Banking & Finance: Italy
THE FIRM This firm is lauded for its expertise in all aspects of banking and finance. Much of the team's recent workload has focused on domestic infrastructure and energy projects, and a recent highlight saw it assist a pool of leasing companies with the development of a 24.2 MW photovoltaic plant, one of the largest transactions of its kind to date. The firm also regularly acts for leading financial entities such as BNP Paribas, the Falck Group and Intesa Sanpaolo.
Sources say: "Very receptive and attentive to what's best for the client."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Practice head Francesco Ago attracts praise for his vast experience and innovative legal solutions. Giorgio Cappelli is renowned for his deep banking practice. Sources hail Luca Bonetti as an authority in real estate finance transactions. Giulia Battaglia is lauded for her solid experience in the structured finance field, as well as her commendable knowledge of the London market. Roberto Ghio is another valued member of the team and focuses on structured and regulatory finance. A noted figure in project finance, Carola Antonini has handled several key deals over the past year, particularly in the energy sector.
THE FIRM During a year that saw a return to activity, Clifford Chance was at the forefront of some of the largest investment grade and acquisition financings in Italy. The team was especially active in project financing, advising the arrangers of a EUR800 million loan facility to GasPlus. The firm is revered for its capabilities in leveraged finance work and complex cross-border deals.
Sources say: "Flexible, always available and provides a fair solution to any issue."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources commend Charles Adams for his "pragmatism, commercial sense and legal knowledge." He is admitted in both Italy and the UK. Department head Giuseppe De Palma "has both technical ability coupled with commercial reality," enthuses one interviewee.
THE FIRM This firm attracts a diverse group of clients thanks to its strength in a variety of financial matters, including restructuring, securitisation and leveraged finance. Highly active in the domestic market, the team also has a large international component to its work. In the past twelve months the team has handled a number of important mandates, such as assisting Fiat with a EUR4.2 billion financing of the new Fiat Industrial Group. Other key clients include Pirelli Real Estate, Hertz and Enel.
Sources say: "The team has an extremely positive attitude and always provides innovative solutions. Definitely among the best lawyers in the market."
KEY INDIVIDUALS The highly esteemed Andrea Arosio is lauded by clients for his outstanding knowledge of acquisition and leveraged finance. English banking partner Davide Mencacci is praised for his vast experience in both British and Italian jurisdictions, while project finance specialist Tessa Lee impresses clients for being "able to find a solution to anything." Alessandra Ortelli has particular strength in restructuring, acquisition and leveraged finance and projects. The "resourceful and flexible" Francesco Faldi, a newly made partner, covers a broad range of areas including restructuring, real estate, leveraged financing and structured finance. Up-and-coming associate Manila Rainò gains market recognition for her insightful approach to problems.
THE FIRM This prominent Italian outfit has seen an increase in activity over the past twelve months, particularly in finance and debt restructuring. It is considered one of the leading practices for LBOs, public financing bids, and takeovers. Clients extol the team's adept way of handling complex deals and recent highlights include advising a pool of banks, including Merrill Lynch and RBS, on the restructuring of a EUR210 million financing to a real estate fund.
Sources say: "Always prepared and diligent." "The group excels at understanding a client's needs."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Lauded by sources as "one of the best lawyers in project finance," Catia Tomasetti has worked on several major energy projects in the past year. "Still at the top" for corporate finance work, Emanuela Da Rin is a popular member of the team. Paolo Oliviero is praised for his ample experience in debt restructuring.
THE FIRM This firm is going from strength to strength and has been involved in a steady stream of prominent restructuring, alternative energy, and project finance deals. The team has grown significantly in recent months and the practice is lauded for its flexibility and far-reaching expertise. Recent highlights include representing a syndicate of banks in the debt refinancing granted to Italian pharmaceutical company Comifar.
Sources say: "Experienced and commercially aware." "We work with the team in an extremely collaborative way - it truly understands what we do."
KEY INDIVIDUALS According to clients, Milan-based Andrea Novarese is "bright, reactive and can easily run through complex transactions." Sources describe Riccardo Agostinelli as "creative and pretty unique - a superb lawyer for banking." Lorenzo Vernetti is highly recommended for his negotiation skills and availability.
THE FIRM This firm has been notably active of late, especially in restructuring, refinancing and renewable energy. A recent highlight saw the team advise a pool of lenders, including national and international banks, on a EUR570.5 million project financing deal in the infrastructure sector. The practice is lauded by clients for its multidisciplinary team and capabilities in all aspects of banking and finance.
Sources say: "Excellent team commitment; the group gives an added value to every project they are involved in." "Legance offers the complete package."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Alberto Giampieri is one of the market's most distinguished figures and clients appreciate how he can "always find the middle ground in negotiations." A leader in project finance, Monica Colombera is praised for her client-focused approach and pragmatism. Sources appreciate Andrea Giannelli's work in banking, derivatives and structured finance, whilst Giandomenico Ciaramella is distinguished for his acquisition finance and real estate finance practice.
THE FIRM The past year has seen an increase in leveraged finance deals and a substantial amount of cross-border work for this firm. Key deals include advising GE Capital Interbanca on both the UK and Italian law aspects of Ducati's EUR500 million trade receivables financing spanning Italy, the UK, France, Germany and Spain.
Sources say: "Reactive and always available."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Martin Pugsley has over ten years of experience working on finance in Italy and clients benefit from his knowledge of both Italian and English law. Practice head Mario D'Ovidio attracts a range of domestic and international clients. Francesco Novelli recently joined the firm, where he focuses on project finance. Widely regarded as a leader in the field, it is expected his arrival will greatly boost the firm's profile.
THE FIRM This international powerhouse retains its solid reputation in high-profile commercial transactions. A recent highlight was advising Prysmian group on a EUR800 million credit agreement granted by a group of banks including Banca IMI for the refinancing of Draka Holding. The team's roster of clients also includes UniCredit, BNP Paribas and Bank of America, all of which benefit from the firm's dexterity in cross-border transactions.
Sources say: "The lawyers are very intelligent and always focused on the client."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Head of litigation Enrico Castellani is "very skilled and able to foresee clients' needs," enthuses one happy interviewee. Clients praise Corrado Angelelli's extensive expertise of the law and ability to integrate easily with all parties involved.
THE FIRM This prestigious domestic firm is renowned for its accomplished corporate finance practice. A recent highlight includes advising a pool of banks on the EUR276 million financing of the Rovigo photovoltaic park in Rovigo. Its clients include Alitalia, Cassa Depositi e Prestiti, Moleskine and Santander.
Sources say: "Excellent for corporate financing work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Praised for his borrower work, Eugenio Grippo is both "experienced and commercially wise" according to sources. Ottaviano Sanseverino is noted for his sterling experience in project finance and the energy sector, whilst the "speedy and business-oriented" Matteo Bragantini is a proficient acquisition finance practitioner.
THE FIRM On 28 May 2012 the entire team from Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP in Italy joined with Grimaldi e Associati and commenced operations under the name Grimaldi Studio Legale. All clients and work highlights mentioned in our editorial took place whilst the firm was operating as Dewey & LeBoeuf. This firm has handled a steady flow of debt restructuring, project finance and regulatory work over the past year and it continues to enjoy an excellent reputation in the financial market. Highlights include acting for a pool of banks composed of UniCredit, GE Capital, BPM, UBI, Banco Popolare and ABC Arab Bank in the EUR400 million refinancing of Italtel.
Sources say: "The lawyers have solid experience and know-how. They always go one step further."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients appreciate Davide Contini's solution-oriented approach. He focuses on banking, finance and capital markets. The "productive and supportive" Gaetano Carrello handles a vast range of banking and finance matters and is adept at both domestic and cross-border transactions.
Since publication, Gaetano Carrello has joined GATTAI, MINOLI & PARTNERS
THE FIRM Known for its regulatory expertise and close involvement with financial services regulators, this firm attracts a number of high-profile domestic and international clients. A recent significant mandate saw the team advise a pool of banks, including JP Morgan, HSBC and Deutsche Bank, on the Alternative Investment Fund Managers Directive.
Sources say: "The team has an in-depth knowledge of all legal areas."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Revered for his "multitasking approach," Jeffrey Greenbaum is qualified in the UK, the US and Italy. Based in Rome, he is head of investment services and asset management within the financial institutions group. Dual-qualified in the UK and Italy, the highly esteemed Leah Dunlop heads Hogan Lovells' corporate practice in Rome.
THE FIRM A solid player in the mid-to-large market, NCTM specialises in banking, corporate finance and acquisition-related financing. It recently handled a number of restructuring transactions for clients including RBS, UniCredit Banca d’Impresa and BNP Paribas.
Sources say: "The team always finds the right solution."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department head Stefano Padovani is distinguished for his real estate work. Rome-based Vittorio Valieri focuses on banking and finance, as well as bankruptcy and debt restructuring.
THE FIRM Norton Rose has been involved in a steady flow of work in asset and acquisition finance, as well as energy projects. The team also comes recommended for aviation, shipping and real estate finance. Thanks to its widespread global network, the firm is able to handle multijurisdictional deals and core clients include Alitalia, BNP Paribas and UniCredit.
Sources say: "Always available, diligent and responsive to our needs."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Arturo Sferruzza is widely known for his expertise in project finance and international trade finance. His clients appreciate his "committed and straightforward attitude." Sources value Mario P Lisanti's relentless support and say he is "proactive in finding quick solutions." Meanwhile, Rome-based Stefano Maria Zappala is valued for "putting himself in the client's shoes."
THE FIRM This firm is widely regarded as a growing force in the market. Having expanded its team over the past couple of years, it now covers a broad spectrum of banking and finance work. Clients particularly value the firm's diverse cultural understanding and international ability. Recent highlights include advising Pirelli on a five year, EUR1.2 billion revolving credit facility granted by a pool of banks including Merrill Lynch, Barclays and Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi.
Sources say: "The team is technically strong, especially in complicated transactions." "Proactive and adaptable."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Sources praise Patrizio Messina for his business understanding and problem-solving ability. As one client enthuses: "He is always available and has a keen commercial attitude." Gianrico Giannesi focuses on structured finance, with a particular emphasis on securitisation, asset finance and principal finance. Dorothy De Rubeis draws admiration for being "very skilled and superb in negotiations."
THE FIRM Activity has picked up for this firm recently, particularly in cross-border work and the energy sector. A notable highlight includes advising on the refinancing of Wind Telecomunicazioni, which was one of the largest global-leveraged financings of recent years and involved over 190 lenders. Clients admire the lawyers' aptitude in multi-jurisdictional cases.
Sources say: "Extremely client-focused and the work is always of a high standard."
KEY INDIVIDUALS As well as occupying a high position in the domestic market, managing partner Paul Flanagan also has experience working in the US and UK. Clients particularly value his strong negotiation skills. Widely lauded as a leading finance lawyer, Stefano Sennhauser has been especially active in the last year in the area of securitisations and covered bonds.
THE FIRM An important player in project finance, this firm has been extremely busy with major project finance work and several leveraged finance deals. Highlights include advising on a EUR85 million project financing of a 20.4 MW solar plant near Naples. The facility was granted to First Reserve Corporation by Unicredit, Santander, Dexia Crediop and Banca IMI.
Sources say: "The lawyers are very supportive, prepared and fast on their feet."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Lauded by sources as an expert in project finance, Franco Vigliano earns praise for "tailoring his advice to all the parties involved." Carloandrea Meacci specialises in project finance and is highlighted as being "intelligent, down to earth and practical." Clients are impressed with Mark Sperotto's corporate law knowledge. He recently moved from the Milan office to London, and is qualified in England and Wales and Italy.
THE FIRM This firm is a proficient banking and finance player, with particular strength in regulatory matters. Energy is another active area for the team and a recent highlight includes advising Centrobanca on the financing of several photovoltaic plants in the south of Italy.
Sources say: "The firm is reliable, efficient and precise. The quality of the work is excellent."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Stefano Febbi recently acted on the creation of the Aquila real estate fund, which supports the earthquake victims in Abruzzo. Clients laud him as "an excellent lawyer on all fronts." Head of the banking and finance group Raimondo Maggiore draws praise for his knowledge of regulatory matters and excellent client focus.
THE FIRM This team offers a complete range of services, particularly at an international level thanks to its Italian-, UK- and US-qualified professionals. Recent workload has focused largely on the energy sector and the team has counselled Wind Telecomunicazioni on a series of EURmulti-billion financing transactions, including a EUR3.93 billion credit facility. Other key clients include Alenia Aeronautica, Oaktree Capital Management and RBS.
Sources say: "Highly professional and responsive."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Roberto Bonsignore can easily run through complex transactions and clients acclaim him as "bright, reactive and technical."
THE FIRM This international firm is active in a variety of banking and finance matters. Split between Milan and London, the team has considerable cross-border capabilities, as well as a strong understanding of the local market. Recent highlights include representing Barclays Capital in the restructuring of two loans granted to PlusValore and Carifin Italia in the restructuring of Delta group.
Sources say: "The lawyers are extremely dedicated, reliable and efficient negotiators."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Co-chair of the Milan office, Alberto Del Din is renowned for his prowess in structured finance and securitisation work. Antonio Azzarà advises clients on domestic restructuring and distressed debt transactions, and garners praise for his dedication and availability. Based between Milan and London, Alessandro Stoppa is qualified in Italy and the UK. Sources hail him as "concise, business-minded and quick to anticipate any problem." Clients highlight structured and acquisition finance expert Alessio Giammarino for "knowing all the details inside out."
THE FIRM This well-established Italian firm impresses clients with its dedication and quick response time. It handles a raft of finance work and often represents leading European institutions such as Cariparma, Crédit Agricole and Banco Popolare Group. The team recently assisted a pool of banks with a EUR180 million loan granted to Gruppo Feltrinelli for the financing of two Milan-based real estate projects.
Sources say: "The team works well under pressure and always provides high-quality advice."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Clients appreciate Maura Magioncalda's wealth of expertise and responsiveness. Hailed as "fantastic, even in difficult situations," Magioncalda regularly advises international and domestic banks and financial institutions.
THE FIRM The past year has a seen a continual stream of restructuring work for this established domestic firm. Its expertise encompasses banking, corporate finance, restructuring, financial services and related regulatory issues.
Sources say: "The firm offers an excellent full service."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Luca Arnaboldi heads the banking and finance practice here.
THE FIRM This firm enters the rankings after a very successful year. It has been especially active in real estate financing and restructuring, and advised UniCredit Banca on a EUR118.5 million mortgage loan restructuring and a VAT credit line for Freccia Rossa Shopping Centre. Clients commend the team's international strength.
Sources say: "The firm is proactive, pays great attention to detail and provides innovative solutions." "Superb for cross-border work."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Francesco Squerzoni draws admiration for his innovative thinking. As one client acclaimed: "He thinks outside the box and is great at managing all parties involved." He has vast experience advising international clients in Italy as well as Italian clients in multi-jurisdictional deals.
THE FIRM This Italian boutique has been particularly active in project finance and energy transactions over the past twelve months. Highlights include advising SunGem Holding and Gottex Real Asset Fund on the financing of a EUR20 million construction of six photovoltaic power plants in Apulia.
Sources say: "The level of service was amazing - the lawyers are really devoted to their clients." "Accurate, thorough and responsive."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Department co-head Claudio Visco is a key name in project finance and gains remarkable client feedback for his superb technical skill.
THE FIRM This firm has had a steady flow of work in project finance and renewable energy deals recently. A significant mandate saw the team act on a EUR130 million financing of a solar panel project in Italy. Clients include BBVA, Barclays and Morgan Stanley.
Sources say: "Always ready to help the client."
KEY INDIVIDUALS Managing partner Roberto Zanchi is noted for his expertise in Italian company law, whilst Michele Cicchetti specialises in banking and project finance. Alberto Feliciani is praised for his "practical and down-to-earth" approach.
THE FIRM This firm is currently enjoying a period of growth. The team offers a complete banking and finance practice and is frequently instructed by leading Italian and international banks. It recently advised FranFinance on a lease agreement portfolio for a leading US company active in the computer industry.
KEY INDIVIDUALS Dual-qualified in Italy and the US, Umberto Baldi has expertise in assisting multinational companies, investment banks and hedge funds. Qualified in Italy and the UK, Stefano Cirielli heads the banking and finance group and has ample knowledge of acquisition and real estate finance.
Since publication, Umberto Baldi has moved in-house.
The highly regarded Giancarlo Castorino
recently joined d'Urso Gatti e Bianchi Studio Legale Associato. He has been especially active over the past year and is renowned for his real estate work. Head of the banking group at Labruna Mazziotti Segni, Francesco Serrano Orlandini
has significant experience in acquisition financing, debt restructuring and real estate financing. Francesco del Bene
of Del Bene De Vitis & Associati has a deep finance and capital markets practice and is popular with clients. The distinguished Maurizio Bernardi
of Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati focuses on merchant banking, corporate mergers and acquisition and financing transactions. At Riolo Calderaro Crisostomo e associati, Paolo Calderaro
impresses sources with his depth of expertise, particularly in securitisation. Sources say he excels at finding "innovative solutions for novel transactions." Francesco Curreli
of Watson, Farley & Williams LLP is renowned for his work in banking and finance, especially in LBOs. Nicholas Lasagna
of White & Case (Europe) LLP is well-versed in banking, project finance and private equity. He is admitted in Italy and England and Wales and clients laud him as “an excellent lawyer; we trust him implicitly."
Also at White & Case, new arrival Iacopo Filippo Canino
is lauded by peers and clients as "a bright lawyer; sharp and solution-oriented."
Since publication, Francesco Curreli has left this practice.
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