Legal Business Blogs

When in Rome – Dentons follows Italy launch by opening in capital

After launching in Milan late last year, Dentons has continued its recent European expansion by announcing a second office in Italy with a new branch in Rome.

The new office will be led by Italy managing partner Federico Sutti, who was hired from DLA Piper in 2015 and will lead both the Milan and Rome offices.

The initial Rome team will include recent recruit antitrust partner Michele Carpagnano as well as corporate partner Luca Pocobelli and a team of associates. Several Milan-based partners will split their time between the two offices.

Carpagnano joined Dentons earlier in June from leading Italian independent Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners.

At the end of a startlingly expansive 2015, Dentons made its mark in Italy with the hire of 21 lawyers from DLA Piper, including Sutti, the firm’s former managing director for Europe and Africa. The firm now has more than 50 lawyers in Italy, including 12 partners.

Sutti said: ‘When we entered the Italian market last October, we had a clear vision to build Dentons into a full-service firm within two years and one of the top international law firms in Italy within three years. Opening an office in the capital city of Rome is one of the cornerstones of that strategy.’

Dentons global chairman Joe Andrew said: ‘This investment was very much driven by our clients. Although Rome is Italy’s largest city and second-largest legal services market, many international law firms have reduced their presence in Rome, meaning companies cannot benefit from the same legal offering as in Milan.’

The recent pullback from Rome was seen last month when Ashurst shut the doors on its office, relocating its remaining lawyers to Milan. The move came after the resignation of the firm’s sole Rome partner Aian Abbas, with Ashurst relocating the remaining associates and trainees.

While its moves in China and Latin America have stood out, Dentons has expanded rapidly in Europe over the last 18 months. Led on the continent by Europe chief executive Tomasz Dąbrowski, the firm has launched across several jurisdictions, taking a team from Norton Rose Fulbright to open in Munich this summer, as well as completing a tie-up in Luxembourg last year and adding a 30-strong team from White & Case in Budapest.