Dewey Ballantine’s planned alliance and possible merger with Italian boutique Galgano has hit its first hurdle, with Galgano’s Milanese head of tax deciding to leave ahead of any tie-up.
Paolo Troiano will set up his own firm with two other Galgano partners, Alfredo Malgeri and Massimiliano Mancusi in about ten months’ time.
Other Galgano fee-earners are expected to follow them, although details as yet are not finalised. In the meantime, the partners will share the Galgano offices.
As first reported in The Lawyer (22 February), the US firm is in advanced talks with Galgano to form a “collaboration” that would possibly include around 10 Galgano lawyers joining Dewey as full-time fee-earners.
Troiano told The Lawyer: “My existing relationship with Galgano is perfect. They’re my friends more than my colleagues. It’s just that we have a different view of the advantages and disadvantages of merging with a large, Anglo-Saxon firm.”
Troiano advises mid-size companies and high-net worth individuals on tax matters rather than undertaking large-scale tax support on corporate matters, the kind of work that he would expect Dewey to specialise in.
“I’m also on the audit committee of the Banca Popolare di Milano, and when you join a big organisation, the risk of a conflict of interest is very high,” said Troiano.