Fieldfisher relaunches in Italy with five-partner team from former ally

Top 20 UK firm opens standalone office after cutting ties with Swiss Verein firm which has rebranded as WST

Fieldfisher has opened an office in Milan with a team of 26 lawyers including five partners recruited from its former Italian ally.

The move follows the top 20 UK firm’s announcement last November that it was cutting its ties with longstanding Italian partner firm Studio Associato Servizi Professionali Integrati (SasPi), which traded as Fieldfisher Italy as a member the Swiss Verein Fieldfisher Global.

SasPi has, in turn, rebranded as WST with around 400 professionals based in five Italian offices offering legal, tax and consultancy services.

Fieldfisher’s Milan office will be headed by Italy managing partner Alessandro Mulinacci, an M&A specialist, and also includes partners Diego Rigatti, Ettore Bonaccorsi, Michele Ghiringhelli and Giuseppe Limido. The rest of the team is made up of six directors and 15 lawyers.

The team’s experience covers corporate and M&A, energy dispute resolution, IP, transfer pricing and tax with Fieldfisher looking to add additional expertise in due course. 

Back in November, Fieldfisher put the decision to go it alone in Italy down to the need “to establish a solid, long-term position in Italy”. The bulk of its operations sit under the umbrella of the London LLP and the departure of SasPi from its verein will leave Fieldfisher Global with just three member firms aside from Fieldfisher, in the Netherlands, Spain and China. 

Fieldfisher managing partner Robert Shooter said: “With our new business operations on the ground, we want to take our focus on Italy further, making it an integral part of our European platform. This will be hugely advantageous to our Italian clients, who will benefit from our integrated cross-practice and cross-border capabilities and a collaborative approach we bring to our client services.”

Last year, the firm opened an office in Vienna with four partners hired from local firms. Aside from its Verein partners in the Netherlands and Spain, the firm’s European network also includes offices in Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland and Luxembourg.

Earlier this week, Fieldfisher’s top 20 UK rival Addleshaw Goddard added a fourth on-the-ground presence in continental Europe with the takeover of King & Wood Mallesons’ (KWM’s) 70-lawyer Madrid office.

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