Italy’s Grimaldi turns to Ashurst for London launch

Ashurst corporate partner Fabio Pizzocheri has joined Italian firm Grimaldi Studio Legale to launch its London office.

Pizzocheri had been a partner at Ashurst since 2010, having joined the firm from now-defunct Dewey & LeBoeuf. 

Many of the current lawyers at Grimaldi are also ex-Dewey & LeBoeuf. The firm, formerly known as Grimaldi e Associati, voted to disband at the end of 2011 after a number of departures (2 January 2012).

A few months later Dewey’s Italian team joined name partner Vittorio Grimaldi to reform the firm as Grimaldi Studio Legale (15 May 2012) amid the US firm’s collapse (29 May 2012).

Pizzocheri said he was looking forward to “rejoining old friends” at Grimaldi.

“I truly believe that it’s quite strategic,” he said. “There’s a lot of room for an Italian independent firm in London, which remains the most important international hub in Europe.”

Pizzocheri added that Grimaldi’s former relationship with Clifford Chance, which ended acrimoniously in 2002 and led to the firm’s foundation as an independent outfit, meant the brand was well-known in London. He said the aim was to build a full-service practice in the City, although the office would remain small.

Initially the London office will target financial institutions, funds, corporate clients and law firms without an Italian operation.

Grimaldi joins a number of other Italian firms in London. The most recent arrival was Legance (15 October 2012) but major firms including Bonelli Erede Pappalardo, Chiomenti, Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners and NCTM are all also present in the City.

Ashurst has lost a number of partners from its London office in the past few months, including most recently corporate partner Jonathan Earle who left for Gibson Dunn & Crutcher (28 April 2014).

Last year a number of partners quit Grimaldi, with corporate partner Lorenzo Parola joining Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker and Bruno Gattai setting up a boutique, Gattai Minoli & Partners (10 January 2013).