When the Italian law firm Chiomenti held its regular partners’ conference in Milan last week, some lawyers commented tongue-in-cheek that the conference should include a “cooling-down exercise” to keep the attendees’ enthusiasm in check.

“We are seeing new business in a size and amount that we have never seen in our experience—that I have not seen in more than 25 years, since I was a trainee,” said Filippo Modulo, Chiomenti’s co-managing partner. “We are almost afraid to predict results for the year.”