Hammonds makes entrance in Bologna

Hammonds has secured its fourth Italian office after taking on the two-lawyer Bologna outpost of Sciumè Zaccheo & Associati (SZA).

Pasquale Vulcano and Bettina Grassani, who becomes a local partner, joined Hammonds Rossotto on 1 January. A Hammonds spokesperson said an agreement with the pair was still being negotiated. The Bologna office is currently trading under the Hammonds Rossotto banner.

The pair joined SZA in 2002 from the Bologna office of Italian corporate giant Pavia e Ansaldo. Among their clients is software company NCH.

Hammonds first gained Italian coverage in the summer of 2001 after fixing an association with media and IP experts Rossotto e Associati. The merger gave Hammonds access to 13 Italian partners and offices in Milan, Rome and Turin. It is understood that the two firms maintain separate profit pools and remun-eration structures.

Earlier this month, Hammonds announced that it was slashing its partner drawings by 12 per cent ahead of an expected fall in profitability (The Lawyer, 7 February), a part of a UK cost-cutting review.

Hammonds managing partner Peter Crossley confirmed the hires. He added that turnover in Italy has been rising steadily over the three years since Rossotto joined Hammonds, and is estimated at €11m (£7.6m) for this financial year.