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Italian and US finance boutique firm Zini & Associates is launching a London office to meet demand from institutional clients working with Italian issuers.
The office, which is thought to be only the second Italian outpost with finance capability in London, will practise Italian law and will focus on capital markets transactions and private equity. Managing partner Gian Paolo Zini said: "We've been asked by clients and potential clients to establish an Italian presence in London. We take that very seriously. It's not for lawyers to dictate the agenda to clients. We do what our clients want us to do." The London office is expected to open with a small team in the next six months. The initial team of two or three lawyers is likely to include at least one lateral hire, as well as staff from the firm's Italian and New York offices. The news comes just six months after the firm was launched by former Pavia e Ansaldo partner Zini. Last month, Zini & Associates opened a Rome office to add to its Milan and New York practices (The Lawyer, 18 June). Zini said that he has already received merger proposals from four UK and US firms, but is committed to remaining independent. "We have good relationships with a number of top firms and boutique firms around the world, but we do not envisage any alliances or exclusive relationships," he said. Zini & Associates' clients are understood to include Direkt Anlage Bank and online bank Credem.it. Chiomenti Studio Legale is the only other Italian firm with a finance capability in London.