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Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has finally achieved its long-awaited Italian launch after hiring 23 lawyers, including three equity partners, from the Italian legal affiliate of Ernst & Young, Studio Legale Tributario. The Milan office will be led by Alessandro De Nicola, previously national director of Ernst &Youngs legal arm in Italy. Orrick Chairman & CEO Ralph Baxter said: "The opening of our Milan office is a vital step in Orrick's global strategy of establishing a presence in the world's centres of business and finance as we compete with the leading global law firms for complex, high-value, cross border engagements." The Milan launch follows Orricks first move into continental Europe in November 2002, when the firm merged with the Paris office of Watson, Farley & Williams.