14 Oct 2021

Withers grows Italy presence with six-strong tax team from Gianni & Origani

New Milan hires led by partner Stefano Grilli set to focus on corporate tax work

Stefano Grilli

UK top 30 firm Withers has hired six tax lawyers from Italian independent Gianni & Origani led by tax heavyweight Stefano Grilli, who will head up the firm’s corporate tax team in Milan. 

Grilli joins the London-based firm after a ten-year stint at Gianni & Origani, where he most recently served as co-head of the tax department. Joining Grilli in his move are senior associates Marco Busia and Giuseppe Francesco Patti, as well as associates Silvia Barba, Laura Maestri and Federico Donetti. 

Roberta Crivellaro, head of Withers’ Italian practice, described the team as a “major addition” to the firm’s Italian tax group, remarking that Grilli’s corporate tax expertise will complement its existing personal tax practice in Milan, which it built out under the stewardship of Italy tax head Giulia Cipollini. 

Cipollini also welcomed the move, adding that the team’s arrival “is a big step forward for us, strengthening and broadening out the services we can offer to our clients".

“This advances our strategy to be the number one firm in Italy for advising successful individuals and their families and businesses,” she said. 

Grilli’s experience covers a broad range of domestic and international tax issues in corporate transactions and M&A, as well as capital markets and wealth planning work. Outside his work in private practice, Grilli holds a number of senior advisory roles, including to the Italian Ministry of Finance and the advisory board of China’s Belt and Road Initiative Tax Administration Cooperation Mechanism. 

“This is a big move for me and my team to an international network that will offer much more to my clients, whilst also allowing us to grow the breadth and variety of our work,” Grilli commented, adding that Withers’ reputation for developing solutions for clients wishing to take advantage of Italy’s non-domiciled tax regime complements his team’s focus. 

Withers, best known for its private client and family work, has been present in Italy for more than 25 years and has two regional locations in Milan and Padua, one of the main cities in Italy’s North East Veneto region. 

Other hires made by the firm in Milan this year include sports law specialists Pierfilippo Capello and Andrea Bozza, who joined Withers in January from Osborne Clarke, a move that created one of the country’s largest sporting practices. 

Elsewhere, the firm has been focused on expanding its US presence and secured Hollywood divorce lawyer Samantha Klein from LA firm Wasser Cooperman & Mandles in August to launch a US family practice. It also opened in Boston with a trio of patent partners from Burns & Levinson back in April. 

The firm made waves when it announced its eye-catching financial results for the last financial year, having grown revenue by 11% to £243.7m against a 32% increase in profit-per-equity-partner (PEP) to £660k, following on from an equally successful set of results 2020 when revenue grew by 13% fueling a 40% PEP increase. 

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