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Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw (MBR&M) is in advanced talks with Italian firm Studio Legale Tonucci about a strategic alliance.
It is understood that the US firm has been aggressively pursuing an Italian tie-up for the past few months and discussions with the 200-lawyer Tonucci are moving forward quickly.
Managing partner Mario Tonucci told The Lawyer: "We realise the competition is strong and therefore recognise the benefit of an international alliance, as it will give us more capacity to work on big international deals."
A spokesperson for MBR&M confirmed that the firm was in ongoing discussions with Tonucci, but could not comment further.
In the past, the 200-lawyer Tonucci has been linked with Morgan Lewis & Bockius and CMS Cameron McKenna. Its client following includes the Italian government, Enel and ENI. The firm is one of the largest in Italy, with offices in Florence, Milan, Padua and Rome. It also has offices in Bucharest (Romania) and Tirana (Albania).
MBR&M has European offices in Brussels, Berlin, Cologne, Frankfurt, Paris and London.
Tonucci is also set to merge with fellow Italians Franzosi Dal Negro Pensato Setti, with a vote taking place at a partners' meeting on 15 December.