A&O Italian corporate chief quits for Babcock & Brown

Allen & Overy has suffered a setback in Italy, losing former head of its Italian corporate group, Paolo Cerina, to Australian asset managers Babcock & Brown.

Cerina’s practice focused on international M&A deals, as well as joint-venture and private equity transactions. He has been a fixture in A&O’s Italian department since the magic circle firm merged with Italian firm Brosio Casati e Associati in 1998.

Cerina’s departure leaves A&O with six corporate partners in Italy spread between offices in Milan and Rome.

A&O has had a tempestuous year in Italy, losing Milan banking partner Davide Mencacci to rivals Linklaters, as well as partner Giancarlo Castorino to domestic firm Marena Bonvicini & Ludergnani.

The firm began its recovery in autumn last year with the hire of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer Italy finance head Stefano Sennhauser.

Sennhauser promptly raided his former firm for a team of six banking associates (TheLawyer.com 11 January 2008).