Simmons boosts Italy with A&O raid

Simmons & Simmons is continuing to resurrect its Italian operation with the hire of Allen & Overy (A&O) partner Andrea Cristaudi.

Cristaudi specialises in corporate finance, capital markets transactions and financial services regulation. He has advised a range of Italian and foreign banks, including Banca IMI, Banca Intesa, MCC and Société Générale, on corporate transactional work, and Bank of America, JPMorgan and Citibank on regulatory issues.

Under Italian managing partner Richard Slater, Simmons has moved to stabilise its once volatile Italian operation and rebuild the practice following a swathe of departures.

From 2000 to 2003, the firm was a happy hunting ground for rivals. In 2000, founding partner Eugenio Grippo quit the firm alongside 11 other lawyers to join Gianni Origoni & Partners (now Gianni Origoni Grippo & Partners). In 2003, the firm’s head of commercial Enrico Zattoni left to join Morano & Associati, while corporate rainmaker Bruno Gattai resigned to launch Dewey Ballantine’s Milan practice.

Last month, Simmons boosted its Rome employment group with the hire of a six-lawyer team from EY Law’s affiliated law firm Studio Legale Tributario.

For A&O, the loss of Cristaudi comes amid fallout from the firm’s global review of the salaried partner band. The overhaul, which came into effect on 1 May, saw the abolition of local partner status and the creation of three new categories of salaried partner. The categories consist of those who will move into the equity after two years, those who will take longer to enter the equity and those who will remain on a single equity point.