lawyers worldwide, excluding other listed companies in the Eni group.

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