fivehundred magazine > Country spotlight: Italy > Truly local, truly global

Truly local, truly global

Wolf Michael Kühne, co-country managing partner of DLA Piper Italy

Illustrated photo of hand stacking coins

How are client demands in Italy changing?

We should distinguish between subsidiaries of international groups and domestic Italian clients. The first follow the same approach globally and their demands in our local market are the same as in any other country, while for domestic companies the traditional approach prevails. Small- and medium-sized businesses are family owned, this means that the relationship with their legal advisers is characterised by a strong level of personal trust. Large Italian companies on the other hand, even when family owned and not doing international business, are increasingly aligning their demands to international standards.

How do you set yourself apart from the competition in Italy?

While local firms have to adapt to such change in demands, our competitive advantage is already fulfilling those requirements. Being a truly local, truly global firm and the primary international firm in the Italian legal market, we are the only firm capable of offering worldwide seamless legal advice to Italian companies for their international business. We are innovative and align ourselves to every best practice in the market and have a higher level of efficiency. We have developed innovative models of flexible pricing that meet the changing expectations of clients on value for money.

Where are you seeing domestic and international growth?

In certain key industries, such as technology, Italy has a number of hidden world champions growing their market share on an international scale that will need global legal assistance. As to foreign investments in Italy, we see opportunities in fashion, life sciences, technology, financial services, infrastructure, as well as in traditional manufacturing. Because of political instability, foreign direct investment has been lower than justifiable over the past few years. Considering the importance of the Italian economy, it might be expected that such delay may be recovered thanks to these industries.