Gianni raids DG Comp for Brussels launch

Italian firm Gianni Origoni & Grippo is launching its first Belgian office, luring an official from the European Commission to oversee the opening.

Gianni Origoni is moving to Brussels to ramp up its competition offering. Managing partner Francesco Gianni said: “Our caseload has greatly expanded. The strategic location will widen our reach and will help us serve our clients more efficiently.”

Mario Todino, who was at DG Comp for six years, will manage the four-lawyer office, the firm’s ninth.

Todino’s experience at DG Comp includes working on the controversial £16.8bn merger between Italian motorway company Autostrade and its Spanish equivalent Abertis, which was abandoned this week.

The move comes in the wake of other Italian national champions boosting their competition practices. Both of Gianni Origoni’s principal rivals, Chiomenti and Bonelli Erede Pappalardo, have Brussels offices already.

Last week, Chiomenti made up its first head of competition in six years, Stefania Barrati, who will spend most of her time in Chiomenti’s Brussels office.

In October, Bonelli moved into the same Brussels office as its best friends Slaughter and May, Bredin Prat, Uria Menendez and Hengeler Mueller.