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Thought Leaders

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Thought Leader

WWL says

Roberto Pisano is a top player in the Italian market and a go-to name for individuals and corporates in criminal proceedings.

Questions & Answers

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 do you enjoy most about working on white-collar crime matters? 

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, specific mixture 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 of working day-to-day in teams with Italian and foreign counsel, experts, in-house lawyers, etc. White-collar practice is never a matter of a single person. This is especially true in these times where almost every case is highly complex and transnational. Having said that, there is no way to properly and successfully defend in white-collar cases without studying personally and in-depth every single detail of the case.    

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

Three cases of international 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 USA (overturned) and Hong Kong (challenged), extensive freezing of funds in Switzerland (overturned in the criminal proceedings), and other aspects. We won two cases and lost the third, with the whole country following the trials, and as a result the prime minister lost the senate seat. We are trusted 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 USA, the UK, Germany, France, the Middle East, the Far East, etc), especially for corruption and tax-fraud allegations involving international corporations, their managers and foreign consultants. With the consequent need to coordinate with foreign counsel all steps of the activity of defence, including the challenges to the various freezing orders and letters of request to foreign authorities, frequently issued in these scenarios. There are no high-profile investigations and prosecutions in recent times, which do not include extensive cooperation and exchange of evidence with foreign authorities, and freezing orders in foreign jurisdictions.  

A growing number of countries are getting more active in investigating corporate misconduct allegations. What impact have stricter compliance programmes and a focus on corporate governance globally 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 criminal law practice. In Italy, for instance, as of 2001, prosecutions can be brought against corporate entities, including foreign ones, 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 become the targets of criminal investigations, compliance programmes play a crucial role in excluding or mitigating corporate responsibility. This has clearly had an impact on the practice of criminal lawyers in advising and representing corporate entities, especially listed ones, with regard to prosecuting and judicial authorities, and in conducting internal investigations in the interest of corporate clients. 

The increasing international prominence of anti-bribery and anti-corruption work has seen many law firms beef up their white-collar crime capabilities in recent years. How has this trend affected your practice?

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

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

As said, in the Italian scenario there is no competition with the larger firms, but synergy with different and supplementing skills. Internationally, it is crucial to have developed fruitful working experiences with the most knowledgeable lawyers in the various countries, because they will be the key factor of success when the case arises.

Global Leader

Asset Recovery 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Roberto Pisano is singled out as a pillar of Italy's white-collar crime market, with immense experience in high-profile, international fraud and investigation proceedings.

Biography

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 Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

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

Biography

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 Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Roberto Pisano is distinguished among peers for his outstanding expertise in transnational investigations especially on corruption and tax fraud issues.

Biography

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.

Investigations 2020

Professional Biography

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Roberto Pisano is a top name in Italy for business crime defence matters, and is well equipped to handle complex corporate investigations.

Biography

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.

National Leader

WWL Ranking: Recommended

WWL says

Roberto Pisano is looked upon with enormous favour by market sources thanks to his tremendous understanding of high-stakes corporate crime defence proceedings. 

Biography

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.

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