2018: Leading Firms

Our inaugural edition of WWL: Italy features lawyers from 196 law firms. We recognise a wide array of both domestic and international firms, from boutiques to full-service offerings, showcasing the full breadth and depth of the domestic market. However, over one-third of the total listings come from nine standout firms that we profile here.


Total number of listings: 38

BonelliErede is one of Italy’s premier law firms, formed in 1999 by the merger of three independent domestic outfits. It showcases its prominent position in the market throughout our research in this edition, achieving the largest number of listings of any firm. The great depth and breadth of the firm’s offering is clearly illustrated as it receives 38 nominations across 16 practice areas this year.

The firm stands out particularly for its superb corporate finance expertise. It ranks as one of the foremost groups in the M&A and governance space, with six impressive lawyers recognised for their excellent work handling a range of matters including investments, joint ventures and restructurings. Labour and employment law is also a key strength of the firm, as evidenced by the five nominations it receives in our corresponding chapter.

It is also recognised for its strong sector focus, achieving notable listings in real estate and construction, data, energy, and banking and finance. Life sciences is an area in which the firm particularly excels, and its first-class offering here is demonstrated with four listings. Practitioners are well equipped to advise clients on a wide range of related issues from regulatory matters and product development through to litigation.

Standout individuals at the firm include Marcello Giustiniani, who is highly regarded for his first-class labour and employment practice. Vittorio Lupoli is widely respected in the restructuring and insolvency space while Vincenzo Salvatore is considered a top name when it comes to life sciences matters. Catia Tomasetti stands out for her outstanding expertise in the energy sector and Stefano Micheli draws widespread praise for his excellence in insurance and reinsurance.

Total Number of Listings: 33

Full-service law firm Chiomenti demonstrates its leading presence in the Italian legal market with 33 listings across 13 practice areas – the second highest number of overall listings in our research this year. It is one of the few Italian-founded firms with a global presence; besides two offices in Rome and Milan it also has bases in London, Brussels, New York, Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong.

The firm performs particularly well in our M&A and governance research, where 10 of its practitioners are highlighted for inclusion. Chiomenti also performs well in the banking and finance and corporate tax chapters with seven listings. Its member’s expertise spans a range of matters including international industrial banking, insurance and corporate transactions, lending the firm an excellent reputation among the Italian and international business community.

Top names identified in our research include Carlo Croff, for his stellar corporate practice and his work advising investment funds, and Michele Carpinelli, who has an excellent reputation in the areas of corporate tax and M&A. Umberto Borzi also stands out as a leading individual, and is widely recommended for his expertise in real estate transactions and his in-depth experience of company law.

Total number of listings: 10

International law firm Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is a strong performer in the Italian market. From its Rome and Milan offices, the firm’s team of 100 lawyers boasts a wealth of expertise across a broad spectrum of commercial law matters. Practitioners have an impressive depth of expertise in Italian and EU law, equipping the firm with a comprehensive pan-European and international offering. 

The firm achieves 10 listings across four practice areas. It is a go-to destination for multinational corporations and major financial institutions, who often engage its services in some of the most sophisticated and high-profile matters in the Italian market. It is particularly prominent in the competition law arena, where it achieves more listings than any other firm.

Practitioners are held in high esteem for their commercial and strategic approach to complex transactions and disputes. Standout individuals include Mario Siragusa from the Rome office, whom our research has identified as one of the most highly regarded practitioners in the field of competition law.

Total number of listings: 12

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer performs well in this year’s research. It illustrates its impressive breadth of commercial expertise with listings across 10 practice areas including banking and finance, corporate tax, and restructuring and insolvency.

Freshfields makes a big impact in the market and is regularly engaged in high-profile transactions. The full-service firm draws on its global network of offices to provide a complete and integrated service to clients and, with offices in Rome and Milan, it is equipped with deep expertise in the Italian market. 

It is home to highly regarded lawyers who serve major clients in the TMT, real estate and energy industries. The firm also boasts a strong competition practice, from which three esteemed practitioners are listed. Eminent individuals at the firm include Marzio Longo, based in Milan, who stands out as one of the most highly nominated real estate lawyers in this year’s research.

Total number of listings: 24

Since it was founded 30 years ago, Gianni Origoni Grippo Cappelli & Partners has grown to house more than 440 lawyers worldwide across its 10 offices, offering a truly global reach to its broad client base. The firm stands out as one of the most prominent players in the Italian market, achieving 24 listings across 12 practice areas, demonstrating its expansive commercial offering.

In the energy chapter it boasts the biggest presence of any firm, offering four listings – including three leading individuals ranking among the top 10 highest-rated lawyers in this space. M&A is another major strength for the firm, with four standout lawyers nominated. Key individuals at the firm include Ottaviano Sanseverino and Giuseppe Velluto, who are highlighted for their top-tier work in the energy sector, as well as Francesco Gianni who is our second highest-rated lawyer in the area of mergers and acquisitions. Other notable names at the firm include Massimo Sterpi from the Rome office, who achieves listings in our intellectual property, and sports and entertainment chapters, and Paola Tradati, who wins praise for her labour law expertise.

Total number of listings: 12

Leading international law firm Hogan Lovells boasts a strong presence in the Italian market, achieving 12 listings across six practice areas. Its strong regional presence adds to the firm’s overall global offering, with more than 2,800 lawyers operating across more than 45 offices, making it one of the top global legal services providers.

The firm is internationally renowned for its life sciences offering, and the Italian practice group is no exception. This year, four top-tier lawyers are noted for their expertise in this field, including Luigi Mansani, who is also recognised for his expertise in data protection, and Francesca Rolla, who stands out as one of Italy’s leading litigators. Other key individuals highlighted by our research include Silvia Lolli, who appears as one of the leading Italian insurance experts in the guide, and Sabrina Borocci, who wins praise for her competition law expertise.

Total number of listings: 16

Independent law firm Legance Avvocati Associati has seen impressive growth since its formation just over 10 years ago. The firm now boasts over 200 practitioners working across fields as diverse as real estate, energy, labour and banking. Energy and mergers and acquisitions are areas in which its lawyers perform particularly well this year, with three nominations in each chapter. The firm also boasts an impressive banking and finance practice, and sees two practitioners recommended for inclusion this year.

A number of individuals from the firm perform strongly in our research. Monica Colombera is shown by our research a pre-eminent practitioner in the energy space, while Cecilia Carrara from the firm’s arbitration department is gains high praise from sources this year for her top-tier arbitration practice. Alberto Giampieri also stands out, achieving multiple listings in our research thanks to his prominent in the fields of M&A and banking.

Total number of listings: 12

Lombardi Segni e Associati are one of the leading law firms in Italy with more than 100 practitioners working across a broad range of fields. The firm receives an impressive 12 listings this year across five practice areas. It is well known for its work in the corporate sector, and performs particularly strongly in the banking & finance and M&A areas. Commercial litigation is another strong suit of the firm, with three individuals recommended for their impressive practices this year.

Founding partner Giuseppe Lombardi is a renowned name in the Italian market and one of the most highly regarded practitioners from our banking and finance chapter this year. He is listed across three additional practice areas including commercial litigation, M&A and governance and restructuring & insolvency. Another top-performing lawyer from the firm is Lotario Dittrich who has an strong reputation in the fields of commercial litigation, arbitration, and restructuring and insolvency.


Total number of listings: 11

Standout Italian law firm, Portolano Cavallo Studio Legale demonstrates its prominent position in the domestic market in our research this year, achieving 11 nominations across four practice areas. The firm achieves listings across its offices in Rome and Milan, illustrating its strong offering.

Portolano Cavallo is renowned in the international space for its world-class expertise across the TMT sector, a reputation that is reflected in this edition, as the firm sees five impressive practitioners highlighted for their excellence in the data field. Its lawyers are well equipped to handle an array of sector-related matters, from data protection and security to compliance and information governance.

The firm’s M&A and governance group also performs well this year with three lawyers recognised for their strong expertise in the corporate sphere. It is one of the firm’s core practice areas which spans the gamut of related matters including joint venture agreements, corporate restructurings and complex M&A transactions.

Key players at the firm include Francesco Portolano, Laura Liguori and Ernesto Apa who are recognised as among the foremost data lawyers in the country. Meanwhile Francesco Portolano and Manuela Cavallo are widely respected as two of Italy’s leading M&A and governance practitioners.

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Nominees have been selected based upon comprehensive, independent survey work with both general counsel and private practice lawyers worldwide. Only specialists who have met independent international research criteria are listed.

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