DLA Piper Italy partner caught up in corruption probe

A partner in DLA Piper’s Milan office is facing trial on corruption charges related to Milan’s hosting of next year’s ‘Expo 2015’ world fair.

Giorgia Romitelli, an administrative law specialist, was arrested along with seven other individuals earlier this year on fraud-related charges.

Last week (16 June) Milan prosecutors requested that the proceedings should move directly to trial – skipping the ‘preliminary hearing’ which forms part of the Italian criminal procedure. This is understood to be an option for a public prosecutor who believes the evidence against the accused is compelling. Earlier this week (23 June) the request was granted and the trial date set for 18 September.

The group, which includes the former head of regional infrastructure group Infrastrutture Lombarde, Antonio Rognoni, and three lawyers from smaller Italian firms – Carmen Leo, Fabrizio Magri and Sergio De Sio – are accused of trying to influence the Expo 2015 bidding process. The Italian media has reported that the charges include allegations connected to legal advice for the bid.

Meanwhile DLA Piper has just completed an investigation for the ruling Democratic Party on a €10.8m (£8.7m) hole in its accounts. According to Italian legal website TopLegal earlier this month, the firm carried out a thorough investigation into the party, identifying cost and structural issues in the process.

DLA Piper declined to comment on both Romitelli’s arrest and the work for the Democratic Party.