In a story shaking up the legal community in Italy this past week, on Dec. 9, Sergio Erede, a co-founder of top-tier Italian firm Bonelli Erede Pappalardo, was handed a 1 1/2-year suspended jail sentence in connection to the 2003 collapse of Italy’s Parmalat S.p.A. Erede is perennially one of Italy’s highest-earning corporate lawyers.

The Court of Parma has not yet issued the actual counts that Erede was convicted on. But lawyers at U.S. firms in Italy say the 70-year-old lawyer was convicted of negligence. The charges stemmed from Erede’s former position as a board member of Parmalat, not from his legal practice.

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