Law firm profile: NCTM

Italy’s NCTM was born of a merger between two firms steeped in tradition.

Paolo Montironi
Paolo Montironi

Yet somehow the full-service independent has ended up as one of the country’s most progressive practices. NCTM launched in 2000, combining partners from Negri-Clementi Montironi & Soci and Toffoletto e Associati. “The two old firms gave birth to a new firm, completely different to its parents,” says senior partner Paolo Montironi.

The firm operates a modified lockstep – “the first and only independent firm in Italy to do so”, ­according to Montironi. It also holds shareholder meetings and affords no special rights to its founders.

NCTM’s progressive ethos seems popular among the lawyers: no partner has ever defected to another firm, although shortly after it was formed an ­employment team left to start a boutique. Nor has NCTM ever had difficulty attracting lateral hires or merger partners.

The founding partners established NCTM with a view to it becoming a one-stop shop with a strong international focus but no pre-eminent practice. Consequently the firm advises on almost everything except criminal law and tries to ensure that no stream of work dominates. NCTM recently hired a team of employment lawyers from CBM & Partners to bring its employment practice to a size that matches other departments and Montironi hopes to add a shipping team in the next two months.

The rationale, according to Montironi, is to make sure that the firm can never be hurt by a downturn. The claim has the ring of the Titanic being unsinkable to it, but the firm’s investment in litigation during the boom showed a prescience that, combined with an active client base of 3,500, has put NCTM among the most buoyant firms in the country.

Firm: NCTM Studio Legale Associato

Senior Partner: Paolo Montironi

Turnover: e70m (£58.35m)

Number of partners:92

Number of equity partners:45

Number of professionals (including tax advisers): 270-plus

Number of offices:Five, plus a China desk

Locations: Milan, Rome, Verona, London, Brussels

Main practice areas:M&A/private equity, banking and finance, ­litigation, tax,

real estate, energy

Clients: Telecom Italia, Deutsche Bank, Ferrari