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As deal activity in Italy reaches fever pitch, Shearman & Sterling is on the brink of launching a practice in the country.
US capital markets lawyer Michael Bosco is currently the only full-time Shearman partner in Rome, while Robert Ellison, also a US capital markets partner, splits his time between Paris and Italy.
The firm, though, is close to a deal that will bring the office in line with its strategy of building local practices to target the full range of corporate and finance transactions.
Shearman managing partner Robert Treuhold told The Lawyer: "We're in discussions with a number of people in Italy, but there's no one at this stage ready to be mentioned." Shearman is also considering a Milan office launch.
Roberto Ghio, a Milan-based banking and finance partner at Chiomenti Studio Legale, is widely tipped to be looking for a move to a US firm and has worked alongside Shearman in the past. The two share a common client in Citibank and have teamed up on a number of securitisation deals. Ghio is understood to be of the calibre Shearman hopes to recruit.
Chiomenti signed a joint venture referral agreement with Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in June 2001.