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The Legal 500 Hall of Fame Icon The Legal 500 Hall of Fame highlights individuals who have received constant praise by their clients for continued excellence. The Hall of Fame highlights, to clients, the law firm partners who are at the pinnacle of the profession. In Europe, Middle East and Africa, the criteria for entry is to have been recognised by The Legal 500 as one of the elite leading lawyers for seven consecutive years. These partners are highlighted below and throughout the editorial.
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Italy > Industry focus: Energy > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. Industry focus: Energy
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

  1. 1

Next Generation Partners

  1. 1

Who Represents Who

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DLA Piper is active in M&A, project financing, civil litigation, regulatory and white-collar criminal defence. A team led by regulatory specialist Germana Cassar, 'pure energy lawyer' Francesco Novelli and M&A partner Giulio Maroncelli is advising on the administrative, corporate, competition, contractual and employment aspects of the Trans Adriatic Pipeline; this is a project designed to facilitate the transportation of natural gas from the Caspian Sea to Italy and Western Europe. The firm also assisted Credito Valtellinese and the Milan branch of Natixis, as lender and agent respectively, with the structuring of a multimillion-euro project financing of Wind Farm Rocchetta. Giovanni Ragnoni Bosco Lucarelli is the name to note for project finance expertise.

The energy and infrastructure group¬†at Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners¬†has 'strong industry knowledge' and 'high-level negotiation skills'.¬†Francesco Puntillo¬†and¬†Ottaviano Sanseverino¬†are joint heads of the multidisciplinary team, which is drawn from the firm's strengths in areas such as corporate and M&A, banking and finance, public law and litigation. Puntillo,¬†who is¬†'always able to find a solution with counterparts', led the team which assisted¬†Gas Natural Fenosa with the¬†‚ā¨1bn sale of all its assets in Italy; this matter involved separate agreements with 2i Rete Gas and Edison. The firm also successfully acted for a group of energy companies in numerous administrative proceedings against GSE over the award of 'white certificates' (these are tradeable forms of energy efficiency certificates) for energy efficiency measures for greenhouse heating systems powered by biomass. Finance specialist Oriana Granato¬†departed for Studio Legale e Tributario Ernst & Young¬†in October 2018.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe's cross-practice team is active in corporate and M&A, banking and finance, project development, administrative and regulatory matters. Of counsel Andrea Gentili, who has 'deep knowledge of the market', was part of a group which assisted Graziella Green Power with¬†drafting and negotiating agreements for a joint venture to develop the first¬†5MW geothermal power plant in Europe using zero-emission technology. The team also assisted a clean energy infrastructure investment fund¬†with the ‚ā¨190m refinancing of a wind power plant portfolio¬†through a project bond. This transaction was the first-ever bond issuance for a portfolio of wind power plants.¬†Carlo Montella¬†is the head of team.¬†Cristina Martorana¬†departed for¬†Legance - Avvocati Associati¬†in January 2019.

The 'reputable and reliable' team at Paul Hastings LLP is able to 'adapt to new situations' by leveraging its full-service capabilities. Led by 'competent' corporate and M&A specialist Lorenzo Parola, the team works in the areas of project financing, regulatory, administrative litigation, compliance and white-collar criminal defence. Parola and 'skilled' regulatory partner Francesca Morra assisted a multi-national utility with its acquisition of an Italian natural gas and electricity company. The pair also advised the same client on a long-term gas supply agreement for importing gas from the Shah Deniz field in Azerbaijan. Other notable clients include ContourGlobal and ERG. Bruno Cova is also recommended.

Ashurst's client base includes companies operating in the renewable energy, oil and gas, energy efficiency and water and waste sectors. The team focuses on corporate and M&A and banking and finance. Recent highlights include assisting a consortium of banks, which included UniCredit and¬†Banca IMI, with the¬†‚ā¨1bn debt refinancing of a 400MW solar power plant portfolio belonging to EF Solare. The firm also advised¬†Marguerite on its¬†multimillion-euro investment in City Green Light.¬†Carloandrea Meacci, who led both matters, heads the team. Annamaria Pinzuti¬†is another name to note. Umberto Antonelli¬†and Elena Giuffr√®¬†made partner in May 2018.

The energy and infrastructure group at¬†BonelliErede¬†'adds value to operations' with its 'deep knowledge of the energy market'. Key areas of activity are¬†corporate and M&A, banking and finance and administrative law. A team led by¬†Catia Tomasetti¬†and Silvia Romanelli¬†assisted EF Solare with both a¬†‚ā¨1bn refinancing of a portfolio of photovoltaic plants, and also the corporate reorganisation of the company. Other highlights include advising¬†Irisacqua on amendments to the concession for an integrated water system and on a prospective financing transaction. Gabriele Malgeri, who was made senior counsel in January 2018, is also recommended.

The 'highly professional and customer-oriented' Carola Antonini¬†heads the energy practice group at Chiomenti, which is noted for its 'knowledge of the industry at an international level'. Corporate and M&A and banking and finance are the main areas of focus. The team advised Enel on multi-tranche bonds worth¬†$8bn issued by Enel Finance International for investors in the US. Other highlights include assisting¬†European Investment Bank with drafting and negotiating a¬†‚ā¨100m facility agreement with¬†Piemonte Savoia. Giulia Battaglia¬†, who leads the firm's finance department, is highlighted for her expertise in energy infrastructure and procurement. Beyond the team's strengths in corporate and banking work, clients also count on the experience of¬†Filippo Brunetti, who heads up the administrative law department. Also recommended are senior associates Alfredo Vitale, Marta Andreano¬†and Katia Zulberti. Former head of legal at Sanpaolo IMI Group (now Intesa Sanpaolo)¬†Marco Cerrittelli¬†joined the firm¬†in January 2019 and brings¬†project and infrastructure finance.

Matteo Montanaro, Marco D’Ostuni and Carlo Santoro jointly head the energy practice group at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. Key areas of activity include corporate and M&A, competition, dispute resolution and litigation. Major names in the oil, natural gas and electricity industries form part of the firm's client base. The team has particular experience of undertaking mandates involving the Italian Competition Authority, which includes merger control matters, as well as behavioural investigations. It also advises clients on antitrust compliance programmes. D'Ostuni is the name to note for competition matters.

'Strong regulatory expertise and negotiation skills' are hallmarks of the energy practice at Hogan Lovells International LLP. The group is led by Leah Dunlop, who is dual-qualified to practise in both Italy and the UK. Conventional energy mandates make up the majority of the firm's work, with a focus on the areas of corporate and M&A, regulatory, dispute resolution, litigation, and administrative law. Key highlights include acting for an industry household name in administrative litigation and assisting it with divesting its branded service stations. Francesca Angeloni and senior associate Emanuela Cocco have 'in-depth knowledge of Italian regulation'.

The energy, projects and infrastructure team at Legance - Avvocati Associati¬†remains 'focused under pressure'and is 'able to negotiate complex agreements'. Key practice areas include corporate and M&A and banking and finance. Practice head¬†Monica Colombera¬†led the team, which assisted a consortium of lenders, including UniCredit and European Investment Bank, with the circa ‚ā¨442m financing of the Italy-France interconnector. The group also acted for a consortium of banks on the realisation and operation of a¬†‚ā¨133m biomass power plant.¬†Cristina Martorana, an expert in Italian and European administrative law,¬†joined from¬†Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe¬†in January 2019; her practice is focused on the energy sector.

Clifford Chance's energy team¬†has expertise in corporate and M&A, project development and real estate. Recent highlights include assisting¬†Energetick√Ĺ a PrŇĮmyslov√Ĺ Holding with its acquisition of two biomass power plants from Biomasse Italia and Biomasse Crotone.¬†Umberto Penco Salvi¬†is a key contact.

Dentons' energy team is 'flexible, client oriented and focused'. Highlights included successfully acting for Consorzio Gas Tera in the settlement of an appeal brought by Edison pertaining to gas storage capacity allocation and tariffs. Counsel Mileto Mario Giuliani has 'good knowledge of recent trends'. Carsten Steinhauer and his team joined from McDermott Will & Emery Studio Legale Associato in January 2019. Former practice head Matteo Falcione left the firm in May 2019.

Competition expert Tommaso Salonico is the head of the energy, natural resources and infrastructure team at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which also includes principal associate Giorgio Candeloro. Salonico is representing the Italian subsidiary of a foreign energy company in proceedings brought by the Italian Energy Authority over the client's alleged violation of legal requirements on transparency on energy costs. Elsewhere, Salonico and Candeloro advise OLT Offshore LNG Toscana - the first EU offshore floating LNG regasification terminal - on various compliance, regulatory, contractual and trading issues. Procurement work is another area of activity in the energy sector.

Major clients of¬†Linklaters's¬†energy and infrastructure team include Eni and¬†Electro Power Systems. Highlights included assisting Octopus Investments with the¬†‚ā¨23m financing provided by MPS Finance for five of its solar power plants in Italy. This was the first subsidy-free solar power plant project financing in the country. Practice head Tessa Lee led on this matter, assisted by a group including managing associate¬†Benedetta Marino. Also highly recommended are managing associates Laura Belardinelli¬†and Lucia Ciocarlan. Corporate partner Roberto Casati¬†joined from¬†Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton¬†in March 2018.

The energy and natural resources practice group at Macchi di Cellere Gangemi is active in corporate and M&A, administrative litigation and antitrust. Claudio Visco is the head of the team. The firm acted for a group of 20 electricity traders in proceedings concerning imbalances in the flow of electricity before the Italian Regulatory Authority for Energy. Francesco Piron is recommended for his knowledge of administrative law.

Norton Rose Fulbright's energy team has the ability to 'consider risks and give sound advice'. Practice head Arturo Sferruzza has 'strong leadership skills'. It has notable recent expertise handling transactions in the energy space.

Project financing specialist Carlo De Conte is the head of the team at Pavia e Ansaldo, which has 'detailed knowledge of the energy industry'. Key areas of focus include corporate and M&A and commercial contracts. The group acted for several special purpose vehicles controlled by Octopus Investments on the first-ever investment of 'grid parity' (which refers to a renewable energy source being made available at equal or less cost than purchasing directly from the electricity grid) in Italy. Elecnor and UBI Banca are among other major clients. Claudio Cera is also noted. Michele Cicchetti and  Luca Cuomo departed for DWF.

The energy practice group at¬†Studio Legale Associato a Watson Farley & Williams¬†has 'strong technical knowledge' and provides 'business-oriented advice'. Key practice areas include corporate and M&A, project financing and litigation. Recent work includes advising investor Maas Capital Renewables on the¬†‚ā¨38m refinancing of a solar power plant portfolio. 'Engaged and committed' practice head Eugenio Tranchino¬†is a key contact.

CMS' energy team includes Matteo Ciminelli, Dietmar Zischg and Massimo Trentino. It assists clients with matters with a nexus to corporate and M&A, banking and finance, public law and tax matters. It successfully acted for Raffineria di Roma and Italiana Petroli in an extraordinary appeal to the President against doubling port tax, winning reimbursement of the tax. Other clients include Total E&P, Q8 Italia and Global Solar Fund. Pietro Cavasola is the practice head.

The energy group at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP has a strong track record acting for states and government-owned entities in oil and gas matters. A highlight involved the firm representing the United Republic of Tanzania in a contract-based investment arbitration commenced by Standard Chartered Bank. Elsewhere, the firm is highly active in the renewable energy arena, and advises clients such as Enel Green Power and REC. 'Skilled and responsive' partner Carmine Gravina, Galileo Pozzoli and Daniela Sabelli are all noted.

Lombardi e Associati's Carla Mambretti and Nicola Gaglione were the lead advisers to a syndicate of lenders on the provision of a multimillion-euro loan to Cubico Sustainable Investments Group for the construction of a wind farm in Benevento, Italy. Also notable is that Giuseppe Lombardi and others are representing Saipem in two separate lawsuits brought by institutional investors on the basis of allegedly misleading information being provided by the client to the market. Mauro Pisapia and Luigi Pontrelli are other key figures in the group.

McDermott Will & Emery Studio Legale Associato's energy practice is known for assisting with transactions in the renewables sector, with a specific focus on solar power. Highlights included assisting a Luxembourg-based asset management entity with its acquisition of an Italian newco owning three rooftop photovoltaic plants. Carsten Steinhauer  departed for Dentons in January 2019. Marco Cerritelli is now with CHIOMENTI.

Nctm Studio Legale is active in both energy transactions and regulatory matters. Its team's expertise includes negotiating and drafting energy performance contracts, operation and maintenance contracts and developing joint venture agreements. In addition, it handles project permitting.  Eugenio Siragusa and Giuliano Berruti are the names to note.

Osborne Clarke's corporate and commercial partner Giovanni Penzo¬†has particular expertise in the water and waste-to-energy sectors. The energy and utilities team assisted¬†Acque Bresciane with the completion of a divisible capital share increase worth ‚ā¨19m . Riccardo Roversi¬†is practice head.

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