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Pavia e Ansaldo, one of Italy's largest independent law firms, is losing its New York office in January as a leading corporate partner leaves to head a new international firm which will include the US office.
The locations in Italy and elsewhere for Gian Paolo Zini's new firm Zini & Associates have yet to be confirmed. It will have a staff of around 60 at its launch in January, and Zini expects rapid growth. He is already recruiting in New York.
Focussing on finance, national and international M&A and new economy work, the firm will offer multidisciplinary services, including legal, tax, financial, investor relationship, business origination, capital raising, e-business strategy and development consulting services.
Zini leaves Pavia e Ansaldo after 18 years at the firm. He was made a partner in 1989. His departure comes after three partners and three associates left for Anglo-Saxon firms. But Zini says his team will continue to work with BBLP-affiliated Pavia e Ansaldo and the rest of the BBLP network.
He says: "There's a great relationship between my group and the rest of Pavia e Ansaldo. I want to do things right and in a friendly way."
BBLP also includes Beiten Burkhardt Mittl & Wegener in Germany, Moquet Borde & Associés in France and Meyer Lustenberger in Switzerland.
Zini says that the split was triggered by the evolution of the Italian market. "Business culture has developed and Italian companies have realised that to grow they need to go abroad. They also need lawyers and other professionals who know the cultures and markets in different jurisdictions."
Pavia e Ansaldo partner Francesca Lodigiani says: "It is a question of philosophy. Zini would like to establish something quite different from what we consider to be a traditional law firm. He has always been very business orientated, while at Pavia e Ansaldo the will of the majority of partners is to be a very strong Italian-based law firm which gives advice in a traditional way."
Lodigiani says that the firm is likely to install a lawyer in New York at Zini's premises to liaise with the US firms it works with.
Clients of the group include Wallstreetonline.com, Netgrocer. com, Direkt Anlage Bank, and Parmalat finance corporation.