Slaughter and May best friend Bonelli Erede Pappalardo has hired Allen & Overy’s (A&O) Italian senior partner Massimiliano Danusso and eight other lawyers in a boost to its City banking offering.

Danusso will take over as managing partner of Bonelli’s London office from Andrea Carta Mantiglia and the team will be headquartered in London, although some lawyers will be based in Milan and Rome.

Danusso was also head of A&O’s Italian capital markets practice and specialises in structured finance and derivatives matters.

The team bolsters Bonelli’s London offering, which was hit last year when partner Ricardo Sallustio and two other lawyers quit for Grimaldi Studio Legale.

The hires will bring the number of lawyers in Bonelli’s banking and finance team to 48 including four partners.

Joint managing partners Stefano Simontacchi and Marcello Giustiniani said in a statement the hires were recognition of the firm’s international development strategy which it has been implementing in the past few years.

Last year A&O saw the departure of two finance lawyers in Milan to Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and that of a tax lawyer to Watson Farley & Williams, but the firm’s Italian offering has otherwise remained stable for some time.