Linklaters makes secondary raid for A&O team

The exodus from Allen & Overy (A&O)’s Italian banking department to Linklaters’ has continued, with two associates following partner Davide Mencacci out the door.

Senior associate Gianluca Fanti and associate Roberto Tazzioli, both from the office’s securitisation team, are leaving A&O for rival Linklaters.

As first reported in The Lawyer (29 January), A&O lost star banking and finance partner Mencacci to Linklaters, then suffered a blow as head of banking Giancarlo Castorino left the magic circle firm to join Italian independent MBL & Partners.

Meanwhile, Linklaters has been cherry-picking lawyers to put together an Italian-qualified team for a renewed push in the peninsula.

As reported on www.thelawyer.com (1 March), the firm has signed a lease with property developers Tishman Speyer to rent a space 2,600 m sq in the five-storey building on Milan’s via Santa Margherita, with room for 80 staff.

Mencacci was Linklaters’ first Italian-qualified partner since the firm split from Gianni Origoni Grippo in April 2004.

Linklaters followed up Mencacci’s hire by poaching a two-partner team from Pedersoli e Associati, including well-known partner Dario Longo.

Fanti and Tazzioli are also dual-qualified; Fanti in the US and in Italy, and Tazzioli in the UK and Italy.

A&O is still exploring all options, which include not replacing Castorino at all, for rebuilding its banking team in Italy, which is currently being managed by Rome-based Catia Tomasetti. As reported in The Lawyer (5 March), the Milan office has been given a recent boost by the temporary presence of London-based banking partner Fiona FitzGerald.