Fabio Alberto Regoli
Turnover: €6m (£4m)
Total number of partners: Eight
Total number of lawyers: 25
Main practice areas: Corporate, administrative, labour and litigation
Key clients: Magnetto Group and Tower Automotive
Number of offices: Two
Location: Milan and Turin
Last year saw the launch of a new Italian firm, Turin-based boutique Bin Avvocati Associati, founded by former Allen & Overy (A&O) partner Fabio Regoli.
The corporate specialist quit A&O’s Turin office with two senior associates, administrative law specialists Carlo Merani and Silvia D’Amaro, before the trio linked up with insurance law specialist Professor Bin of Turin University. The firm, which launched on 1 October, specialises in the four key areas of corporate, labour law, public and administrative law and litigation.
Bin Avvocati managing partner Fabio Regoli believes the market was “crying out” for a Turin-based boutique with expertise in public and administrative law. The city, which is home to much of Italy’s automotive industry, is currently in the throes of a vast public infrastructure and redevelopment programme. In the lead-up to the Turin Winter Olympics, the entire city centre is being regenerated. A motorway will join Turin to Milan, while plans for a high-speed rail link joining Turin to Lyon in France are in the pipeline.
Regoli says his firm, with its public law expertise and local connections, is well positioned to exploit the booming market, with the firm already advising on a raft of redevelopment programmes across the city.
The eight-partner, 25-lawyer firm opened its office in Milan earlier this year. Regoli says the move was aimed at exploiting links between the two cities ahead of the development of the Milan-Turin motorway. Three of the eight partners are housed in the new office.
The firm launched officially on 1 October 2004, and Regoli estimates that turnover in its first full year will be between e5m (£3.4m) and e7m (£4.7m). Corporate and litigation work each contribute around 30 per cent to the firm’s turnover, with public and administrative law contributing 25 per cent and employment – the smallest of the practice areas – around 15 per cent.
The automotive industry is a key source of clients for the firm, but it is also targeting clients in the insurance, food and energy sectors.
Regoli’s departure from A&O reflects a broader trend in the Italian market, which is seeing small local firms prove increasingly attractive to lawyers in major UK operations. According to Regoli, while global firms are best placed to advise on major cross-border M&A or financing deals, on local matters Italian firms have the edge. It is a view shared by Regoli’s former partner at A&O Andrea Arosio, who left to join Milan-based boutique Pedersoli Lombardi e Associati.
The continued slump in the Italian economy has also put considerable cost pressure on lawyers. However, while most UK firms have a profit margin of between 20 and 30 per cent, Italian firms are understood to operate on a profit margin closer to 40 per cent.
“You need an instrument where you can be competitive on quality but can also keep a low cost base,” Regoli explains.