Linklaters has entered merger discussions with leading Milan-based M&A boutique Giliberti Pappalettera Triscornia e Associati in its efforts to re-enter the Italian market following its split from long-term Italian ally Gianni Origoni Grippo & Partners.
According to well-placed sources, the magic circle firm is planning to hold preliminary discussions with the seven-partner Italian independent with a view to either a full-scale merger or establishing a best friends relationship.
Linklaters terminated its four-year alliance with Gianni in April 2004, leaving the magic circle firm with a small UK and US law practice in Italy but no local law capability.
Linklaters declined to comment on the talks with Giliberti. It said in a prepared statement: “Italy is an important jurisdiction for Linklaters and we remain committed to providing our clients there with the best service and the highest quality advice.”
It is understood that Linklaters and Giliberti have worked together on a number of deals during the past 12 months, including most recently a major private equity transaction.
Giliberti declined to comment.