Australia is so last week

Yesterday M&A partner and one of the founding partners of SJ Berwin’s Milan office Arturo Meglio started work at Bird & Bird (see story). Meglio brought with him two SJ Berwin associates and a third from Clifford Chance.

Today the news has broken that Ashurst has boosted its Italian practice by hiring three partners, two from Dewey & LeBoeuf and one from Pedersoli e Associati.

So it’s all go, apparently. Or is it?

Next month The Lawyer will focus in-depth on the Italian market. According to one leading partner, as far as lawyers are concerned, “Italy is overcrowded”.

“There are 240,000 registered lawyers here,” adds the lawyer. “That’s twice as many as in the UK, though with an equivalent population but a smaller financial centre.”

The increasing trend for companies to in-source legal work, as acute in Italy as the UK, has created “an imbalance”, adds the lawyer.

In other words, there’s not enough work to go round. Let’s hope, for the sake of TwoBirds and Ashurst, their new blood can unearth a few clients.

Still – at least they’ve got jobs.


Also on Mayer Brown poaches a partner from A&O in New York to lead its US derivatives group; Herbies and Linklaters join India’s AZB on Indian company Bharti Airtel’s $10.7bn bid for Zain; and CC hires the founder of Ashurst’s Tokyo office Alan Kitchin.