Hilex launch and Pedersoli expansion signals change for Italy’s independents

The Italian independent law firm market has undergone a shake-up, with the creation of a new firm and the merger of two existing practices.

Milan: Pedersoli and Marena D’Angelo have joined forces
Milan: Pedersoli and Marena D’Angelo have joined forces

Milanese firms Pedersoli e Associati and Marena D’Angelo & Fagotto have merged, creating a firm of almost 100 lawyers. The merger follows the ­departure earlier this year of former Marena D’Angelo name partner Giancarlo Castorino.

Marena D’Angelo’s founder, four partners and 14 associates joined Pedersoli’s Milan office, adding bulk to the firm’s corporate, private equity and finance practices.

The team includes Marena D’Angelo founder Francesco Marena, who joins Pedersoli as an of counsel. Elio Marena, Alessandro Marena, Davide D’Angelo and Alessando Fosco Fagotto become partners at Pedersoli alongside junior partner Gianvittorio Giroletti Angeli.

Castorino quit Marena D’Angelo for d’Urso Gatti e Bianchi in February, together with junior partner Francesco Romeo and four associates.

The move is a continuation of significant expansion at Pedersoli this year. The firm hired seven partners from Grande Stevens’ Turin office in February, following the establishment of the Turin base in 2010. Pedersoli now has 20 partners and another 76 lawyers in Milan and Turin.

Managing partner Carlo Pedersoli said: “Our expansion is the result of market demand since nowadays boutique firms need to have a solid structure capable of supporting numerous ­highly skilled and trustworthy law specialists on complex and sophisticated transactions.

“Moreover, the high-­profile and demanding instructions that we, as a boutique firm, receive from our clients require the expertise of lawyers with solid and international backgrounds. The latest arrivals represent a perfect mix.”

Meanwhile, a team of lawyers from Italian blue-chip Bonelli Erede ­Pappalardo and partners from LCA have teamed up to establish a new firm focusing on company and commercial law.

Hilex is led by Pierfranceso Giustiniani, previously a partner at Bonelli, and ­former Bonelli partner Fabio Cappelletti. Cappelletti quit Bonelli in July 2009 to join LCA as an of counsel.

The pair are joined at Hilex by LCA partners ­Maurizio Traverso and Emanuela Ferro. Traverso and Ferro joined LCA in March 2010 after a number of years practising together at niche firm ­Traverso ­Associati.

The Hilex partnership also includes Bonelli associates Luca Iaboni and Paolo Marra.

Giustiniani said: “The idea is to create something together because of the high esteem in which we hold each other, both professionally and personally. Our ­priority is to deliver quality, much as we think we have in the past.”

He said the firm would be able to act flexibly on a range of matters including M&A, capital markets, litigation and arbitration. Giustiniani added that Hilex would grow to about 15 lawyers by the end of the year.

Bonelli managing partner Alberto Saravalle said: “Pierfrancesco Giustiniani has been an important and valued member of Bonelli’s international corporate practice for over 12 years. We wish him every success in his decision to form a boutique and welcome a start-up in the Italian market.”