Lovells has raided Italian independent Pavia e Ansalado for a four-lawyer team to be based in the City firm's Rome arm.
Pavia equity partner and M&A specialist Antonio di Pasquale joined Lovells earlier this month. Prior to joining Pavia, Pasquale was a partner at Simmons & Simmons, where he was a member of the firm's management committee.
Pasquale is joined by Gian Roberto De Giovanni, a junior M&A partner at Pavia, who previously worked at Gianni Origoni Grippo & Partners and Simmons, as well as two other lawyers.
The departures coincide with ongoing upheaval at Pavia, where a 60-lawyer team is preparing to split from the 150-lawyer Italian firm amid disagreements over strategy.
Pasquale, however, denied that his decision to quit Pavia was related to the mass departures, but he did admit that he was not sure his old firm's strategy of focusing on domestic work would be sustainable in the future.
"I was rather happy at Pavia," said Pasquale, "but I believe that the way the Italian market is moving made Lovells a better firm to be with."
Pasquale is the second partner to join Lovells' Italian practice this year following the appointment of Francesco Curreli in May 2005. The firm's Italian corporate practice, led by Leah Dunlop, comprises seven partners and 21 associates.