Lovells gains Italy boost from Clifford Chance

Lovells has expanded its international equity capital markets (ECM) practice with the addition of a partner in Milan.

Roberto Culicchi will join from the Milan office of Clifford Chance, where he has been a counsel since 2002 having joined as a senior associate in 1995. He is expected to take up his new post at the beginning of the year.

Culicchi will be Lovells first partner dedicated solely to ECM work in Italy. He said he looks forward to establishing and growing the practice in the country and fitting in with the wider international practice group.

Andrew Skipper, head of Lovells corporate stream, said in the past couple of years the firm has been instructed on a number of major Italian ECM deals, including assisting Lehman Brothers on accelerated book building trades on equity securities listed on the Italian Stock Exchange.

He added: “Having Roberto as a fully-focused ECM resource reflects the demand we see from our clients and it significantly enhances our corporate practice.”

Lovells Italy senior partner Leah Dunlop said: “We started in Italy seven years ago as a very small greenfield site. We have gradually grown and added the essential practices to replicate Lovells’ footprint in Europe. What we were missing was the pure ECM side of the corporate practice.”

Culicchi’s experience includes advising on IPOs, privatisations, listings, secondary offerings, rights issues and block trades as well as the establishment of employee share plans and investment funds. His most recent work includes advising Merrill Lynch and Mediobanca as joint global coordinator in connection with the listing of chemical company Polynt on the Star segment of the Italian Stock Exchange.

Last month Lovells boosted its ECM capabilities in Germany with the hire of practice head Karsten MŸller-Eising from Frershfields Bruckhaus Deringer. In the UK the ECM practice was dealt a blow when Chris Horton, who made partner at Lovells in May, was poached by Simmons & Simmons (The Lawyer, 12 November).