15 Sep 2021

International network unyer unveils Italy’s Pirola as third member

Professional services verein launched by Fidal and Luther says deal proves ‘great enthusiasm’ for venture

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Italian firm Pirola Pennuto Zei & Associati has become the third member of unyer, the global network launched by French giant Fidal and German independent Luther in May.

The addition of Pirola, which has a turnover of €135m, 600 advisers and, like its founding members, offers tax and legal advice, boosts the combined income of unyer’s members to €650m and its adviser headcount to 2,500.

Unyer operates as a Swiss verein. Member firms retain their individual branding and legal status in their home markets while pooling resources in order to expand their services for international clients through a 'one-stop-shop approach'.

It plans to attract one unyer member firm per country, aiming to establish a presence in the majority of the top 20 global economies by 2030.  

While unyer characterises itself as having an 'exclusive approach', Pirola remains a member of the non-exclusive Meritas legal alliance. However, Meritas issued a statement today confirming that ‘as per the Meritas membership policy, there will be a review of the situation’.

Under the terms of the unyer deal, Pirola co-managing partner Massimo Di Terlizzi will join unyer’s executive committee alongside Fidal senior partner Christine Blaise-Engel and Luther joint managing partner Markus Sengpiel.

The Milan-based firm will also field three representatives to the association’s assembly board.

"Italy – the third largest economy in continental Europe after Germany and France – has always been our preferred country for unyer’s first expansion," said Blaise-Engel, who serves as unyer’s CEO.

"The fact that we were able to attract such a significant market player as Pirola to unyer within four months from its founding makes it clear that the idea of establishing an independent organisation with exclusive partnerships has been met with great enthusiasm."

In Italy, Pirola has offices in Milan, Rome, Turin, Padua, Bologna, Brescia, Naples, Verona, Parma and Florence. It also has offices in London, Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Under the unyer brand, the three firms plan to structure collaboration around an ‘industry mindset’. Members are required to possess a full-service offering as well as a strong industry focus in their home markets.

The association plans to further distinguish itself from similarly structured associations by targeting non-traditional legal enterprises, including legal tech companies.

Updated with satement from Meritas at 13.30 GMT

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