Boies Schiller Flexner opens in Rome with five-strong team

New York litigation heavyweight’s second Italian branch will target commerical litigation and ESG-related work

Boies Schiller & Flexner (BSF) said today it has opened an office in Rome, its second in the EU. 

Partners Natalia Bagnato and Simone Grassi are joining from Italian firm RP Legal & Tax for the launch alongside a trio of associates. BSF said the team’s hire would strengthen its capabilities in handling complex commercial disputes, advising high-net-worth individuals and providing ESG-related services.

The move follows the New York disputes powerhouse adding a large team from RP Legal & Tax two years ago to set up shop in Milan, marking the first time it had opened a new office since its launch in London eight years before. 

“As the nation’s capital, Rome provides access to government institutions in Italy that are critical to foreign investors and multinational companies doing business or investing in Italy,” said Italian co-administrative partner, Luigi Macioce. 

He added: “Our goal is to become the go-to firm for those types of clients. Adding a Roman presence to our Milan office gives us a clear advantage in being ‘closer’, not only to our clients’ international businesses but also to the interests of family offices, estates and high-net-worth individuals who are looking more and more to establish an Italian presence or grow their existing one.”

Bagnato led the ESG team at her previous firm; her practice focuses on the full spectrum of ESG issues including sustainable finance, reporting, compliance and integration of ESG factors into corporate governance.

Meantime, Grassi advises private clients and businesses on civil and commercial disputes, and also works with prominent Italian families on trust and estate planning and litigation. 

Italian co-administrative partner Alessia Allegretti commented: “Natalia and Simone reflect the kind of opportunistic growth we hope to maintain. Their experience strengthens our offering for high-net-worth individuals and international companies with interests in Italy on issues involving complex disputes and ESG, which has rapidly become a crucial factor in international transactions and business challenges and where we anticipate playing a leading role in the market.”

The news follows BSF announcing earlier this month that its renowned founder and chair, David Boies, is to relinquish his chairmanship by December next year. A new chair, or co-chairs, will be selected at a partners’ meeting later this month. According to Bloomberg Law, two of the firm’s three co-managing partners, Matthew Schwartz and Sigrid McCawley, are front runners to succeed Boies.

“When we launched BSF Italy, we were focused on two goals: creating a clear pathway into the EU for the firm’s clients post-Brexit and collaborating with our Italian colleagues to provide US and cross-border disputes support for clients,” McCawley and Schwartz said in a joint statement with fellow managing partner Alan Vickery. 

“The new Rome office demonstrates the success we’ve had in Italy and represents the next step in expanding our international platform to meet client demand. We’re thrilled to welcome Natalia and Simone to the firm,” they added. 

McCawley, Schwartz and Vickery were appointed to their roles in late 2020 as BSF experienced a sustained period of turbulence against the background of partner departures that has seen the firm, once one of the most profitable in the US, roughly halve in size over the past five years.

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