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Italian firm NCTM has been granted a licence to work in Shanghai.
The firm is only the second Italian firm - after Chiomenti Studio Legale, which opened an office in June 2009 - to be issued a licence to practice in Shanghai by the Ministry of Justice of the People’s Republic of China.
The licence entitles a firm to practice the laws of any country in which its lawyers are qualified, but not domestic law. NCTM has lawyers qualified in Italian, Belgian and English law.
NCTM has had a China desk, manned by nine lawyers (one of counsel, three partners and five associates), since 2009. It opened an office in Shanghai August 2010 and also entered into an alliance with 300-lawyer Shanghai firm Allbright Law Offices in May 2010.
Milan-based managing partner Vittorio Noseda coordinates the desk, which acts as a bridge for inbound and outbound investment through Italy and China, with the help of partner Hermes Pazzaglini in Shanghai and associate Alessia Pastori in Milan.
According to Pazzaglini, who joined NCTM from Allen & Overy in September 2009, the firm is still deciding how to proceed in Shanghai in terms of staff.
NCTM senior partner Paolo Montironi said his firm’s China desk was growing much quicker than its most optimistic expectations.
“The speed of the Chinese Ministry of Justice’s decision [four months] confirms the value of our business plan and the
satisfactory results delivered through our partnership with AllBright,” said Montironi.
Italy was rich in small companies with niche technology, excellent products that are small enough to be bought by a company without needing to find financing, Montironiadded.
“That’s what China lacks,” he continued. “And what Italy lacks is production capacity.”
NCMT is a 45-partner firm with offices in Milan, Rome, Verona, London and Brussels and turnover of £58.35m.