International firm profile: Piergrossi Bianchini Eversheds

Eversheds” />Although it shares branding, lawyers and clients with Eversheds, Piergrossi Bianchini Eversheds is still financially independent, which is a shame for the Eversheds chiefs in the UK, because managing partner Riccardo Bianchini has big plans to grow the business.

“I would be the happiest man if we could double the number of partners and assistants in the next three years,” says Bianchini.

Corporate transactions have been booming in Italy and Piergrossi is looking to join in the scrum for talented company lawyers in Rome – the epicentre of the activity.

But with other firms going through similar rates of growth, competition is fierce. “Growing in this country has become difficult and finding the right people is not easy,” says Bianchini.

The ideal lawyer would have good international experience, excellent English and a solid grounding in M&A and capital markets transactions. At the moment, the Rome office has just three of the firm’s 13 partners, but its concern is to find quality lawyers at associate level.

One way to beef up the legal team while the recruitment drive picks up pace is to bring in lawyers seconded from other offices of the Eversheds network.

Bianchini says: “There’s always some exchange with the other offices. We’ll soon be knocking at someone’s door for more.”

Piergrossi is in the happy position of using Eversheds’ branding, intranet and lawyer support services, along with deal referrals, without having to commit to full financial integration.

As the managing partner, Bianchini is on the Eversheds international board and gets a say on strategy.

“We jointly decided this formula works well,” says Bianchini. “Neither wants to change it so far and from the perspective of international clients we are unified.”

Eversheds gains a presence in Italy when a client or transaction demands it, and Piergrossi gains international exposure.

Bianchini says: “2006 has been a very good year for us. Eversheds’ international organisation is starting to show its potential.”

Joining the Eversheds network has opened Piergrossi up to international deals and the firm is working for energy company Tamoil on its sale into five different European jurisdictions.

Piergrossi also sold a Chinese and Italian joint pharmaceutical venture to medicine manufacturer Antibioticos in Hong Kong.

Signs are that the firm is on course to break through its E8m (£5.48m) goal for next year, exceeding its 15 per cent growth target.

If the UK management at Eversheds could find a way to link the two firms’ accounts, it would work out as a sound investment for the future.

Managing Partner: Riccardo Bianchini
Turnover: €7.1m (£4.86m)
Total number of lawyers: 50
Total number of partners: 13
Main practice areas: Corporate, insurance, financial services
Key clients: ABN Amro, AIG, Axa, Hewlett-Packard, Unisys
Number of offices: Two
Locations: Milan, Rome