Dewey sticks with Italian collaboration plan despite target firm’s defections

Dewey Ballantine has brushed aside a high-level departure at Italian firm Galgano to confirm that its collaboration with the Bolognaheadquartered boutique would go ahead as planned.

Despite losing Galgano’s head of tax plus two other partners ahead of the tie-up, Dewey scooped twice as many lawyers as expected as part of the firms’ alliance.

As first reported by The Lawyer (22 February), the New York firm confirmed its advanced talks with Galgano to form a collaboration that would possibly include around 10 Galgano lawyers joining Dewey as full-time fee-earners.

But Dewey managed to net three partners, two local partners and 15 associates from Galgano, including its heads of finance and technology, media and telecoms Davide Contini and Marco Consonni respectively.

Galgano’s main draw is name partner and founder Francesco Galgano, known for his litigation expertise and political contacts.

Dewey managing partner Bruno Gattai said: “This is a great arrangement for both parties. Dewey Ballantine adds lawyers in key areas, including partners of the highest quality, and through the collaboration gains access to one of Italy’s leading legal thinkers.”

Gattai added that the deal sent a signal of the firm’s desire to continue to grow in Europe.

Dewey’s Italian lawyer headcount is now 60, spread across Milan and Rome, making its offering in the peninsula one of the bigger anglosassoni firms; but it is still some way behind New York rival Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, which has 80 lawyers across Rome and Milan.