11 Jan 2023

Clyde & Co adds litigation and insurance partner from Simmons & Simmons for Italy debut

Leonardo Giani joins UK firm in Milan to launch office in one of Europe’s biggest insurance markets

Leonardo Giani Image courtesy of Clyde & Co

UK insurance giant Clyde & Co has added a partner from Simmons & Simmons’ litigation and insurance team to launch an office in Milan, Italy. 

The move hands Clydes its seventh office in Europe outside of the UK and follows a sustained period of expansion over the past two years that has seen the firm open bases in the US, Canada and Chile and announce plans to launch in Bangkok. 

“Opening in Italy has been a long-term ambition for the firm,” said Clydes' senior partner, Carolena Gordon. “Not only will the new office support the growth of our global insurance group and provide clients with the benefit of our services in this important jurisdiction, but it will also provide a platform for growth in our other core sectors and for the expansion of our European commercial disputes offering.” 

Along with insurance, Clydes’ core practice areas are transport, construction, energy and trade and commodities. The firm said the Milan launch would happen in the coming months. 

Giani has joined the firm after five years at as a partner at Simmons, prior to which he worked in the Milan offices of international firms including Baker McKenzie and Norton Rose Fulbright.

He brings experience handling contentious and non-contentious matters, including assisting financial institutions in high profile and complex cross-border and domestic disputes, either in court or in arbitration. He focuses on matters including directors and officers insurance, general liability and professional indemnity as well as public officials’ liability, environmental claims and product liability and recall. 

“Italy has one of the largest insurance markets in Europe and is home to a number of our most important clients,” said Henning Schaloske, chair of Clydes' European Board. “Leonardo has an excellent reputation both in the Italian market and with our clients in the rest of Europe, including in the UK. His expertise will provide a strong foundation for our Milan office to grow in support of the insurance market and our other practice areas too.” 

The Milan launch follows Clydes reporting last August that turnover in FY2021/22 had grown 1.6% to £650m, marking the firm’s 24th consecutive year of revenue growth. Profit per equity partner dipped slightly from £715,000 to £708,000, which the firm chalked up to an increase in the number of equity partners.

Also last summer the firm’s landmark merger with UK firm BLM went live, a move that created an insurance behemoth with revenue in excess of £700m. It built on that position last week when it added a 19-strong team of product liability specialists from DWF

A spokesperson for Simmons & Simmons confirmed Giani’s departure, adding: “We thank him for his contribution to the firm and wish him well for the future.”

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