Luca graduated in 1988 from the University of Milan with a thesis entitled “Trade union rights in small enterprises”. He started his career with recognised labour law firms, such as Menegazzi and Trifirò & Associati. In 1996, he joined Abbatescianni-Osborne Clarke, leading the employment department. In 2006, he became founding and managing partner of LabLaw. In 2020, Luca joined Deloitte Legal as head of employment & benefit. He is a professor of employment law at the University of LUM Giuseppe Degennaro.
What did you find most challenging about entering labour and employment practice?
The employment sector is competitive and the employment law branch, although specialist, is transversal, crossing not only other branches of law, but also the economic and political scene. These characteristics constantly challenge the practitioner, encouraging the lawyer to change perspectives, to keep up to date, to identify with the needs of the client, anticipating their needs and new regulations and socio-economic developments.
You have a practice that encompasses a variety of sectors and industries. How important is knowledge of a specific sector to modern labour and employment lawyers?
In these times, specialisation is essential, especially if you are facing the international scene.
Italian national bargaining agreements are, as is well known, highly sector-specific, and have their own particular features which require a thorough understanding of the range of relevant provisions.
An in-depth knowledge of certain industries/sectors allows you to understand the mechanisms and the reality of the business, which enables you to provide all-round support to the companies you assist.
The better you know the business, the better you advise.
What novel concerns has covid-19 created for employers, and how can these concerns be combatted?
On one hand, covid-19 has forced companies to face challenges that had already been there, but to which some had been slow to respond (such as digitalisation, smart working, moving away from the parameters of time and place to measure the work in favour of that of performance).
On the other hand, it has brought new challenges, obviously linked to the epidemiological emergency, such as the fulfilment of obligations relating to the protection of health and safety in the workplace, in a context in which there is no unanimity even in the scientific world as to what measures are appropriate to protect us.
Each of the above challenges can be addressed first and foremost through the empowerment of the entire corporate structure, from management down (training/information).
What do you enjoy most about working in labour and employment law?
The variety and cross-cutting nature of matters and the daily challenges this brings.
As the head of Deloitte Legal’s employment and benefit practice, what are your main priorities for the firm’s development over the next five years?
To grow, together with my colleagues from other practices, the role of Deloitte Legal within the Deloitte universe and, in general, on the Italian and international legal scene, becoming the main point of reference for companies.
To what extent has GDPR significantly impacted labour and employment practice in Italy?
The GDPR has forced companies to respond in a more organised and homogeneous way to the needs of protecting the privacy of their employees, and this compliance has entailed costs, not only economic: for some companies, “data” was not a value. They needed to change their approach to “data”, implementing outdated or non-existent company policies, creating new corporate figures, and learning that non-compliance with the relevant regulations could backfire on the company itself.
How is technology changing the matters labour and employment lawyers are working on, and is it changing the way they work?
The impact of technology on employment relationships obviously also reverberates on what the issues are for companies. The issue of managing remote workers is an issue increasingly raised by clients, accordingly with the growing use of technological work tools.
For professionals, on the other hand, the relationship with the client has changed. There are fewer face-to-face meetings in favour of call conferences and email exchanges, that may challenge the relationship itself and make professionals evolve, including in their communication skills.
What advice would you give to younger practitioners hoping to one day be in your position?
Study first, be curious and persevere. Work hard and be daring.