Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has taken space for a new Milan office – a sign that its rapid expansion in Europe is set to continue in 2004.
The firm has taken 1,200sq metres in a central city building which is home to the real estate arm of Italian insurance company Generali.
As well as a significant presence in Rome, Cleary has a small satellite office in Milan, which houses around five lawyers.
The new office will provide space for around 25 lawyers, with the focus on M&A, corporate finance and antitrust.
Italian sources say that the firm has been in discussions with Allen & Overy’s (A&O) senior Italian partner Roberto Casati, although Cleary and A&O denied this.
Rome partner Mario Siracusa told The Lawyer: “We tend to develop through internal growth. We may transfer some lawyers from other offices.”
Cleary, though, has made a number of recent lateral hires in Europe, taking on partners in Frankfurt and Cologne.
The office is expected to open in the spring. Casati was unavailable for comment.