Independent Italian firm Studio Legale Sutti is hoping to shame its international and domestic competitors into launching pro bono initiatives by creating its own centralised programme, a step that is extremely unusual in the Italian market.

Litigation partner Eleonora Ballarino will head the scheme, which will have an annual budget.

Managing partner Stefano Sutti criticised firms such as Clifford Chance for failing to roll out their firmwide pro bono programmes in Italy. “We believe some pressure will be felt [by other firms] following our announcement. This is one reason why we have publicised our programme,” he said.

Clifford Chance community affairs manager Cathy Jones said: “At the moment we don’t have a formal programme in Italy, but it is something we are looking at putting in place.”