Next Generation Partners

Firms To Watch: Industry focus: Food

B - Health, Safety & Environment's Rome-based food law team advise large Italian and international players in matters spanning from labelling and hygiene to storage, transport and food chain traceability.

Industry focus: Food in Italy

Studio Legale Corte

Studio Legale Corte has a solid position at the top of the market. The practice is a first port of call for food law and is particularly noted for its expertise in food criminal law. Paola Corte specialises in advice concerning the production, distribution and administration of food and beverages while also having an ‘outstanding knowledge’ of European and Italian food law and civil, criminal, administrative and procedural law. Elena Corte focuses on crimes related to the production, marketing, distribution and administration of food products.

Practice head(s):

Paola Corte; Elena Corte

Testimonials

‘Corte provides extremely specific advice in the food sector. The high level of competence is always accompanied by attention to the human relationship and the specific needs of the customer. This makes the advice of a very high and unique level.’

‘High level of specialization, excellent level of in-depth knowledge.’

‘Corte stands out from other law firms for its ability to combine professionalism with the ability to proactively resolve the issues raised by clients in more than satisfactory turnaround times.’

‘Paola Corte has, among other qualities, the ability to intercept the needs of the client and help and support business activities using a language that is clear and understandable even for non-professionals.’

‘Deeply rooted and very well-connected in the Italian food market. All lawyers are very easy to work with, smart with in-depth knowledge of food law and achieve fantastic results for their clients. Always ahead of others in terms of identifying new and relevant topics in the market.’

‘Paola Corte – smart, diligent, knowledgeable, ambitious, great personality, top class food lawyer.’

‘Paola Corte is very competent and reactive.’

‘Expertise in food criminal law makes the firm absolutely unique in the Italian market.’

Work highlights

  • Advised multiple producers, large-scale retailers and mass caterers on food composition and labelling issues, and revised their HACCP manuals.
  • Assisted multiple mass caterers in reorganising their business models.
  • Assisted multiple large-scale retailers and producers in numerous criminal proceedings concerning the sampling of food products which were found to have parasites, harmful bacteria, or plant protection products exceeding allowed limits.

LCA Studio Legale

LCA Studio Legale has a highly recognised team which is entirely dedicated to food law, providing both day-to-day advice and in-court representation. The group includes experts in different practice areas, including tax, civil and commercial law and international regulations, and is therefore able to assist food companies at European and global level. Practice head Nicola Lucifero is strongly recommended by peers and clients alike. His areas of activity span agreements, compliance, certification and control processes to international commerce regulation and international standards, labelling and advertising.

Practice head(s):

Nicola Lucifero

Testimonials

‘They are always very professional, but also pragmatic and results-oriented.’

‘They always pay attention to the client’s needs and to diversity issues, also by sending user-friendly updates with new laws and case law.’

‘Personal approach that facilitates relations with the various corporate functions and guarantees the professionalism of a large law-firm.

‘This practice is consistently available in furnishing top-notch legal advice and deliverables. One cannot help but appreciate the swiftness of the opinions provided and continuous support throughout the length of a collaboration.’

‘Impressive performance. In particular, remarkable in-depth knowledge of food law and unwavering in follow-ups.’

Key clients

Bouvard Goup

Colussi S.p.A.

Del Monte Italy S.r.l.

Foorban S.r.l.

Bonduelle S.r.l.

DeA Capital Alternative Funds SGR

Fiol S.p.A.

Foodhigno (Glovo)

Barnett Vineyards

TooA S.r.l.

Fondazione IEO

Puratos Italia S.r.l.

Beretta Group

PVZ srl

Cristallina Holding S.p.A.

Soplaya S.r.l.

Work highlights

  • Assisted Fondazione IEO in the drafting of licensing agreements to leading Italian food companies of the certification mark created by IEO.
  • Advised Bonduelle Italia on issues of food law, relating in particular to green claims affixed to the labelling of products, environmental labelling, compliance with the labelling of food products, relations maintained with producers’ organisations, emergency Covid legislation referred to the primary sector.
  • Provided Bouvard Group with legal advice on preferential origin of foodstuffs, expected tariff benefits and recognition of duty relief in the exporting partner country, also with reference to preferential agreements by and between EU and Third Countries, as well as on some acquisitions performed in Italy.

Mondini Bonora Ginevra Studio Legale

MONDINI BONORA GINEVRA Studio Legale is viewed by one client as the ‘best food law firm in Milan.’ Practice head Giorgio Rusconi is well known for his engagement in food law at European and global level, especially through the Food Lawyers’ Network Worldwide, of which he is a founding member. Rusconi is 'extremely skilled and knowledgeable’ not only in advising clients on all matters pertaining to food law, but also in civil litigation defence, focusing on product liability and operators’ obligations in the food sector. Associate Omar Cesana also stands out.

Practice head(s):

Giorgio Rusconi

Other key lawyers:

Omar Cesana

Testimonials

‘Very close-knit, competent and multidisciplinary team.’

‘Very helpful, friendly and prepared professionals.’

‘Availability, ease of dialogue, excellent reaction to requests.’

‘Best food law firm in Milan!’

‘Giorgio Rusconi is a founding member of the food law community in Europe. He is extremely skilled and knowledgeable in food law.’

Key clients

Acetificio Marcello De Nigris

Affinity Petcare

Appetais

Assobirra

Balconi s.p.a.

Barea

Beretta

Caffitaly

Castel Freres

Cattel

CiGiErre

Consorzio Aceto Balsamico di Modena

Consorzio C3

Coop Nord Ovest

Deliveroo

Distillerie Fratelli Branca

Domca S.A.U.

Domenis 1898

Drogerie markt (DM)

Eat Meat

Enjoy Chips s.r.l.

Expergreen s.r.l.

Ferrero

Fiorital

Forno d’Asolo

Fresspnapf

Gastronomia Toscana

Gimoka

Gricar

Gucci

Humana Italia

KatJES Candies

INEF s.r.l.

Lavazza s.p.a.

Lidl Italia

Mania

Maxi Di

Montefarmaco OTC SPA

Nutraceutical International Corporation

Pagnan s.r.l.

Parmalat

Pasta Sgambaro

Pastificio Rana s.p.a.

Planet farm

Plastica Alfa

Ralpharma

Rigamonti

Roncadin

Rovagnati

Rustichella d’Abruzzo S.p.A

Treasury Wine Estates

Unionplus

Work highlights

  • Advised the coffee-maker company Gimoka s.r.l. on a multi-jurisdictional project related to the placing on the market of 5 new products in 15 EU and non-EU different countries.
  • Advising the Italian start-up INEF s.r.l. on the presentation of a novel food dossier about insects.

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird‘s strong IP focus is at the core of its cross-practice, food law team, which excels in international investments, finance, contracts and EU law advice, as well as in patent, trademarks and design advice relating to ingredients, processing and packaging. Italian consortia frequently turn to the group to protect their “made in Italy” merchandise mark and to acquire recognitions of geographical indication. Giovanni Galimberti and Massimiliano Mostardini lead the group.

Practice head(s):

Massimiliano Mostardini; Giovanni Galimberti

Key clients

Cargill

Carpenè Malvolti

Cerere Produzione

Consorzio a tutela del vino Morellino di Scansano

Consorzio del Prosciutto di San Daniele

Consorzio di Tutela della Denominazione di Origine Controllata Prosecco

Consorzio Tutela Aceto Balsamico di Modena

MD and Mauri Formaggi

Monster Energy

Special New Fruit Licensing

Stoneweg (Glovo)

Work highlights

  • Assisting Consorzio di Tutela della Denominazione di Origine Controllata Prosecco in connection with the violation of the PDO.
  • Assisted Special New Fruit Licensing in connection with Antitrust proceedings in front of the Italian Competition Authority.
  • Representing Consorzio di Tutela dell’Aceto Balsamico di Modena against a petition filed by two companies active in the production of balsamic vinegar.

DLA Piper

At DLA Piper, the food law practice concentrates on litigation, regulation and IP, which are the sector specialisms of practice heads Davide Rossetti and Elena Varese, respectively. The latter is particularly appreciated for her strong expertise in regulatory matters and protection of geographical indications. The firm is also known for supporting global organisations in the food and drink manufacturing, importing, supplying, selling, packaging and labelling areas.

Practice head(s):

Davide Rossetti; Elena Varese

Testimonials

‘The team has an excellent knowledge of the market and stands out from the crowd for its high-quality advice, flexibility and business-oriented approach. The firm makes available a wide arrays of technological tools to clients (e.g. NFTs services, automated tools for migration of data and compiling of documents).’

‘DLA Piper behaves as a trusted advisor by providing ad-hoc fee structures, secondment programs and trainings.’

‘Elena Varese has an unmatched knowledge and experience in IP and advertising matters. She always provides valuable advice and is able to anticipate the company’s needs. She is always available and capable of conveying trust and enthusiasm also in the most challenging situations. Tailored advice and capacity to think outside the box make Elena one of the youngest market leaders in the field.’

‘Punctuality, efficiency, availability and competence.’

Key clients

Holding Dolciaria Industriale S.p.A.

Gruppo Vezza

PM Food

Pernod Ricard

Unilever

Mondelez (formerly Kraft).

Gea Group

Inalca Cremonini

Sabelli

IPER

Martini & Bracardi

Autogrill S.p.A.

Work highlights

  • Advised GEA Group on the agreement to sell its refrigeration operations in Spain and Italy to Clauger SAS.
  • Assisted Autogrill S.p.A. with the tax aspects related to the share capital increase of the company, worth EUR 600 million.

ADVANT Nctm

ADVANT Nctm focuses on EU and WTO law, including for food clients. Bernard O’Connor, who heads up the team from Brussels, is particularly appreciated for his expertise in the registration of the geographical indication for food products at European level. The Milan office houses Paolo Gallarati and Pietro Zanoni  who focus on M&A transactions for food companies.

Practice head(s):

Bernard O’Connor; Paolo Gallarati

Other key lawyers:

Pietro Zanoni

Key clients

Lindt & Sprüngli

Illycaffè S.p.A.

Acqua Minerale San Benedetto S.p.A.

ABInbev

Hellim Producers

San Pellegrino

Masi Agricola

Elior Ristorazione

Unigel

Jackson Family Wines

Lindt & Sprüngli

Illycaffè S.p.A.

Acqua Minerale San Benedetto S.p.A.

ABInbev

Hellim Producers

San Pellegrino

Masi Agricola

Elior Ristorazione

Unigel

Jackson Family Wines

Work highlights

  • Assisting Hellim Halloumi Cypriot producers in relation to the successful registration of its traditional cheese as a GI in the EU alongside a change which potentially allows the free movement of Hellim from the north of Cyprus, across the Green line into the EU.
  • Assisting IDeA Taste of Italy with the sale of the entire stake of the company to Clessidra Sgr for EUR 340 Million.
  • Assisting Anheuser-Busch InBev in relation to several IP matters connected to the Corona label.

Chiomenti

With a focus on managing acquisitions, transactions, compliance audits and product launches, as well as devising distribution strategies and internationalisation efforts, Chiomenti assists clients from the food industry by utilising lawyers from across different practice areas. These include M&A, which is led by Massimiliano Nitti, who is also responsible for the food law group, restructuring, tax, and IP practices, among others.

Practice head(s):

Massimiliano Nitti

Key clients

Milano Investment Partners

Cortilia

Rhone Capital

Cedral Tassoni

Sperlari S.r.l.

EP Global Commerce GmbH

Musetti S.p.A.

Morato Pane

Pasta Zara

Centrale del Latte Italiana

Investindustrial

Poke House

Aliante Partners

Azienda Agricola Villa Sparina

Casoni Fabbricazioni Liquori

Firriato

Ferrarini S.p.A.

Florette Holding

Terme di San Vittore

SK Dionysus Holdings S.à.r.l.

Casa Vinicola Zonin

BC Partners LLP

Centrale Adriatica, Copp Alleanza 3.0, Coop Centro Italia, Coop Italia, Unicoop Firenze and Unicoop Tirreno Società Cooperativa

MiScusi S.r.l.

Work highlights

  • Advising Tannico on the sale by Campari Group of its stake, held in Tannico, to the joint venture set up by Campari Group with Moët Hennessy on a 50/50 basis with the aim to invest in e-commerce companies in the beverage sector.
  • Advising Morato Pane S.P.A. as legal counsel jointly with Cuatrecasas, Gonçalves Pereira & Associados R.L. in relation to the acquisition of the entire share capital of Cerealto Briviesca.
  • Advising Rhone Capital LLC on the acquisition of a 20% stake in illycaffe S.p.A.

Legance - Avvocati Associati

In food law, Legance – Avvocati Associati specialises in authorisation procedures before the health and food authorities, transactions, and food distribution. Italian and EU compliance advice, especially in connection to labelling, is also part of the offering. IP co-head Paolo Marzano manages the group.

Other key lawyers:

Paolo Marzano

Key clients

Antonello Colonna

Birra Peroni

Ceresio 7

Danone

Granarolo

Mars

Niko Romito

Parmalat

Ruffino

Starbucks

Vantea SMART

Trevisan & Cuonzo

Trevisan & Cuonzo is active in the Italian and European food law space from an IP perspective, protecting and enforcing client’s rights, including in connection to food fraud. Manufacturing, marketing and labelling expertise complete the offering. The team is jointly led by Vincenzo Acquafredda and Daniela Ampollini. Through the project 4Agrinnovation, the group advises on the protection of new plant varieties and plant breeders' rights.

Practice head(s):

Daniela Ampollini; Vincenzo Acquafredda

Key clients

Sicasov

Agride’ Srl

Andriani SpA

Grape & Grape Group Srl

Nova Siri Genetics S.r.l.

Italian Variety Club

California Table Grape Commission

O.P. Giuliano S.r.l

Work highlights

  • Assisting the California Table Grape Commission with the enforcement in Italy of the patent rights on new seedless table grape varieties established by the US Department of Agriculture.
  • Assisting Andriani S.p.A. in negotiating and drafting commercial contracts, especially partnership agreements involving patented machinery used in gluten-free pasta production lines.
  • Successfully assisted O.P. Giuliano S.r.l., an organisation of fruit and vegetable producers, involved in an antitrust case before the Italian Competition Authority for alleged unfair commercial practices.