Firms To Watch: Industry focus: Food

CMS advises large multinational food conglomerates on labelling and IP matters as well as distribution agreements, with Paola Ghezzi helming the practice.
Gianni & Origoni assists major food and beverage companies all along the industy's supply chain on matters ranging from IP disputes to regulatory or consumer goods issues.

Industry focus: Food in Italy

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird is well versed in matters spanning the entire food industry. Specialists are brought together from corporate, regulatory, IP, tax and competition to provide clients from food producers, packaging manufacturers and distributors to retailers and investors in the sector. The group also assists well-known associations with the protection of geographical indications and is experienced in the peculiarities of the sector, such as the use of agriculture chemicals, health and safety regulations and the introduction of novel foods. Massimiliano Mostardini and Giovanni Galimberti (who is also head of the IP group) lead the group – Mostardini’s expertise spans IP and unfair competition.

Practice head(s):

Massimiliano Mostardini; Giovanni Galimberti


‘Bird & Bird Italy is a team composed by highly valuable professionals, with strong competences in various fields.’

‘I have been working with Bird & Bird for a long time and always appreciated their commitment to address to the extent it is possible the client’s needs with the legal scenario offering realistic solutions, with an excellent level of effectiveness.’

‘The qualities of the team are clearly mirrored in Massimiliano Mostardini and Giovanni Galimberti.’

Key clients

Autogrill Italia

Consorzio a Tutela del Vino Morellino di Scansano

Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano Reggiano

Consorzio di Tutela della Denominazione di Origine Controllata del Prosecco



Solgar – Hino



Work highlights

  • Successfully assisted Ferrero in a long and complex cross border trademark litigation.
  • Assisted Autogrill Italia in successfully participating in a tender called by GESAP S.p.A. (management company of Palermo Airport – Punta Raisi) for the awarding of a 10-year concession relating to the management of refreshment outlets in both landside and air-side areas.
  • Assisting Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano in a civil action brought forward by some Parmigiano producers for alleged breach of the antitrust rules resulting from some amendments of the Consorzio statutory provisions which are aimed at limiting the variety of cows whose milk can be used for the Parmigiano production.

Studio Legale Corte

Studio Legale Corte is a boutique firm in food law that offers impressive knowledge of the food industry, including the production, packaging and marketing of food products. It is well known for its specialism in criminal law - it assists clients in both civil and criminal cases including regulatory breaches. It also assists clients with due diligence work in relation to M&A transactions. The practice is led by the 'exceptional' Paola Corte, whose expertise spans all technical and legal aspects of food and beverage composition, labelling and advertising. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of the European Food Law Association. Co-head Elena Corte has particular expertise in criminal matters concerning fraud, counterfeiting and non-genuine or contaminated food sales.


Practice head(s):

Paola Corte; Elena Corte


‘Extremely efficient and reliable.’

‘Paola Corte is very good and knowledgeable in food law. She is my preferred contact in Italy.’

‘Best market knowledge, great lawyers, always top up to date.’

‘Paola Corte is exceptional.’

‘High expertise and reliability in their area of competence. Unusually responsive and definitely very reliable.’

‘Superb expertise in association with total flexibility and the capability to see beyond the pure legal matter.’

‘Excellent knowledge of EU and Italian food law, solution oriented advice.’

Work highlights

  • Advised multiple produces, large scale retailers and mass caterers on the development of new products, food production processes, food composition and labelling issues, and revised their HACCP manuals.
  • Assisted multiple large-scale retailers and producers in numerous criminal proceedings due to sampling of food products which resulted to have parasites, harmful bacteria, or plant protection products exceeding allowed limits.
  • Provided strategic legal advice on matters related to sustainability, in light of imminent legislation changes, to aid clients direct investments tactically when sourcing ingredients, developing new products, reformulating existing products, and pursuing certifications, for future positioning and marketing purposes.

LCA Studio Legale

LCA Studio Legale contains a dedicated food and beverage department that advises national and multinational food companies and agribusinesses. The firm is widely specialised in the industry, advising on production regulations, food safety, geographical indications, acquisitions, labelling and advertising as well as taxation. With offices now in Rome as well as Milan, the firm has extended its reach. Nicola Lucifero heads the food law department,  advising clients on competition, IP and consumer protection matters relating to the food industry.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Lucifero


‘The team is led by Nicola Lucifero, who is a real Master of the topic and has knowledge through different countries and jurisdictions.’

‘Nicola Lucifero is an outstanding food-lawyer. He will provide clear answers and underline the potential risks and benefits of every choice the management could take.’

‘The team has extensive and deep knowledge of the industry with up to date information about legislative and market evolution and possible outcomes in business terms.’

Key clients

3B Latte S.r.l.

Artsana S.p.A.

Biscuits Bouvard S.A.S

Bonduelle Italia S.r.l.

Consorzio Agrario Terrepadane

Deebee’s Organics Inc.

Del Monte Italy S.r.l.

Distilleria Deta S.r.l.

Fitimex S.p.A.

Heinz Italia Spa

Italian Private Opportunities S.p.A.

Pinsami S.r.l.

Qodeup S.r.l.

Soc. Coop. Huerta Gama

Società Agricola Halaesa S.r.l.

Spreafico Francesco & Fratelli S.p.A.

Swiss Filling and Packaging

TooA S.r.l.

Vitabay CV

Work highlights

  • Advised dairy products company 3B Latte and its shareholders on the sale of the entire capital of 3B Latte to Gennaro Auricchio S.p.A.
  • Advised TooA S.r.l. on food labeling compliance for the ice-cream and topping labels under applicable law and the requirements needed for export to the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria and France.
  • Assisting Artsana S.p.A. with the drafting of franchise agreements for Chicco’s stores, implementing the regulations on the transfer of agricultural and food products into its business structure, in accordance with the Legislative Decree No. 198/2021.

Mondini Bonora Ginevra Studio Legale

MONDINI BONORA GINEVRA Studio Legale’s dedicated food law department assists clients in and out of court on matters relating to all stages of the food production and sale processes. It also keeps its clients appraised of the changing regulations, domestic and European. Team head Giorgio Rusconi, has significant experience in matters relating to food hygiene, labelling, geographical indications and packaging in the industry. Within the practice, Laura Carrara advises clients on regulatory matters, compliance and crisis management while Omar Cesana specialises in IP matters relating to food products.

Practice head(s):

Giorgio Rusconi

Other key lawyers:

Laura Carrara; Omar Cesana


‘Fantastic team, very professional.’

‘Giorgio Rusconi, Omar Cesana and Laura Carrara are great professionals available and prepared.’

‘Giorgio Rusconi and Omar Cesana are extremely well experienced in the field of food and consumer products law.’

Key clients

Acetificio Marcello De Nigris

Acetificio Toschi

Affinity Petcare

Alia Insect Farm



Azienda Agricola Bregoli Rossi




BERTAGNI 1881 s.r.l.


Botanical Club

Brenna Chimica


Castel Freres



Consorzio Aceto Balsamico di Modena

Consorzio C3

Coop Nord Ovest

De Cecco


Distillerie Fratelli Branca

Dolce Genuino Italia

Domca S.A.U.

Domenis 1898

Drogerie markt (DM)

Eat Meat


Enjoy Chips





Forno d’Asolo


Gastronomia Toscana

Ghirardi Prosciutti





Humana Italia


Katjes Candies

INEF s.r.l.


Kelly Deli



Lidl Italia


Magnani Salumi

Maxi Di

Maxi S.r.l.

Montefarmaco OTC SPA

Nutraceutical International Corporation




Paris Tobacco

Pasta Sgambaro

Pastificio Rana

Piatti Freschi Italia

Planet farm

Plastica Alfa





Ruggeri & C.

Rustichella d’Abruzzo

Salumificio Fratelli Beretta

Smile Foods

The Longevity Suite

Treasury Wine Estates



VR Aceti s.r.l.

Wanela Manor di Emanuela Novello

Work highlights

  • Assisting the client on an ongoing basis and has been involved in drafting and reviewing contracts with suppliers and business partners, as well as with distributors in foreign countries.
  • Advised the client with respect to several pet food law issues related to the presentation and advertising of the products either in connection with the development of new products and with respect to the launch of new marketing campaigns.
  • Advised the client in the start-up phase, helping in the revision of product presentation and labelling both at the national and EU level.


Chiomenti advises leading companies, including well-known food and hospitality brands on acquisitions, compliance audits, product integration and new product launches. It also supports clients in formulating new distribution strategies and utilises its multidisciplinary approach to best accommodate the needs of each client. Massimiliano Nitti is the head of the food practice group and advises clients on corporate and M&A matters, particularly those concerning private equity, strategic investments and joint ventures.

Practice head(s):

Massimiliano Nitti

Key clients

Morato Pane


Aliante Partners

Pini Group

Alfonsino S.p.A.

Dufry International AG

Delizia S.r.l.

Hungary Meat Kft

RfXcel Corporation

Consorzio Latterie Sociali Mantovane Virgilio Società Agricola Cooperativa

Bolton Food S.p.A.

Work highlights

  • Advising Investindustrial Investment Holding S.à r.l. as legal advisor in relation to the investment in the share capital of Eataly as a result of which Investindustrial will be the owner of stake representing 52% of the relevant share capital.
  • Advising a Newco of Alfonsino S.p.A., a listed company operating in the food delivery service, in relation to the implementation of all relevant privacy documentation related to the development of a pivotal project for Italy related to launching a food delivery platform which connects experienced freelancers lending its service to restaurants.
  • Advising Regione del Veneto in the proceedings commenced before the EU Commission against the application for the recognition of the traditional term “Prošek” filed by Croatia.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper advises clients from all areas of the food and beverage industry, including manufacturers, importers, suppliers, sellers and packaging and labelling issues. Elena Varese, who is experienced in IP, unfair competition and advertising law, co-heads the food practice alongside Davide Rossetti, who advises major food and beverage companies as well as recognisable retailers. Ginevra Righini further strengthens the practice with her work in IP matters and her specialisation in protecting and enforcing geographical indications throughout Europe. The firm is also building a strong track record in terms of pro bono work, inclusivity, especially female lawyers, and tech initiatives for clients.

Practice head(s):

Davide Rossetti; Elena Varese

Other key lawyers:

Ginevra Righini


‘The firm is a market leader in the field of IP and advertising in Italy.’

‘They know how to handle complex matters and ensure consistency in all jurisdictions. They are top litigators and outstanding negotiators with great business acumen and knowledge of the new trends.’

‘Elena Varese stands out for the quality of her advice and her capacity to deliver tailored solutions to complex matters in an efficient way. Always at the edge of new law and case-law developments, she anticipates our needs and conveys clear advice and added value, also thinking outside the box.’

‘Ginevra Righini is the go to person for geographical indications and management of portfolio work.’

‘Elena Varese’s team is of great support to the business.’

‘Elena Varese is well prepared and professional. She always gives you a good idea on how to approach a specific issue, without forgetting business needs. A real friend of the in-house lawyers.’

Key clients

Holding Dolciaria Industriale S.p.A.

Gruppo Vezza

PM Food

Pernod Ricard



Gea Group

Inalca Cremonini


Coca Cola Italy


Martini & Bracardi

Autogrill S.p.A.



Domino’s Pizza


Work highlights

  • Assisted Pernod Ricard Italia S.p.A., a French multinational company specialising in the production and trade of well-known wines and spirits, in the acquisition of two real estate complexes from a bankruptcy proceedings for management and commercial use.
  • Advised in the dispute between Polymer, IPER former supplier, and IPER where Polymer instigated a 3.0M claim before the Court of Milan, claiming IPER to have breached the supply agreement in place between the parties.

B - Health, Safety & Environment

B - Health, Safety & Environment covers the full spectrum of the food industry, advising on the labelling, hygiene, storage and transportation of food products as well as food chain traceability. It also advises on environmental, health and safety and acquisition matters that arise in connection with the food industry. The head of the food practice is Francesco Bruno, who has expertise in labelling, pet food regulations, EU regulations and food supply chain contracts.

Practice head(s):

Francesco Bruno


Very smart in legal interpretation.’

The Firm’s Food Law practice is almost a unique reality in the Italian legal panorama. The professionals are highly skilled and prepared and are able to provide with a comprehensive legal assistance in all food law matters. Since the partner is also a university professor, the knowledge is very deep and academical. The firm has a strong interest for diversity, half of the team’s professionals are young females specializing in this niche sector.’

Francesco Bruno and his team are always up-to-date and extremely reliable in each mandate they carry out. Their best qualities reside in the multidisciplinary approach, the speed of their feedback and the complete availability in solving their clients’ issues.’

Key clients

Christian Dior Italia S.r.l.

F.lli Ripaldi

Assobirra – Associazione dei Birrai e dei Maltatori

Tattooed Chef – Ittella Italy S.r.l.

Tonelli Group S.p.A.

Vigne Irpine S.r.l.

Food and nutrition – CREA

Work highlights

  • Advising Christian Dior Italia S.r.l in the management of a project related to the donation of all the leftovers generated from the company’s catering service that works at the administrative and production sites.
  • Assisting F.lli Ripaldi in defining and analyzing the European and national legal framework on producer organizations and in the drafting of specific contracts with both their clients and suppliers.
  • Assisting AssoBirra in drafting a specific legal opinion on the possibility to import and commercialise in Italy beer produced and bottled in other European countries.

Legance - Avvocati Associati

Legance - Avvocati Associati represents clients in contentious and non-contentious matters, from authorisation procedures to claims over defective or non-compliant food products. Antonella Capria, who joined from Gianni & Origoni in November 2022, is the co-head of the food law department and is well-versed in regulations, packaging, environmental, waste management and EU law affecting the food industry. The second co-head, Alessandra Palatini, is experienced in advising on bringing foreign food products to the Italian market, and on compliance issues relating to labelling and safety legislation.

Practice head(s):

Antonella Capria; Alessandra Palatini

Key clients

Barbanera S.r.l.

Fossalto S.r.l.

Cassa Depositi e Prestiti S.p.A.

Genagricola 1851 S.p.A.


Isagro S.p.A.


Marseglia Group

Mediocredito Centrale


UniCredit S.p.A.

Work highlights

Trevisan & Cuonzo

Trevisan & Cuonzo keeps abreast of developments in the food industry, both domestically and internationally and assists clients in protecting and enforcing their rights against fraudulent activity. Its clients include leading producers of a wide range of food products, including specially protected grape varieties and new plant and cereal varieties in which it has deep expertise. The group also advises on IP including patent protection and related corporate/commercial issues. Alongside Luca Trevisan, Vincenzo Acquafredda leads the food practice and advises food companies in a wide range of matters, including those related to labelling, trademarks and food technology.

Practice head(s):

Luca Trevisan; Vincenzo Acquafredda

Key clients

RK Growers S.r.l.

Molino Casillo

California Table Grape Commission

Italian Variety Club

Nova Siri Genetics S.r.l.

Andriani SpA


Agride’ Srl

Agricolt Brandoni di Tommaso Brandoni & C. s.n.c.

Work highlights

  • Assisted Casillo Group in the patenting of an innovative “upcycling” process which, starting from durum wheat milling waste, allows to obtain wheat oil, deoiled wheat germ and deoiled wheat bran.
  • Assisted the California Table Grape Commission, which exclusively manages a licensed portfolio of world-famous seedless table grape varieties (worldwide protected) in a massive regularisation programme for hundreds of growers who have decided to self-declare their plantations as illegal.
  • Advised Andriani Spa on foodstuff labelling, functional food, novel food and assisted in drafting a contractual architecture for a corn supply chain, certified and traced with blockchain technology.

Withers Studio Legale

The food and beverage industry is central to Withers Studio Legale’s practice in Italy, with a particular focus on the wine sector. Its clients include household names and family-owned businesses alike. Its work includes advising on distribution agreements, licencing, trademarks and labelling. Managing partner Roberta Crivellaro specialises in cross-border transactions involving food and beverage companies. In addition, she leads the firm’s food practice.

Practice head(s):

Roberta Crivellaro

Key clients

Marchesi Frescobaldi

Chef in Camicia


Taste (Vinhood)

Work highlights

  • Advised on Marchesi Frescobaldi’s agreement to purchase Domaine Roy & fils, one of Oregon’s most prestigious wine producers
  • Advised on policy for management of personal data for a chef in Camicia.
  • Advised on merger between two of the group entities for Vignamaggio.