Roberto Pisano
Office:
Via Cino del Duca no. 5
20122
City:
Milan
Country:
Italy
Tel:
+39 02 7600 2207
Fax:
+39 02 7601 6423

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders Global Elite

Mr Pisano has a history of representing prominent individuals and entities in high-profile criminal proceedings, including three cases of tax fraud against the former Italian prime minister; various cases of corruption involving international corporations and their officers; extradition (including the recent FIFA investigation) and foreign appeals against asset freezing; advising and representing foreign governments; and conducting internal investigations for foreign multinationals. He was co-chair of the business crime committee of the IBA in 2007–2008 and vice chair of the ECBA in 2008–2009.

What motivated you to establish your own boutique law firm focusing on white-collar crime?

It is a highly sophisticated sector, where the traditional principles of criminal law have to interact with the dynamism and need for efficiency of the financial and international world. In that scenario, representation at trial, in particular, requires a stimulating and specific mix of technical expertise and personality.

When handling business crime cases, what makes Studio Legale Pisano stand out from competitors in the market?

For about 20 years, we have had a culture and practice that involves working daily in teams with Italian and foreign counsel, experts, in-house lawyers, etc. White-collar practice is never a one-man job. This is especially true at present, where almost every case is highly complex and transnational. Having said that, there is no way to defend properly and successfully in white-collar cases, without studying personally and in-depth every single detail of the case.

What has been the most memorable matter that you’ve worked on in your time practising law?

Three cases of tax fraud against the former Italian prime minister, in which I represented his main co-defendant, a US movie producer accused of being his hidden partner. The cases involved searches and seizure in the US (overturned) and Hong Kong (challenged), extensive freezing of funds in Switzerland (overturned in the criminal proceedings), and other matters. We won two cases and lost the third, with the whole country watching – because, as a result of this case, the prime minister lost the Senate seat. We hope to win before the European Court of Human Rights, where the case is currently pending.

Cross-border white-collar crime enforcement is expanding rapidly and aggressively in the current climate. Has this affected your practice in any way?

Yes absolutely. Most of my practice concerns multiple investigations in various states (the US, the UK, Germany, plus the Middle East, the Far East, etc), especially for corruption and tax fraud allegations involving international corporations, their managers and foreign consultants. There is the consequent need to coordinate with foreign counsel on all steps of defence, including the challenges to various freezing orders and letters of request to foreign authorities frequently issued in these scenarios. There are no recent high-profile investigations or prosecutions that do not include extensive cooperation, and exchange of evidence, with foreign authorities and freezing orders in foreign jurisdictions.    

What impact have stricter compliance programmes and a focus on corporate governance around the world had on your practice?

There is no doubt that laws on corporate criminal liability in the various states, especially in the past two decades, have had a significant impact on the criminal law practice. In Italy, for instance, as of 2001 prosecutions can be brought against corporate and foreign entities in relation to a wide range of crimes committed by their managers or employees, in the interests or for the benefit of the corporation. In that context, where corporations and multinational groups can become the targets of criminal investigations, compliance programmes play a crucial role in excluding or mitigating corporate responsibility. This has clearly impacted the practice of criminal lawyers in advising and representing corporate entities, with regard to prosecuting and judicial authorities, and in conducting internal investigations in the interest of corporate clients.

The increasing prominence of anti-bribery and anti-corruption work in the global marketplace has seen a number of law firms beef up their white-collar crime capabilities in recent years. Is this a trend that you’ve noticed? How has this affected your practice?

Yes, it is a noticeable and welcome trend, because it increases the number of qualified advisers in the field. In the Italian scenario, however, representation at trial remains a job for boutique firms of experienced trial lawyers who do not compete, but actually work in synergy, and share supplementary skills, with the larger law firms. All this makes the current white-collar crime practice much more complex, challenging and appealing.

How do you intend to continue competing with the likes of larger firms in this space? Are networks and strategic alliances important to ensure that you offer clients cross-border capabilities?

As stated above, in the Italian scenario there is no competition with the larger firms – rather, synergy with different and supplementary skills. Internationally, it is crucial to have developed fruitful work experiences with the most knowledgeable lawyers in various countries, because they will be the key factor for success when the case arises.

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Investigations

Roberto Pisano is the founder and managing partner of Studio Legale Pisano, an Italian boutique firm which specialises in all areas of white-collar crime including transnational investigations, recovery of assets, mutual legal assistance and extradition.

Mr Pisano has a history of representing prominent individuals and entities in high-profile Italian criminal proceedings, including various cases of corruption involving international corporations and their top officials (with multiple investigations in the US, the UK, France etc); various cases of extradition, including the recent FIFA investigation by the US authorities and representation of foreign states; three cases of alleged tax fraud involving the former Italian prime minister; a case involving a major US bank in the bankruptcy of the Parmalat group; a case involving a claim for restitution of antiquities by the Italian ministry of culture, in which Mr Pisano represented a prominent US museum; various appeals in foreign jurisdictions (eg the USA, Hong Kong, Switzerland etc) against seizure and confiscation of assets; Italian criminal counsel for foreign multinationals conducting internal investigations. Mr Pisano also advises and represents relevant foreign governments.

Mr Pisano obtained a law degree, summa cum laude, from the State University of Milan in 1992, and a PhD from the University of Genoa in 1999. Between 1993 and 1997 he was a research associate at Bocconi University of Milan where he has since spent many years working as a contract professor on business and tax crimes. Mr Pisano was co-chair of the business crime committee of the IBA in 2007 and 2008 and vice chair of the ECBA in 2008 and 2009. He is the author of several publications on the subject of business crime and mutual legal assistance.

WWL says: Roberto Pisano is the leading investigations lawyer in Italy and is recognised for his impressive practice, which encompasses international investigations, white-collar crime and asset recovery.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Asset Recovery: Lawyers

Roberto Pisano is the founder and managing partner of Studio Legale Pisano, an Italian boutique firm that specialises in all areas of white-collar crime including transnational investigations, recovery of assets, mutual legal assistance and extradition.

Mr Pisano has a history of representing prominent individuals and entities in high-profile Italian criminal proceedings, including various cases of corruption involving international corporations and their top officials; various cases of extradition, including the recent FIFA investigation by the US authorities and representation of foreign states; three cases of alleged tax fraud involving the former Italian prime minister; a case involving a major US bank in the bankruptcy of the Parmalat group; a case involving a claim for restitution of antiquities by the Italian ministry of culture, in which Mr Pisano represented a prominent US museum; various appeals in foreign jurisdictions (eg the USA, Hong Kong, Switzerland etc) against seizure and confiscation of assets; and internal investigations for foreign multinationals. Mr Pisano also advises and represents several foreign governments.

Mr Pisano obtained a law degree, summa cum laude, from the State University, Milan in 1992, and a PhD from the University of Genoa in 1999. Between 1993 and 1997 he was a research associate at Bocconi University of Milan; since then, he has spent many years working as a contract professor on business and tax crimes. 

Mr Pisano was co-chair of the business crime committee of the IBA in 2007 and 2008 and vice chair of the ECBA in 2008 and 2009. He is the author of several publications on the subject of business crime, mutual legal assistance and extradition.

WWL says: Roberto Pisano consistently earns plaudits for his exceptional expertise in white-collar criminal matters including asset recovery.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Asset Recovery which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Italy - Business Crime Defence & Investigations

Roberto Pisano is the founder and managing partner of Studio Legale Pisano, an Italian boutique firm that specialises in all areas of white-collar crime including transnational investigations, recovery of assets, mutual legal assistance and extradition.

Mr Pisano has a history of representing prominent individuals and entities in high-profile Italian criminal proceedings, including various cases of corruption involving international corporations and their top officials; various cases of extradition, including the recent FIFA investigation by the US authorities and representation of foreign states; three cases of alleged tax fraud involving the former Italian prime minister; a case involving a major US bank in the bankruptcy of the Parmalat group; a case involving a claim for restitution of antiquities by the Italian Ministry of Culture, in which Mr Pisano represented a prominent US museum; various appeals in foreign jurisdictions (eg the USA, Hong Kong, Switzerland, etc) against seizure and confiscation of assets; and internal investigations for foreign multinationals. Mr Pisano also advises and represents several foreign governments.

Mr Pisano obtained a law degree, summa cum laude, from the State University, Milan in 1992, and a PhD from the University of Genoa in 1999. Between 1993 and 1997 he was a research associate at Bocconi University of Milan; since then, he has spent many years working as a contract professor on business and tax crimes. 

Mr Pisano was co-chair of the business crime committee of the IBA in 2007 and 2008 and vice chair of the ECBA in 2008 and 2009. He is the author of several publications on the subject of business crime, mutual legal assistance and extradition.

WWL says: Roberto Pisano stands out as the foremost white-collar crime and investigations lawyer in the country and wins international praise for his leading expertise handling major cross-border investigations.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Italy which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Business Crime Defence: Individuals

Roberto Pisano is the founder and managing partner of Studio Legale Pisano, an Italian boutique firm that specialises in all areas of white-collar crime including transnational investigations, recovery of assets, mutual legal assistance and extradition.

Mr Pisano has a history of representing prominent individuals and entities in high-profile Italian criminal proceedings, including various cases of corruption involving international corporations and their top officials; various cases of extradition, including the recent FIFA investigation by the US authorities and representation of foreign states; three cases of alleged tax fraud involving the former Italian prime minister; a case involving a major US bank in the bankruptcy of the Parmalat group; a case involving a claim for restitution of antiquities by the Italian ministry of culture, in which Mr Pisano represented a prominent US museum; various appeals in foreign jurisdictions (eg the USA, Hong Kong, Switzerland etc) against seizure and confiscation of assets; and internal investigations for foreign multinationals. Mr Pisano also advises and represents several foreign governments.

Mr Pisano obtained a law degree, summa cum laude, from the State University, Milan in 1992, and a PhD from the University of Genoa in 1999. Between 1993 and 1997 he was a research associate at Bocconi University of Milan; since then, he has spent many years working as a contract professor on business and tax crimes. 

Mr Pisano was co-chair of the business crime committee of the IBA in 2007 and 2008 and vice chair of the ECBA in 2008 and 2009. He is the author of several publications on the subject of business crime, mutual legal assistance and extradition.

WWL says: Roberto Pisano stands out for his impressive understanding of international investigations and criminal proceedings.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Business Crime Defence: Corporates

Roberto Pisano is the founder and managing partner of Studio Legale Pisano, an Italian boutique firm that specialises in all areas of white-collar crime including transnational investigations, recovery of assets, mutual legal assistance and extradition.

Mr Pisano has a history of representing prominent individuals and entities in high-profile Italian criminal proceedings, including various cases of corruption involving international corporations and their top officials; various cases of extradition, including the recent FIFA investigation by the US authorities and representation of foreign states; three cases of alleged tax fraud involving the former Italian prime minister; a case involving a major US bank in the bankruptcy of the Parmalat group; a case involving a claim for restitution of antiquities by the Italian ministry of culture, in which Mr Pisano represented a prominent US museum; various appeals in foreign jurisdictions (eg the USA, Hong Kong, Switzerland etc) against seizure and confiscation of assets; and internal investigations for foreign multinationals. Mr Pisano also advises and represents several foreign governments.

Mr Pisano obtained a law degree, summa cum laude, from the State University, Milan in 1992, and a PhD from the University of Genoa in 1999. Between 1993 and 1997 he was a research associate at Bocconi University of Milan; since then, he has spent many years working as a contract professor on business and tax crimes. 

Mr Pisano was co-chair of the business crime committee of the IBA in 2007 and 2008 and vice chair of the ECBA in 2008 and 2009. He is the author of several publications on the subject of business crime, mutual legal assistance and extradition.

WWL says: Roberto Pisano enjoys a great international reputation as the go-to adviser in Italy for complex, corporate crime matters, standing out for his impressive understanding of international investigations and criminal proceedings.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Business Crime Defence which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Investigations: Lawyers

Roberto Pisano is the founder and managing partner of Studio Legale Pisano, an Italian boutique firm which specialises in all areas of white-collar crime including transnational investigations, recovery of assets, mutual legal assistance and extradition.

Mr Pisano has a history of representing prominent individuals and entities in high-profile Italian criminal proceedings, including various cases of corruption involving international corporations and their top officials (with multiple investigations in the US, the UK, France etc); various cases of extradition, including the recent FIFA investigation by the US authorities and representation of foreign states; three cases of alleged tax fraud involving the former Italian prime minister; a case involving a major US bank in the bankruptcy of the Parmalat group; a case involving a claim for restitution of antiquities by the Italian ministry of culture, in which Mr Pisano represented a prominent US museum; various appeals in foreign jurisdictions (eg the USA, Hong Kong, Switzerland etc) against seizure and confiscation of assets; Italian criminal counsel for foreign multinationals conducting internal investigations. Mr Pisano also advises and represents relevant foreign governments.

Mr Pisano obtained a law degree, summa cum laude, from the State University of Milan in 1992, and a PhD from the University of Genoa in 1999. Between 1993 and 1997 he was a research associate at Bocconi University of Milan where he has since spent many years working as a contract professor on business and tax crimes. Mr Pisano was co-chair of the business crime committee of the IBA in 2007 and 2008 and vice chair of the ECBA in 2008 and 2009. He is the author of several publications on the subject of business crime and mutual legal assistance.

WWL says: Roberto Pisano is a highly sophisticated practitioner with impressive experience across a variety of jurisdictions advising clients on sensitive criminal issues.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Investigations which can be purchased from our Shop.

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