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For 29 years, The Legal 500 has been analysing the capabilities of law firms across the world. The GC Powerlist is the latest publication from The Legal 500, turning its attention to the in-house function, and recognising those corporate counsel who are driving the legal business forward. The latest edition is the GC Powerlist: Italy, which identifies an array of the most influential and innovative in-house counsel working in those two jurisdictions...read more
We have canvassed opinions from law firm partners and in-house counsel across Italy, to identify corporate counsel that have been instrumental in changing or forming opinions within their company or industry; developing brilliant technical solutions to complex issues; creating innovative structures to ensure that the in-house function is driving the business forward; or providing a business working model that other corporate counsel should follow. Our team of experienced researchers assessed the nominations, speaking both to general counsel and nominating lawyers to finalise each list. GC Powerlist: Italy features not just information on why that individual has made the list, but also comment from those in-house lawyers about how they have helped shape innovation in the legal industry.
If you have feedback on the GC Powerlist: Italy, or wish to nominate other in-house individuals (either in Italy or global), please do get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope that this listing will stimulate debate around the role of the in-house lawyer and help corporate counsel with possible improvements and efficiencies in running their departments.
GC Powerlist: Italy
(listed in alphabetical order; click on an individual to view an expanded biography)
Intesa Sanpaolo Private Banking
senior legal counsel and deputy general counsel - corporate and legal affairs
general counsel and corporate secretary
Old Mutual Wealth Italy
legal and corporate affairs director
Valentino Fashion Group
general counsel Italy and Iberia
head of legal
Boehringer Ingelheim Italia
general counsel and company secretary
group head of legal affairs
head of legal and compliance - Europe
deputy head of legal - investment services
chief compliance officer
Avio Aero - GE Aviation
head of legal and compliance - Italy
The Royal Bank of Scotland
director of legal services contracting
group general counsel
regional legal director - EMEA
group legal director
general counsel legal and compliance Italy
Santander Consumer Bank
global general counsel
senior vice president, chief legal and risk officer
NTT DATA EMEA
general counsel and head of general and institutional affairs
group head of litigation and dispute resolution
Head of legal and corporate affairs
Enel Green Power
head of legal and corporate affairs
group general counsel
Federico Dal Poz
head of legal affairs EMEA
general counsel - executive vice president
head of legal and corporate affairs
Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank
Stefan De Jonghe
senior counsel – markets EMEA
Pierfrancesco De Rossi
general counsel legal and compliance
Laura Del Favero
head of legal and compliance - Italy
Silvia di Donato
head of legal
vice president, corporate legal and regulatory affairs - Southern Europe
Discovery Networks International
executive vice president, general counsel, Europe and Africa
Fox Networks Group
head of legal
group general counsel
head of legal affairs and compliance
Federazione Italiana Giuoco Calcio (FIGC)
Avio Aero - GE Aviation
legal and HR manager
Rentokil Initial Italia
Ducati Motor Holding
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles
general counsel, head of legal and compliance
group legal and corporate affairs director
Tanya Jaeger de Foras
vice president and chief legal officer EMEA
senior oil and gas and international arbitration lawyer
senior legal advisor
group general counsel
chief legal and regulatory affairs
general counsel, Italy
head of legal and corporate affairs - Europe, Africa and Middle East, Techint E&C
head of legal and corporate affairs
Giacomo Mario Scarfini
head of legal
general counsel and compliance officer
vice president legal affairs Italy
chief legal officer
chief legal officer
head of international legal affairs
head of legal Italy
international general counsel Europe
The Coca-Cola Company
Air Liquide Italy
head of legal and corporate affairs
Total E&P Italia
head of legal
regional legal lead - Italy and Spain
head of legal and business affairs
Warner Music Italy
head of corporate and investment banking legal - Italy
group general counsel
head of legal
Shell Italia E&P
group general counsel, managing director of corporate affairs and board secretary
director of legal and corporate affairs
Aeroporto di Bologna
Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena
group general counsel
head of group strategic legal affairs
director of legal affairs, insurance and corporate affairs
Azienda Trasporti Milanesi (ATM)
head of legal and company secretarial department
BNP Paribas Lease Solutions
general counsel Europe
GE Power Services
head of international legal, M&A, finance and legal suppliers management
group legal director
Piaggio & C. SpA
head of legal - personal, corporate banking and shared services - Italy
head of commercial and legal Italy
Group corporate and legal manager
Ariston Thermo Group
The Italian business of the American photovoltaic cells manufacturer SunPower is the most profitable subsidiary of the company outside the US. An Italian lawyer with regional responsibilities across several countries in Europe and Asia, Antonio Adami has had the chance to participate in the negotiations for the first major solar park built in Italy and among the largest in the world. A project of such scale and complexity unsurprisingly raised great expectations from investors, but these were met both commercially and legally. ‘Needless to say the pressure on our team was huge’, Adami says. Establishing the legal department from scratch has been one of the other highlights of Adami’s career. He had to start-up a legal department in parallel with the start-up of a subsidiary (growing from zero revenue to €500m turnover) in a completely brand new industry in Italy. This meant establishing new practices from contract templates, to creating compliance procedures and ensuring that this did not imply a duplication of efforts with the compliance programs at headquarters. Subsequently, Adami has worked on ensuring market entry for SunPower into new countries and has also made notable operational improvements to the legal department. These include: implementation of a fully-fledged software tool for in-depth monitoring of legal expenses, set-up of procedures for internal legal assistance and set-up of a quality policy of internal legal services. In addition, over the past years, Adami has impressed with his provision of exceptional legal advice to the construction and (in some cases) financing of up to 180MW of installed capacity of solar parks across Europe and Australia.
Mauro Albino is a highly qualified lawyer with extensive experience in the banking sector and a strong educational background. Following the completion of his legal studies at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, he worked in several positions in private practice, before joining UniCredit in 2001 as legal counsel. In this role Albino worked on a number of extraordinary company initiatives, which required both business acumen and legal knowledge. To widen his commercial perspectives at UniCredit, Albino completed an Executive Diploma in Corporate Finance between 2002 and 2003 and subsequently an LLM qualification in Corporate Tax Law, both from Bocconi University in Milano. After leaving UniCredit in May 2006, Albino joined the global investment management firm Pioneer Global Asset Management, where he immediately made a positive impression with his integrity, responsibility and ambition, while providing strategic legal opinions of the highest quality over domestic and international legal issues. Continuing to build his financial sector experience, Albino joined Intesa Sanpaolo as senior legal counsel in 2008, before going on to spend a further two years as head of legal and corporate affairs at a smaller financial institution exclusively dedicated to not-for-profit customers, Banca Prossima. In 2013, Albino returned to Intesa Sanpaolo, this time to act in his current role as general counsel for the private banking arm. His tenure at Intesa Sanpaolo Private Banking has already been highly impressive in terms of his work on transactions, governance and financial regulation, receiving praise for his ‘rare ability to combine deep technical preparation with an incredible capacity to build relationships’.
Currently working as senior counsel and deputy general counsel at SAES Group, a large corporation listed on the Italian Stock Exchange, Alessandro Altei has been described as a professional who is able to ‘cope and deal efficiently with non-standard situations’. In charge of a number of business units located in various countries across the world (Italy, USA, Taiwan, China, etcetera), Altei also sits on the supervisory board of his company. His relatively short tenure at SAES is characterised by impressive achievements on the transactional front, as well as important legal victories. From 2011 to 2014, Altei worked at Honeywell’s Italian subsidiary and for certain projects for Honeywell’s North-Africa subsidiary, while reporting directly to the European general counsel based abroad. In particular, Altei’s legal advice related to specific contracts for the development of building and solutions projects has been noteworthy. He has received high praise from his colleagues at Honeywell for his ability to support the company in a difficult business environment, at the same time being ‘a real business partner while protecting the company's interests from a contract and legal standpoint’.
Described by his peers as a ‘skilled and brilliant lawyer’, who is known for his ‘remarkable legal knowledge’ and ‘business responsiveness’, Paolo Amato has been with Old Mutual Wealth Italy, the investment business previously known as Skandia, since 2005. In his legal career of over 18 years, Amato has gained a reputation for his ability to deal with complex financial transactions and his mastery in the fields of financial, company and civil law. Undoubtedly the highlight of Amato’s career has been setting up the legal office for Old Mutual Wealth in Italy. The unit that he established has come to be recognised for its high quality of service in covering legal procedures, regulatory and corporate law issues, as well as corporate governance and legal compliance. Currently serving as general counsel and corporate secretary at Old Mutual, Amato has most recently distinguished himself by significantly improving knowledge management within the department, achieving better awareness of all relevant items and readiness to issue legal opinions on them regardless of the resource involved. Prior to joining Old Mutual, Amato worked at Pioneer Investments as legal counsel, where he was responsible for all legal and compliance activities for Italian and Luxemburg Mutual funds.
Antonella Andrioli has been the director of legal and corporate affairs for the Valentino Fashion Group since February 2006. As one of the most iconic Italian fashion and luxury groups, the brand has continued to attract investment defying trends during tough economic times in Europe. In 2007 London-based Permira took control of the group which at the time included brands such as Valentino and Hugo Boss. The deal was one of the largest in Europe that year, totalling around €5.3bn. Five years later, part of the group, minus a couple of key brands, was bought by Qatari firm Mayhoola For Investments in another huge deal, this time coming in at approximately €700m. Andrioli has played an essential role during these changes in management, expertly navigating any deviations in strategy while enabling the group to continue on a steady path. Coming to Valentino Fashion Group after a career involving private practice and other in-house roles, Andrioli’s foundation for her work at the fashion label was built on several years practicing in Italian law firms, and in-house positions for Du Pont de Noemours International and Pioneer Hi-Bred International.
Before her appointment as general counsel of high-end apparel and fashion company Furla, Giorgia Armanni acquired her legal expertise through a combination of private practice and in-house positions. Moving over to the in-house realm after a traineeship at international law firm Clifford Chance, Armanni was in-house counsel at Geox for over two years before a four year stint at Technogym. During the early days of her in-house career sources praised Armanni for a ‘strong commitment on delivering results on time’ while taking a ‘constantly positive and constructive’ approach to her work. With such broad legal and management expertise in corporate, commercial and financial matters, in additional to strong academic credentials, Armanni is well suited to guiding Furla through an industry rife with challenges, particularly those surrounding intellectual property and licensing. Keen to do more than simply provide legal support, Armanni is very much a team player, encouraging ‘diverse viewpoints and critical thought through effective dialogue,’ in addition to the provision of mentoring and coaching to her colleagues.
Pietro Arosio has been with UBS in Italy since 2002, holding the position of head of corporate and legal affairs between 2002 and 2009, the position of head of legal and compliance for the following three years, assuming his current role of general counsel for Italy three years ago and adding Iberia to his responsibilities last year. One of Arosio’s most important results at the helm of the legal team over the past three years has been to encourage the bank to perceive the department as an important strategic partner, dedicating its activities to allow closer cooperation and increased proactivity. He articulates: ‘It is a noticeable trend in the Italian environment, and we should try to become more focused on business affairs. We have to somehow lose our attitude to control and we have to work to be perceived as a business partner’. In particular, Arosio is recognised for his work to export the knowledge and expertise of his team to other departments, turning legal into an important advisor to the rest of the business. Prior to his appointment, the legal function was not perceived as a centre for excellence and expertise, but Arosio’s team has become vital to the organisation with opinions of lawyers always taken into consideration. Prior to joining UBS, Arosio spent his entire legal career in-house, working for various banks, with positions held at Banca Popolare di Monza e Brianza, Farmactoring, Comdirect Bank and Banca Mediolanum.
In reshaping and resizing the legal department at the Italian branch leading pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, Enrico-Carlo Baccetti can take credit for the evolution of the function into ‘an integral business advisor’ comprising legal, compliance and audit professionals. In dealing with challenges presented to the company, which he states are both ‘challenging and complex’, Baccetti restructured the team by reducing head count, creating new teams, unifying two offices and increasing the breadth of legal responsibilities involving the merger of the risk and compliance and audit departments into legal. Further highlighting his innovative approach, Baccetti is a believer in the “do less law” concept, which he explains is ‘anticipating problems and devising creative solutions with an open mind; making more use of technology, more use of preventive law and risk management, and making less use of black-letter law’. Baccetti measures success by ‘improved flexibility and business partnering of the legal team by the senior management and business partners, and seeing the increasingly high level of influence the legal team members have within the organisation’.
After nearly 100 years of operation in the banking sector, Consorzio di Credito per le Opere Pubbliche (Crediop) is facing difficult times. The Italian infrastructure and public utilities specialist lender, formerly the largest privately owned bank providing finance to Italian local administrations, ran into trouble when its majority shareholder, Franco-Belgian Dexia Group, became one of the first big casualties of the 2007-2008 financial crisis. By 2012 Dexia had been placed into a European Commission resolution plan. A protracted period of uncertainty followed for its Italian subsidiary, which has had to restructuring ahead of a potential sale while facing the prospect of liquidation. Edoardo Baratella, general counsel and company secretary of Dexia Crediop, is widely credited with keeping the organisation running smoothly during this period of heavy turbulence. He is a member of the bank’s steering committee and has played a prominent role facilitating negotiations between its owners and the Italian government over the past months. Last year Baratella represented the bank in a highly unusual interest-rate swap case against the city of Prato. The case, which saw the Tuscan municipality successfully argue before a London court that swap contracts it had entered into prior to the financial crisis were void on a technicality, could see other Italian municipalities pursue damages against the bank.
Leading a 15-strong team of legal and non-legal professionals, Stefania Bergamo has spent her three years at the flagship insurance company having joined in 2010. With previous experience in an international law firm she joined fashion group Benetton as an in-house lawyer overseeing commercial and financial agreements, international litigations and competition. Bergamo then joined shoe manufacturer Geox in 2001 to set up the legal department and support the company in its listing process, later becoming the company’s general counsel. After a brief return to private practice Bergamo became Technogym’s Italian general counsel for three years. Bergamo finally joined Assicurazioni Generali in 2010 as chief legal officer mainly covering the Italian business, with the scope of the role widening in 2013 to cover the activities of the whole group. Bergamo has used several tools to steer the strategic direction of Generali while at the same time ensuring the internal legal function could be trusted in giving comprehensive legal support to the group. Methods such as hiring external counsel with specific competencies, new business units and bringing in managerial staff to transform the way legal procurement was conducted. Bergamo also used specialization of resources already in force, in order to enhance the teams’ technical skills and prioritise the most pressing concerns on behalf of the company. Working closely with senior management with which Bergamo states there is a ‘continuous appraisal’ for the teams’ services, the department are able to support Generali in its very ambitious strategic plans. Implementing internal processes covering negotiations and contracts, a litigation supporting process that extends to group-wide activities. Bergamo has a track record of successfully rising to difficult challenges; she cites the successful listing of Geox in 2004 as a particular highlight, as well her involvement in assisting Technogym in a major M&A deal when it sold 40% of its capital to a private equity fund. She can also point to the team she leads as being perceived as ‘outstanding both internally and from the market’, a superb endorsement that speaks to the quality of Bergamo’s legal, organisational and managerial work.
An internationally experienced in-house lawyer having previous roles based in Florence, London and Paris, Emiliano Berti currently manages a team of nearly 80 people as head of legal and compliance for Nokia Networks in Europe. Currently based in Rome, Berti joined Nokia in 2014 as head of legal and compliance for South East Europe. Quickly increasing his responsibilities, it was in September 2015 that he took on his current position of head of legal and compliance for Europe; when taking on this role, Berti assumed responsibility for over 50 countries across the continent. Focussing on changing certain elements of the legal department at Nokia with the view to designing a ‘top-notch legal department in Europe’, Berti’s team have successfully reduced legal costs massively whilst targeting the improvement of commercial terms and conditions with key customers. Overseeing such a vast geographical network and managing the people within it is what Berti cites as his biggest challenge, but one that has led to some of his best work: by creating ‘a reliable "machine" to support the business and keep the company safe’, his team became his biggest achievement. Having a pivotal, ‘day-by-day relationship with country management’ Berti consistently illustrates his internationally-focussed and flexible approach.
Described as a ‘skilled professional‘, Margherita Boccia has had a long and successful career with a good blend of in-house and private practice experience. Currently serving as deputy head of the investment services legal department at the leading Italian investment bank Banca IMI, Boccia works in a close-knit team of nine professionals. The 2007 merger between Banca Intesa and Gruppo Sanpaolo IMI created both the new Intesa Sanpaolo banking group, and also the saw the two banks’ investment banking arms form into Banca IMI. Following the merger, Boccia and her team have been focusing on keeping a high standard for all services provided internally, relating to all transactions. She asserts, ‘it is highly enjoyable to observe innovative transactions and work on master contractual documents which often we have seen become market standard’. Among her biggest achievements at the company Boccia considers her work on the setup of the Primary Market Legal Department, along with her efforts to train the existing group to ICMA market standard level.
Responsible for overseeing all compliance programs of Avio Aero’s group of companies, Francesco Bortone brings several years of experience gained in private practice and GE’s various business units. Taking up the role in 2015, Bortone ensures that Avio Aero, a GE Aviation business that provides technological solutions for the aerospace industry, fairly fulfils its obligations to its clients. He has implemented an open reporting system and numerous compliance programs for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), the UK Bribery Act and Italian anticorruption Law 231/2001. In charge of a team of mixed professionals, Bortone leads a team of lawyers, audit specialists, economists and engineering experts in aviation’s regulations, policies and procedures. With GE having a reputation as already enjoying a ‘strong culture of integrity and compliance’, Bortone has aligned the compliance function to the business even more closely; creating a compliance specialist in all key functions (supply chain, engineering, sales and commercial, quality, etcetera) and created a compliance resource in each of the company’s four main sites. Asked what strategic impact he’s made within the company, Bortone states that he is able to ‘engage the CEO and his staff by attending all CEO staff meetings on a regular basis’, as well as through his place on the CEO leadership team.
After starting his career at private practice law firms, Luca Braulin moved in-house to the international banking and financial services sector first with ING, and later at Pioneer Investments, and UniCredit. Assuming the role as head of legal and compliance for The Royal Bank of Scotland in Italy in 2012, Braulin leads an internal team as well as managing outside counsel in overseeing all domestic and cross-border legal and regulatory issues for the Italian branch of the banking group. ‘Creating value’ is what Braulin cites as being the main focus of his work, and with that end in mind has achieved success by ‘increasing efficiency and improving work quality, whilst cutting external counsel costs by 30%’. Braulin enjoys a very good relationship with the CEO, which is based on being a business partner in addition to being a lawyer; acting as a key source of commercial as well as legal advice ‘to help to develop the bank going forward’. Braulin also sits on the executive committee, enabling him to develop ‘good business acumen’ and the chance to ‘exercise key influence on the most important decisions’ combining commercial astuteness with a solid legal background. Citing a ‘proven history of succeeding in complex matrixed environments and when working under pressure’, Braulin has received both internal and external recognition, perhaps most notably by achieving positive results in 25 concurrent tax lawsuits in 2014.
Based in Rome, Valerio Bruno oversees a team of 15 people in his role of director of legal services contracting at Accenture. During the five years he has spent in the role, Bruno has managed to raise the seniority of the legal department within the structure of the company and has spent time on talent development and business training to improve the team’s problem-solving approach. Bruno is proud of his rapid progression within Accenture’s ranks and enjoys his current work, ‘I enjoy supporting very challenging and complex transactions (such as joint venture agreements etcetera) as well as the people development side with my team’. The challenging aspect of Bruno’s role mainly involves finding the right balance between being in the same team with business stakeholders and protecting the company’s interests in the sales process.
Sebastien Bumbolo has overseen the legal function of Adriatic LNG, designer, builder and operator of the unique LNG Terminal located in the northern Adriatic Sea, for just over eight years. With a distinct interest in energy matters and regulation, Bumbolo has spent the entirety of his career in the energy sector and has worked in a number of regulatory advisory positions. During his professional career of 20 years, he has been employed by various utility companies such as EDF (in Paris and Rome), ENEL (Rome) and Terna (Rome). Bumbolo has impressed peers and colleagues alike with his involvement on gas and power trading activities in Europe, important international transmission agreements and a number of M&A deals. Bumbolo’s involvement on the liberalisation of the energy markets by negotiating with energy regulators and antitrust authorities at a national and EU level has also been highly impressive.
With 10 years’ experience at Italy’s largest insurance company, Antonio Cangeri has been group general counsel of the Generali group since the end of 2012. He assumed his current position after ‘significant experience in other Italian financial institutions’, including as Generali’s head of group compliance. Leading a global team of approximately 600 employees, Cangeri’s broad remit oversees the head office and the group business units across the world providing full legal, regulatory and compliance assistance to facilitate and support business growth. After a change in Generali’s organisation and governance model, Cangeri was charged with the definition and implementation of the Generali group general counsel function’s structure accordingly. Having skilfully helped craft the current function via this restructuring, Cangeri sees the group general counsel role as being one of ‘direction, guidance and coordination’ with the creation of head office centers of competence aimed at serving internal requests. These centers have a specific focus on legal affairs, finance, investments, M&A, operations and Supervisory Authorities relations, with the overall risk-monitoring role played by the group compliance department. Requiring both expert legal knowledge and business nous, the group general counsel function assists its internal customers in an evolving legal environment, where applicable laws and regulations at Italian and European levels move quickly. Cangeri’s collaborative nature and emphasis on teamwork is also evidenced in the way external counsel is chosen. In the context of an increased utilisation of legal counsel, he worked closely with the internal procurement function to develop group guidelines for selection and engagement of external firms, setting out objective principles they must fulfil to assist Generali. Cangeri enjoys working with a ‘high-achieving and motivated’ worldwide team providing high professional standards, and believes strongly in a collaborative culture evidenced by the way his team are seen as ‘partners of change by "sitting at the table" with all stakeholders of the business’. In striving to accomplish his teams’ role as highly-regarded business partners, Cangeri identifies ‘ethics, professional excellence, open-mindedness and the caring for Generali’s people’ as the competencies that distinguish them.
General counsel at Giuseppe Zanotti, the creator of the luxury fashion brand of the same name, Lucia Capotondi’s previous experience includes a mix of in-house and private practice positions. Her in-house experience is closely related to the establishment of new legal departments. In one of her previous roles at Robert Bosch, a company with over $2 billion turnover in Italy, Capotondi was given the task of setting up the legal office in Italy and has subsequently left the company with eight people in the department. Her work to create the legal function at Giuseppe Zanotti has also been very impressive as the company did not have fixed processes in place prior to her appointment. She has implemented new processes in a way that allowed for more efficient work between employees has been successful in fixing the company’s work on all procedures, contracts, investments and intellectual property. Having worked at Giuseppe Zanotti for one and a half years, Zanotti has already made her distinct mark on the company as a whole, primarily by means of establishing a positive attitude within the legal function. ‘It was imperative to for me to change attitudes, from interacting with law firms to understanding the need to be proactive, as well as understanding immediately the business and giving very direct solutions’, Capotondi says. ‘The bottom line is that you need to understand as much as possible, deal with the reality and give pragmatic replies, whilst being available at any time’. Perhaps the most impressive achievement in Capotondi’s in-house career has been to ensure that the legal team at Giuseppe Zanotti is perceived as an important strategic partner to the business, making management understand that there is an important added value to every lawyer. She explains that ‘being a business partner is not easy, but it is very important, as it means that you have gained trust and understanding that is necessary for you to proactively add value’.
A renowned problem-solver with ‘top technical competences’, Marilù Capparelli swiftly rose to her current position of regional legal director of Google’s EMEA region. After a 10 year stint in private practice she made her first move in-house as head of the Italian legal department for eBay, where she was also in charge of European anti-counterfeiting strategy. Further building her cross-border experience in leading legal teams for internet companies, she joined Google in 2009 as head of the Italian legal function and two years later was promoted to senior regional counsel - head of legal for Italy, Greece and Turkey. She was eventually promoted to her current role in May 2015. Utilising her rich international experience in internet law and associated areas, Capparelli’s current role allows her to focus on intellectual property, litigation, privacy, regulatory matters and strategic commercial deals. Demonstrating her own progression and the trust shown in her by the company, Capparelli has seen her remit expand geographically; ‘since becoming a director, I deal with more international matters rather than the previous, country-specific responsibilities’, including projects spanning the entire European region and the whole of the United States. Recognising the importance of business people having sufficient knowledge of technology law, Capparelli is also entrusted with the delivery of education programs that facilitate the ‘spreading out’ of technology-related legal matters internationally, leading company strategy by collaborating with ‘universities, lawyers and big law schools around the world’. Capparelli understands the importance of a strong overall legal team and believes that her team is full of the ‘right people not only for their competencies but for their personal skills and diversity’. Away from Google, Capparelli has authored several legal articles and frequently gives speeches at legal and policy conferences. She previously spent time at the University of Bologna in the Department of Civil Law as a visiting lecturer, specialising in European Union law.
With an in-house career enriched by over two decades of experience and spanning two of Italy’s most well-known clothing brands, Prada’s group legal director Fabrizio Caretta has a number of technical and managerial skills he’s honed over his illustrious career. Caretta is currently responsible for overseeing and assuring legal protection of the Prada group, mainly concentrating on priority areas such as contracts, litigation and real estate. He obtained a degree in Law from the University of Torino (Italy) in 1993 and was admitted to the Italian Bar in 1996. Caretta joined Prada in 2000 as legal director of Prada Industrial after starting his career with the Italian law firm Studio Tucci. Caretta has also previously worked at Fila Sport as senior legal counsel, combining an excellent academic record with private practice and in-house expertise. Caretta’s experience has allowed him to smoothly navigate the Prada group through its various challenges and issues as it continues to grow internationally.
Patrizia Carrozza rejoined the electronics company in SAES Getters, the electrical components and solutions supplier, as general counsel in January 2016, having previously worked there between 2000 and 2010. As a lawyer with solid understanding of commercial and business issues, as well as strong expertise of intellectual property, corporate and competition law, Carrozza works closely with the senior management of the company to drive the legal department forward. Carrozza possesses exceptional leadership skills, which were honed during her previous role as head of legal for Italy, Israel and Greece at Phillips. Carrozza and her team of four employees gained a sterling reputation internally for providing legal support of the highest quality to all legal entities across healthcare, consumer lifestyle and lighting. Carrozza’s first spell at SAES is also marked exceptional achievements. Apart from managing the corporate secretary office that is responsible for corporate compliance with stock market requirements, Carozza has also made an impression with her M&A work, including stock purchase agreements and asset deals, as well as extraordinary stock transactions.
Silvia Carteny is a seasoned lawyer with over two decades of experience in legal, compliance and human resource related work. She has been at the helm of the legal function at one of the world’s leading international fashion companies, Versace, for seven years; during which time she has been leading a strong and coherent legal unit that is integral to the success of the brand. One of the hallmarks of Carteny’s work at Versace has been the receipt of an international award in recognition of the team’s outstanding intellectual property work. The reward was for the design and implementation of a strategy to protect the Versace brand as a primary asset and to reduce counterfeiting. In addition, Carteny’s team has been active in supporting the restoration of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II shopping mall in Milan by managing all the administrative and contractual work. Her legal career is defined by impressive management of complex litigations in association with law firms, proactive work with public authorities, participation on a number of M&A project teams and continually growing levels of responsibility over the years.
Savino Casamassima is a highly skilled legal professional, praised by his colleagues for his ‘pragmatic approach and his quickness in understanding and managing complex issues’. With a vast experience in compliance related issues, Casamassima has been navigating Santander Consumer Bank’s business in Italy through the challenging regulatory climate over the past five years in his position of general counsel legal and compliance for the country. His efforts have not gone unnoticed in the industry and he has been nominated for a number of awards in recognition of his market-leading work. Casamassima’s previous in-house positions have been with the financial services company GE Capital and Italian bank Antonveneta ABN Amro Bank. His colleagues in these roles describe him as a highly ‘focused and committed’ professional with a ‘sharp mind’ and ‘ability to grasp the key issue of a complex problem’. Casamassima’s private practice experience from 1997 to 2004 is also characterised by high levels of professionalism and exceptional legal work. A client from his spell at the law firm Gianni, Origoni, Grippo & Partners (2001-2004) describes him as a professional who exhibits excellent understanding and interests in his clients, who never compromises on the best legal solution.
Moving in-house after a short spell in private practice, Antonella Centra’s career path has taken her through notable Italian companies such as Prada, Wind and Bottega Veneta before being appointed global general counsel at Gucci in July 2015. This Milan-based role overseeing the luxury fashion brand’s legal affairs on a worldwide basis requires Centra to a variety of legal skill and experience of the industry. Endorsed for her proficiency in various legal practice areas crucial to the worldwide business including licensing, M&A and intellectual property, she has a reputation as an adaptable, proactive and resilient lawyer. IP and trademarks work is consistently important for Gucci, as the strong brand name needs constant protection from counterfeits and competitors. Her business skills include skilful negotiation, business planning and strategic thinking which, combined with her fluency in English and French, are essential for the continued success of internationally-renowned luxury brand.
With a rich pool of both legal expertise and in-house managerial experience to draw on, Milan-based Giovanni Cerutti has been general counsel and risk officer at leading IT services provider NTT DATA in the EMEA region since January 2012. Within the scope of his role he protects the group’s values and assets to benefit all stakeholders. Cerutti’s most recent success is connected with his attempts to solidify NTT Data’s regional head office. A large business in Japan but with limited presence elsewhere, Cerutti has had to evolve to help NTT Data through its expansion and growth into new markets, which he calls his ‘most challenging adventure professionally-speaking’. Building up business, compliance and governance functions in the complex group structure across multiple jurisdictions is an important task; it has been necessary to encourage ‘locating of responsibilities, empowerment and knowledge-sharing with things like training sessions’. A versatile and flexible legal manager, Cerutti oversees operation in 16 different legal systems, all of which present challenges through different languages, cultures, and different statutory routes. The level of complexity he deals with is ‘very high’, particularly as there is no international law in data protection, where countries that have adopted the EU directive still have differences ‘on the ground’. Cerutti has implemented a ‘balanced system’ to combat this, and has transformed the way the business uses external counsel; identifying law firms and leveraging them on a cross-jurisdictional basis. Also utilising in-house legal support, he saw fit to give more emphasis and importance on individual countries hiring in-house counsel in Italy, Germany, Romania and the UK. In addition to his in-house role, Cerutti acts as a board member of the European Company Lawyers Association, a position in which he promotes professionalism and integrity of business legal advisors within companies. Further proving his legitimacy as someone in a prominent position in the in-house community, in 2014 he co-authored the ECLA White Book on the Independence Mindset of Company Lawyers.
Based in the corporate headquarters in Milan, Francesco Chiappetta oversees the department responsible for providing legal support at the world’s fifth-largest tyre manufacturer, Pirelli. Chiappetta joined the company in July 2001 as director of the legal and corporate affairs department but left within a year to become secretary to the board of directors and general counsel at Telecom Italia. He rejoined Pirelli shortly after the financial crisis of 2008 during at a time of significant cost constraints for legal teams across Europe, but managed to maintain a strong legal function over the years that came to be known internally for its high quality of service. Prior to 2001, he performed a number of tasks in roles at both Assonime (the association of Italian joint stock companies) and Consob (National Commission for Companies and Stock Exchange), primarily focusing on regulation. In addition to his in-house career, Chiappetta is a well-known figure in the Italian academic community. Since 1989 he has lectured at a number of leading Italian universities such as Università La Sapienza in Rome, Università di Roma Tre, Università LUISS - Guido Carli in Rome and Università Lui in Castellanza. He has published a number of articles on company and financial markets regulation, particularly the widely-read book ‘Corporate Governance Law’.
‘One of the key contributors’ in achieving the company’s results, Carlo Ciccarelli has a proven track record of in-house legal success; having negotiated complex contracts, spin offs, acquisitions, mergers and winning crucial litigation victories. Ciccarelli assumed his current position as group head of litigation and dispute resolution at Atos in July 2015. The team he leads serve an important function to the group globally, striving to inform and guide the business with regards to litigation prevention and assessment using a pragmatic approach, where a mix of internal and external tools are utilised to provide the ‘most efficient’ solution to disputes. Ciccarelli is a member of the legal executive leadership worldwide at Atos signifying a senior and close relationship with the global Atos group. He is relied upon to ‘provide an accurate reporting of a reliable and useful picture of the current litigations and of the potential threats to all stakeholders’ illustrating his key role in steering the company through challenges it faces. On top of his role as head of litigation and dispute resolution, Ciccarelli is in charge of the relationships with the selected law firms that are on the panel for the Atos Global Legal Department. In this role he further uses his negotiating skills by ‘managing Master Services Agreements with the law firms, dealing with any conflict of interests, costs and the monitoring and enhancement the overall relationship’.
With a team of 60 employees reporting into him from around the world, Giuseppe Conti acts as general counsel for the Rome-based multinational renewable energy corporation Enel Green Power. Achieving a meteoric rise within the company, Conti initially began as an in-house legal advisor for Enel’s international business development, working his way up through the company to become the head of legal and corporate affairs for the group in November 2014. Shunning a traditional “lawyer to client” facing relationship, Conti sees his team as being business partners and wants them involved ‘right from the start of transactions’, stating that the continuation and spreading of this culture is a priority. In symmetry with Enel’s international expansion, the legal function is ‘constantly expanding’ and is known as being integral to the growth and prosperity of the entire group. Having a track record of cross-border transactions, Conti was part of the Spanish utility company Endesa when it was acquired by Enel Group. Conti was heavily involved in this transaction that required patience and complex legal solutions, and his work was rewarded when he was offered a role with Enel Green Power. Outside of his role at Enel Green Power, Conti is a keen contributor to the public sharing of legal knowledge; he gives speeches at Luis University in Rome as well as The University of Bologna, mainly in the realm of international MA transactions.
Assuming his current position of head of legal and corporate affairs for Salvatore Ferragamo in October 2011, Alessandro Curotti adds his experience at the luxury fashion group to over a decade in in-house roles at esteemed Italian companies such as Luxottica and Telecom Italia. Sources highlight his knowledge of corporate governance, due diligence and mergers and acquisitions as exceptional for the market. Currently based in Florence, Curotti is not just known for his excellent legal knowledge, but also for his considerable managerial skill. In his role as group general counsel at Luxottica, Curotti developed the essential management techniques that he is able to draw upon during his work at Salvatore Ferragamo today. Curotti received his law degree from the University of Siena and was admitted to the Milan Bar in 1993. He speaks fluent English, French and Spanish and as a lawyer with a keen eye for industry discussion, has previously acted as a speaker at events including the Luxury Law Summit held in London in 2014.
Antonino Cusimano has a diverse educational background with studies completed in Italy at Università degli Studi di Palermo and in the USA at the University of Utah and Harvard Law School. Fluent in English, Italian and French, Cusimano has had a truly international career with previous positions held in London, Paris and Pittsburgh over the course of the past 18 years, mostly working for world-class US companies. For the last seven years, Cusimano has worked as a group general counsel at the large multinational telecommunications company Telecom Italia. His professional approach has been to build relationships based on integrity, trust and discretion, which has had a significant impact on the workings of the Telecom Italia legal team. He has become known for his pragmatic approach to legal work, which has allowed him to implement highly diverse and complex risk management strategies, whilst communicating effectively with necessary stakeholders. Cusimano has gained far-reaching recognition for his work, receiving many awards for his innovative approach to training and development for the team. One initiative devised and managed by Cusimano, senior business members mentoring in-house lawyers in order to improve collaboration, business knowledge and inter-departmental communication. Prior to joining Telecom Italia, he worked as senior counsel for global services at GE Oil & Gas. Between 1994 and 2006 he worked at PPG Industries International in Paris, where he quickly rose through the ranks, initially starting in a more junior position and assuming the role of general counsel for Europe in 2000.
Moving in-house after a spell as an associate in Allen & Overy’s Milan office, Federico Dal Poz acted as general counsel for major energy company Sorgenia for six years before taking up his current position of head of legal affairs EMEA at market-leading premium eyewear multinational Luxottica. Appointed to his current role in June 2014, Dal Poz oversees all legal matters affecting Luxottica in the Europe, Middle East and Africa regions. Having close relationships with other global functions within the company, Dal Poz and his team often go beyond the EMEA territory, for example when working on license agreements negotiations which are global by their nature, and rest ‘at the very core of Luxottica's activities’. Recognised from within the Luxottica group for achievements related to his department’s responsiveness, which Dal Poz states is ‘praised by all of our business partners’, he and the team have been able to build ‘a strong network of internal relationships thanks to the trust our colleagues give us’.
A highly-experienced and multilingual corporate counsel with a track record of success in complex international affairs, Michelangelo Damasco can cite years of industry experience across different sectors in addition to expert legal and managerial knowledge. Damasco currently provides support to Atlantia, a holding company specialising in the transportation and construction sectors, in the role of general counsel and executive vice president, a position that he has held since January 2015. Widely known for his knowledge of corporate law, corporate finance, mergers and commercial litigation, Damasco is well placed to take the lead on complex projects and other challenges the company contends with. Particular career highlights for Damasco include successful deals with both public and private parties involving M&A, corporate, project finance, commercial contracts and litigation practices. Career highlights so far include negotiation of the award given by the French state for the Ecotaxe project to Autostrade per l'Italia, and the acquisition by Autostrade per l'Italia of major toll road concessions in Chile, Brazil and Portugal.
Carlo Daneo is a hugely respected in-house lawyer who has overseen some of the most complex corporate and commercial matters in the European auto industry. For more than 10 years he held a number of senior positions at Italian automotive giant Fiat and played a leading role in its hugely challenging 2010 demerger which saw the industrials and car manufacturing parts of the business split into separate listed companies. Daneo’s experience of managing this tricky separation led to his appointment as general counsel of Ferrari, the luxury sports car manufacturer, in July 2015, just as it was about to begin a difficult spin-off from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA). Daneo played an important part in the series of operations that led to Ferrari’s eventual separation from the parent company at the beginning of 2016. The transaction included a restructuring that placed assets into a new holding company and a listing of common shares on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) under the ticker “Race”. Ferrari will now rely on Daneo’s formidable understanding of the auto industry to help stimulate growth in rapidly expanding markets with high demand for luxury goods.
Milan-based Simone Davini was appointed head of legal and corporate affairs at Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank in October 2010, taking advantage of his already rich experience within the banking and financial services industry. Having started his career in private practice, Davini gained experience working on numerous finance-based transactions, after which he moved in-house to eventually lead legal teams at Intesa Sanpaolo and ING Direct Italy before starting at Crédit Agricole. Throughout his in-house career he has been perceived as an ‘effective business partner’ and ‘originator of value added’ within the business. Changes he’s made to the workings of the legal department in his current position are closely related to the improvement of internal processes, including, but not limited to, the selection of external firms, cross-functional communication and the criteria for performance review of the team. Reflective of the way the global financial crisis has impacted the banking industry, Davini cites his biggest challenge as adapting to the post-2007 business and legal environment where he noticed increase pressure on ‘costs, results and complexity’, while resources at his disposal typically went down. As a way to combat this and find new ways of working, Davini regularly networks with and benchmarks against his peers in the market. These activities are used to stay ahead of the regulatory curve, highlighting the fact that such pressures are ‘a key challenge for any GC’. Sitting on several committees and having direct reporting lines to senior management, Davini enjoys a close relationship with both his staff and key business partners. In addition to his in-house achievements, Davini passed the bar exam with the Court of Appeals of Milan in 1999 and has also written articles about the law and regulations regarding OTC derivatives.
‘The most challenging aspect of my role has been to make the business people understand that lawyers are not just “contract checkers” or “letter writers”, but can contribute actively and pro-actively to the realisation of business and strategic goals’, articulates Stefan De Jonghe, senior counsel at Whirlpool Europe. De Jonghe became senior counsel in 2006 and has increasingly supported the commercial side of the business of marketing and sales. Under his supervision the team of 17 employees has become better integrated in the company, with each of his reports becoming a part of the management team for the market they support. ‘This allows my team to convey great authority. It also grants an easy access to senior management, who are always willing to endorse legal initiatives and make sure they get followed up on’, De Jonghe explains. In addition, over the past year De Jonge has contributed to the enhancement of the compliance programmes throughout the region. Before his promotion to senior counsel, De Jonghe spent five years as a legal counsel at Whirlpool and prior to that worked for two years at Siemens in Brussels. He started his career in private practice, spending nearly half of a decade at Stibbe in the Belgian capital.
A lawyer with an international education, obtaining legal qualifications from the University of Rome and Columbia University, Pierfrancesco De Rossi is praised for his exemplary leadership skills and ability to showcase a thorough understanding of complex legal issues quickly. In addition to serving as general counsel for legal and compliance at Siemens in Italy, De Rossi also performs secretarial functions for the company and serves as deputy general counsel, lead healthcare lawyer and lead industry lawyer for the entire South West Europe region. His seven years at Siemens are primarily characterised by his efforts to supervise several lawyers, paralegals and legal assistants during a challenging period for the company, as well as to advise on a number of key corporate and M&A transactions for the company. De Rossi’s outstanding, pragmatic approach to M&A deals and general corporate legal work was also evident in his former position of senior counsel for international legal affairs at Telecom Italia, where he worked on transactions in Latin America, Middle East and Europe, including restructuring of businesses, transfer of shares and creation of joint ventures. Prior to De Rossi’s spell at Telecom Italia, he worked in private practice for Gianni, Origoni, Grippo & Partners (2002-2004) and Studio Legale Carnelutti (1994-2009) in Milan and Rome respectively.
Head of legal and compliance at Nomura’s Italian branch, Laura Del Favero has made numerous changes to the workings of the investment bank’s legal and compliance department. In doing so, she has successfully managed to push the bank towards the forefront of the market. Covering a wide range of activities, Del Favero sees fit to delegate members of her team to specific practice areas, leading to expert knowledge and specialisation for her to call upon. Information sharing and networking are also a priority; regular meetings between legal and compliance people in other Nomura continental offices are held for the benefits of knowledge sharing. Weekly catch-ups with local senior management also take place, in order to increase the team’s visibility and to inform other business partners of relevant matters. Complex initiatives undertaken by Del Favero include a cross border compliance project with the local law on corporate liability, Nomura being one of the first branches of foreign banks in Italy to implement such a project. An example of leading by example and establishing best practice, she cites the way the market has followed suit as evidence of her innovation. Del Favero relishes the opportunity to be flexible and to ‘rise to new challenges constantly’ as opposed to dealing with issues through a by-the-numbers approach. After the recent expansion of her remit, she now provides support for legal and compliance matters to other Nomura offices in Turkey, Finland and Sweden. In terms of contributing to forming opinions within the industry, Del Favero’s visibility and influence has increased considerably in recent years; in 2014 she was appointed as Chair of the Legal and Compliance committees of the Association of Foreign Banks in Italy (AIBE). Again proving her networking and technical skills, this position allows her to liaise with law firms to identify new legal trends and share them in dedicated workshops and seminars.
Based in Pescara, Silvia Di Donato is currently head of legal at the Italian real estate company IGD. With a property portfolio of €1.9bn, IGD is regarded as one of the most important organisations in the country’s property sector and engages primarily in the development and management of shopping centres in Italy and Romania. Supporting the legal activities of a company with approximately 40 hypermarkets, supermarkets, shopping malls and retail parks scattered across the country is never easy and requires Di Donato to be highly flexible and adaptable to constantly changing circumstances. A very hard working lawyer with a focused and goal-oriented mentality, Di Donato has received high praise for her transactional work over the years. Deals that Di Donato has worked on in the recent past include a preliminary agreement for the purchase of a new mall in Grosseto (2015), a preliminary agreement with UnipolSai for the purchase of the entire capital of Punta di ferro shopping centre (2015) and a €135m mortgage loan agreement with BNP Paribas (2013). Di Donato and her team currently oversee legal work relating to all important projects for the company; including a shopping centre in Grozetto, a Winmarkt shopping centre in Bucharest, Romania and a new retail complex at the port of Livorno. In addition, Di Donato, along with her team and other departments, is working on implementing the 2014-2016 company business plan that includes important targets for sustainability. Prior to joining IGD in 2006, Di Donato worked at the consumer goods company Gescom for a year-and-a-half and prior to that worked for three years at Studio legale Marino, an association active in consulting and tax litigation in Italy and abroad.
Marcello Dolores joined Discovery Networks in 2012, and assumed the position of vice president of the mass media and entertainment company in 2014. Currently responsible for the entire legal and regulatory department in Southern Europe, Dolores oversees matters in four major countries; Italy, Spain, Portugal and France. With particular reference to the Italian region, Dolores describes the department as ‘innovative and advanced’, perhaps best evidenced by it helping the company with commercial achievements such as three big acquisitions and mergers in three years while also supporting the growth of ad sales, always ‘in a safe and legally compliant environment’. A confidant for those in the upper-levels of the business, Dolores works very closely with senior management in guiding the strategic direction of the company. Dolores explains that being the legal person in both local and regional management teams, the opportunity arises for contribution via ‘a full sharing of views and analysis of business projects’. Prior to joining Discovery Networks, Dolores started his in-house career as counsel for Fox International Channels in 2003, following the international development of the business at European level. During his time there he experienced different roles in different EU countries and a one year secondment in News Corporation headquarters, described by Dolores as a ‘useful and fruitful’ experience.
With a truly international remit, Gabriella Dore is currently in charge of a 34-strong legal team dedicated to providing legal support for Fox Networks in the group’s European and African regions. As Fox acts as an international broadcaster as well as a local television operator, the legal team have a variety of complexities to grapple with. Dore’s organisation of the team encourages the adaptability and innovation necessary to cover so many diverse countries and their legal systems. Structuring the team by ‘assigning territorial responsibilities’ whilst also ‘creating centres of expertise across Europe’, Dore believes that she has developed a ‘fantastic team’ that allows her to enjoy a very close relationship with business needs. Such a close relationship is clearly beneficial to the health of the company, as she explains how even with a relatively small team they manage a ‘huge business’ that has ‘very few’ litigations in Europe. When working with outside counsel, Dore stipulates that they must have ‘knowledge of the business’ and must always ‘be ready to take risks together with the client’.
International fitness equipment manufacturers Technogym have been supported by Paolo Fabiani’s legal department in recent years, particularly with matters related to the ‘significant increase of the business operations of the company’. As head of the company’s legal department, Fabiani and his team have helped provide a solid foundation for these increases, being challenged by supporting growth with particular reference to ‘the strategical operations of turnaround in overseas countries’. Market sources state that Fabiani enjoys the possibility to ‘use his business acumen and not to only serve the company as a corporate lawyer’, but also ‘being able to contribute to the company growth’. Proving the specialisation and care with which international legal matters are dealt with by Fabiani with his internal team, use of law firms is made up of ‘boutique firms with an international approach’ from which he values ‘transparency in any kind of relationship in terms of ethics and fair approaches with our counterparties’. These selections have been one of the key changes he’s made to the department since his appointment in 2010; successfully implementing a network of localised external counsel wherever the company operates to cover Technogym’s operations across 14 branches in Europe, the Americas, Asia, Middle East and Australia. A Bologna bar admitted lawyer and previous employee of Rosetti Marino, an international company operating in the oil, gas and maritime industries, sources vouch for Fabiani’s methods, saying he ‘always finds the right solution to any issues you may manage’, applauding his ‘rigorous approach to analysing issues’ and ‘creative problem-solving attitude’.
In 2013 Fabio Fagioli became general counsel of the Maire Tecnimont group after proving his competency in previous roles including at Technip KTI S.p.A (a subsidiary of Technip Italy S.p.A.), where he was responsible for the creation and management of the legal department. As part of a management team that effectively achieve and overcome company challenges and achieve company targets, Fagioli and his team have facilitated Maire Tecnimont’s ‘revival’ on the market, achieving targets unprecedented by the group beforehand. During a period of deep change where the core business of the engineering and contracting company has been refocused and remodelled, Fagioli identified several ways in which a newly-structured legal department could assist the wider group. Influencing the legal department in addition to organisation structure, Fagioli emphasised human relationships and encouraged his colleagues to take an entrepreneurial attitude to their decision-making. A manager with his finger firmly on the pulse, Fagioli identifies various legal matters in the market, in addition to renewing internal group standards to reflect the changing strategy and business model of the company. In real terms, Fagioli’s department have achieved noticeable successes; the company’s expansion requiring them to manage tenders and contract negotiations in new geographical areas, minimising risks with new projects and contracts plus resolving important litigations in judicial and extrajudicial seats.
In charge of legal and compliance at the Italian Football Federation since September 2015, Sabina Fasciolo is able to rely on over seven years’ experience during her previous role at Ferrari. At the famous motor group she first worked as a legal counsel, and was then promoted to head of legal affairs in 2009, after a number of years of excellent work. Knowledgeable in numerous legal practice areas, Fasciolo is particularly noted for her skills in intellectual property matters, corporate governance, licencing and contract negotiation which she has had to utilise after her appointment at the FIGC. Undertaking an important role at the heart of one of the most prominent football organisations in Europe, the FIGC is the governing body of football in Italy which encompasses the internationally broadcasted Italian football league and the hugely successful Italian national football team.
Previous in-house roles, as legal counsel at Dow Italia and Italian general counsel at Capgemini, have given Alessandra Ferrari a wealth of experience to use in her role as general counsel at Avio Aero, a subsidiary of GE Aviation with a worldwide presence in the aeronautical industry. Assuming her current position in September 2013, Ferrari has previously worked her way through several of GE’s business units including GE Energy Services and GE Power & Water, indicating a strong ability to diversify and utilise legal and managerial expertise in a multifaceted way. Currently overseeing 17 employees at Avio Aero, including legal and non-legal staff, Ferrari’s department is reflective of the way she has shaped it; completely reorganising the team in several ways including widening the scope of responsibilities, hiring new staff and shifting the teams’ emphasis towards ‘driving ownership, accountability and sense of urgency’. A trusted business partner, Ferrari is a member of the staff for both the Avio Aero CEO and of the GE Aviation General Counsel, attending meetings of the Board of Directors as Board Secretary and is relied on to give updates on relevant matters. Ferrari also holding a place as a member of the company supervisory board and when asked about her biggest challenges and achievements in the role, Ferrari cites the sale of Avio Aero's equity in two Chinese joint ventures, which was completed ‘in a very short time-frame and with a tough counter-party’.
In her role as legal and HR manager at Rentokil Initial, one of world’s leaders in the provision of pest control, washroom hygiene and workwear solutions, Francesca Ferretti is responsible for a variety of legal and related tasks, including, but not limited to compliance, due diligence of M&A transactions, contract drafting and support services for negotiation and recruiting. Ferretti’s career spans over 30 years, spent in a wide range of roles in Italy’s business capital, Milan, of which nearly a decade has been at her current employer. The biggest achievement in her role centres primarily on the completion of several M&A transactions and implementation of a training course of legal clauses for Sales and Customer Care Area. Ferretti enjoys the diverse aspects of her role and in particular likes being a ‘focal point in the company for the compliance program, it is a role critical to manage and prevent risks’. Ferretti advises external law firms to be work on their knowledge of their client’s organisation and to be more responsive to their business needs.
Federico Finzi’s past record of working in some of Italy’s most innovative technology companies allows him to successfully provide ongoing legal support as general counsel to the Italian business of the global ecommerce giant Amazon. Finzi started his professional career in 1999 at the independent Italian law firm Rucellai & Raffaelli, where he immediately made a positive impression on his peers with one colleague describing him as a highly ‘intelligent and committed’ individual. Three years later he joined the global management consulting, outsourcing and technology services company Accenture as legal lead for its communications and high technology group (known internally as CHT), covering Italy, Greece and Emerging Markets region. Over the course of the nearly six years at the company, he developed interest in new technologies and began to specialise in corporate law and intellectual property. Finzi built on his achievements at Accenture during his second in-house role as an outsourcing lead lawyer at Fiat, responsible for the information and communications technology component of the company. He joined Amazon Italy in 2012 after a brief, year-and-a-half spell at the research agency Elasis and has been with the company to this date. This time allowed Finzi to establish himself as an approachable leader, who is always able to make the right legal and business decisions for the benefit of his company. His activities for Amazon focus on consumer protection, intellectual property, key M&A transactions, the launch of new features, products or services, and handling litigation.
Ioana Fior has a rich experience of working in-house and has particularly impressed with contributions to many complex, global projects that have greatly benefited her companies. Described by her colleagues as an ‘outstanding asset and strong team player’, who is ‘always comprehensive’, is a ‘wonderful negotiator’ and ‘always has a smile on her face’, Fior has added much needed positivity to the legal department at Ducati Motor Holding during her 16-year tenure. Currently serving as a general counsel for the designer and manufacturer of motorcycles, Fior works closely with the senior structure of the company to proactively add commercial value. Fior’s tireless efforts at the helm of legal have brought praise from her colleagues and clients and she has been instrumental in driving legal and non-legal work in areas as diverse as corporate governance, domestic and international contracts, intellectual property, litigation prevention and management and staff activities.
When US auto manufacturer Chrysler filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2009 it was forced to undergo a painful reorganisation that damaged both staff and creditors. For Fiat, however, the outcome was much more positive, resulting in an acquisition that enhanced its strength in the global car market while adding household names such as Jeep and Dodge to its portfolio. Giorgio Fossati has been one of the leading figures at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), the Italian vehicle maker with roots dating back to 1899, for many years. Following the merger, he became a member of the US-based board of directors in 2014, while retaining the title of general counsel for FCA’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region. Fossati began his in-house career in 1988 at Italian industrial vehicles producer Iveco before joining Fiat in 1999. He has since progressed through the ranks to become one of the most powerful GCs in Italy.
Starting as a property and real estate legal specialist, Manfredi Giacomoni has been at multinational retailer IKEA since 2007. Currently operating as the legal manager for IKEA in Italy, Giacomoni oversees the retail, property and distribution business units. Contributing to a growing presence in the country, Giacomoni and his colleagues have provided the platform for IKEA to open nine stores in seven years. The operational efficiency that Giacomoni has brought, along with increased training within the department, has helped reduce external law firm fees by 30%. Evincing the importance with which he is held in the business, for every important investment or issue Giacomoni enjoys a ‘direct contact’ with the entire management team and especially with the country manager.
Described as an ‘honest and transparent lawyer’, who is ‘skilled and fast in task execution’, Stefano Giberti is well regarded in Italy for his expertise in the healthcare sector. His exceptional work to assemble and lead a highly competent legal unit within the Italian-arm of the global medical technologies and services company GE Healthcare has been one of his many achievements. Following the completion of his legal studies at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Giberti’s legal career kicked off at Franzosi, a law firm with a strong presence in intellectual property and the life sciences sector. He then worked at the multinational polyolefin manufacturer Basell Polyolefins for three years, before embarking on his first role in healthcare at the privately-owned pharmaceutical group Helsinn Healthcare in Switzerland. His colleagues from his role at Helsinn Healthcare describe him as a highly intelligent lawyer with an ‘open-mind attitude’ and praise him for his work on resolving difficult supply-chain issues. Giberti’s interest in the healthcare sector became even more apparent when he participated in the Pharmaceutical Law Summer School at Imperial College in 2006 and subsequently joined the pharmaceuticals company Schering Plough (now part of Merck) as legal affairs manager. During the three years spent at the company, Giberti established himself as a professional with outstanding people skills and highly pragmatic approach to managing others, which eventually lead to his appointment as head of legal affairs at GE Healthcare in Italy. Apart from providing the company with exceptional legal advice on crucial joint ventures agreements, M&A deals, corporate governance and regulatory work, the past six years spent at GE Healthcare have allowed Giberti to establish himself as a well a regarded pharmaceutical lawyer with excellent reputation in intellectual property and licensing work.
Since being admitted to the Italian Bar in 2007, Giorgio Gravina has held several in-house positions and one position in private practice, and is currently in charge of the legal and compliance units of Schindler in Italy. During his two-year tenure in the role, Gravina has impressed with his advisory activity and work on domestic and international business transactions. In addition, he has contributed to the integration of the legal unit into the commercial activities of Schindler, the producer of elevators and escalators. Gravina’s distinct commercial flair was also evident in his previous role at SEA, the company responsible for managing the airports of Linate and Malpensa, where he provided high quality assistance on commercial and company law subjects on a wide variety of matters. In his first in-house role with Heineken in Milan, he was responsible for negotiating and drafting commercial contracts with domestic and foreign counterparts.
Based in Parma, Franco Guariglia is an exceptional legal professional with vast experience in the consumer goods industry, over 25 years of which have been spent at Barilla, the world’s leading pasta maker. Currently serving as the group legal and corporate affairs director, Guariglia has been vital in creating a close-knit legal team that is perceived as a vital element of the company’s strategic path. Over the years, Guariglia has focused on expanding the size and scope of his legal team, as well as integrating it with the rest of the company. Lawyers now having an ongoing commercial impact on the business, while being always approachable in terms of their relationship with internal clients. An expert in corporate law, privacy law, contract law and intellectual property, Guariglia has been praised by his peers for providing legal support of the highest quality to individual process units, while dealing with contracts, corporate affairs and compliance in an effective manner. Having manufacturing plants, brands and sales markets all over the world, the Barilla legal team have a truly international remit and support to company on all fronts.
Tanya Jaeger de Foras joined Whirlpool, the multinational manufacturer of home appliances, in June 2015 as vice president and chief legal officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa, with the support of 52 people, and having amassed experience over several years in international roles at Pfizer and Luxottica. De Foras’ team provides full legal services across commercial, industrial and R&D activities in Whirlpool’s EMEA operation, overseeing an important strategic function vital to company health in the region. Strategy-wise, imperatives for the department are informed by de Foras’ close relationship with senior business partners, as she reports directly to the Whirlpool EMEA President as part of the regional executive staff. De Foras also has a strong functional dotted line to the global general counsel of Whirlpool and is a member of the global legal leaders’ staff. With a constant focus on business issues, the legal department plan and objectivise based on the wider business’ priorities, requiring a great deal of cooperation and communication defining measurable KPIs. De Foras states that her legal team must see itself as a business unit first and foremost, developing bespoke ways to measure achievement against targets, which it must hold itself accountable to. In addition to her leadership, de Foras boasts a strong record as part of a team on individual transactions. Whilst at Luxottica she helped preside over the global redesign of distribution model for the Ray-Ban eyewear brand and at Pfizer Italia she was responsible for restructuring and the integration of Wyeth into the Italian part of the business. Currently she is overseeing the massive task of the ongoing Whirlpool EMEA integration of the Indesit Company, whilst protecting business interests and advancing company growth strategy. A team-player, de Foras believes in nurturing young talent and actively engages in the mentoring and coaching of junior colleagues, peers and women in the profession. Further showing her strong ethical considerations, de Foras states that legal should always be looked as ‘leaders of organisations’ tying them closely to ethics and integrity and having a huge responsibility to ‘drive good governance’.
After several in-house roles with household brands across different industries, including Pirelli and Barilla, Giacomo Leo spent seven years as the general counsel of Poltrona Frau, a leading company in luxury furniture, before joining Bottega Veneta in June 2015. With a team of professionals local to locations across South East Asia, the UK and the US, Leo’s role is truly an international one requiring great flexibility and diversity to manage relationships among the different stakeholders. Upon Leo’s arrival at Poltrono Frau he had responsibility for creating the legal department from scratch, as there was ‘not even a group legal direction’, meaning Leo had to help design and implement all the procedures, standards and rules to govern the group. In his current role, and in line with recent changes at management level, Leo is currently involved in combating lots of new challenges at Bottega Veneta, the Italian luxury goods house. Although this time there was a fully functioning legal department in the company when he joined, which was ‘in good shape’, there were still improvements to be made. Leo is in the process of creating a new team and structuring relationships with new employees as well as creating a new ‘internal culture’ in terms of legal and IP. Citing a ‘very good’ relationship with senior management inclusive of a direct reporting line to the CEO, Leo’s team are involved in all strategic decisions of the company. Leo states that the perception of value added is ‘not clearly measurable’ but he is confident that the team’s effort has a ‘big impact’ and that ‘communication’ is an important part of this.
With over 25 years of experience managing legal matters relevant to international enterprises, Marco Lorefice has advised Edison on all major topics from commercial advisory to litigation in the oil and gas industry since 1998. A comprehensive and thorough legal expert in the field, Lorefice is noted by one source as having the ability to deal with difficult challenges ‘without missing any of the key issues, reaching favourable terms and protecting the interest of the [business] partners’. His reputation acts as an indication of his leadership on complex issues related to a myriad of specialties, including both upstream and downstream, contract drafting, mergers and acquisitions and construction projects on a domestic and worldwide basis. Spoken of as having an ‘astonishingly good understanding of "the big picture" without ever losing sight of important details’, Lorefice’s recognition has been reached through both his legal knowledge and managerial talent. He is trusted as being able to ‘organise and lead the legal team, to manage intercompany functions and to address relationships with stakeholders’, brought about by experience in previous legal managerial roles at Alitalia and GE Oil & Gas dating back to 1990. Having had tremendous success on arbitration matters over the last five years, Lorefice has also been at the forefront of the industry in terms of price review matters, seeing 10 cases over the same period of time. Lorefice has also contributed to knowledge sharing efforts within the industry by publishing articles related to energy arbitration, as well as being invited to speak as a panellist at several international legal conferences. He is also a member of the ICC Institute of World Business Law.
A young and ambitious lawyer, Giuliana Losavio has earned a formidable reputation in her legal career spanning 12 years. Starting out as a legal specialist in 2004, after two years of training in a law firm, Losavio spent three years in a media consulting company. ‘During this time I acquired the know-how to conduct my duties in autonomy, including company secretary, drafting supply contracts, and dealing with clients,’ she says. In January 2008 Losavio joined the raw materials company the Coeclerici Group, initially as legal advisor and since 2010 as senior legal advisor. Currently, the most senior legal employee at the company, Losavio has created a positive and collaborative environment in the legal team: ‘I believe that relationships are the basis for a good work as through them you may both improve your knowledge, acquire as much information as necessary to assist and last but not least, work in a healthy environment,’ she explains. In particular, Losavio has stood out with her work on a particular M&A project, involving a joint venture in Indonesia for the construction and employment of four bulk carriers with a local client for the trans-shipment of coal. To facilitate the transaction, Losavio had to negotiate long term contracts with the client and close $68m worth of project financing with a syndicate involving international banks in 2012. During this busy period, Losavio spent nearly three months in Jakarta and Singapore, in order to closely follow all of the legal aspects of the project, and assist local partners.
Elisabetta Lunati is responsible for all legal matters, including litigation, at Intesa Sanpaolo, Italy’s largest domestic lender and second-largest bank by assets. The Euro Stoxx 50 bank was formed in 2007 by the merger of Banca Intesa and Sanpaolo IMI and has gone on to become a pillar of Italy’s banking sector, being one of its best capitalised financial institutions. Observers credit the legal team, and particularly group general counsel Elisabetta Lunati, for helping the bank to avoid many of the problems faced by its competitors as the Italian economy shrunk by 10% following the financial crisis. The bank is currently undergoing a change of senior leadership following the departure of well-known veteran banker Giovanni Bazoli, known affectionately as ‘Il Professore’, as chairman. It will rely on the experience and reputation of Lunati and her team to ensure the period of organisational change does not disrupt the bank’s key operations.
After a period working in private practice for different law firms in Milan and London, Massimo Mantovani joined the legal department of the flagship Italian energy corporation Eni in 1993. After working through the ranks he was appointed head of gas and power activities at the group in 2000, then in 2005 named general counsel of the entire Eni group. Assuming the responsibility for the regulatory area in 2014, Mantovani currently oversees over 300 employees operating across several jurisdictions around the world. Constantly evolving with the company and the economic environment, Mantovani has overseen numerous changes within Eni’s legal department, including a complete restructure that culminated in a centralised department that provides legal and regulatory assistance to all Eni subsidiaries in Italy and abroad. Playing a ‘leading role’ in key business transaction negotiations, Mantovani has also been instrumental in setting up the company compliance system and restructuring gas activities of the business. Enjoying ‘reciprocal trust and reputation’ with his CEO, Mantovani says this was achieved by proving himself as a ‘problem solver’ and being able to anticipate problems and suggest strategic opportunities. Mantovani measures the value he adds to the business by looking at how many key legal people participate to strategic discussions as managers with a legal background rather than as lawyers. Mantovani’s innovation and track record have not gone unnoticed in the wider industry either. He has gained international recognition for his excellence through media such as the Financial Times. Always leading from the front on matters central to the industry, Mantovani is a member of the ICC Paris Anti-Corruption Committee and a member of the B20 Anti-Corruption Working Group. He was also a member of the Board of Directors of Università degli Studi di Bologna and a non-executive director of Snam, a former subsidiary of Eni. Massimo continues to add knowledge by collaborating with different universities in Italy teaching compliance at postgraduate courses, and has written extensively on compliance issues.
Joining AIG Italy in 2011 at a time when there was no internal legal department, Diego Manzetti is responsible for the creation and operation of the legal function within the insurance giant’s Italian arm. Required to design a function that is entirely synchronised with the wider business, Manzetti arrived with legal having no involvement in any of the processes, and thus saw fit to introduce a new corporate governance structure under which legal became key consultants in the making of strategic decisions. Manzetti’s ambitious efforts included a review of internal procedures, through which he was able to convince management of the inherent value potential of a strong legal team. Manzetti also centralised management of the panel of external counsel to better control expenses, highlight the most valuable firms, identify risks and monitor litigations. Speaking of his success in establishing the department, Manzetti explains how he was able to ‘become a partner to be involved in most decisions made in relation to company strategy’, having a ‘very good’ relationship with senior management who see him as a ‘valued partner’. Manzetti also serves on the senior management team along with heads of different functions within AIG Italy. Covering a number of important transactions during his in-house career, mostly notably in 2012 Manzetti managed the Italian portion of the large transnational merger between Chartis Europe SA and Chartis Europe Limited, which was then rebranded and renamed into AIG Europe Limited.
Overseeing a team of mixed professionals including lawyers, paralegals and engineers, Giuseppe Manzo has spent over five years with the Techint group after being hired from a role in private practice to shift the function into one that performed work internally rather than outsourcing to external counsel. These changes significantly affected the legal and corporate affairs department of Techint, the international conglomerate headquartered in Milan. Quickly gaining the trust of management and company owners, Manzo impacted the business strategy due to his ability to give informed decisions with legal and corporate matters. Manzo improved the ability of the legal team to deal with challenges by tightening up internal structures, which can now ‘perform new procedural activities to render work more effectively from a legal perspective’. Proving to be extremely successful and endorsing the quality of the work done in-house, he notes that it was ‘decided not to externalise work’ for a major deal involving the project financing of four hospitals worth €400m. Encountering challenges related to the engineering industry’s reliance on volatile oil prices, Manzo highlights the need to steer the group through both commercial and operational challenges, and the fact that it significantly impacts the legal team. Making particular reference to postponed or cancelled investments and the litigation the market situation brings, Manzo identifies the outcomes of these challenges as the way the legal team prove their value to the business, avoiding litigation and dealing with the higher volume of claims. A closely-trusted business partner, Manzo’s consultation even extends to attending meetings about matters outside of the typical legal realm. He states it is ‘important to have an understanding of technical matters – we must try to understand these because in that way advice is about very high value. Commercial people realised there was added value in involving me not just for legal work, but to be able to help and advise them how to present a case to management and what property to invest money in or not’.
Simona Mariani is well regarded in Italy’s legal circles for her expertise in corporate law and governance, as well as her knowledge of international law. Her interest in international legal topics became apparent in 2004, when she completed an LLM qualification in European law at the college of Europe alongside her work at the leading international law firm Hogan Lovells. She then joined another leading law firm, Allen & Overy, where she provided legal advice to clients across Europe on major M&A transactions and other corporate work. Mariani moved in-house in 2007 to join EXOR, a leading European investment firm, as head of legal and corporate affairs, a position that she still holds today. Over the nine years spent at EXOR, Mariani has formed a highly resilient, flexible and well organised team. In recognition of her outstanding leadership qualities, The Council for the United States and Italy recognised her as a ‘Young Leader’ in 2014.
Currently general counsel for Fendi, part of the LVMH group, Sergio Marini has provided legal advice to the luxury goods company for the past one and a half years. An in-house lawyer with notable commercial focus, Marini has a good interaction with the senior management of the company and combines his current role with positions of president of the European Company Lawyers Association and board member of the Italian Association of Corporate Lawyers. Between 2000 and 2014, Marini served as legal affairs director at Shell Italy in Milan, with a four year gap (2006-2009) that saw him working as senior counsel at the Shell corporate headquarters in the Netherlands. During his time at Shell Italy, Marini and his team of seven came to be recognised both internally and externally for their high quality work on the provision of legal advice on contracting, M&A activities and Mediterranean gas storage activities. In addition, Marini is regarded highly for managing all Southern European litigation cases for Shell Group. Between 1998 and 2000, Sergio Marini provided legal assistance in developing new national and international markets as senior legal counsel at the first Italian private company specialising in gas and power activities, Edison. His first in-house role was with Saipem, the international turnkey contractor, between 1992 and 1998.
Described as a ’truly reliable person’ and a ‘solutions oriented’ lawyer, Mario Scarfini’s legal career has developed rapidly after completing his law degree in 2001. Over the past 15 years, he worked as a private practice lawyer, at an accountancy firm and then as an in-house lawyer for two highly successful Italian companies. Currently Scarfini oversees the legal department at WAMGROUP, the Italian multinational group of companies operating in the machinery sector. As head of legal, Scarfini focuses on managing the office of the legal team, minimising risks and ensuring that the business complies with all rules and regulations. The most impressive achievements in Scarfini’s career include the establishment of an in-house legal department, the management of a dismissal controversy, negotiations about transfers of business branches and successful judicial negotiations in Italy and abroad.
Giorgio Martellino, general counsel and compliance officer at Acquedotto Pugliese, the operator of public infrastructure for the drinking water supply of the Pugila region, has had a highly impressive in-house career. An alumnus of LUISS Guido Carli University, Martellino joined Abbott Italy in 1995 and spent over a decade there in the position of legal manager. During that time, he gained recognition with his ability to manage impressive legal teams, as well as an ability to forge and maintain strong working relationships with external and internal customers. He has been described by colleagues as ‘a reliable and highly committed professional’ with ’excellent leadership qualities’, who never loses track of how the overall company might be affected by the decisions that he makes. Between 2006 and 2008, Martellino worked as legal director at Italy’s largest furniture and design company, Natuzzi. His achievements in this role include the successful handling of a number of challenging legal disputes, M&A transactions and commercial negotiations. His former colleagues from Natuzzi praise him for his ‘solution oriented’ and ‘open-minded’ approach to in-house work. Martellino’s most recent roles include a four year tenure at Cementir Holdings, one of the world’s leading suppliers of cement, and his current position of general counsel and compliance officer at the utilities company Acquedotto Pugliese, where he has been since September 2012. Currently based in Bari, Martellino is tasked with dealing with regulators, alongside his work to provide quick, accurate, problem-solving support to his company.
Simone Massenti is vice president of legal affairs for Italy at the multinational pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca. With a wealth of in-house legal experience and strong expertise in the pharmaceuticals sector, gained at large organisations such as Schering AG and Merck Sharp & Dohme, Massenti currently leads a five-strong team based in Milan. Described by his colleagues as a ‘person of integrity’ and ‘a competent professional’ Massenti has a deep understanding of complex legal issues and a positive attitude to work. Since taking up his current role in 2012, Massenti has achieved his goal of having the legal department represented in all the internal ethic committees. In addition, Massenti has been vital in changing the attitude of his team, with lawyers now showing a closer understanding of the business that allows them to support the internal functions better. One deal stands out among a multitude of transactions completed by Massenti in his career, namely a transaction to re-acquire full rights of important products licensed-out to a partner in an EU country. In this multi-million dollar deal, he had to lead a cross functional team, while dealing with several counterparties. Other impressive achievements in Massenti’s professional career include a significant reduction of a fine imposed by the Italian Competition Authority, acquisitions and subsequently mergers of companies and the establishment of critical joint ventures. Massenti enjoys working in an in-house capacity, saying: ‘I like the fact that I have the chance to be close to the most important decisions of the company, while being an added value for the organisation. I find the opportunity to deal with a wide range of legal aspects highly appealing’.
‘Be clear, be timely, be practical’, Giorgio Melega states this is the mission of his legal department. Taking charge of a worldwide function of 12 employees, Melega has been chief legal officer of Tenova since June 2014, having had over 15 years of both private practice and in-house legal experience. Showing great versatility and a keen eye for business, Melega has had to adapt to three different styles of working under three different CEOs. He showed remarkable versatility to adapt to these changes, was able to successfully ‘be appreciated by each one of them’ and enjoyed the possibilities afforded to him to take part in strategic decisions regarding the company. In experiencing such change within Tenova, which is part of the Techint Group, Melega has helped provide consistent legal support that connected with project approach, communication excellence and the encouragement of feedback. Keen to adhere to his aforementioned mission, Melega has changed the workings of the department sufficiently to facilitate communication and feedback with regards to projects between the legal team and business partners.
Fabrizio Minneci, chief legal officer at Ferrero, the global consumer goods company privately owned by the Ferrero family, boasts a remarkable legal career of over two decades. Starting out as a trainee in the European Commission in 1991, Minneci spent four years in private practice as an associate at a law firm now known as Bonelli Erede Pappalardo. Most of Minneci’s career, however, has been dedicated to in-house work, with 11 years spent at Ford Europe and eight in his current role at Ferrero. While the department is based in Ferrero’s corporate headquarters in Luxemburg, Minneci does a lot of work with Italy owing to the origins of the company and their strong market position. He currently oversees a legal function of 105 employees (lawyers, paralegals and assistants) with employees from 19 nationalities. In recent years, Minneci has coordinated the department’s gradual expansion into new geographies and new areas of competence with its members now closely associated to the business through representation on various business boards up to the executive committee; Minneci himself is part of the board of directors.
An internationally educated lawyer Fabio Missori, completed his post graduate studies at Georgetown University Law Centre and boasts 10 years’ experience in private practice and a further 18 years in-house. Missori joined the telecommunications company H3G Italia in June 2005 and worked as legal affairs director until 2009, when he was promoted to the general counsel role. Missori’s position includes a variety of duties including legal matters, regulatory affairs and security and could be described as conducting mandatory obligations versus public authorities. ’The latter may include things like interceptions of telephone calls or providing data to authorities in case of investigations’, Missori clarifies. In charge of a department of 75 legal and non-legal employees, Missori has been active in implementing changes to the structure of the legal department at H3G. When he joined the company the legal team looked very different to its current form, Missori says ‘there used to be many senior lawyers and very few juniors, so there weren’t many opportunities for people to progress’. Missori decided to restructure the department by creating new possibilities and in doing so created new jobs, which strengthened the internal capacity by hiring a number of junior lawyers. ‘Considering how in Italy the legislation surrounding the telecoms sector is very specific, the idea was to create a strong team of in-house lawyers that can advise the company without resorting to external counsel. Strengthening ability and skills internally was a priority, and our success is measured by the fact that today we resource externally only for litigations, which we cannot defend the company in court due to the Italian system’, asserts Missori. These structural improvements, along with Missori’s efforts to build a strong legal department by attracting high calibre lawyers from outside the company and other departments have earned Missori a reputation of excellence.
Providing an ‘instrumental supporting function at every level’, Roberto Moresco acts as the head of international legal affairs for Fashion Box at its group headquarters covering the 26 subsidiaries of the group worldwide. Trading under several names including internationally recognised denim brand REPLAY, the group creates, promotes and distributes casual wear, accessories and footwear. Even with the diversity in companies supported, Moresco is actively involved in nearly all businesses activities from ‘joint ventures to licensing arrangements, from key sponsorship deals to the launch of new products’; reporting directly to the CEO, CFO and board of directors he represents the group in all international legal matters. In doing so, Moresco is able to bolster his expertise in the wide range of legal practice areas across a number of different jurisdictions the business requires, which he calls a ‘360 degree exposure to the processes of the group’. Rising through the company ever since his first appointment in 2002, Moresco has held his current position since 2010 and in 2013 was also awarded several directorship titles. Displaying the importance his team has to the various business units of the clothing manufacturer and retailer, in addition to guidance on legal and practical matters they enable the company to ‘streamline’ legal costs and engage external counsel efficiently.
Andrea Moretti is head of legal for eBay’s Italian operations and all legal matters relating to its Italian platform, eBay.it. He has extensive knowledge of the IP, data privacy and regulatory issues related to online retailing and is widely regarded as one of the leading European in-house counsel in the sector. Last year he played a leading role in combatting counterfeiting and protecting the Italian wine industry by committing to remove listings found to be in violation of European Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) labelling standards. The agreement, signed by Moretti alongside Italian Minister of Agricultural, Food and Forestry Policies Maurizio Martina, makes eBay Italy the only significant online platform in the world to remove adverts in protection of PDO or PGI standards. If the deal is extended to eBay’s 800 million listings globally it will represent a significant boost for food producers operating under protected labels. Before joining eBay Italy in 2006, Moretti worked at eBay’s London offices as senior legal counsel to the EU Marketplaces Compliance and Commercial function, a role in which he helped advise the business on its European expansion strategy.
Sandra Mori replaced Coca-Cola’s long-standing European general counsel Christopher Barnard in 2010. With a team of 45 lawyers operating in 12 countries she is responsible for all legal and regulatory affairs of the multinational beverage company across the European Union excluding Germany and Spain. Mori is known throughout Europe as an outstanding corporate counsel who brings a strong commercial perspective to everything she does. Last year she was named general counsel of the year by a leading Italian in-house publication. Mori has overseen the implementation of a number of high-profile sponsorship agreements in her time as general counsel, including Coca-Cola’s partnership with the London Olympic Games in 2012. This highly-complex deal saw Mori working closely with Coca-Cola’s business and marketing teams to ensure correct use of Olympic logos and trademarks throughout Europe. Before joining Coca-Cola in 2001 Mori was Microsoft Corporation’s GC for Southern Europe, handling legal matters relating to Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. In addition to spending her in-house career with US companies, Mori has spent time as a scholar and freelance lawyer in the US. She has claimed that her distinctly “non-European” approach to managing a legal function is because of this international experience.
Simona Musso has been at the forefront of legal work at a number of leading Italian companies during her in-house career. Over the course of the past 20 years, Musso has accumulated substantial experience of high quality legal support in English and Italian. She complements her vast knowledge of intellectual property, competition law, contract drafting and M&A transactions, with a solid understanding of commercial issues developed during her studies for the General Management Programme at the leading European business school, ESCP. Musso joined her current employer Lavazza, the well-known family-owned coffee producer, as a senior lawyer in 1996 after having worked in private practice for nearly five years. Her leadership potential and high levels of professionalism in providing legal advice quickly became apparent to senior management at Lavazza, which led to her promotion to general counsel in 2001. Since then, Musso has been integral in developing a strong legal function at the company, with her team becoming vital to the company in the past few years, especially as the brand and the company continue to grow at an impressive rate internationally.
Prior to beginning her in-house career at the Italian entity of the international electronic and healthcare company Phillips in 2002, Paola Nocerino worked in two law firms in Milan, following admission to the Italian Bar in Rome. After instantly making a positive impression on her peers with her strong work ethic and leadership skills, Nocerino was promoted to general counsel of Philips Italy within four years of joining. Nocerino has been in her current role as general counsel of the legal and corporate department at Air Liquide Italy, the industrial and healthcare gases and services international company, since December 2009. Following her arrival, Nocerino’s focus was to move the legal department from a “firefighting” role to one of early identification and prevention of risks. As a result, ‘the legal team is now fully involved at an early stage in the evaluation of new projects and facilitates management at all levels in the decision making process’. Working in close cooperation with CEO and senior managers to define and identify the priorities of the legal department, Nocerino provides legal support for a sustainable growth of the company business. Asked about the most significant challenges in her professional in-house career to date, Nocerino replies: ‘The challenge is to adjust the role of the legal counsel to the transformation of a traditionally innovative company while maintaining an excellent level of service in a timely and effective manner’.
Daniele Novello began his career at Total E&P Italia in 2010 after practicing as an associate at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for over four years. With private practice experience in both Italy and New York, Novello still had a steep learning curve when making the transition into in-house legal life with a position of huge responsibility at global energy giant Total. This adaptation to a different type of work and business environment was, according to Novello, ‘a big challenge’. Leading a small team of three lawyers and one legal assistant who directly report into him, Novello has illustrated his importance to senior management; indeed he talks to the CEO ‘at least once a day’ so that the legal team is central to the company’s plans. The central nature of the legal team is well-deserved and well-needed; operating within the volatile energy market Novello cites the completion of an upstream oil project in such a ‘highly regulated environment like the Italian one’ as a huge challenge, and one which absorbs much of his time and effort. Internally there have been several successes related to the efficiency of the legal team since Novello’s arrival. He overhauled the internal capability of the legal function and took an approach that ‘reduced the contribution of external consultants and the relevant fees’. Further speaking to the effectiveness of his team this reduction in external advice has been driven by ‘an increased level of responsibility of the [internal] team’, rather than a reduction in the total amount of legal work.
Crossing over from a career in private practice and public notaries, Luca Gentile has been head of legal at Aviva’s Italian branch since April 2013. With international experience, Gentile is able to combine in-depth legal knowledge with a deep understanding of Aviva’s Italian operation; he started in the company secretarial area, helped set-up the internal legal department and has worked closely with different senior managers. Gentile now has a day-to-day relationship with the senior management and the CEO, attending shareholder, board and committee meetings when necessary. Always seeking to develop himself further, Gentile oversees a department with an ever-increasing practice area remit, whilst at same time reducing external support from law firms. In terms of achievements and challenges, Gentile highlights his work on strategic M&A and restructuring projects involving the entire Aviva Group in Italy in addition to creating a ‘strong legal view’ on the business challenges that are ‘never ending’. As a keen manager of people, Gentle seeks to maintain a ‘proactive legal team’, citing this as a principle that is ‘very important’ to him. He says that ‘people with whom you spend most of your life are the real added value’.
Moving to an in-house legal career after around a decade as an IT and intellectual property rights private practice lawyer, Francesco Paolino currently acts as regional legal lead for Italy and Spain at Avanade, a multinational IT consultancy firm created by a joint venture of Accenture and Microsoft. Operating a small team of legal professionals, Paolino prefers outside counsel that demonstrate a ‘clear understanding of the business’ and take a ‘flexible approach to the different needs of the company’. Since joining the firm Paolino and his colleagues have effectively made the function a ‘trusted pillar for the company business leadership’. In reference to his leadership, one source explains how Paolino ‘embraces the common goal and helps the whole team get there - all while fiercely defending the overall legal safety and security of the organisation as his core responsibility’.
As head of legal and business affairs at Warner Music Italy, Filippo Pardini works in a unique and fascinating role combining legal and business aspects of the music group. Refusing to act as a ‘common’ legal office, the recording industry necessitates Pardini and his department play a more active role, with a keen eye on business development. Somewhat encapsulating the intense relationship between legal and business affairs, Pardini’s team operate in the huge world of entertainment that ‘changes and develops really quickly’ and requires expert knowledge in a range of fields. Internet platforms, new way of usages and new forms of infringement of copyright, which Pardini is involved in on a day-to-day basis all straddle the legal and business worlds. The most enjoyable aspect of the role for Pardini is ‘working for a company that creates something’, as he lends support to the creative process. He states that he really needs to have his work ‘linked to a product that finally goes to the market’, preferring this to being a ‘consultant’ on a wide range of matters’. Pardini started in the music industry via an in-house legal role at Media Records where he introduced procedures and the intercompany contracts to link all Media Records companies together across Europe. Having proven himself first in the legal function, he was given the managing director role at Media Records, preparing him for the business aspect of the industry by the time he joined Warner Music Italy in 2008.
Daniele Parla is head of corporate and investment banking for Italy at the banking giant UniCredit, having previously acted as Credit Suisse’s Italian head of legal investment banking. Taking charge of a team of 20 lawyers (a noticeable increase from when he started, and in line with the acknowledgement of the teams value to business lines), he assists in providing legal support to the investment banking and corporate commercial business of UniCredit across Italy. Parla’s function utilises a number of methods to deal with the challenges the high-profile banking group faces, this ‘mix of tools’ includes the use of external firms, internalisation of work and secondees to assess business needs and provide effective response to them. This hasn’t been easy though, Parla explains that whilst it was a ‘unique opportunity’ to create his department from scratch, it was a huge challenge. His enjoyment of the role comes from taking decisions and being right at the heart of transactions, and as the leader of his team he feels required to ‘uphold values’ and provide the ‘backbone’. Taking an analytical approach, Parla’s methods are closely aligned to the assessment of business needs and giving appropriate and effective solutions in response. In using external counsel, Parla stresses that firms shouldn’t just give advice on the ‘pure legal aspects’ preferring them to look at company needs in terms of the products and business structure, where there is a ‘complex reality’.
An experienced legal professional with strong expertise in corporate governance and joint venture work, Andrea Parrella has had a highly impressive legal career with a distinct focus on the aerospace and defence sector, as well as railroads. He initiated his career in 1993 as an in-house lawyer focusing on privatisation and M&A projects at Istituto per la Ricostruzione Industriale (Institute for Industrial Reconstruction), an Italian public investment holding company that played a pivotal role in the Italian “economic miracle” of the 1950s and 1960s. Parrella’s first work experience with Finmeccanica, one of the main global players in aerospace, defence and security, was in the position of vice-president for joint ventures and international partnerships and between 2000 and 2004, where his ability to form effective relationships and manage complex international projects became widely recognised in the in-house community. This lead to his appointment as head of legal and corporate affairs at Trenitalia, one of Europe’s largest railroad operators in January 2005. Seven years later he moved to another Italian railroad operator, Ferrovie dello Stato to continue his work in the sector. In June 2014, Parrella returned to Finmeccanica, where he has maintained a position of group general counsel to this date.
Established in 1905, Aedes was the first real estate holding company to be listed on the Milan stock exchange. A seasoned real estate lawyer with a strong understanding of asset management and an impressive track record of overseeing M&A transactions, Barbara Patania has been at the helm of the legal department at the company for over 13 years. Working with highly experienced private practice lawyers from top firms in Milan, Patania is credited for her outstanding work in closing transactions that have had a noticeable impact on the company’s growth strategy. Some more recent deals for Patania include the mergers by incorporation with Prague Real Estate Holding and Pragacinque in 2015 and 2016 respectively. As part of her role, Patania’s team oversees legal work for all transactions of Aedes and supports all commercial activities, such as the development of various projects with commercial and residential destinations and the management of buildings for use as retail, shopping centres, offices and for use in the hospitality and logistics sectors. In addition, Patania has recently impressed with her legal work related to the 2014 financial restructuring of Aedes, which has seen the company develop a new shareholding structure with new management and a new real estate portfolio.
Shell’s Italian division plays an important part in the company’s European operations. Shell has recently sold its downstream assets in Italy, including retail outlets, distribution and logistics in order to concentrate more on new production, with activities centred on the Basilicata region of southern Italy, containing the third largest reserves of oil in Europe. This change of strategic focus has created a large amount of corporate and litigation work for the legal team and has seen Francesco Pennisi, Shell’s head of legal for Italy, involved in some complex environmental reviews. Pennisi joined Shell in 2005 and has served as its head of legal for Italy since 2014. He is known as a skilled commercial lawyer with a particularly deep knowledge of oil and gas permitting procedures. Beyond offering legal advice, Pennisi is known as a strong commercial adviser to the business and is highly-regarded in the European legal community.
For over 13 years Andrea Pezzangora has been general counsel at Benetton, an Italian multinational fashion and consumer goods business that operates in over 120 countries globally. Pezzangora’s team provides legal support to over 6,200 stores, which generate combined retail and wholesale revenue of approximately €2bn every year. Pezzangora’s main achievement over his tenure has been leading a highly successful legal team over complex and challenging periods for the company, leading the team to be praised as ‘efficient and reliable’. Noted for his positive but target oriented approach to work, Pezzangora has also been vital in protecting the interests of the company on a number of crucial litigations that have had a long standing impact on the group’s two main brands. Pezzangora is based in Treviso and has graduated with a law degree from the University of Bologna.
A former army officer, Bepi Pezzulli embarked on his legal studies in LUISS Guido Carli University and subsequently gained LLM and JD qualifications from New York University School of Law and Columbia University School of Law respectively. After working in private practice in New York for several years, Pezzulli joined the European Bank of Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) in London. One of the highlights of his two-year career there was his provision of cross-border advice with respect to EU financial services regulations and certain US regulations. Most of his legal career after EBRD has been focused on financial markets with positions held at some of the most prestigious financial institutions in the world. Pezzulli joined the financial and strategic consultancy Turning Point Consulting in mid-2009 as a head of legal and compliance and worked there until 2013, when he moved to the global investment manager BlackRock. Aside from his impressive regulatory and compliance advice at Blackrock, Pezzulli also gained a good reputation among his peers for his advisory work to the fund management business. Taking a step away from the finance world, Pezzulli joined Italiaonline, an internet brand holding company, in March 2016 and is currently group general counsel, managing director of corporate affairs and board secretary at the company. He will be heavily involved in the ongoing merger talks with SEAT Pagine Gialle, which is due to complete by the middle of 2016. When asked about the most impressive achievement in his professional career, Pezzulli points out the effective alignment of employees and corporate models, as well as achieving optimisation and efficiency of service delivery in former positions. Although Pezzulli has spent most of his career outside of Italy, he still has an exceptional reputation and will bring his experience and skill to his new role.
Silvia Piccorossi is director of legal and corporate affairs for one of the most active airports in Italy, a position which she has held since 1999. During her time in the role, Piccorossi can point a number of ways in which she has carefully constructed a team that is a ‘simple, very skilled and professional’ legal organisation with a combination of legal, technical and administrative staff. Culminating in what Piccorossi calls the biggest achievement of her in-house career, July 2015 saw Bologna airport listed on the Italian stock market for the first time. This was a period of hard work and great success for the legal team, having achieved something very important for the future of the business. She is optimistic about the future, stating that in the pipeline there are other ‘very interesting’ projects awaiting her and her in-house legal team.
A well-recognised name in the Italian in-house community, Riccardo Quagliana started his legal career at international law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as a trainee in 1996 and worked there for six years. After a brief, one-year spell as a junior associate at Banca IMI, where he specialised in capital markets, M&A and corporate sectors, Quagliana joined the European asset management firm Prelios. Quagliana enjoyed his time there, as he was partnering with very capable managers within a very ‘complicated business model’. He says, ‘we were used to making investments in real estate deals and at the same time providing advice to joint-venture service agreements in very advanced real estate work’. In this context, Quagliana began to be more familiar with the banking sector, setting up joint-ventures with Crédit Agricole and Goldman Sachs. ‘These experiences allowed me to contact banks knowing the culture of Italian banks, giving me something which would prove to be very important later in my career’, he says. When joining Bank of America Merrill Lynch as a Director in 2011, Quagliana was truly familiar with business logic rather than merely looking at the legal framework of transactions. When he arrived in his current role as general counsel at Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena in 2013, the bank was undergoing a transformation, moving away from being a traditional Italian retail bank to become a modern financial institution as demanded by the European Central Bank, a process that required a completely different approach in legal and corporate programs. In order to meet these challenges, Quagliana was responsible for the establishment of three departments: litigation; consultancy and corporate; and M&A. Over the course of his professional career, Quagliana has particularly impressed colleagues in the in-house community with his involvement in a plethora of significant transactions, as well as his ability to deal with tough situations in the context of his company.
Paolo Quaini’s legal education at Università degli Studi di Genova is complemented by commercial courses completed at Bocconi University in Milan and London Business School, adding a unique business perspective to his understanding of legal issues. His first position was with the law firm Carbone & D'Angelo based in Genoa and he spent the next three years in private practice, before moving in-house to the steelmaker Techint in 1998. After spending two years there, Quaini set up and ran his own legal practice for two years, before moving back to Techint for his first leadership position. Perhaps the highlight of Quaini’s career has been during his third in-house role at the Italian food company Parmalat, the multinational Italian dairy and food corporation. He contributed to the rescue and turnaround of Parmalat, the largest bankruptcy case ever in Europe, with his contribution of the legal function considered imperative to the tackling of this big challenge. Quaini eventually took up his current position of group general counsel at the apparel and fashion company OTB after a brief one year spell at Cementir Holdings. His time at OTB has been defined by his contribution to the complete overhaul of the governance function within the group. In addition, he has impressed with his achievement to create a different atmosphere within his team that now resembles a ‘professional family’, along with his efforts to redistribute roles and responsibilities between the corporate legal function and business unit legal functions.
An exceptional financial lawyer with knowledge and expertise across a whole range of financial transactions, Carmelo Reale currently oversees the strategic legal affairs function at Generali, one of the most significant players in the global insurance and financial products market. Over the past three years, Reale has been pivotal in leading a team tasked with providing assistance to the most relevant strategic transactions carried out by the group globally. Holding 13 years of experience accumulated in international and Italian law firms across Italy, the UK and the USA, it comes as no surprise that Reale was able to make a quick and immediate impact on the legal function at Generali upon joining the group in July 2013. One of the most notable achievements for Reale has been to lead a team of professionals that is able to suggest quick solutions and adapt to the company’s needs, allocating legal risks with best commercial practices, thus assuming the role of an active partner in the decision making process. Apart from this, he has made his mark with his efforts to ensure that the department is responsive in providing assistance in line with the dynamic evolution of projects and is able to work with the business team in stressful situations and within extremely tight deadlines. In the past three years Assicurazioni Generali has moved to a centralised system of operation, whereby the group, as holding company, provides a more coordinated control and assistance to units located in different countries. Reale and his team have been integral in this process by setting a positive example to other business units. ‘My team is considered an effective point of assistance to cascade best practices throughout the group entities but is also a reliable center of excellence within the group general counsel function worldwide’, he says.
Appointed general counsel of Snam in January 2010, Marco Reggiani oversees three separate functions at the Italian natural gas infrastructure company. Utilising both the legal and managerial expertise accrued during a decade working in the oil and gas industry, Reggiani currently oversees the general counsel, company secretary and compliance office functions over all companies in the Snam Group. He explains the need to ‘continuously innovate’ when providing legal assistance and develop a function that provides advice closely aligned with business needs. With a comprehensive leadership remit, including the coordination of almost 56 managers and employees, Reggiani supervises a team that combines legal professionals with other support staff. A strategic and inclusive thinker, he has triggered several initiatives for short-, mid- and long-term objectives for the legal department and the wider company to achieve. To make this possible Reggiani encouraged deeper collaboration between internal leaders, external law firms and business clients to achieve ever-improving results. Innovative solutions are somewhat of a hallmark for Reggiani; using tools such as training and implementing new frameworks and structures, he constantly attempts to use programs that fulfil Snam’s compliance needs at the highest international standards. Showing strong ethical considerations, he believes it is of the ‘utmost importance’ that the legal department represents an ethical role model for the company as a whole. Reggiani believes these outcomes have facilitated Snam’s international growth, which his department have then been able to support. Notable transactions include Snam’s acquisition of co-controlling stakes in Transport et Infrastructure Gaz France, and in Trans Austria Gasleitung, plus Snam’s success in acquiring a minority participation in Trans Adriatic Pipeline, the company established for the purpose of developing the pipeline project spanning from the Turkey-Greece border to Italy. Further showcasing the regard he is held in, Reggiani has also been assigned positions on executive committees and senior managerial roles. He is the chairman of Italgas, a board member of Snam Ete Gas, secretary to the board of directors of Snam and a member of Snam’s senior management committee. Milan Bar qualified Reggiani has received validation and external recognition for his success, having been recognised by industry bodies through honours on an individual and team basis. He previously acted as the chair for the Legal Affairs Commission of Assomineraria, an Italian association for mining and oil Industry, from 2002 to 2006, and taught Environmental Law at the LIUC University of Castellanza.
Francesca Renzulli operates as the general counsel for Anima Holding, a leading independent operator in the Italian asset management industry. She also acts as the GC of Anima’s wholly owned subsidiary Anima SGR. In her position since March 2014, Renzulli is responsible for legal, corporate affairs and anti-money laundering matters. A specialist lawyer with over 18 years’ experience in international law firms, Renzulli brings great know-how to the company, and points out how she is able to apply the same ‘forma mentis’ used as a successful international law firm lawyer, noting that the ‘speed of things I am doing has definitely increased’. Valued highly by senior management, Renzulli and her team are called upon to participate in meetings in order to provide their opinions with respect to legal aspects of strategic decisions the company makes. Challenges for Renzulli and her team closely tie-in to the variety of work they may be expected to deal with. Managing issues surrounding many different legal aspects from employment disputes to regulatory issues to extraordinary transactions are not only necessary, but must be dealt with in an ‘effective and timely’ manner. Renzulli opines that the company operates in a world that moves so quickly that laws and regulations have to change accordingly, and the breadth of responsibility is ‘extraordinary’.
Alberto Rho currently oversees matters related to legal affairs, insurance and corporate for the ATM group, who provide transport services to the city of Milan and some surrounding municipalities including metro, tram and bus networks. Rho has been with the public company since 2001, and during his 15 year stint has become highly-regarded by key figures within the business, his work having earned him a place on the senior management team. In addition to his role at ATM, Rho’s voice is also heard with matters relating to the wider jurisdiction and industry through his presence within industry bodies; for example, he is an Italian representative to the EU’s European Transport Commission. Rho also gives speeches at congresses, conferences and seminars, specialising in matters on public and corporate contracts. Rho was awarded qualification by the Milan Bar Council in 1994, and holds several masters’ degrees in niche areas including transport economics and finance for lawyers and corporate lawyers.
Holding the position as general counsel of Esso’s Italian subsidiary for almost 20 years, Raimondo Rinaldi takes pride in his legal department being recognised as ‘critical to flawless operations’ in the face of numerous challenges presented by the energy industry. Using a positive mentality and a pragmatic approach as key motivations in his leadership style, Rinaldi has changed Esso’s Italian legal department from lawyers working distantly from their business colleagues into a department side by side with internal clients driving ‘effective solutions to achieve business objectives’. Rinaldi states that his group are ‘highly appreciated by the management, by the clients, by the partners and the institutions we work with’. Although they are known internally for their positive results, Rinaldi and his team still face professional challenges in the form of ‘major projects, investigations and litigations’, as well as the volatile nature of oil prices constantly looming over the industry. It is Rinaldi’s mission to continue to offer ‘high quality, efficient and effective legal service’ in an increasingly more complex legal and regulatory system, a more competitive business and economic environment and a constantly changing global and local company organisation. Outside of his role at Esso, Rinaldi is a respected industry voice on the legal topics of the day; acting as a speaker at seminars and conferences on compliance, antitrust and distribution law, while also having authored various publications mainly on distribution and competition law.
Joining the company in October 2009 and establishing the legal department over the 2009/10 period; Massimo Romano is responsible for the structure, mission and performance of the legal department at BNP Paribas Lease Solutions. An expert in banking and finance organisations, his current role adds to Romano’s track record of successfully organising and managing legal functions, something that he had previously done at Fortis Bank and Banca 24-7. Romano’s department at BNP Paribas Lease Solutions oversee the legal needs of the five separate business units of the company plus another five entities of the wider group. A flexible and versatile manager tasked with a comprehensive remit, Romano’s department deal with matters related to advisory, client contracts, litigations and settlements, company secretarial and more. Inseparable from the wider reaches of the business, Romano saw fit to utilise existing tools within the company in efforts to improve communication lines between legal and other company functions. In expressing the biggest highlight of his in-house career, he points to the settlement of high risk cases ‘without recourse to external law firms’, evidencing the department’s internal strength. Working right at the heart of the commercial operation, Romano finds great enjoyment in ‘being involved in all the main projects and deals of the company’, evidencing the integral nature of the function he was responsible for creating. Romano credits this close interaction with the business as giving him the opportunity to work on a ‘variety of activities’ and gain a ‘deep understanding of the business’. Romano has also been a member of the company’s executive committee since September 2015.
Massimo Sanvito is a dual-qualified lawyer (admitted in England and Italy) who has developed a reputation for his understanding of various industries and deep knowledge of how businesses operate internally. Sanvito boasts a career of over 15 years with experience in both in-house and private practice positions across Milan, London, Innsbruck and Dubai. Sanvito’s in-house career kicked off in 2003 at Allied Domecq, the operator of spirits, wine, and quick service restaurant businesses. After a brief one year spell there in the position of senior legal counsel and a subsequent one year spell at Tamoil as legal counsel, Sanvito joined GE as a senior contract risk attorney. Sanvito’s professional integrity and strong work ethic made an impression on his colleagues, leading to his promotion to general counsel of the Austria-headquartered Gas Engines division of GE in 2012. After spending a year overseeing legal and compliance matters of the company globally, Sanvito was appointed as general counsel for Europe at GE Power & Water the largest industrial division in the GE portfolio with a turnover of $28bn. Over the course of two years in the position, Sanvito came to be recognised for his outstanding ability to coordinate a large legal team with professionals based in Russia, France, Austria, Czech Republic and Italy. In January 2016, Sanvito became general counsel for GE Power Services, where he currently oversees all legal and compliance matters across Europe, Russia/CIS and Turkey.
Michela Schizzi is a seasoned legal professional with previous experience at major international law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Schizzi is described as a ‘clever and skillful lawyer, gifted with freshness, dedication and enthusiasm’, and currently serves as head of the international legal department, also in charge of the M&A, finance and legal suppliers’ management functions for Snam, Europe’s leading operator in the construction and management of gas infrastructures. She first joined Snam in 2002 as an M&A and foreign affairs counsel, initially in charge of all activities related to potential acquisitions and other corporate transactions. Some of Schizzi’s notable transactions during her time in the role include the incorporation of two joint ventures in The Netherlands, a strategic alliance with Fluxys SA and the acquisition, in consortium with EDF SA and the Singaporean Sovereign Fund, of Transport et Infrastructures Gaz France. After making a positive impression on her peers, Schizzi was promoted to the head of the unit tasked with providing legal support to the international activities of the group. Apart from proving legal advice on a number of M&A transactions, her main responsibilities have are advising on corporate and compliance matters concerning all participated and controlled companies by the group in other countries. Some of her more recent activities in this role have included the incorporation of a captive company of the Snam Group in Ireland, the acquisition of the stake held by CDP GAS in Trans Austria Gasleitung and the management of the re-certification process of TAG. More recently, Schizzi has assumed responsibilities for legal assistance to the finance, capital markets and insurance activities of the Snam Group, as well as administrative management of the legal department.
Paolo Scortichini is the general counsel for renowned Italian automotive brand Maserati. Based in Modena, Scortichini is highlighted by his peers for having a tremendous amount of expertise in both legal and business related competencies. Contract negotiation, licensing, M&A along with business planning and strategy knowledge all inform Scortichini’s approach in the general counsel role he has held at Maserati for over eight years. During his time with the iconic brand, Scortichini has overseen the legal implications of multiple changes in structure for the company, especially around the expansion of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles group, one of the world’s largest auto manufacturers.
When Francesca Secco joined Gruppo Stilo, the investment holding company with a specialisation in commercial and residential property, in 2007, the company’s legal department was non-existent. Her first duty was to establish the function from scratch, setting up all relevant processes and procedures and hiring a highly skilled team of five lawyers. The most challenging aspect of this task, however, was to convince management of the driving role that legal plays, whilst earning the trust of other departments. During the past five years, Secco has made a crucial impact with her work on the opening of three shopping centres; coordinating all legal and leasing activities from land acquisition to opening. The ability and skill of Secco’s team is evident when considering one shopping centre was opened and leased without any help from outside counsel. In her role, Secco constantly works with some of the most important players in the retail and real estate field and at the moment she is working a project that id potentially the largest shopping centre in Europe, Westfield Milano. Prior to joining Stilo, Secco worked at McDonald’s, the fast food chain, in two roles: 2003-2006 as legal consultant and 2006-2007 as franchising manager.
Moving in-house after a career in the public sector, most notably with the Italian Treasury, Laura Segni has held the role of general counsel at Banca IMI since November 2014. A restructuring involving the creation of three offices, new internal policy surrounding external counsel selection and intra-office rotation are the ways in which Segni has organised the legal department since her arrival. Segni can point to this updated in-house legal structure within the bank as her legacy, truly having changed the nature of the way legal professionals interact with the wider business. An endorsement of her ability as a leader and business advisor, Segni is a part of the Steering Committee of the bank and is in contact with the CEO almost every day; discussing ‘many strategic choices’ with people within the top level of management. Overseeing a mixed team of both finance and legal professionals, Segni has the responsibility of leading three offices; ‘one for financial services, one for investment banking and structured finance, and the third one for all issuances activities and support to the markets for structuring complex financial products and bonds’. Segni was instrumental in creating these teams from scratch and she cites successfully forming a group of people with a ‘strong identity’ within the bank as her biggest achievement. Able to translate legal work and language into something senior management can easily digest, Segni points to successfully ensuring ‘that the proper consideration of legal and regulatory issues has a growing importance in taking strategic decisions’.
Having made ‘substantial changes’ to the Piaggio group legal department, Ulisse Spada presides over a function organised into three main areas of practice, marking a change to the previous structure which was based on legal managers dedicated to single business units. Spada has successfully changed attitudes within the company to consider the legal team from simply business “consultants” to true business “partners” that, despite having autonomy, are able to influence decisions taken by top management. With a history of in-house accomplishments, Spada can also point to the restructures of the Olivetti group including the participation of the legal team that managed the 50bn takeover of Telecom Italia as notable successes in his career so far.
Overseeing two teams as part of his multifaceted role, Davide Spreafico leads both the legal advice and legal shared services (including litigation and governance) functions at Barclays Italy, a position he has held since May 2011. A highly competent and specialised lawyer with vast experience in his field, Spreafico has several years of leadership managing in-house legal teams in banks, intermediaries and financial institutions. More recently, Spreafico has successfully led a huge restructuring effort of Barclays’ Italian legal team with the view to designing a tailor-made function that is able to meet changing company strategy and priorities. In assessing and outlining objectives and keeping a close eye on the implementation of these changes, the end result saw new procedures imposed that have been proven to ‘improve efficiency, delivery and savings’. Additionally, results-driven Spreafico has also managed to achieve risk reduction via ‘promptly tackling and properly escalating the main issues’, requiring prioritisation and allocation of resources appropriately. Spreafico points to several highlights during his in-house career, including notable transactions involving the recovery of €37m form a bankruptcy procedure, digitisation of the premier bank in 2013-2014 involving a complete review of the legal documents, advising the projects stakeholders, dealing with regulators, plus the restructuring of the retail business and the management of the asset transfer deal in 2015. Spreafico’s previous experience includes terms at Allianz Bank and FinecoGroup S.p.A., where he accrued his knowledge of the sector and the experience in founding and running in-house legal departments he draws on to this day.
Joining Fujitsu over four years ago, Maria Strada was charged with setting up the overall office function in her role as head of commercial and legal for Italy, which then expanded to cover Greece and Israel from July 2014. Involved in the creation of the department from the beginning, Strada has implemented several practices including outlining office standards and rules of engagement within the department, to help navigate the minefield of issues the technology industry throws up for the commercial and legal parts of the business. Enjoyment of her role lies within the continual progress towards ‘end to end involvement in the business’. Despite the fact that this has yet to be achieved completely, her team are enjoying a ‘step by step, growing relevance within the organisation’ achieved via ‘slowly growing the team by showing the value of legal and commercial in growing business profitability’. Strada enjoys strong relationships with external law firms, calling them ‘good interpreters’ of her needs who all ‘speak the language of business’. The latter is extremely important to Strada, as opinions given to her by firms must be understandable by whoever reads them within the company.
Relied on by the company to give ‘smart legal solutions to complex problems of business management’, Marcella Zacchei leads a team of eight legal staff around the world that support the operations of leading heating product manufacturer Ariston Thermo. Enjoying the interrelated nature of managerial and technical skills when orchestrating high level legal matters, Zacchei has a proven track record of using her abilities to the fullest extent during her stint at the group. Citing team work with internal and external partners as being key, Zacchei sees her role as one of leadership along with giving smart legal solutions to complex problems of business management. Introducing several changes including “beauty contests” for selecting external counsel, Zacchei demands that law firms provide a ‘business attitude, hard technical skills, prompt reaction times and full availability, flexibility and creative attitude and ability to close deals’, avoiding unnecessary fights with counterparts. Other changes to the department include an electronic tool for archiving legal documents, along with introducing a defined set of standard agreements to manage the company business which are mandatory to use in negotiations. She cites finalising an M&A transaction in the US as the biggest highlight of her in-house career to date, where she led the Ariston team to sign the acquisition agreements of the equity shares of a US corporation, along with smart innovation projects implemented in the recent years to boost Ariston legal team efficacy and Ariston compliance.
The Italian economy is starting to recover after several years of hard times. Foreign direct investment is on the rise and we are seeing growing interest from both institutional and industrial investors in the Italian market.
One big area of interest for investors is the large stock of non-performing/semi-performing loans on the books of major Italian banks (currently this stock exceeds €330 billion). In the next two to three years, we can expect significant growth in distressed M&A activity across all sectors, particularly in corporate, real estate, and energy. Furthermore, the government’s recent reform of labour laws and other measures have created a better environment for employers and helped make the market more investor friendly.
Italy remains the country in Europe with the largest number of lawyers with 273,132 registered lawyers as of 31 December 2015 (vs 60,223 in France and 160,000 in Germany). The legal population has doubled in the last ten years. This growth has coincided with the peak of the economic crisis resulting in a significant decrease in the average earning per lawyer.
The trend to bring in house some of the legal work that was previously outsourced to law firms has continued. This applies not only to large companies – some of which have large legal teams competing in size with top Italian law firms – but also to medium size companies that have created small legal teams to deal with core activities, while outsourcing mainly non-recurring work, such as M&A and litigation (administrative, employment and civil).
The quality of in-house legal teams has improved significantly over last few years and this has driven a change in the selection process for law firms, where quality and expertise are becoming the main drivers, rather than relationships. This has resulted in a concentration of the market, and small law firms – with the exception of very specialized boutiques – are struggling to compete for medium to large clients.
The pressure on rates has continued to grow not only given the reduced budget for legal expenditure in most companies, but also due to the ‘excessive’ offer of legal services that has pushed some law firms to offer very low rate. This however has affected the quality of the services and therefore a number of clients are reconsidering this approach.
While in the early 2000s, international law firms were leading the legal market, it appears that now many have lost their way in Italy. Several magic circle firms significantly reduced their presence in Italy after the crisis. US based law firms, with very few exceptions, have never made major inroads into Italy.
Most international law firms have significantly reduced their presence in Rome and some have closed their operations there to focus only on Milan. This has impacted the large semi-public companies and medium size companies headquartered in Rome, which no longer benefit from the breadth of legal services offered in Milan.
Dentons is moving in the opposite direction. Since opening in Milan in October 2015, we have attracted a team of experienced lawyers well known in the Italian market. We are now planning to open in Rome before the end of 2016. We will continue our growth by bringing on board more top lawyers to consolidate our areas of practice.
Dentons’ approach to the Italian market is to provide clients with high quality services, which combine the flexibility of top domestic law firms with the best features and standards of international law firms. This is possible because of Dentons’ polycentric model which combines international vision with local market knowledge and business practices. Dentons avoids the rigid structures of international law firms which entail high structural costs (which are evidently reflected in fees) and often discourage the best talent from joining.
We offer a new way of partnering with our clients, blending the technical competence of our lawyers with a commercial approach to legal advisory which makes us go the extra mile to support in-house counsels in achieving their companies’ goals.
This is why Dentons is a proud sponsor of this publication which recognises the importance of in-house counsels in our market. Together we can drive the legal business forward.
Congratulations to everyone who made it into this GC Powerlist.
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