K&L Gates launches in Italy with MSP merger

K&L Gates has today launched its first office in Italy following the US firm’s merger with Milan firm Marini Salsi Picciau Studio Legale (MSP).

The move gives K&L Gates its 41st office worldwide and an entry into the world’s eighth-largest economy by gross domestic product.

K&L Gates chairman and global managing partner Peter Kalis said the rounding out of the US firm’s European network was “a strategic priority for us”, adding that opening in Milan was “a very important step towards us achieving that goal”.

“Given the nature of K&L Gates, with 40 offices around the world, and the size of the Italian economy and the natural level of outbound work heading to Italy, it’s a lay-down case for us to enter the Italian market,” added Kalis.

Marini Salsi Picciau was founded in 2007 by former Davis Polk & Wardwell lawyer Pasquale Marini and Giampaolo Salsi, formerly a partner at the now defunct Coudert Brothers

The 10-lawyer firm focuses on a range of practices including corporate, infrastructure projects, restructuring and disputes.

“Both Giampaolo and Pasquale have worked in international law firms and understand how those firms work,” added Kalis. “They’re also familiar with handling international inbound work for major clients in our core areas such as financial services, manufacturing companies, construction companies and companies in the mid-market.”

Kalis added that there were no more office openings planned for 2012 at K&L Gates, “although we’re open to strategic expansion”.

K&L Gates’ new Milan office is its eighth in the past two years, following openings in Warsaw, Tokyo, and Moscow during 2010 and Brussels, Doha, São Paulo, and Charleston in 2011.