Italian leader Gianni, Origoni, Grippo & Partners is to officially split at the beginning of December, with 95 lawyers now likely to break away, in the latest phase of the ongoing saga.

The news comes after founding partners Francesco Gianni and GianBattista Origoni plus recently-appointed managing partner Giovanni Nardulli held discussions Thursday aimed at setting a date for the separation.Ninety�five lawyers, including 17 partners, are due to move offices this week, with the departing lawyers relocating to another floor in Gianni Origoni’s Milan office and one of the firm’s Rome offices.The practice will then officially split on Dec. 1, although the number of lawyers leaving is lower than the 120 first expected, with a number of associates having decided to remain with the firm.The break-up follows disagreements between the firm’s executive committee and founding partner Francesco Gianni last month over strategic issues including the firm’s hiring policy, its onus on billable hours and the importance of regional offices.The leaving group, which includes executive committee members Alberto Giampieri, Filippo Troisi and Bruno Bartocci, will set up their own practice with offices in Milan, Rome and London. Nardulli will head the new firm, which is yet to be named.Other large Italian independents to split in recent years include Pavia & Ansaldo, which broke up in 2005 following disagreements over international strategy, with managing partner Marcello Agnoli quitting with a team of around 50 lawyers to launch a new firm. At the time, Pavia & Ansaldo had numbered approximately 150 lawyers and was a regular referral partner of London giant Herbert Smith.