fivehundred magazine > > Interview with… Mirko Daidone, Managing Partner, CMS Adonnino Ascoli & Cavasola Scamoni Sh.p.k.

Interview with… Mirko Daidone, Managing Partner, CMS Adonnino Ascoli & Cavasola Scamoni Sh.p.k.

What are the biggest challenges facing the Albanian legal market in the next 12 months?

The biggest challenges are to consolidate the position in the local market and in Kosovo where our practise is growing sharply year after year and to provide international corporations the comfort to run their business in Albania by finding a unique law firm (CMS) that guarantees high-standard consultancy services according to international standards and tailored solutions customized to local needs.

Do you consider sustainability credentials important to your firm’s business?

In a market like the Albanian one, credentials are fundamental. Most of the clients initially approach Albania through personal contacts who often try to promote small or medium local firms with negative results for the clients. Those with credentials can guarantee the expected quality and businesses peace of mind.

Have ESG considerations prompted you to re-evaluate the service you provide?

CMS has always promoted ESG while our services fully comply with ESG principles. Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) criteria are at the forefront of corporate strategies due to investor, customer, and regulator expectations. ESG is broadening its scope of influence to cover all economic and policy sectors. From energy, finance, and urban planning to tax – these are just a few of the areas that are being impacted.

At CMS, our approach is integrated and multidisciplinary. This enables us to anticipate and understand the issues in the rapidly evolving ESG landscape. With their in-depth expertise in these areas, our network of lawyers around the world identifies risks and threats while seizing opportunities arising from the increasing focus on ESG for our clients.

We help clients successfully meet the demands of climate change, technological disruption, urbanisation, and social concerns.

Where do you feel your clients need the most legal support in the next 12 months?

Taking into account the current worldwide situation after the pandemic and the war, renewable energy sector is where clients should be focused the most. In such respect, Albania is 100% fed by renewable energies and has a great potential for investments in hydro, solar, and green hydrogen energies.

Tourism is growing sensitively. The Albanian market, however, needs international groups active in leisure to better develop the quality of the services. It is not enough to build a local five-star resort on the cost when the services are not those such structures should be able to offer to the clients. International brands should invest in the formation of personnel that often do not meet international standards compared to the prices the clients are asked to pay.

What sets your firm apart from competitors?

CMS Network is unique in the world. None of our competitors has the same structure. We often take part in trans-national deals working at the same time together with other CMS offices based in other nations. Clients clearly prefer to expand their business in different countries with the same network able to provide the same high-quality consultancy services expected by them.

What are your firm’s policies on diversity and inclusion? Does your firm have any specific diversity initiatives?

Diversity celebrates differences; it brings together people from different backgrounds and experiences into CMS. Inclusion creates an environment that enables each of us to feel valued as individuals, ensuring that we build on our differences for the benefit of individuals, the firm, and our clients.

We want to create a culture that supports everybody and we are conscious that depending on their profile, some demographics experience different challenges. For this reason, in addition to the wider work on creating an inclusive and supportive culture, we focus our efforts on specific diversity strands.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of the more generalist approach adopted by practitioners in Albania, as opposed to, for example, the Italian or English approach?

Personally, I experienced both approaches.

The generalist approach – typical of the Italians and the Albanian firms – gives a wider point of view of the legal world and it helps to satisfy clients’ needs on different sectors without involving other colleagues.

The English approach – based on specialisations in single and determined areas of law (departments) – aims to prepare highly qualified experts in specific topics. This approach makes a lawyer very well skilled in his/her sector where he/she specialises but weaker for a wider view of legal topics. To implement this model a firm needs to be well organised and structured and divided into different departments. This model is difficult to apply in countries like Albania where the average number of practitioners does not exceed 20 fee earners.

Do you aniticpate any changes in the relationships which your firm has with various other countries in Central Europe and the Balkans?

CMS has a solid network built on an efficient collaboration among its firms. This is even more evident when referring to law firms that operate in a specific region or market sharing similar mindsets, practices, and legal systems. The proof of that is how successful and recognizable CMS brand has become in Central Europe and the Balkans. Having its footprint in all Balkan countries, CMS is involved in most of the largest cross-border transactions. We anticipate the relationship between CMS firms in different countries of the region to develop even further, even more so, with the accession of Albania and North Macedonia to the EU.

Do you see the balance between local and international firms shifting in the near future?

Sure. The main Albanian companies have been involved in M&A deals in the last 5 years where CMS has been active consistently due to the capillary network. International clients generally prefer to be assisted by international law firms. The balance is already shifting in such a direction. However, I do not see further room for other international firms in the legal Albanian market due to the dimension of the same. We expect an increasing referral from CMS network and from other international competitors that – a circumstance that already occurred in the past – prefer to be assisted by an international recognisable brand in a market that often is still unknown.


Career timeline

1999 – Law degree at “Università degli studi di Torino”

2000 – Master degree at Luiss Management on “International Law”.

2001 – Joined Eversheds Milan.

2002 – Member of the Turin Bar.

2006 – Member the Law Society of England and Wales.

2011 – Joined CMS Adonnino Ascoli & Cavasola Scamoni.

2016 – Partner at CMS Albania.

2017 to date – Managing Partner and CEO of CMS Albania

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