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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 > EU and competition law > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. EU and competition law
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next Generation Partners

Leading individuals

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Next Generation Partners

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Who Represents Who

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Highly regarded Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton provides 'an extraordinary quality of work’ in all EU and competition law-related matters. The ‘responsive and client-oriented’ team led by Marco D’Ostuni and Matteo Beretta successfully represented Sky Italia in a dispute with MediaPro Italia regarding the tender procedure for the assignment of Serie A football audiovisual rights and acted for Vivendi in an investigation concerning the alleged violation of dominant position bans in the media and telecoms sectors following the acquisition of shareholdings in Mediaset and Telecom Italia. In the pharmaceutical sector, the group represented licensor F. Hoffmann-La Roche in proceedings regarding the alleged anti-competitive arrangement with the licensee Novartis concerning the use of pharmaceutical products Lucentis and Avastin for the treatment of certain ocular conditions. In recent developments, ‘outstanding’ former practice head Mario Siragusa moved from the partnership to senior counsel. Pietro Merlino, formerly a counsel with the firm, is now with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

BonelliErede’s ‘excellent’ team advised the Luxottica Group on its cross-border merger with Essilor and on the acquisition of manufacturer of plano sunglasses Berbeniri. In other highlights, the team defended Unilever Italia in proceedings concerning an abuse of dominant position in the ice cream market, and represented Dussman Service in proceedings opened by the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) that sought to ascertain the existence of bid rigging during a public tender called by Consip for the award of facility management services in public administration buildings. Practice head Claudio Tesauro is ‘very structured and finds suitable solutions with a strong rationale’; ‘very good lawyer’ Sara Lembo and Francesco Anglani are also recommended.

At Chiomenti, clients include Amazon and Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena. Practice head Cristoforo Osti is strongly recommended, along with of counsel Stefania Bariatti. Recent developments saw Emilio Cucchiara promoted to counsel in January 2018. The group acted for Toyota Financial Services in proceedings initiated by the ICA regarding an alleged cartel in the car financing services sector, and is representing Areti, as external legal counsel, in proceedings originally opened against the Acea Group pertaining to an alleged abuse of dominant position through the exploitation of privileged information allegedly obtained from the client.

The highly recommended Luciano Di Via leads the EU and competition team at Clifford Chance and is often involved in M&A-related matters; he recently advised Eolo on the antitrust aspects of the sale of a 49% stake of its business to global private investment firm Searchlight Capital Partners and acted for Arcaplanet on the acquisition of Mondial Pet Distribution. On the contentious side, he represented Autogas in proceedings opened by the ICA alleging unfair commercial practices and handled the subsequent appeal before Lazio's first instance administrative court.

The ‘well organised, flexible and committed’ team at DLA Piper provides ‘high-quality and pragmatic advice, adopting a smart sector approach’. Practice co-head Alessandro Boso Caretta, who has ‘strong technical legal skills and an outstanding ability to solve problems’, successfully represented Vodafone Automotive in proceedings regarding an alleged anti-competitive agreement concerning long-term rental and fleet management markets involving 17 companies. Fellow co-head Domenico Gullo acted for Consorzio Bancomat before the ICA in a review of the measures limiting multilateral interchange fees applied to transactions with debit cards within the domestic debit scheme.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer covers all aspects of competition law, advising clients from a variety of sectors including finance, automotive, transport, telecoms and media. The practice is assisting Facebook with the massive sector inquiry into big data launched jointly by the ICA, the Italian Media Regulator and the Italian Data Protection Authority and is acting for longstanding client Volkswagen in an investigation initiated by the Italian Antitrust Authority concerning an alleged exchange of sensitive information between several captive banks of car manufacturing groups. Other highlights include its advice to Arriva Italia on the antitrust aspects of the acquisition of Ferrovie del Sud Est e Servizi Automobilistici. Practice heads Tommaso Salonico and Gian Luca Zampa are recommended along with associate Ermelinda Spinelli.

Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners counts banking, insurance, payment systems and the pharmaceutical industry as particular strengths, recently defending Novartis in proceedings regarding an alleged unlawful coordination with Hoffman-La Roche aimed at hindering the use of the cheaper drug Avastin in favour of more expensive product Lucentis. Practice head Piero Fattori represented Aspen in an appeal before the Council of State regarding an abuse of dominant position by alleging applying excessive prices for certain pharmaceutical products and is acting for Unicredit in an appeal against the ICA’s decision that the Italian Banking Association and several Italian banks’ SEDA services breach Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). Alberto Pera and Matteo Padellaro are also recommended.

Led by Denis Fosselard, who splits his time between Brussels and Milan, Ashurst stands out for its cross-border reach. Recent highlights include successfully representing Ferriera Valsabbia and Alfa Acciai in appealing the European Commission’s decision before the General Court and the Court of Justice concerning an alleged cartel by Italian steel manufacturers in the reinforcing steel bars market, and acting for W&P Cementi in proceedings opened by the ICA concerning an alleged cartel in the Italian cement market.

The ‘professional’ team at Studio Professionale Associato a Baker & McKenzie is ‘focused on the client’s needs’ and ‘relies on strategic arguments reinforced by good drafting’. The ‘experienced’ Andrea Cicala heads the team. The group advised model management agency IMG Italy in an appeal against the ICA’s decision concerning the alleged exchange of sensitive information within the trade association Assem. Other clients include Daimler, Caterpillar and Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty.

De Berti Jacchia Franchini Forlani is praised by clients for its ‘deep knowledge of competition law issues’. Practice head Roberto Jacchia, who is 'a fantastic personality to work with’, ‘very proactiveAntonella Terranova and Fabio Ferraro are recommended. The team is representing gaming and betting operator Stanley before the Court of Justice of the European Union regarding competition matters related to the client’s establishment and provision of services in Italy.

Eversheds Sutherland Associazione Professionale stands out for it ‘full commitment and reliability in terms of detailed knowledge of antitrust laws and procedural administrative process’. The practice acted for Manitalidea in a bid-rigging cartel investigation initiated by the ICA regarding the €2.7bn public tender for facility management services issued by Consip, and represented Ondulato Piceno in an investigation into an alleged price-fixing and market-sharing cartel in the corrugated cardboard manufacturing and packaging sector. Practice head Alessandro Greco ‘is a brilliant and trustworthy antitrust lawyer’ and associate Vito Giuseppe Liotine ‘demonstrates great responsiveness’.

Gattai Minoli Agostinelli & Partners’ competition team handles investigations, prosecutions and provides regulatory advice to clients in a wide range of sectors. Highly regarded Silvia D’Alberti acted for five financial institutions as claimants in the investigation initiated by the ICA against MonteTitoli for an abuse of dominant position in the market of post-trading services, with specific regard to financial settlement and custody services. In another highlight, the team represented Airgreen in an antitrust investigation initiated by the ICA regarding the alleged coordination of helicopter operators in bidding for public procurement contracts for fire rescue services and air ambulance services. Senior associate Fabiana Campopiano is another key member of the practice.

At Hogan Lovells International LLP, practice head Sabrina Borocci is 'a thoughtful and proactive adviser with great connections and attention to detail in litigation and broader regulatory work’. Recent highlights for Borocci include assisting BNP Paribas Cardif, alongside senior associate Luigi Nascimbene, with a merger control analysis and notification of the acquisition of Cargeas Assicurazioni. Other clients include Airbnb, Vodafone and Volkswagen Financial Services. Counsel Gianni de Stefano left in October 2018 to take up an in-house role.

Legance - Avvocati Associati provides comprehensive advice on merger filings as well as cartel, abuse of dominant position and unfair commercial practice investigations. In recent highlights, the team advised natural gas distribution company 2i Rete Gas on the notification of the acquisition of Gas Natural Italia and represented Total in a follow-on action before the Court of Milan pertaining to an alleged cartel in the jet fuel sector. Practice head Vito Auricchio is 'highly respected and very pleasant to deal with but tough when needed'.

The strength of Nctm Studio Legale’s team ‘lies in its deep knowledge of the regulations and ability to apply it to practical cases, even those that are not explicitly taken into consideration by the rules’. Alberto Toffoletto and Luca Toffoletti, who is ‘used to approaching competition issues carefully and to avoiding unnecessary risks for his client’, are the key contacts in the practice. The group is particularly experienced in the telecoms sector, as shown by the various antitrust-related matters handled for longstanding client Telecom Italia. Other work includes advising Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori on the granting of state aid to Trenitalia for the provision of public interest services and the determination as to whether the sums paid are appropriate, and acting for Linde Medicale in an investigation initiated by the ICA concerning alleged concerted practice in the context of calls for tenders for medical services.

Competent, professional and reliable’, the team at Pedersoli Studio Legale ‘has experience in cartel investigations and can find very effective arguments to defend the client’s position’. The group represented Intesa Sanpaolo and UBI Banca in an appeal against the ICA’s decision regarding the alleged infringement of Article 101 TFEU concerning the provision of the SEDA service, and advised Gruppo Argenta on merger control issues arising from the acquisition of the company by KKR. Practice head Davide Cacchioli draws praise from clients for his ‘commitment and strategic smart thinking’, and the ‘very reliable and precise’ Alessandro Bardanzellu is also noted.

The ‘results-focused’ team at Gatti Pavesi Bianchi Studio Legale Associato has been defending Elite Model Management in an appeal against the ICA’s decision pertaining to an alleged price-fixing cartel in the models services’ market and advised Alpitour on competition law aspects regarding the acquisition of Eden Viaggi. Other clients include Banco Popolare and Chiesi Farmaceuti. Head of team Stefano Grassani is strongly recommended.

Transaction work is one of the core strengths of Latham & Watkins LLP's team, which is led by Matteo Bay. In recent work, the group obtained antitrust clearance for Global Infrastructure Partners’ acquisition of Italo – Nuovo Trasporto Viaggiatori and assisted Bain Capital with the acquisition of 99.9% of Fedrigoni. The group also frequently handles cartel and damages claims cases; it is defending Coca-Cola HBC Italia against a civil damages claim brought by a distributor. Brussels-based Luca Crocco is another name to note.

The ‘business-oriented’ team at Linklaters is headed by Lucio D’Amario and stands out for its expertise in the insurance, pharmaceutical and financial services sectors, regularly advising clients on merger control matters. Recent highlights include successfully defending AXA Assicurazioni in an investigation initiated by the ICA concerning alleged price signalling in the motor insurance sector and assisting private equity group Clessidra with the merger control aspects of its acquisition of the entire share capital of Scrigno Holding and its related subsidiaries.

Pavia e Ansaldo covers all aspects of EU and competition law, from cartel and abuse of dominant position cases to advice on merger control matters. The team, which is led by Filippo Fioretti, stands out for its ‘exceptional team spirit’ and its ‘extremely extensive knowledge of the field’. Marco Giustiniani is also recommended. Clients include Barclays and Stirling Square Capital Partners.

Santa Maria – Studio Legale Associato handles damages claims and abuse of dominant position cases, as well as distribution and regulatory matters. The group is acting for Banca Popolare di Bari in its capacity as parent company of Tercas in an investigation initiated by the European Commission into allegedly unlawful state aid that Tercas received from the Italian state through deposit insurance funds and other fiscal measures; Tercas is contesting the fact that the money is considered as state aid. Practice head Alberto Santa Maria and Edoardo Gambaro are the names to note.

Led by Veronica Pinotti, White & Case (Europe) LLP regularly advises prominent clients in a wide range of sectors on merger control, notification of acquisitions, and risk assessment matters. On the contentious side, the team handles abuse of dominance cases. Recent highlights include advising Davide Campari on antitrust, audit, risk assessment and compliance relating to the business’ activities, acting for Huawei on the assessment of new projects and distribution issues, and assisting Pastificio Rana and Nestlé Italiana with merger control rules concerning a business unit producing stuffed pasta and sauces. Martino Sforza is also recommended.

Allen & Overy - Studio Legale Associato regularly represents clients in cartel investigations and advises on merger filings. Counsel Emilio De Giorgi, who heads the team, defended Italian mobile operator Wind Tre, in cooperation with the firm's London office, in a cartel investigation regarding the alleged coordination between various telephone operators pertaining to billing cycles for fixed-line and mobile services. He also defended DS Smith in two alleged cartels in the Italian corrugated board and packaging sector for alleged price fixing and market manipulation.

Noted for its strength in the TMT sector, Bird & Bird is also active in the transport, automotive and pharmaceutical sectors. Group head and counsel Federico Marini-Balestra carried out an antitrust compliance programme for Amgen Italia and represented Telecom Italia in a cartel investigation into the telecoms sector initiated by the ICA. Arturo Leone is also recommended.

Jointly led by Francesca Sutti and Paolo Scarduelli, CMS handles transactions and investigation proceedings before the ICA for clients such as Porsche Italia, Synlab Italia and Diageo. The group also regularly advises clients on compliance-related matters, recently assisting Fresenius Kabi Italia with the drafting of its antitrust compliance guidelines and with antitrust compliance training concerning the company's distribution system.

Orsingher Ortu – Avvocati Associati handles merger control and filings as well as public and private enforcement cases. Practice head Sacha D’Ecclesiis represented Innovaetica in proceedings initiated by the ICA against the former monopolist in copyright management Italian Collecting Society for an alleged abuse of dominant position and assisted Associazione Distribuzione Moderna with the exposure of unfair and abusive practices carried out by a consumers’ association in the wholesale distribution industry.

Portolano Cavallo has good transactional, regulatory and contentious capabilities and is noted for its strength in the TMT and luxury goods sectors. The team, led by ‘helpful, knowledgeable and efficient’ counsel Enzo Marasà, provides ‘excellent, high-quality advice’ and ‘works proactively to find solutions that are practically applicable to the business of the company’.

At Tonucci & Partners, practice head Giorgio Alù Saffi is ‘very knowledgeable, business-oriented and thinks outside the box’, and the team stands out for its ‘technical knowledge and expertise’ in competition law. Fincantieri, Europcar and Heineken Italia are among the practice’s notable clients. Newly promoted partner Giovanni Pallone is another name to note.

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