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Undoubtedly the first address for competition advice in Italy, Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP’s ‘bright lawyers’ provide ‘top-level advice’ on the entire spectrum of antitrust matters and ‘in-depth analyses that are logical and easy to read’. Notable highlights in 2016 included assisting Sky Italia with an Italian Competition Authority (ICA) investigation concerning alleged collusion in the tender for football broadcasting rights; defending Esso Italiana against a €900m follow-on damages claim arising from a purported cartel of Italian jet fuel suppliers; and advising Italmobiliare on EU merger control proceedings pertaining to the €1.67bn sale of its controlling stake in Italcementi to HeidelbergCement. Mario Siragusa ‘sees the bigger picture’ and is recommended along with Matteo Beretta and counsel Pietro Merlino, who ‘stands out as a competition lawyer’.

BonelliErede’s great reputation in the competition arena is based on ‘in-depth knowledge’, ‘good relationships with the authorities’ and ‘a simply exceptional service level’. The sizeable department advised clients such as Unilever and Telecom Italia during numerous investigations and abuse of dominance proceedings; other work included assisting the Italian banks BNL, Creval and ICBPI with proceedings before the ICA related to an allegedly anti-competitive agreement. Practice head Claudio Tesauro is ‘very effective when he takes the floor’.

Chiomenti Studio Legale’s ‘excellent’ competition practice has been particularly active in merger control matters for clients such as Ansaldo Energia and Vivendi. The group also assisted CCPL in cartel proceedings before the European Commission (EC) and advised Reti Televisive Italiane and Mediaset Premium on ICA proceedings concerning allegedly anti-competitive behaviour. The highly regarded Cristoforo Osti is the key contact.

Among the best firms for competition advice’, Clifford Chance’s ‘extremely good’ team tackles antitrust matters from all angles and recently represented GE Capital in an ICA proceeding related to an alleged cartel in the Italian long-term car rental sector. Other key clients include Fendi, Pfizer and PricewaterhouseCoopers. Practice head Luciano Di Via ‘masters complex situations, even under time constraints’.

Considered as ‘a brilliant option for competition advice’, DLA Piper reinforced its well-regarded practice by hiring the ‘excellent and talented’ Domenico Gullo from Ashurst, who jointly heads the practice with Alessandro Boso Caretta. Recent work for the team includes advising ERG on antitrust aspects of the €700m acquisition of E.ON Produzione’s hydroelectric business. Other key clients include Vodafone and GDF Suez.

At Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, the well-regarded Tommaso Salonico and Gian Luca Zampa frequently advise blue-chip clients such as Volkswagen, LafargeHolcim and the London Stock Exchange on merger control, behavioural matters and compliance issues. Exhibiting its cross-border expertise, the group recently assisted Deutsche Bahn and Schenker Italiana with an ICA cartel investigation in the freight-forwarding industry; the client was not sanctioned.

Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners’ competition practice has a particularly strong standing in the banking, energy and transport sectors; it continues to attract high-profile instructions concerning ICA investigations, private enforcements, abuse of dominance cases and merger control. Notably, the recommended Alberto Pera has been defending Eni in follow-on actions related to the jet fuel cartel. Piero Fattori heads the team.

Notable work for Ashurst in 2016 included defending Total MS and Total Aviazione Italia against a €900m damages claim brought by Alitalia related to the jet fuel cartel. Former practice head Domenico Gullo joined DLA Piper, so the highly regarded Denis Fosselard now heads the team and divides his time between Milan and Brussels.

De Berti Jacchia Franchini Forlani provides ‘high-level insights’ and ‘first-class service’ on a wide array of antitrust issues, including cartels, abuse of dominance and state aid; the ‘very good’ Roberto A. Jacchia and ‘great strategist’ Antonella Terranova recently advised TIGAS-Erdöl Tirol on merger clearance work.

Gattai Minoli Agostinelli & Partners hired the ‘highly competentSilvia D’Alberti from Allen & Overy – Studio Legale Associato in 2016 and advises on the full spread of behavioural competition law, merger control and antitrust litigation. Recent highlights include assisting ButanGas with an ICA investigation related to unfair commercial practices.

Hogan Lovells Studio Legale’s comprehensive competition practice recently assisted Volkswagen Leasing with an ICA cartel case and advised SabMiller on merger control proceedings. Other areas of expertise include state aid, antitrust litigation and unfair commercial practices. Practice head Sabrina Borocci is recommended.

Legance – Avvocati Associati provides ‘tailor-made assistance’ with the full spread of competition matters, but is particularly active in merger filing and merger control proceedings. In other work, Vito Auricchio advised Cementir on an ICA cartel investigation in the cement sector. The client roster also includes Total, Trenitalia and Bayer CropScience.

McDermott Will & Emery Studio Legale Associato’s ‘extremely committed’ department is particularly known for its ‘outstanding’ antitrust compliance expertise, where it provides clients such as Heineken, Eni and Fendi with ‘in-depth knowledge and superior service’. Former practice head Veronica Pinotti joined White & Case (Europe) LLP in September 2017.

Studio Professionale Associato a Baker & McKenzie’s Andrea Cicala and Riccardo Pennisi are ‘excellent competition lawyers’, who recently assisted IMG Italy with an ICA cartel proceeding.

At Eversheds Sutherland Associazione Professionale, the ‘commercially astute’, ‘smart and effectiveAlessandro Greco has recently advised on numerous merger control notifications, abuse of dominance issues and antitrust litigation. Key clients include Aspen Pharmacare, Sony and Total.

Headed by Stefano Grassani, Gatti Pavesi Bianchi Studio Legale Associato’s competition practice advises a predominantly domestic client base on state aid, ICA investigations and antitrust litigation. The caseload in 2016 included assisting Elite Model Management with ICA proceedings related to an alleged price-fixing cartel in the Italian model services market.

Latham & Watkins LLP is adept at advising international clients on the Italian aspects of multi-jurisdictional cartel investigations and antitrust litigation. In other work, practice head Matteo Bay assisted The Carlyle Group with merger control proceedings.

Macchi di Cellere Gangemi provides ‘superlative and practical advice’ on competition law. The transport industry remains the biggest source of antitrust instructions, but Simone Gambuto also recently acted for Cassa Raiffeisen in a cartel case in the banking sector.

Nctm Studio Legale provides ‘great service’ and ‘strong expertise’, particularly for representing domestic clients such as Line Medicale and Banco Popolare dell’Alto Adige in ICA cartel investigations. The recommended Luca Toffoletti heads the team, which was augmented by Alessandro De Stefano’s arrival from Sky.

Pavia e Ansaldo established its competition practice by hiring Filippo Fioretti from Studio Legale Associato in affiliation with Simmons & Simmons LLP. Advice covers the full spectrum of behavioural competition law, antitrust litigation and merger control.

At Pedersoli Studio Legale, Davide Cacchioli ‘combines outstanding legal knowledge with business acumen’ – he recently advised Edigita on merger control proceedings. Lisa Noja is another name to note.

Santa Maria – Studio Legale Associato is ‘not only very strong in state aid, but also in behavioural competition law’. Edoardo Gambaro, who ‘provides outstanding, hands-on support’, represented Banca Popolare Di Bari in an EC investigation related to allegedly unlawful state aid.

Tonucci & Partners has recently seen an increase in antitrust compliance matters, but mainly handles merger control and state aid issues for domestic clients, such as Autostrade per I’Italia, Italiana Coke and AS Roma. Giorgio Alù and Giovanni M. Pallone are the names to note.

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