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Lovells has poached three partners from its new Italian rivals as it pushes into Rome and Milan. The firm, which merged with Germany’s Boesebeck Droste earlier this year, opens the two new offices in October. It has poached Paolo Criscione from the Linklaters & Alliance firm Gianni Origoni & Partners to head the Italian practice. Criscione will be based in Milan. Two other partners, Fulvia Astolfi and Jeff Greenbaum, are joining Lovells’ Rome office from Pavia e Ansaldo. Marco Compagnoni, a Lovells’ partner, says the offices will be run differently from other U.K. firms’ Italian operations. “We’re not going into Italy with an imperialist attitude like most firms. London isn’t going to dictate exactly what Milan and Rome must do,” says Compagnoni. “Some existing work will be referred to Italy from London, but our main aim is to pick up new Italian clients that want to use an international law firm,” he adds. Compagnoni says Lovells in Milan will focus on corporate and financial work, while Rome will deal mainly with government, administrative and privatization law. Initially there will be about nine lawyers in Milan and 16 in Rome. “From then we’re going to concentrate on building up in Milan because it’s such an important commercial center. In a few years we hope to have about 70 lawyers there,” adds Compagnoni. Several British and German lawyers will transfer to Italy in the coming months, including Leah Dunlop, a London corporate partner.

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