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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 firm and leading lawyer rankings


Index of tables

  1. EU and competition
  2. Other recommended firms
  3. Leading individuals
  4. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Who Represents Who

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Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is ‘an easy choice’ for clients seeking advice on EU and competition law-related matters. The group defended Telecom Italia against damages claims brought by its main competitors regarding concerning two alleged abuses of dominant position; and assisted UnipolSai with the Council of State’s confirmation of the complete annulment of a decision from March 2015, in which the Italian Competition Authority (ICA) had imposed an overall fine of €29m on the client for an alleged cartel in tenders for third party liability car insurance in the local public transport sector. Practice head Mario Siragusa has the ‘highest level of knowledge and experience’ in the area and Marco D’Ostuni and Matteo Beretta are also recommended. Pietro Merlino, formerly a counsel with the firm, joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe as a partner in 2018.

BonelliErede’s ‘brilliant’ team advises Delfin (Luxottica Group) on competition matters concerning an agreement to create an integrated player dedicated to visual health and superior consumer experience through a combination of Essilor and Luxottica Group. And in another highlight, the group represented vehicle leasing company Arval before the ICA in proceedings related to an alleged anti-competitive agreement by car rental companies. Practice head Claudio Tesauro is strongly recommended, as is Francesco Anglani, who specialises in advising on antitrust matters in the luxury goods sector. Managing associate Sara Lembo is ‘really great and smart in finding arguments and giving support in complex situations’.

The ‘excellentChiomenti Studio Legale advised Amazon Europe and Gilead Science on antitrust-related matters, and assisted Vivendi with complex issues related to the merger notification before the EU Commission regarding the potential acquisition of de facto control over Telecom Italia. Practice head Cristoforo Osti is strongly recommended, as is the ‘very experienced and straight to the point’ Stefania Bariatti. Senior associate Emilio Cucchiara is ‘an excellent support and an extremely precise and serious’ professional.

Clifford Chance has an ‘excellent approach’ to competition law matters: the practice represented fibre-based packaging, pulp and paper producer International Paper before the ICA in cartel proceedings concerning the main producers of corrugated cardboard in the Italian market and the sale of corrugated cardboard packaging. In another recent highlight, the group advised Profumerie Douglas on antitrust aspects of the control acquisition of perfume, cosmetics and personal care retailers La Gardenia and Limoni. Practice head Luciano Di Via is highly recommended.

DLA Piper successfully represented Vodafone Automotive in antitrust proceedings regarding alleged restrictive competition in the long-term rental and fleet management markets, and assisted Iccrea Banking Group with an ICA investigation on the interbank agreement for the provision of the SEPA-compliant Electronic Database Alignment (SEDA) service. The practice is jointly headed by Rome-based Alessandro Boso Caretta, who ‘has strong technical legal skills, in-depth knowledge of the market and an impressive ability to solve problems’, and the ‘outstanding’ Domenico Gullo, who joined the team from Ashurst in May 2016. Francesca Sutti moved to CMS in September 2016.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer offers ‘great responsiveness, business-oriented legal opinions and huge knowledge of the legal area’. The practice assisted AB Volvo and Renault Trucks with several follow-on damages claims for breaching competitive law in relation to truck prices allegedly affected by the anti-competitive conduct of a purported cartel. And the group also advised Allianz and its subsidiary Genialloyd on the investigation launched by the ICA in its first case of alleged price signalling. Practice head Tommaso Salonico ‘combines a really strong command of competition law with a deep knowledge of business processes’, while Gian Luca Zampa is recommended for ‘appropriateness of advice and timely responses’. ‘Outstanding’ principal associate Ermelinda Spinelli ‘is impressively flexible in creating innovative solutions in a pragmatic way’.

Considered as ‘very sophisticated and very attentive to clients’, Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners assisted Eni with an action filed by Alitalia before the Milan Court related to the ICA’s decision to fine Eni and five other companies for anti-competitive practices in the Italian jet fuel market. It also advised Unicredit on proceedings initiated by the ICA against the Italian Banking Association and several Italian banks in order to ascertain whether the provision of the SEDA service breaches Article 101 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The practice is headed by Rome-based Alberto Pera and Piero Fattori, whose ‘knowledge of antitrust issues regarding state-owned companies is unique. Matteo Padellaro made partner in 2017 and Francesco Maria Salerno joined the Brussels office from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

Ashurst’s recent highlights include assisting Total with an action initiated by Alitalia for alleged damages following an infringement of antitrust rules and the related demand of approximately €900m in compensation from the main Italian oil companies; and advising W&P Cementi, a Wietersdorfer Industrie Beteiligungs’ subsidiary in Italy, on proceedings opened by the ICA for an alleged cartel in the Italian cement market. The practice is headed by Denis Fosselard, who splits his time between Brussels and Milan. Counsel Gabriele Accardo joined the Milan office from Dandria Studio Legale.

Studio Professionale Associato a Baker & McKenzie assisted Daimler’s Italian subsidiary Mercedes-Benz Italy CharterWay with cartel proceedings before the ICA for the alleged exchange of sensitive information and coordination of commercial strategies within the trade association ANIASA; in another highlight, the group advised IGM’s Italian subsidiary on cartel proceedings before the ICA related to the alleged exchange of sensitive information within trade association ASSEM. Practice head Andrea Cicala is recommended.

De Berti Jacchia Franchini Forlani’s antitrust and competion team has ‘a remarkably strong and impressive expertise in relevant legal subjects’. The practice represented gaming and betting operator Stanley before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJLEU) regarding competition matters related to the client’s establishment and provision of services in Italy. Practice head Roberto A. Jacchia and Rome-based Antonella Terranova and Fabio Ferraro are recommended for their ‘readiness, competence and availability’.

The ‘excellentGattai Minoli Agostinelli & Partners assisted LeasePlan with an antitrust investigation initiated by the ICA regarding an alleged exchange of commercially sensitive information among competitors in the long-term car lease Italian market, and defended Shell Holding, Shell Italia and Shell Aviazione against a large damages claim filed by Alitalia’s bankruptcy administrators before the Court of Milan as a follow-on damages action from the Italian jet fuel cartel investigation before the ICA. Practice head Silvia D’Alberti is ‘one of the most experienced professionals in competition law in Italy’ and senior associate Fabiana Campopiano is ‘very committed and competent in her work, and highly objective and intellectually honest when providing solutions’.

Hogan Lovells Studio Legale is ‘fully equipped to provide solid support to its clients in any competition law-related matter’. The practice, headed by ‘real assetSabrina Borocci, assisted pharmaceutical company Recordati with merger control analysis and antitrust matters related to a $300m acquisition of commercial rights to three drugs from AstraZeneca.

Legance - Avvocati Associati is ‘very efficient, business-oriented and legally sophisticated’: notably, the practice acted for Cementir in a cartel investigation before the ICA concerning the cement sector, and successfully advised Snam on an abuse-of-dominance claim before the Supreme Administrative Court regarding the credit rating market for gas transportation contracts. Rome-based practice head Vito Auricchio is ‘extremely organized and efficient, and a very good team leader’.

Nctm Studio Legale’s recent highlights include assisting Telecom Italia with follow-on damages actions initiated by competitors before the Civil Courts for the client’s alleged abuse of dominant position, and advising Electrolux before the ICA on an investigation concerning alleged unfair commercial practice. Practice head Luca Toffoletti and Alberto Toffoletto are recommended.

Pedersoli Studio Legale has ‘impressive experience’ in EU and competition law. Recent highlights include defending TotalErg in a damages claim initiated by Alitalia before the Milan Court against several oil companies related to an alleged anti-competitive agreement, and advising Intesa Sanpaolo on merger control aspects related to its acquisition of Banca Popolare di Vicenza and Veneto Banca. Practice head Davide Cacchioli is a ‘brilliant and experienced lawyer’ and the ‘extremely committed and reliable’ Alessandro Bardanzellu joined the practice from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP.

CMS advised automotive leasing company ALD on proceedings before the ICA to reach an agreement between long-term rental market operators and fleet management, and assisted Porsche Italia with competition matters related to its sales policies as well as with antitrust compliance trainings. The practice is headed by Paolo Scarduelli and the ‘very knowledgeableFrancesca Sutti, who joined from DLA Piper in September 2016.

Eversheds Sutherland Associazione Professionale is ‘responsive, efficient and capable of giving strategic advice to clients in sensitive matters’. The practice acted for South African group Aspen Pharmacare in an abuse-of-dominance investigation launched by the ICA concerning unfair drug prices, and has been advising Turkish Airlines on several antitrust and regulatory issues related to its activities in Italy. Rome–based practice head Alessandro Greco is a ‘superb and reliable lawyer in the antitrust sector’ and managing associate Vito Giuseppe Liotinestands out for his legal acumen and full commitment’.

Gatti Pavesi Bianchi Studio Legale Associato has been assisting Elite Model Management with an appeal before the Lazio Regional Administrative Tribunal (TAR) against the ICA’s decision to condemn the client for alleged participation in a price-fixing cartel on the Italian models services market. Banco Popolare and Società per Azioni Esercizi Aeroportuali (S.E.A.) are other notable clients. Practice head Stefano Grassani is ‘experienced and straightforward’.

Latham & Watkins LLP has been assisting Sumitomo Electrics with a global cartel investigation into automotive wire harnesses and has been defending Coca-Cola HBC Italia against multiple civil damages claims brought by distributors. Practice head Matteo Bay is the main contact and Brussels-based Luca Crocco is also recommended.

Linklaters’ ‘excellent’ team is adept at assisting with behavioural work and merger control and has a particular strong standing in the pharmaceutical and insurance sector. Novartis and AXA are among the key clients. The ‘bright, dedicated, hardworking and reliable’ Lucio D’Amario heads the practice.

Macchi di Cellere Gangemi specialises in merger control, and competition law compliance and counselling as well as antitrust investigation and litigation, consumer law investigation and litigation, public procurement and state aid. The client portfolio includes RATP and Vodafone. Stefano Macchi di Cellere heads the practice and Salvatore Lamarca joined as of counsel from Bird & Bird.

Pavia e Ansaldo offers advice on a wide spread of EU and competition law-related issues, including on cartel, abuse of dominant position and private enforcement matters. The practice represents a number of taxi companies as plaintiffs before the Milan and Turin Courts in a litigation against Uber concerning the use of the UberPop app, and assisted Idea Capital Funds with competition matters related to several acquisitions. Practice head Filippo Fioretti is the key contact.

Clients consider Santa Maria – Studio Legale Associato a ‘great partner’ in complex antitrust matters. The practice advised Banca Popolare di Bari in its capacity as parent company of Tercas, an Italian bank with a bail-out history, on an investigation initiated by the European Commission on allegedly unlawful aid that Tercas would have received by the Italian state through deposit insurance funds and fiscal measures. Practice head Luigi Santa Maria, Edoardo Gambaro and associate Davide Pozzoli are recommended.

Tonucci & Partners offers ‘clear, strong and decisive’ advice on competition law. Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri and Europcar are among the practice’s notable clients. Practice head Giorgio Alù and Giovanni M. Pallone are ‘outstanding advisors’.

Allen & Overy - Studio Legale Associato is ‘outstanding in terms of both skill and client care’. The practice is particularly well versed in the TMT sector, having The Space Cinema and 21th Century Fox among its clients. ‘Very talented’ counsel Emilio De Giorgi, who joined from Nctm Studio Legale in July 2016, heads the practice.

Bird & Bird specialises in TMT-related competition issues: recently, the team assisted Telecom Italia with a cartel investigation in the telecoms sector. Rome-based counsel Federico Marini-Balestra, who joined from Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, is recommended, as is TMT expert Arturo Leone.

Caiazzo Donnini Pappalardo & Associati – CDP Studio Legale’s client roster includes British Telecom Italia, Esperia/Enel Distribuzione and Western Union. Practice head Rino Caiazzo is recommended.

Orsingher Ortu – Avvocati Associati specialises in merger control and filings, unfair commercial practices and private enforcement. Practice head Sacha D’Ecclesiis, who is particularly active in the energy sector, has ‘an excellent knowledge of antitrust law’. Of counsel Enzo Marasà joined Portolano Cavallo.

Portolano Cavallo particularly often advises on EU and competition matters in the TMT, retail and luxury good sectors. Practice head Ernesto Apa is recommended for ‘his legal expertise’ and ‘his style, which is rigorous and informal at the same time’. Of counsel Enzo Marasà, who joined from Orsingher Ortu – Avvocati Associati in November 2016, is ‘extremely competent but also pragmatic and down to earth’.

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