Italian firm BonelliErede builds UK base with London counsel hire

Experienced barrister Richard Samuel adds disputes capabilities as part of international growth push

Richard Samuel Photo courtesy of BonelliErede

Italy’s BonelliErede has hired disputes barrister Richard Samuel in London as the Milan-headquartered firm seeks to build out its common law disputes capability in the UK as part of its international growth strategy.

Samuel joins as of counsel from 3 Hare Court, moving to the employed Bar after nearly 30 years in practice, where he specialised in commercial disputes. He joined 3 Hare Court in 2005 from 2 Gray’s Inn Square Chambers.

He will remain associated with 3 Hare Court, where he built a practice in High Court litigation, specialising in disputes over contract law, fiduciary duties, company law, restitution, negligence and employment law, as well as international arbitration, including energy sector disputes in the Middle East.

At BonelliErede, he will work alongside London managing partner Massimiliano Danusso, shipping partner Enrico Vergani and of counsel Calvin Walker, reporting to head of arbitration Larry Shore, a former leading light at Herbert Smith Freehills.

In a post on LinkedIn, Samuel thanked Danusso “for creating the opportunity to join the London office that he runs to assist the firm’s drive towards international practice,” crediting Shore with the proposal to join the firm.

He said: “BonelliErede’s unique mixture of civil-code and common-law capabilities will add an attractive and competitive new offering to international clients active in the London disputes market: law firms, corporations and individuals.”

BonelliErede said the move was aimed to consolidate its 20-lawyer international arbitration practice, with Shore adding: “With his proven experience, Richard will enhance our arbitration practice as well as its English law capacity.”

The firm’s president, Stefano Simontacchi, and managing partner, Andrea Carta Mantiglia, said the firm was committed to taking an increasingly prominent position internationally as part of an ambitious five-year strategic plan built around global growth, innovation and investment.

Both men said they were looking at new markets and “strengthening areas where we already boast a presence and working hard to attract highly regarded professionals with longstanding experience in cross-border environments and matters”, including in London.   

Post-Brexit English law adds a further dimension for BonelliErede, which had previously focused on new law firm relationships in Cairo, Addis Ababa and Libya. It is also expanding into Dubai, while it has a longstanding office in Brussels.

It remains part of Slaughter & May’s best friends’ referral network, alongside Bredin Prat in France, Dutch law firm De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek, Hengeler Mueller in Germany and Uría Menéndez in Spain.

BonelliErede has, however, seen departures on home turf, with a three-partner group of 16 lawyers leaving to join PedersoliGattai – the 64-partner Italian firm is set to launch in January 2024 from the newly merged Italian firms Pedersoli and Gattai Minoli Partners. BonelliErede also previously saw a nine-lawyer M&A team move to Chiomenti in February and an 18-person tax team shift to Legance in June.

Samuel thanked his former head of chambers at 3 Hare Court, Jeffrey Golden KC (Hon), “for his mentorship over the last decade” and the set’s juniors for their support.

Simon Davenport KC, Golden’s predecessor as head of the set, left for 4 Pump Court earlier in the year. The set has seen Gibraltarian barrister Daniel Feetham KC join them as a full tenant from Hassans, alongside Charlotte Pope-Williams, previously of Pinsent Masons, and Charles Sorensen, formerly of Jersey’s Baker & Partners, who are also new members with offshore expertise. 

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