Simmons & Simmons is ramping up its Italian employment practice with the hire of a six-strong team from EY Law’s affiliated firm Studio Legale Tributario.

The group, which hails from Tributario’s Rome office, consists of professors Tiziano Treu and Angelo Pandolfo, alongside four lawyers. Treu and Pandolfo are joining Simmons as of counsel in Rome.

Simmons’ Italian employment head Guiseppe Menegazzi said: “This is a highly respected team of employment lawyers that brings real strength at all levels. It will also bring additional specialist skills in the pensions law area.”

Tributario has undergone a comprehensive restructuring in recent years, prompted by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The rejig has included the closure of its Genoa, Naples and Treviso offices, the departure of more than 50 lawyers and the realignment of key practice areas.

Last year, Simmons nabbed two senior associates from Tributario for its Milan and Padua offices.

The hires come as Simmons continues to rebuild its Italian operation, which, since 2000, has been a happy hunting ground for rivals. That year, founding partner Eugenio Grippo quit the firm alongside 11 other lawyers to join Gianni Origoni & Partners (now Gianni Origoni Grippo & Partners). In 2003, the firm’s head of commercial Enrico Zattoni left to join Morano & Associati, while corporate rainmaker Bruno Gattai quit to launch Dewey Ballantine’s greenfield Milan practice.

However, the practice has stabilised somewhat in recent years, following the 2003 arrival of Simmons’ former financial services head Richard Slater.

Slater said: “The recruitment of this team forms an important part of our plans for continued expansion in Italy. During the past year, much of this expansion has focused on our core practice areas of corporate and finance. The recruitment of this team of lawyers reflects the importance we also place on having a market leading position in other key areas.”

Tributario did not return calls for comment.