Legal Business

Renaissance style – the battle to modernise Italy’s legal elite

Italy’s economic crisis has forced elite domestic law firms like Bonelli Erede Pappalardo to reconsider their business models. Legal Business discovers whether the market is ready for change

In 2011 Stefano Simontacchi, then head of tax at the Italian legal giant Bonelli Erede Pappalardo, made a high-stakes presentation at the firm’s general partners’ meeting. The increasingly disastrous economic climate in Italy was forcing the firm to reappraise its strategy and Simontacchi, as part of a three-partner committee, had been approved by the firm’s board to find a solution.

‘We needed strategic thinking about whether we wanted to be a very small boutique or whether we wanted to remain at the size we were,’ recalls Simontacchi. ‘In which case, how could we survive when overall spending capacity of the market is decreasing?’