BonelliErede names new chairman and managing partner

Duo set to take over in January as firm puts new five-year plan into action

Eliana Catalano(l) and Massimiliano Danusso Images courtesy of BonelliErede

Italian heavyweight BonelliErede has announced changes to its leadership team, electing London office head Massimiliano Danusso as its next chairman and corporate partner Eliana Catalano as managing partner.

The duo will take over 1 January 2024 from Stefano Simontacchi and Andrea Carta Mantiglia respectively at the end of their terms, which the firm said coincided with it starting to put into action its new five-year strategic plan built around international growth, innovation and investment in young talent. 

It added that the other members of the new board will be elected at the December partners’ meeting.

Simontacchi and Mantiglia said in a joint statement: “We are delighted that the firm has chosen Massimiliano and Eliana as our successors. Passing the baton on to them will be smooth given that they already sit on the board, which has been working for several months on the new strategic plan that will see modernisation in all parts of the business. 

“In addition to their extensive legal careers, both have held important roles within the firm – and this knowledge will add value to the path ahead for BonelliErede.”

Danusso is a banking and finance partner at Bonelli and as well as serving as managing partner of the firm’s London office, leads its debt capital markets focus team and is a member of the banks and insurance focus teams. He joined Bonelli as a partner in 2016 from Allen & Overy and works between the firm’s London and Rome offices, advising mainly on financial and capital markets transactions, complex derivatives and financial litigation.

Meantime Catalano joined Bonelli’s Milan office back in 2001 and made partner in 2009. She is a corporate and M&A partner with a focus on private equity and leads its private equity focus team. She is also a member of the firm’s digital innovation focus team.

The duo commented: “We are grateful to the partnership for the trust placed in us. We are committed to a path of BonelliErede being viewed as an international, innovative institution, which is the driving force for our growth detailed in the new organisational and structural rules of the strategic plan, which we will be bringing in with the new year.” 

The new year will also see the launch of PedersoliGattai, a 350-strong Italian firm formed through the merger of boutiques Gattai Minoli Partners and Pedersoli Studio Legale as well as a team of 16 corporate M&A lawyers from Bonelli. The firm will have revenue in the region of €120m, a figure that puts it in the top 10 among Italian law firms.  

Simontacchi and Mantiglia said at the time that Bonelli’s new five-year strategic plan had been approved by all the remaining partners. 

Bonelli had its own ‘super boutique’ merger back in 2019 when it absorbed 70-strong litigation and corporate outfit Lombardi e Associati – a move that created Italy’s largest independent law firm, with 750 professionals.

Bonelli currently has more than 800 people working across its eight offices, all of which are in the EMEA region. The firm brought in $309.7m in gross revenue in 2022, according to data from The American Lawyer.

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