DLA scoops former A&O trio for Roman ramp-up

DLA is stepping up its all-out assault on Western Europe after securing a string of new hires to open a Rome office.

The firm is taking on Roberto Pera, a founder of independent Italian firm Pera Morelli De Paolis & Associati, who is due to move to DLA in September along with Fabrizio Morelli and Fabio De Paolis, who are joining as associates.

The trio’s move comes less than a year after they left Allen & Overy to establish their own firm.

At the same time, DLA has signed EY Law’s head of energy Francesco Cerasi, who counts the likes of Enel, Toyota Financial Services and the American Petroleum Institute among his clients.

Pera and Cerasi have been appointed co-managing partners of the fledgling Rome office, while Morelli will head up DLA’s employment law group in Italy.

Last month, The Lawyer revealed that DLA was set to relocate Milanese technology partner Stephano Modenesi to Rome to help establish the practice, which will go live on 1 September. The firm has yet to locate premises in the capital.

DLA is also in the throes of bolstering its Milan operation with the hire of Lovells senior finance associate Manlio Niccolai as a partner.
Niccolai joined Lovells only a year ago from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

His departure follows Lovells’ hire of former Freshfields senior associate Marco Lantelme as a partner in the Milan office.

DLA opened in Italy in October 2003 after absorbing the Milan arm of Coudert Brothers. The acquisition gave DLA an instant five-partner Italian presence, headed by Italian managing partner Federico Sutti.