10 Mar 2022

Withers hires luxury law team in Milan from Baker McKenzie

 Carlo Alberto Demichelis becomes UK firm's 12th partner based in Italy

 Carlo Alberto Demichelis

UK top 30 firm Withers has strengthened its European intellectual property (IP) practice today with a partner hire from Baker McKenzie in Milan, a move that pushes the firm’s Italian partner headcount up to 12. 

Carlo Alberto Demichelis jumps to Withers from Baker McKenzie alongside one associate and two paralegals, a spokesperson for the firm said. He spent five years at Bakers, where he was a counsel and led the firm’s Italian IP advisory group in Italy and Rome, according to his Linkedin profile. 

At Withers he will become head of brand protection and IP advisory for Italy. 

Demichelis specialises in handling IP issues on behalf of clients operating in the luxury space, including those active in the manufacturing, fashion, automotive, banking, food and beverage and design sectors. He has also spent nearly 15 years as vice president of INDICAM, an Italian organisation dedicated to supporting companies with anti-counterfeit and IP protection measures. 

Jacopo Liguori, head of Withers’ IP practice in Italy, said Demichelis and his team serve as a “great addition” to the firm’s “thriving team” in Italy. 

“Carlo Alberto's focus on leading brands complements our own work with the founders and leaders of fashion, luxury cars and major family-owned brands across the world,” he said. “We are really excited to bring his experience and skills across to our team.”

"Offering clients protection of their products and innovations on an international scale is more important than ever, and I know my clients will benefit from the reach and the skills of Withers' IP practice," Demichelis added. 

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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 Northeast Veneto region. 

It added considerable manpower to its Italian network last year with a number of partner-level hires in Milan. It hired a six-lawyer tax team from Italian independent Gianni & Origin led by local tax heavyweight Stefano Grilli last October and lured Osborne Clarke sports law duo Pierfilippo Capello and Andrea Bozza in January 2021, in a move that created one of the country’s largest sporting practices. 

Elsewhere, the firm boosted its flagship private client team in December with two partner-level hires from Lee & Thompson and Day Pitney in London and New York as it looked to expand its international art and trusts and estates practices. 

The firm focused its expansion efforts on its US network last year, with office launches in Texas and Boston that came with a handful of partner-level hires from Burns & Levinson and one partner hire from Dallas business law firm Winstead PC. One of the most significant among its US moves last year was the addition of top Hollywood divorce lawyer Samantha Klein, who joined the firm from Wasser Cooperman & Mandles to launch a US family practice in August.

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