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Deloitte Legal – Studio Associato

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Antonella Alfonsi, Managing Partner

Antonella Alfonsi, Managing Partner of Studio Legale Associato - Deloitte discusses how the firm is adapting to clients' changing needs.

What do you see as the main points that differentiate Studio Legale Associato - Deloitte from your competitors?

Our practice was incorporated in 2004, offering high quality, competitive service at local and international levels, to domestic clients, clients operating cross-border and foreign companies, starting or carrying on activities in Italy. Our services are interdisciplinary, covering all business issues. We have wide-ranging and in-depth experience and understanding of sectors, industries and markets. With more than 1,750 legal professionals in over 75 countries, being part of the Deloitte Legal network offers our clients global, high-quality service coverage to support their international development.

Which practices in your member firm do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?

In recent years we have developed our capabilities in strategically important industries and related service lines, in the context of the foreseeable economic future. This includes M&A related to the energy sector (more specifically, renewable energies) as well as other areas where we expect a steady growth.

What is the main change you have made in your firm that will benefit clients?

Our professionals are organised in teams by service line as well as industry. We have specific focus on a few specific industries whose importance we deem strategic now and in the future (eg energy and resources, Fashion & Luxury, Food & Beverage, pharma, etc.). Our clients will benefit from engaging legal professionals that speak not just legalese, but their own business language.

How is technology changing the way you interact with your clients and the services you can provide them?

Lawyers, are using technology more than ever before, operating database applications specific to their practice area and using personal computers, videoconference tools, smartphones and other electronic devices to complete daily tasks.

On a general basis, our clients increasingly want to understand and harness the power of state-of-the-art document analysis and document automation tools. We recognise that significant efficiencies can be achieved by carefully selecting appropriate tools that can address the specific challenges a client is facing.

Can you give us a practical example of how you helped a client add value to their business?

We assisted a Norwegian fund with M&A transactions related to the renewable energies sector. We helped to develop the client’s business in this market, by providing legal due diligence, negotiating with counterparts and the entity financing construction and operation of the renewable energy plants involved (such as photovoltaic plants), and implementing the transactions.

We helped verify the plants acquired were compliant with the applicable regulatory framework and duly incentivised for a long period to guarantee the client’s expected return on investment.

A crucial client requirement was our integrated approach, from the initial negotiations to the post closing activities, which also facilitated our competitive pricing for the transaction.

Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three year's time?

Increasingly, many clients expect an enhanced service from their external law firms – the ability to deliver legal service combined with business acumen. Thus, external lawyers must be able to formulate commercial, as well as legal, advice. Accordingly, we are thoroughly investing in collaboration with cross-functional Deloitte member firm teams. Our aim for the future is to serve clients as business as well as legal advisers.

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