Ashurst adds Milan corporate team from Pavia e Ansaldo

Ashurst has boosted its Italian presence with the appointment of partner Alessandro Giovannelli as head of corporate.

Giovannelli joins Ashurst’s Milan office from Italian domestic firm Pavia e Ansaldo, bringing with him five lawyers. The team includes counsel Matteo Colombari and Matteo Delucchi and senior associate Fabrizio Scaparro, and focuses particularly on private equity.

The hires continue Ashurst’s development of its Italian corporate practice. Last year the firm hired NCTM corporate partner Francesco De Gennaro as part of a 13-strong team to launch in Rome (4 March 2011). Partner Fabio Pizzoccheri also relocated from London to Milan.

Italian managing partner Franco Vigliano told The Lawyer the hires were an “important step in the development of the corporate department”.

Vigliano said the firm had chosen to focus on growing energy and infrastructure work during the credit crunch, and more recently had picked up several restructuring instructions, but was now seeing more opportunity elsewhere.

“Clearly the corporate market has been heavily affected by the credit crunch, but we think that now is the right time to invest heavily in it because we see a restart of the markets,” Vigliano said. “For the time being we’ve been most successful in restructuring deals and special opportunities, but we now see that there’s a number of private equity deals.”

He said the Italian offices would continue to expand, primarily through organic growth.