Italy 2018 – GC Powerlist
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Italy 2018

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Agostino Nuzzolo

General counsel – executive vice president legal, regulatory and tax | TIM

Telecommunication services

Agostino Nuzzolo is an experienced executive vice president currently in charge of legal, regulatory and tax affairs with a demonstrated history of working in diversified industrial sectors. In January 2017,...

Alberto Sciocco

Italy country counsel | Citi


Alberto Sciocco joined Citi in 2005 after 10 years in private practice, and in 2015 was promoted to his current role as country counsel looking after the global banking organisation’s...

Alejandro Bes Garralaga

Corporate legal counsel – Italy, Spain and Portugal | Apple

Information technology

Alejandro Bes Garralaga has served as the corporate legal counsel for multinational technology company Apple for the last four years, providing legal support to Apple’s business in the Southern European...

Alessandra Ferrari

Group general counsel | A2A

Energy and utilities

Alessandra Ferrari began her in-house career as an in-house counsel at international chemicals manufacturer Dow Italia, where she worked between 1997 and 2003. There she discovered key differences between working...

Andrea Navarra

Group general counsel | ERG

Energy and utilities

After 10 years at international law firms including Clifford Chance and Chiomenti, Andrea Navarra moved in-house in 2008 and became head of corporate, legal and compliance for Italy and related...

Antonella Centra

Global general counsel | Gucci

Consumer products

Transitioning to the in-house world after a short spell in private practice, Antonella Centra has gone on to have a remarkable in-house legal career in a number of notable companies...

Antonella Fachin

Legal counsel (commercial, marketing, medical and regulatory affairs), director within global legal affairs department | Bracco Imaging


Antonella Fachin started her professional career in the parent company of Bracco Imaging, the lead company in the Bracco Group’s core business of diagnostic imaging, as an in-house legal counsel...

Antonia Consez

Head of legal and regulatory affairs | Banco BPM


Using her decade of experience as a private practice lawyer at Chiomenti Studio Legale between 2003 and 2013, Antonia Cosenz identifies that she has brought many skills and attributes she...

Antonio Adami

Director and general counsel EMEA, energy | Canadian Solar

Energy and utilities

In 2016 Antonio Adami joined Canadian Solar after spending almost eight years working at another US primary global solar manufacturer and developer. He was appointed as senior counsel to lead...

Antonio Sirica

Senior vice president, general counsel | Piaggio Aerospace

Industrials and real estate

Antonio Sirica is a lawyer with 15 years of experience both as in-house counsel and external advisor in corporate and contract law, compliance, M&A transactions and restructuring. Sirica joined multinational...

Carlo Daneo

General counsel | Ferrari

Consumer products

Carlo Daneo is a hugely respected lawyer with ample experience in the automotive industry, having overseen some of the most complex corporate and commercial matters in the sector as far...

Carmen Di Marino

Chief legal officer | Dompé Farmaceutici


Carmen Di Marino joined Dompé as chief legal officer in 2013, in order to support and advise on the group’s expansion strategy in international markets. She is currently in charge...

Claudio Criscuolo

Group general counsel | Cementir Holding

Industrials and real estate

Claudio Criscuolo is in charge of Italian multinational cement company Cementir Group’s legal, corporate and compliance matters involving domestic and international law, serving as the lead lawyer for group negotiations...

Cristina Rustignoli

General counsel | Generali Italia


Cristina Rustignoli is the general counsel and non-executive director for Italian insurance company Generali Italia, a subsidiary of Generali Group. She started her career at savings Italian bank, Cassa di...

Dario Dell’Osa

Legal affairs director | GI Group

Commercial and professional services

Dario Dell’Osa’s legal career began at an Italian boutique law firm before completing his LLM with a specialist in-house focus, which helped him make a seamless transition into an in-house...

Diego Manzetti

Head of South Europe and MENA and general counsel Italy | AIG


Diego Manzetti joined AIG as its first Italy based in-house lawyer, and therefore had to shape the function and build it from scratch, creating a robust function that has moulded...

Domenica Lista

General counsel | Banca Generali


Distinguished financial lawyer Domenica Lista started her career working for international law firms and cooperating with the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs in the European litigation department. It was approximately...

Elena Impagnatiello

General counsel Italy | CBRE Global Investors


Elena Impagnatiello is the general counsel for the Italian office of CBRE Global Investors. In her role, she is responsible for providing legal advice and support in relation to any...

Emanuela Crippa

Head of legal finance | Pirelli

Consumer products

Emanuela Crippa currently manages, leads and monitors all legal aspects linked to finance and credit areas within Pirelli Group in Italy and abroad across 13 countries including Brazil, China, Russia,...

Emiliano Berti

Head of legal and compliance, Europe | Nokia

Telecommunication services

In 2014, Emiliano Berti joined Nokia firstly as head of legal and compliance for South-East Europe and through assuming increasing responsibility was eventually promoted to head of legal and compliance...

Ennio Bernasconi

Senior vice president corporate affairs and group general counsel | Prysmian Group

Information technology

Ennio Bernasconi is an industry veteran with over 30 years of experience as a business lawyer within a variety of multinational companies. His career started with a brief experience in...

Enrico-Carlo Baccetti

Head of legal and compliance | Boehringer Ingelheim Italia


Enrico-Carlo Baccetti has been responsible for reshaping and resizing the legal department at the Italian branch of leading pharmaceutical company Boehringer Ingelheim, allowing him to take credit for the evolution...

Fabio Niccoli

General Counsel | CDP Equity


In 2012 Fabio Niccoli was appointed as general counsel and participated in the start-up and launch of Fondo Strategico Italiano, a state owned holding company investing in national strategic assets...

Fabio Tucci

Head of legal | Juventus

Sports and media

Fabio Tucci has been at the centre of what has been an exciting few months for internationally renowned Italian football club Juventus. Amongst its most recent transactions, the club’s completion...

Fabrizio Caretta

General counsel | Dolce & Gabbana

Consumer products

In February 2017, after over two decades of in-house legal experience at a range of Italian fashion brands, Fabrizio Caretta joined luxury fashion house Dolce & Gabbana as its general...

Fabrizio Minneci

Chief legal officer | Ferrero Group

Consumer products

Fabrizio Minneci is Ferrero Group’s chief legal officer, and has an additional position at the global confectionary manufacturer as a member of its board of directors. Minneci joined the Ferrero...

Federica Celoria

Head of legal | F. C. Internazionale Milano

Sports and media

Football Club Internazionale Milano is globally renowned as having one of the world’s most successful football teams with the following accolades under their belt; 18 Italian league titles, seven Coppa...

Federico Ciotola

Head of legal capital markets Italy | Borsa Italiana – London Stock Exchange Group


Federico Ciotola serves as the head of legal for capital markets Italy, where he is part of the institutional functions of the Borsa Italiana – the Italian stock exchange –...

Federico Dal Poz

Group legal and corporate affairs officer | Amplifon


Federico Dal Poz assumed his current position as group legal and corporate affairs officer at Amplifon, the world leader in hearing aid retail, in November 2016. Dal Poz has been...

Flavia Scarpellini

General counsel | Airport Handling

Transport and infrastructure

General counsel Flavia Scarpellini has been right at the forefront of Airport Handling’s momentous changes and acquisitions, impressing peers with her ability to handle a large workload efficiently and tactfully....

Francesca Elisabetta Spinelli Barrile

Head of legal, Italy | Barclays


Francesca Elisabetta Spinelli Barrile first joined the Barclays legal department in London in 2006, with a cross-product legal coverage role on the Italian investment banking private-side and markets businesses (encompassing...

Francesco Marzari

Group general counsel and data protection officer | Siram by Veolia

Energy and utilities

Since 2016, Francesco Marzari has been the group general counsel supporting all the legal work for Siram, a company fully owned by Veolia, a French transnational corporation that provides an...

Franco Guariglia

Chief legal corporate and compliance officer | Barilla Holding

Consumer products

Occupying a senior position within a prestigious Italian brand name, Franco Guariglia can also point to an extensive and lengthy career at esteemed Italian food company Barilla. He joined the...

Furio Curri

Head of group general legal affairs | Assicurazioni Generali


After qualification as a lawyer, a stint in private practice and a lectureship in civil process law at the University of Trieste, Furio Curri joined Assicurazioni Generali in 2000 as...

Gennaro Imbimbo

Head of legal and corporate affairs and privacy | Fondo Italiano d'Investimento SGR


Gennaro Imbimbo has been the head of legal and corporate affairs and privacy at Fondo Italiano d’Investimento SGR since July 2011. He graduated from the University of Naples Federico II...

Georgia Magno

General counsel, turbomachinery and process solutions | Baker Hughes – a GE company

Industrials and real estate

Georgia Magno is a dual qualified lawyer, having been admitted to the bar in Italy and the US with hands-on experience in civil law and common law jurisdiction around the...

Giancarlo Cesare Giorgio

General counsel Italy and Greece | Danone

Food, beverages and tobacco

As the general counsel of the Italian and Greek branches of French multinational food-product company Danone, Giancarlo Cesare Giorgio is responsible for the legal, compliance and regulatory affairs of all...

Gianluca Di Nunzio

Head of legal – Italy | PayPal


In his role of head of legal – Italy for worldwide electronic payment processor PayPal, Gianluca Di Nunzio is an Italian qualified lawyer with vast experience in e-commerce, electronic payments,...

Gianluca Liotta

General counsel, West Europe | 3M Italy

Industrials and real estate

Gianluca Liotta has served 3M for over 25 years having first joined the multinational conglomerate in 1991, and has been acting as general counsel and board member of the Italian...

Giorgio Gravina

General counsel and compliance officer | Schindler

Industrials and real estate

Since being admitted to the Italian Bar in 2007, Giorgio Gravina held several in-house and private practice positions, including working as a legal counsel at Heineken Italia, senior legal advisor...

Giovanni Barone

Legal affairs director | Coca-Cola HBC Italia

Food, beverages and tobacco

Giovanni Barone joined Coca-Cola HBC Italia in July 2015 as senior legal counsel, and after an 18 month transition he was appointed as legal director as of January 2017. Joining...

Giovanni Lombardi

Deputy group general counsel – head of legal and corporate affairs | Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena


Before assuming his current position of deputy group general counsel – head of legal and corporate affairs for Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, Giovanni Lombardi amassed a strong private...

Isabella Toth

Country counsel Italy | Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE)

Information technology

Isabella Toth joined HPE as country counsel Italy in June 2015 and led the company’s legal team through a complex transformation undergone by the HPE group over the past three...

Isidoro Di Mella

General counsel – group credit manager | Unogas Energia

Energy and utilities

Isidoro Di Mella joined Unogas Energia as general counsel – group credit manager in 2012, after a distinguished career at financial corporations and in private practice specialising in corporate, commercial...

Laura Del Favero

Head of legal and compliance | Nomura International Italian Branch


Since 2014 Laura Del Favero, in addition to the role of head of legal and compliance for Nomura in Italy, also provides legal and compliance coverage for the Nomura entity...

Laura Tricomi

Group director legal affairs | Isagro

Materials and mining

Isagro operates in the market of agro pharmaceutical products for crop protection on a global level in over 70 countries, carrying out its production activities in five sites; one in...

Lina Vitolo

Head of legal | Iliad Italia

Telecommunication services

Before her move in to the in-house legal sector, Lina Vitolo had been working for almost six years as a competition lawyer in major law firms in Italy and Belgium....

Lorenzo Fronteddu

Legal director | JT International Italia

Food, beverages and tobacco

Lorenzo Fronteddu is a legal director with 15 years of domestic and international legal advisory experience in the FMCG and retail industries. As an a experienced manager with a strong...

Luca Galantucci

Head of legal Italy, Israel and Greece | Signify

Industrials and real estate

Reflecting his ability and the progress he has made in a very short space of time, Luca Galantucci was asked to become head of legal for Italy, Israel and Greece...

Luca Gentile

Head of legal, company secretary and regulatory advice | Aviva


Before joining Aviva, Luca Gentile worked for public notaries and for top law firms in Italy. In 2009 he “crossed over” to the in-house sector, after being an external advisor...

Luca Serpieri

General counsel – financial services EMEA | CNH Industrial


Luca Serpieri’s legal career began in private practice, where he worked in leading and widely-recognised Italian law firms, mainly in the banking and finance area. There he had the opportunity...

Lucia Capotondi

Group general counsel | Giuseppe Zanotti

Consumer products

Lucia Capotondi joined Giuseppe Zanotti as general counsel in 2014, and immediately set about modernising and revamping the legal department of the group. The international luxury shoe brand required a...

Marcella Zacchei

General counsel | Ariston Thermo Group

Consumer products

Marcella Zacchei assumed her role as general counsel of Ariston Thermo Group in 2006, having previously been a legal manager assisting a previous tax and legal manager. She has led...

Marco Bagnoli

Head of legal services Italy | Solvay Group

Materials and mining

Marco Bagnoli has built an extremely fruitful 22 year career at the Italian branch of the Belgian chemical company Solvay Group. With a longstanding history at the company he has...

Marco Pompeo

General counsel | Banca Sistema


After qualifying in 2000, Marco Pompeo began his career working at Allen & Overy in the Rome and London offices, attending secondments at ExxonMobil and completing his LLM at Kings...

Margherita Boccia

In-house legal counsel – deputy head legal investment services | Banca IMI


After beginning her career at top British law firms Clifford Chance and Penningtons, as well as in academic research and the public sector working on Italian civil and commercial law,...

Maria Francesca Portincasa

Legal services | Automobili Lamborghini

Consumer products

Maria Francesca Portincasa brings her strong background in international studies and her knowledge of competition law to multinational renowned manufacturer of luxury super sports cars, Automobili Lamborghini. Serving in this...

Maria Strada

Head of commercial and legal Italy | Fujitsu

Information technology

Maria Strada is a business lawyer with extensive multinational experience in the information technology and computer industry, previously working at the likes of Hewlett-Packard, Oracle Italia and Lucent Technologies. In...

Marilù Capparelli

Director, legal | Google

Information technology

Once listed amongst the 30 most influential Italian female lawyers in Vanity Fair, Marilù Capparelli is one of the managing directors of the Google legal department in the EMEA area,...

Mark Alexander Shalalby

General counsel legal, regulatory and compliance | Wind Tre

Telecommunication services

Mark Alexander Shalaby is a prominent in-house lawyer with an extensive proven track record in corporate finance, project finance, private equity, M&A, and commercial and regulatory activities in the telecommunications,...

Marta Struzzi

Group general counsel | System Group

Industrials and real estate

Marta Struzzi has served in various in-house corporate roles for over 15 years now and describes her career trajectory as an ‘exciting’ professional journey with many useful challenges. Some of...

Massimiliano Caforio

General counsel | Mercury Luxury Group

Consumer products

Massimiliano Caforio is the general counsel of Mercury Luxury Group, a multinational luxury retail company. He is a lawyer with over 15 years of experience as a general counsel in...

Massimo Sanvito

General counsel Europe | GE Power Services

Energy and utilities

Massimo Sanvito has an impressive two decades of legal experience in private practice and in-house legal teams in Milan, Munich and London, currently serving as as the general counsel of...

Matteo Casot

Senior legal counsel | Credito Fondiario


Matteo Casot is an Italian qualified business lawyer with 15 years of experience accrued via a strong background gained both in private practice at major international law firms, and as...

Matteo Frigerio

Country manager and senior legal counsel Italy | Airbnb


An in-house lawyer with an abundance of regulatory and technology expertise accrued over the years, Matteo Frigerio has a true passion for new technologies regulation, combined with an impressive track...

Maurizio Raffaini

Head of Legal | KONE Italy

Industrials and real estate

Maurizio Raffaini is the current legal affairs director of Neulift – a nationally developed company in the lift systems business owned by KONE Italy – having joined in 2017. As...

Mauro Albino

General counsel | Intesa Sanpaolo Private Banking


Mauro Albino has had an impressive career thus far, starting his in-house professional life at Italian global and financial services company UniCredit as a legal counsel in 2001, enabling him...

Nicola Anemone

General counsel Italy | Princes

Food, beverages and tobacco

Nicola Anemone began his career with an internship at the European Commission within the cabinet of the former competition commissioner Mario Monti, and as a business lawyer at Shearman &...

Nicola Verdicchio

Senior vice president and chief legal officer | Pirelli

Consumer products

Nicola Verdicchio joined Pirelli Group, the Italian tyremaker and one of Europe’s best-known industrial brands, as chief legal officer in January 2014 in charge of all legal issues, international corporate...

Paola Nocerino

General counsel (legal corporate compliance and insurance affairs director) | Air Liquide Italia

Materials and mining

Paola Nocerino has served as the general counsel for the Italian subsidiary of French multinational gas supplier Air Liquide for the last nine years, and has been at the forefront...

Paolo Fabiani

General counsel | Technogym

Consumer products

Paolo Fabiani currently serves as general counsel for Technogym, the manufacturer of fitness equipment based in Cesena. He initially joined the company as a corporate lawyer and after one year...

Paolo Quaini

Group general counsel | Alitalia

Transport and infrastructure

Alitalia is Italy’s largest airline and a member of the Sky team alliance, in 2017 it carried 21.3 million passengers. On May 2nd 2017, the airline was admitted to the...

Patrizia Carrozza

General counsel | SAES Getters

Industrials and real estate

Patrizia Carrozza is general counsel of SAES Getters, an Italian joint stock company listed on the STAR Italian Stock Exchange Market valued at €200m and manages a team of four...

Pierluigi Ferro

General counsel and corporate secretary | Geox

Consumer products

Pierluigi Ferro is a corporate lawyer with more than 28 years of substantial in-house legal experience in a number of widely recognised national companies such as Diesel, Invicta Diadora, Lotto...

Pierpaolo Cotone

Director of legal and corporate affairs | Rai - Radiotelevisione Italiana


Pierpaolo Cotone joined the national public broadcasting company of Italy, Radiotelevisione Italiana (Rai), in 2015 to work on legal and corporate affairs. Prior to his current role, in 2004 he...

Pietro Arosio

General counsel Italy and Iberia | UBS


Pietro Arosio has accrued a lengthy career at Swiss multinational investment bank and financial services company UBS, joining the Italian branch in 2002 as head of the legal department. Over...

Raimondo Rinaldi

General counsel | Esso Italiana

Energy and utilities

Raimondo Rinaldi has been the general counsel of Esso Italiana since 1997, and from 1998 to 2008 he also managed the coordination of legal services to ExxonMobil affiliates in the...

Riccardo Quagliana

Group general counsel | Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena


Riccardo Quagliana serves as the group general counsel at the Monte dei Paschi di Siena, one of the oldest banks in the world, founded in 1472, and today is the...

Riccardo Ventura

Lead counsel, general manager Europe | General Motors Financial (GMF)

Consumer products

Riccardo Ventura started his career in private practice where stayed for 13 years, gaining experience and specialising in M&A, joint ventures and commercial transactions. In moving to the in-house sector,...

Roberto Luca Moresco

General counsel | Fashion Box

Consumer products

Roberto Luca Moresco serves as the general counsel for the Italian clothing group Fashion Box, which trades under the Replay Blue Jeans brand, and comprises of 26 subsidiaries with a...

Roberto Petriello

Head of legal | FCA Bank


Roberto Petriello began his career in private practice in Milan in 1997 and, after three years, he moved to NCTM and then to KPMG, in the banking and finance department....

Salvatore Mautone

Head of legal department | Kimbo

Food, beverages and tobacco

Salvatore Mautone currently serves as the head of the legal department of Kimbo, a notable Neapolitan coffee producer with over 50 years in the Italian coffee industry. His role entails...

Sara Briuglio

Legal affairs director Southern Europe and regional compliance officer | Hilti Italia

Industrials and real estate

Sara Briuglio joined global building and constructions leader Hilti Italia in 2013, and is responsible for building up the legal department to the strong team it is today. Briuglio has...

Sara Citterio

Corporate affairs, legal and compliance manager | Trussardi

Consumer products

A highly praised corporate affairs, legal and compliance manager at Italian fashion house Trussardi, Sara Citterio is described by her peers as a ‘deeply experienced in-house lawyer, with a strong...

Sebastien Bumbolo

General counsel | Adriatic LNG

Energy and utilities

Sebastien Bumbolo moved to liquid natural gas offshore terminal Adriatic LNG at the beginning of 2008 as general counsel, to oversee all legal matters regarding a great joint venture building...

Silvia Bertulli

General counsel | Moncler

Consumer products

Silvia Bertulli serves as the head of legal and corporate affairs department of Milan Stock Exchange listed company and Italian apparel manufacturer company Moncler. Bertulli is responsible for creating, developing...

Silvia Piccorossi

Legal and corporate affairs director | Aeroporto Guglielmo Marconi di Bologna

Transport and infrastructure

Silvia Piccorossi had the chance to develop her career at Airport Guglielmo Marconi di Bologna, one of the most active and growing airports in Italy, right after being admitted to...

Silvio Cavallo

General counsel | Pillarstone Italy


A professional that has received industry-wide praise as one of the most notable corporate counsel in Italy, Silvio Cavallo joined financial services company Pillarstone in 2016. As general counsel for...

Simona Musso

Group general counsel | Lavazza

Food, beverages and tobacco

Simona Musso joined Lavazza – the esteemed Italian manufacturer of coffee products – in 1996 in the capacity of in-house counsel, and through her dedication and involvement in all legal...

Simone Chini

Chief legal officer | Allianz


With 25 years of experience as an in-house counsel, chief legal officer Simone Chini is the head of group legal affairs and data protection officer for Allianz in Milan. He...

Simone Davini

Head of legal and corporate affairs | Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Italy


In 2010 Simone Davini assumed position as head of legal and corporate affairs at Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, working at the company’s Milan branch. Davini has over twenty-two...

Stefania Bergamo

Head of group legal affairs and general counsel, GBL and international | Assicurazioni Generali


Stefania Bergamo serves as the head of group legal affairs and general counsel for Assicurazioni Generali’s global business lines (GBL) and international business unit. Leading a 15-strong team of legal...

Stefano Brogelli

Legal and compliance director | Axpo Italia

Energy and utilities

Stefano Brogelli’s first experience as an in-house counsel was at Asja Ambiente Italia, a medium sized company active in renewable energy, and was a very instructive one. There he had...

Stefano Iesurum

Head of legal affairs | Diesel

Consumer products

Stefano Iesurum joined Diesel as the company’s head of legal affairs in 2006 after spending five years working for eyewear company Marcolin, and has subsequently developed into one of the...

Susanna Fasolis

Head of law and compliance | Bayer


Distinguished in-house lawyer Susanna Fasolis has over 20 years of cross-border experience in multinational group settings, as well as with medium size companies across Italy. In 2011 Bayer made her...

Suzanne Tinozzi

General counsel | HSBC Italy


Suzanne Tinozzi was hired to set up the legal department of HSBC in Italy and to lead the investment banking division. ‘I started from nothing and have built the legal...

Tanya Jaeger de Foras

Vice president and chief legal officer EMEA | Whirlpool

Consumer products

An in-house lawyer with extensive international, commercial and compliance experience, Tanya Jaeger de Foras serves as the vice president and chief legal officer for Europe, Middle East and Africa for...

Valérie Ruotolo

Italy country counsel (head of legal affairs for Italy) | HP Italy

Information technology

Valérie Ruotolo has served as country counsel in Italy for multinational information technology company HP since 2015, and although it is her first in-house role, she became head of legal...

Veronica Rossi

Italian general counsel | DENSO Italy

Consumer products

Veronica Rossi began her career at an international law firm, before working at first with and then for DENSO, as her initial consultant relationship eventually transitioned into her current role...

Italy has undergone several changes and renovations in light of the 2008 financial crisis and although improvements have been seen, the Italian economy has experienced recent turbulence thanks to, in part, a recent political crisis that has enveloped the country, causing concern for the European Union and global markets.

Despite this continued volatility, Italy remains a strong player in a number of key industries, perhaps most notably in terms of luxury goods, where it is globally recognised for its esteemed quality products, namely in the food and fashion sector. These key sectors, as well as Italy’s large presence in financial services and energy and utilities, provide ample opportunities to recover and the potential to display strong investment figures in the private sector.

The productive and industrial capacity of Italy also should not go overlooked, and in order to initiate and expand further recovery efforts the country will have to hone and utilise this capacity, perhaps incorporating political and legal reforms also. Italy remains the country in Europe with the largest number of lawyers with the legal population doubling in the last ten years, and as such will be relied upon to ensure any efforts related to such reforms are enduring.

In this year’s GC Powerlist: Italy we are pleased to highlight some of the region’s leading corporate counsel. To put together the list, we canvassed opinions from both law firms’ partners and in-house counsel in Italy. We identified lawyers who are not only technically gifted and highly trained, but have also utilised their legal knowledge strategically alongside keen business insight to make a positive impact towards their organisation’s success.

Sara Mageit
Senior research analyst, GC Powerlist series

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer

 Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer  logo

I am delighted that Freshfields has been given the opportunity to sponsor this year’s The Legal 500 GC Powerlist: Italy.

We are a leading global law firm with a long-standing track record of successfully supporting the world’s leading national and multinational corporations, financial institutions and governments on ground-breaking and business-critical mandates.

This year, we are celebrating our 275th anniversary – and our 21st anniversary in Italy. While our presence in Milan and Rome is relatively short-lived compared to London, we were among the first international law firms to establish an Italian presence. Since 1997, other international law firms have come and gone. But we stayed put and have established ourselves as a go-to law firm for Italian businesses looking to do both cross-border and domestic deals.

With the Italian economy in the doldrums over recent years, the number and value of such deals have of course been relatively small compared to before the financial crisis. But things are picking up. In 2016, the number of deals involving Italian companies exceeded those in 2008 for the first
time, and increased again last year to over 1,330, totalling $67.8bn.

Domestic and inbound transactions have bounced back particularly well. There were 762 domestic deals in 2017, more than double 2013’s post-crash low of 348. For inbound transactions, there were 419 in 2017, increasing by 185% from 2012’s post-2008 low of 147. The number of outbound deals has not shown such a marked increase but is still above the 2013 low. These trends are reflected in our Italian corporate team’s activities in recent years in Italy, which has been working on an increasing number of deals, particularly for financial investors.

These positive economic and business trends continue using other measures. GDP growth – although low – remains positive, imports and exports are growing, and businesses are investing. This uptick in the investment climate is partly due to Italy’s banking sector being on a more stable footing. According to the OECD, the value of non-performing loans on banks’ balance sheets has dropped by around 20% from its peak due to large sales in the secondary market. Meanwhile, banks’ lending criteria for businesses looking to expand their operations have eased.

For the heads of these expansionary companies’ legal functions, many of the issues they face are unchanging: recruiting, managing and retaining talent; effectively managing external legal relations; and being asked to do more of the work that might have previously been done externally. Then there are of course issues around risk, regulation and litigation. For example, in the realm of data privacy and security, companies need to pay more attention than ever to the way they process the information they hold – or else face damage to their reputation and massive fines under the EU’s new data protection regime. And in the background there is the threat of a cyber attack.

We are more aware than ever about how these pressures play out for general counsel and their companies more generally. And that makes us more committed than ever to continuous improvement, with all our people being encouraged to look for ways we can give our clients even better-value service. For example, with input from clients, we are developing a tool to improve the way their matters are logged, tracked and billed. We are also using artificial intelligence to identify the critical clauses spread across vast numbers of documents.

It’s not just about technological solutions though – there is the human element too. For crisis situations, we deploy dedicated teams to help clients respond quickly and limit the fall-out. For ongoing advice, we aim for every client relationship to be consistent in terms of personnel and to feature specialists well versed in the issues clients face. This approach allows us to deliver commercially astute advice in an efficient manner.

Many congratulations to the 100 individuals who have made this year’s list. I wish you all well over the next 12 months and trust that you will find even better ways to solve your companies’ most critical issues.

GC Powerlist: Ireland 2024

The Legal 500 was delighted to be in Dublin on 11 June to celebrate the launch of the GC Powerlist Ireland 2024. Allan Cohen and Alexandre Owen were joined by the most influential in-house legal lawyers in the country for a splendid reception at the Matheson office.

Michael Jackson, Managing Partner of Matheson, opened the ceremony with a welcome address, offering his congratulations to the awarded in-house lawyers.

Michael then handed over the reins to Eleanor Dally, Director and Associate General Counsel for Global Corporate, who emphasised the significance of being recognised in the GC Powerlist, discussed the ever-evolving role of general counsels, and shared insights on the global and Irish legal markets.

Congratulations to all those included in the GC Powerlist, and many thanks to Matheson for sponsoring the publication and partnering with us to celebrate the most impressive in-house legal talents in Ireland.