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Loss and gain: Ashurst loses City corporate partner as KWM finance partner joins in Sydney

Ashurst yesterday (12 May) saw both sides of the lateral hiring coin as it announced the hire in Sydney of King & Wood Mallesons finance partner Jennifer Schlosser but lost London corporate partner Fabio Pizzoccheri, who has left the firm to launch Grimaldi Studio Legale’s (GSL’s) new City office.

GSL’s launch comes as the Italian firm identified the need to grow in London and bridge the gap between Europe and Italy. Pizzoccheri will lead the new office, which will focus on the corporate and financial markets, offering services to international law firms that do not have an Italian offering. The firm will also offer services to financial institutions, funds and multinational group, as well as its existing clients in Milan, Rome and Brussels.

Pizzoccheri, a former Dewey & LeBoeuf partner who joined Ashurst in 2010, specialising in financial services, capital markets and corporate, said the firm does not plan to grow its City headcount in the short-term, commenting: ‘These days firms need to be careful in terms of cost.’

Pizzoccheri will at GSL be joining former colleagues from Dewey including partners Stefano Speroni, Davide Contini and Angelo Zambelli who all, amongst others, joined the firm after Dewey & LeBoeuf went bankrupt in 2012.

GSL currently has around 100 fee-earners across its Rome, Milan and Brussels offices and provides M&A, private equity, tax, financial, litigation and competition advisory services.

CEO of the firm Vittorio Grimaldi said: ‘Our goal of expansion and internationalisation was bound to lead to the opening of a new office in London. The office will be lead by our new partner Fabio Pizzoccheri and we are certain that it will soon grow further with the addition of other high calibre professionals.’

Meanwhile, Ashurst revealed yesterday that it has hired finance partner Jennifer Schlosser in its Sydney office from King & Wood Mallesons.

Schlosser specialises in securitisation and structured debt capital markets, and is involved with the Australian Securitisation Forum, and has international banking and finance experience from working in Canada, Germany and the UK.

Ashurst vice-chairman Mary Padbury said: ‘Our panel relationships and continuing work with Australia’s four major banks and the global focus of the firm on the financial services sector has created significant opportunities within our finance practice. Through targeted lateral hires such as Jennifer’s and internal promotions to partnership of some of our brightest legal minds, we are continuing to build on the strength and depth of talent in our finance practice to the ultimate benefit of our clients.’

Global co-head of Ashurst’s finance practice Paul Jenkins added: ‘Her [Schlosser’s] extensive experience in securitisation and structured finance – primarily acting for originators, financiers and arrangers in public and private domestic and offshore transactions – will be of enormous benefit to our practice.’