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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 > Private equity > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


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Who Represents Who

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BonelliErede is highly rated for national and cross-border fund formation, corporate issues, lending and the tax structuring of acquisitions, along with reorganisations and exits, due diligence and management incentive schemes. Mario Roli advised Astorg on the sale of the Megadyne Group, which produces belts and transmission systems, to global private equity (PE) fund Partners Group; and Eliana Catalano assisted Fondo Strategico Italiano with the acquisition,through its FSI Mid-Market Growth Equity Fund, of approximately 41 per cent of Missoni, an Italy-based fashion house. Umberto Nicodano leads the PE focus team; other key individuals are Vittorio Pomarici, Carlo Montagna, Alessandra Piersimoni and Giulia Bianchi Frangipane.  Augusto Praloran is an experienced managing associate.

Chiomenti's practice covers not only large transactions, but also mid-cap and venture capital and distressed situations; it also regularly works alongside the firm's tax experts on structuring transactions. Franco Agopyan advised OpCapita Consumer Opportunities Fund II on the acquisition of Sebeto, which is active in the casual-dining restaurant business; and Carlo Croff and Luca Liistro acted for Investindustrial on the acquisition of Lifebrain, which invests in the laboratory diagnostic services sector, from MCI Capital and BIP Investment Partners. Also highly regarded are Luigi Vaccaro, Luca Fossati, Vincenzo Troiano, Antonio Sascaro and Massimiliano Nitti. Edoardo Canetta Rossi Palermo is an experienced senior associate.

Gattai Minoli Agostinelli & Partners fields lawyers with extensive knowledge of Italian entrepreneurial families and the team's PE assistance during deals includes M&A, structuring, tax and finance advice. In large deal highlights, managing partner Bruno Gattai led advice to British PE firm, CVC, on its acquisition of a majority stake in drugmaker Recordati; Gattai also assisted, alongside Gerardo Gabrielli, Investcorp with the sale of Ceme, a global manufacturer of highly engineered and precision fluid control solutions, to pan-European PE firm Investindustrial. Other key members are Stefano Catenacci, who has extensive experience in the small and mid-cap PE sector and Sebastiano Cassani. Federico Bal was made partner.

Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners' PE sector experience has traditionally been in retail, fashion and luxury, insurance, infrastructure, health and pharmaceuticals; and the team assists with complex exit and governance situations. Stefano Bucci acted for KKR on the acquisition, through its controlled company Selecta, of Gruppo Argenta, a vending and coffee service provider, from Motion Equity Partners; and Gianluca Ghersini advised Ergon Capital Partners on the sale of Golden Goose, an Italian luxury lifestyle fashion company, to The Carlyle Group. Francesco Gianni and Roberto Cappelli are widely esteemed transactional practitioners; other experienced names are Renato Giallombardo and Massimiliano Calabrò.

Latham & Watkins LLP is highly regarded for its assistance on major Italian and international transactions. Recent work includes Cataldo Piccarreta and Giovanni Sandicchi, alongside the firm's Brussels office, advising global multi-asset alternative investment firm, Bain Capital, on the acquisition of a majority stake in Fedrigoni, which produces fine paper for printing, editing, labels, bookbinding, packaging and paper products; and local corporate department chair Stefano Sciolla and recently promoted Giancarlo D’Ambrosio acting for funds advised by international investment firm BC Partners, on the acquisition of Forno d’Asolo, an Italian producer and distributor of frozen bakery products, from 21 Partners and co-investors.

Linklaters' practice, which regularly acts on some of the largest PE transactions in the market, was recently bolstered by the recruitment of Roberto Casati, who has extensive experience in Italian and cross-border public and private M&A, from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. The team acted for BC Partners' portfolio company, Pronovias Italia, on the acquisition of Nicole Fashion Group from its founding shareholders; it also advised Oakley Capital, a mid-market PE house on the sale of its majority stake in Group, an online price comparison website in Italy, to EQT by way of auction. On the corporate side, practice head Giorgio Fantacchiotti and Pietro Belloni are highly rated, while Andrea Arosio and Claudia Parzani are key advisers for banking and capital markets. Anna Gagliardi is an experienced managing associate.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is well known for high-end PE transactions, with the PE team supported by the firm’s M&A, leveraged finance, tax, employee benefits, and capital markets practices. Key sector experience includes energy, TMT, infrastructure, financial institutions and consumer goods. Giuseppe Scassellati-Sforzolini launched the firm’s Italian corporate practice over 25 years ago; other highly rated advisers are Matteo Montanaro and Roberto Bonsignore. Gerolamo da Passano is an experienced senior attorney. Roberto Casati exited for Linklaters.

Enjoying close relationships with leading PE houses, Clifford Chance handles large, high-profile PE deals. Recent matters include Italy PE head Claudio Cerabolini, Paolo Sersale and counsel Filippo Isacco advising Ergo Previdenza, an insurance company controlled by Gruppo Assicurativo Flavia (owned by international private equity firm Cinven), on the acquisition of Italian life insurance company Eurovita (controlled by private investment firm JC Flowers). Other key contacts are Alberta Figari and senior associate Jacopo Garonna.

Gatti Pavesi Bianchi Studio Legale Associato is noted for its advice on buyouts, growth equity deals and growth company representations in sectors such as technology, healthcare, financial and business services, consumer and manufacturing. Carlo Pavesi led advice to Armònia Italy Fund on the acquisition of a majority stake in Estendo, an Italian company that specialises in technical assistance to customers after the expiration of legal warranties on consumer electronic products. Andrea Giardino, Gianni Martoglia and Stefano Valerio are also highly regarded; Franco Barucci was promoted to equity partner and Giuseppe Toia was made junior partner.

Legance - Avvocati Associati has extensive experience in advising PE funds, sovereign wealth funds, corporations and financial conglomerates on significant private equity deals. Filippo Troisi advised Blackstone on the acquisition, by funds managed by Blackstone Tactical Opportunities, of a stake in Industrie De Nora, the global designer, manufacturer and supplier of electrode and water technology. The other names to note are Bruno Bartocci, Andrea Fedi, Alberto Giampieri and Giovanni Nardulli.

Nctm Studio Legale 'understands the key dynamics of negotiations'. The practice has expertise across sectors including retail, automotive, food, fashion and luxury as well as design, financial services, TMT, pharmaceuticals and energy. Pietro Zanoni advised the Tadolini family, and other Megadyne minority shareholders, on the sale of Italy-based Megadyne Group and Netherlands-based Ammeraal Beltech to alternative asset management company and PE firm, Partners Group. M&A head Simone De Carli, Paolo Montironi, Matteo Trapani and Mario Giambò are also experienced practitioners.

Pedersoli Studio Legale  fields 'lawyers with broad knowledge and Italian market experience'. The PE practice includes advice on funds, financial services regulation, tax structuring, and acquisition finance. Carlo Pedersoli is 'extremely professional and has deep knowledge of clients' needs' and Alessandro Marena acted for Compagnie Nationale à Portefeuille, a Belgian holding company controlled by Groupe Frère, on the acquisition of a significant stake in Caffitaly from Alpha Private Equity. Antonio Pedersoli, Carlo Re and Ascanio Cibrario, along with Andrea Gandini and Luca Saraceni are also highly rated. Elio Marena  left for Grimaldi Studio Legale.

Acting for both funds and sellers, Dentons focuses mainly on the mid-market. Luca Pocobelli assisted the controlling shareholder of Austrian-based PE firm Lifebrain with the sale of all its shares to an Investindustrial-controlled vehicle. Alessandro Dubini and of counsel Aian Abbas are also highly regarded. Former head of the private equity as well as corporate and M&A practices Stefano Speroni left the firm in January 2019 for an in-house role at ENI.

DLA Piper advises PE funds, management teams and acquisition finance providers on PE investments; assists entrepreneurs with investments made in their companies by PE funds; acts for investors on the conditions of investments made in third party funds; and advises funds on fundraising processes. Alessandro Piermanni acted for Luxembourg-based private equity firm ASC Investment on the acquisition of Vitrablok,  a specialist glass block manufacturer. Other names to note are Goffredo Guerra, Fabio del Bene and Matteo Almini.

Simmons & Simmons is regularly involved in significant PE transactions in Italy and abroad. Private equity leader Andrea Accornero advised PE firm Wise on the sale to NB Renaissance Partners and Chequers Capital of its equity stake in Biolchim, a company specialising in the production and marketing of special fertilisers. Moira Gamba and Carlotta Robbiano were promoted to of counsel, and Bernadetta Troisi is an experienced managing associate.

White & Case (Europe) LLP's PE group is active in a number of sectors, including retail, TMT, infrastructure and real estate. Michael Immordino, Ferigo Foscari and Leonardo Graffi  (together with the firm's London office) acted for an investment consortium, led by global private equity and investment advisory firm CVC Capital Partners, on the acquisition of the holding company that owns a majority stake in Italian pharmaceutical group Recordati. Iacopo Canino is also highly regarded; Tommaso Tosi joined from Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is best known for  deals involving multiple jurisdictions. Luigi Verga advised Cooper-Vemedia, the over-the-counter drug manufacturer and distributor (ultimately controlled by Charterhouse Capital Partners), on its acquisition of a portfolio of 12 pharmaceutical brands from Sanofi. Nicola Asti is also highly rated.

Giovannelli e Associati Studio Legale's recent experience includes Alessandro Giovannelli and Fabrizio Scaparro advising Ardian, the French private investment firm, on the sale of Italmatch Chemicals to Bain Capital Private Equity. Matteo Delucchi is also a key adviser.

Hogan Lovells International LLP provides the full range of services to private equity funds, including fund formation, acquisitions, portfolio company management and exits. Luca Picone, Francesco Stella, Leah Dunlop and Antonio Di Pasquale are the names to note.

Lombardi e Associati's Andrea Mazziotti di Celso recently advised Cerberus Capital Management, the US-based PE firm, on the acquisition of a majority stake in Officine CST, the Italy-based provider of credit management services. Antonio Segni and Stefano Nanni Costa are also key names.

Molinari e Associati is 'a trusted adviser for PE deals'. The team advised Patron Capital on the sale of Generator Hostels, a design-led hostels owner and operator, to Queensgate Investments Fund II. Ugo Molinari's 'help is crucial when solving complex issues'.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe's private equity head Guido Testa 'has excellent capabilities during negotiations'; Testa acted for Consilium, a PE-dedicated asset management company, on the acquisition, through Consilium Private Equity Fund III, of a majority stake in River group, which manufactures high-quality sneakers for international luxury brands.

Pavia e Ansaldo is noted for its advice to Italian PE funds that invest in established Italian companies operating in sectors such as luxury goods, manufacturing and food; the team also acts for UK PE firm Stirling Square Capital Partners. Stefano Bianchi, Giuseppe Besozzi and Alberto Bianco are the principal advisers.

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