A&O fills Italy gap with London partner

Allen & Overy (A&O) is temporarily plugging the gap in its Italian banking practice left by two recent high-level departures by flying in London banking partner Fiona FitzGerald.

FitzGerald, who previously spent four years in Milan until 2004, is currently in Italy working on two deals but she will also spearhead the transactional practice on an interim basis, according to an A&O spokesman.

The move leaves Rome-based banking partner Catia Tomasetti free to concentrate on managing A&O’s Italian banking practice.

It is unknown how long FitzGerald will spend in Italy or whether she will return to London once the two deals are completed, but A&O confirmed that she is caretaking the Italian banking practice until a permanent regional team head can be found.

As reported in The Lawyer (23 February), A&O’s Italian head of banking Giancarlo Castorino left recently to join Italian boutique MBL & Partners.

Castorino’s departure was less than a month after that of banking partner Davide Mencacci, who became Linklaters’ first Italian-qualified partner since the split with Gianni Origoni Grippo in 2004.

The duo’s exit deprived A&O’s Italian offices of high-profile partners expert in the financing capacity necessary for Italian LBOs.

Before FitzGerald’s arrival, Italian managing partner Massimiliano Danusso, who is an international capital markets rather than banking expert, had to initially step into the void left by Castorino.