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Two of Italy's independent law firms have sealed a tripartite merger with a tax advisory practice and plan to grow the merged firm's London base.
Studio Legale Giordano & Partners, which has offices in Padua, Milan and London, has merged with Padua firm Camilotti Polettini & Rolandi and Venice-based tax advisers Cerchiai Bombassei Vidal. Camilotti and Cerchiai agreed to merge in January this year, but negotiations with Giordano took longer. Head of the new firm Francesco Camilotti said: "We've the same kind of activities. We had to make sure that there wasn't an overlap. That's why it was a two-stage operation." The 14-partner legal and tax firm will be known as LCA. Camilotti also brings a Munich office to the new firm. Giordano's resident UK partner Roberta Crivellaro will continue to run the London practice for LCA and plans to increase the number of fee-earners. Crivellaro recently worked with Giordano's Italian sports law practice on the transfer of Tomas Repka from Fiorentina to West Ham for £5m. She has also worked with Altheimer & Gray. "We focus on cross-border activity relating to Italy, whether for UK or US companies wanting to create Italian subsidiaries or for Italian companies who want to enter the UK market or approach UK financial capital." Giordano also brings an informal relationship with Withers to the merged practice and works closely with a Paris firm. LCA is one of north-eastern Italy's first multidisciplinary practices. The tripartite merger was aimed in part at boosting the firms' ability to compete with UK and US firms, which are becoming increasingly active in the Italian market. Last week, Jones Day Reavis & Pogue announced that it was about to open an Italian practice after hires from two independent firms (The Lawyer, 24 September 2001). Camilotti said the new firm currently intends to remain independent.