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Targeting London: Grimaldi hires former Clifford Chance chief executive Michael Bray for City ambitions

Italian independent firm Grimaldi has hired the former chief executive of Clifford Chance (CC) and prominent finance lawyer Michael Bray alongside Bonelli Erede Pappalardo’s Riccardo Sallustio in a bid to enhance its City presence.

Bray originally established the connection between legacy Grimaldi e Associati and CC in 1993, and during his time as CEO at the Magic Circle firm served as lead negotiator merging Rogers & Wells in New York and Punder, Volhard, Weber & Axster in Frankfurt with the firm.

Having retired from CC at the end of last year, Bray will develop Grimaldi’s banking and finance practice, raise its London profile and ‘provide the firm with strategic guidance and develop an institutional client base in the international arena crossing all practice areas and offices of the firm’. The firm will continue to practise only Italian law.

Sallustio joins from Bonelli where he served as a lawyer for 11 years. Prior to this he was a partner at Allen & Overy in Rome and London.

It follows Grimaldi’s hire last year of Ashurst London corporate partner Fabio Pizzoccheri, who has left the firm to launch Grimaldi’s new City office.

Commenting on his move, Bray said: ‘I am glad to be renewing my close working relationship with Vittorio Grimaldi.’

Vittorio Grimaldi and Francesco Sciaudone added: ‘The new team has a unique expertise in a broad range of domestic and cross-border financing transactions. This completes a number of lateral hires we made in the recent past and complements the growth of the Firm and of our existing banking and finance practice’.