Leading Italian independent Gianni Origoni Grippo & Partners has split, losing up to a third of its lawyers and partners.

It is understood that senior partner Francesco Gianni has sacked a number of high-ranking partners, including managing partner Giovanni Nardulli and banking head Alberto Giampieri, after a clashes over the firm’s strategy.

The departing partners will take with them the entire banking team, along with executive committee members Filippo Troisi and Bruno Bartocci. Nardulli will start a new firm with a number of the 16 departing partners, but some are also believed to be in negotiations to join Gianni’s established rivals in the Italian market.

A source at the firm told The Lawyer: “About the partners leaving we cannot give any exact figures. It will be no more than 100 people but the situation is ongoing and there are still associates we are talking to.”

The source added: “The law firm will continue to exist, that is the first thing to say. There will be the same three founders and the majority of partners. This group of partners asked some partners to leave the firm. There are different views on how to manage the firm.”

The split will leave Gianni Origoni Grippo with around 200 lawyers and a completely new management team.

The source said: “There will be a new executive committee and a new managing partner will be elected.”

It is the largest exodus to hit the firm in its 18 year history, but not the first. Almost two years ago, key partners Fabio Labruna, Antonio Segni and Andrea Mazziotti di Celso left to set up their own operation in Rome.