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Willkie opened offices in Italy* in 2000 in Milan and Rome, and is now a leading law firm with more than 40 attorneys offering a broad spectrum of legal services to international and domestic clients.  Our practices combine international business experience with our knowledge of local and European Union laws and regulations.


The practices focus on private equity, venture capital, M&A (including acquisition finance), business reorganization & restructuring, and compliance. In addition, we provide the full range of legal services in tax law, labor, real estate, EU privacy and data protection, trade compliance (economic sanctions and export control), foreign direct investments regulations, administrative law, energy, litigation, arbitration and alternative dispute resolution. 


Willkie attorneys in Italy are known for providing counsel that covers all relevant legal aspects of a transaction, but also incorporates a unique business vision helping to meet the overall strategy of the deal. The Firm is especially known for its ability to integrate technical experience and creative business strategies. Our lawyers are skilled at adapting innovative business solutions to the Italian legal environment, while considering international and European Community law implications for our clients. Our international reach and local market experience has allowed us to develop an unparalleled practice in financial markets while offering clients cutting-edge solutions to most of their legal and tax needs. For example, our representation of such high-profile clients like Merck, Deutsche Bank, ERGO reinsurance, Teksid Aluminum, Electricite de France (EDF) and Italenergia is testament to our commitment to providing multijurisdictional legal advice to our clients to support their long-term legal needs and multifaceted business requirements. Furthermore, as a result of working with these companies, we have gained reputable experience and strong qualifications in many industries including manufacturing, healthcare, infrastructure, automotive, insurance, fashion, energy and utilities sectors, plastic and chemical industry.


All lawyers in Willkie’s Italian offices have worked and studied abroad, many at prestigious universities. Among the offices’ many strengths is our ability to draw on the resources of the global Firm to complement our local experience. Since we assist clients on deals that span multiple jurisdictions, we work seamlessly with Willkie attorneys in other offices throughout Europe and the United States, utilizing the global knowledge network of the Firm to provide the highest-quality legal counsel to our clients. We work as a team to deliver consistent, high-quality legal services.



Banking & Finance

The Italian team provides comprehensive counsel to global clients in their most sophisticated financing transactions. Our global presence and extensive international experience facilitate the structuring and execution of complex cross-border banking and  finance transactions. 

Our lawyers offer a combination of long-standing market experience, a wide range of capabilities in the banking and  finance sectors, and in-depth knowledge of the markets in which our diverse clients operate to provide creative, business-focused legal advice. 

Our finance team regularly represents banks, private equity sponsors, hedge funds and corporates in a wide range of banking transactions, including leveraged finance, acquisition finance, real estate and infrastructure finance, project finance, export and internationalization finance, transactions with a public guarantee of the participation of EIB and corporate finance, purchase/sale of receivables or portfolios of receivables, and green and ESG financing.

We also have significant experience in the debt capital market, including securitizations (including the STS) and other structured finance transactions. Our capabilities span the spectrum of debt restructuring transactions.

We provide regulatory advice in connection with compliance with Italian laws and regulations in the banking and finance sector.

We represent clients across an array of industries, including energy (traditional, renewable and energy saving), hydroelectric,  water, real estate and infrastructure, as well as research, innovation and TMT, food, industrial, health and pharma, automotive, logistics and distribution, aerospace, transportation and shipping.

Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity

We have built solid qualifications in advising on sales of private companies to financial and strategic buyers. We regularly represent clients in acquisitions (shared deals and asset deals), sales and divestitures, and financings related to buyouts. We have represented general and specialty manufacturers, as well as strategic investors, hedge funds, investment banks, private equity and venture capital firms and other investors.

Business Reorganization & Restructuring

Our restructuring and alternative investments practice in Italy is formed by lawyers who have extensive experience in domestic and international insolvency and pre-insolvency matters and alternative investments, bringing to each engagement the optimal combination of restructuring-related and industry-specific knowledge. The team provides a broad range of services to assist alternative businesses and their shareholders and creditors in maximizing values in the broadest possible range of challenging circumstances. The team has extensive knowledge of the new Italian bankruptcy regime and in-depth understanding of corporate and finance law, and has been involved in practically all the major alternative and restructuring deals in the Italian market in the last several years.


We have acquired significant experience in advising on regulatory compliance, white collar crimes, and on analyzing and evaluating the effectiveness of corporate procedures and policies. Our lawyers assist the clients on an ongoing basis in the implementation of corrective actions aimed at minimizing the risk of any future legal actions and, more generally, to mitigate corporate risk, and at the same time providing litigation assistance to companies, shareholders and top managers, with a strong focus on cross-border disputes, demonstrating our ability to quickly and clearly translate the complexities of the Italian legal system.

Privacy and Data Protection

Our leading compliance practices excel in consulting activities relating to data privacy compliance pursuant to EU Regulation 2016/679 (GDPR), Italian Data Privacy Code, as well as compliance programs pursuant to Italian Legislative Decree n. 231/2001, anti-corruption, market abuse regulations, at both national and international level. Our privacy and cybersecurity practice is unique in the Italian market, encompassing all of the legal issues associated with this complex field.  Through our team, clients have access to some of the most experienced practitioners in the field in Italy, backed by the formidable strengths of the Firm’s global teams.

Trade Compliance and Foreign Direct Investments Control

We have extensive experience in addressing corporate compliance concerns that involve international trade laws and regulations. Our team advises domestic and multinational clients on any compliance aspect ensuring that clients conduct their global operations in compliance with applicable laws governing international trade in goods, services, technology and capital. That includes advice on export controls, sanctions and embargoes, restrictions on investments as well as compliance on EU cybersecurity laws and regulations. The Firm has also a unique capability in dual use and sanctions related goods screening.   


Our Italian team offers significant experience in handling a variety of litigation matters, including cross-border disputes, local arbitrations and mediations.


We have significant experience in national and cross-border tax matters. Our team is also highly skilled in advising on matters related to complex double taxation treaties, tax structuring, VAT and transfer-pricing.


We advise national and international clients on labor, social security and industrial relations matters. We handle hiring and termination of executive managers, employment contracts in the context of large international groups, medium-sized enterprises, public utilities, individual and group transfers, non-competition clauses and restrictive covenants, severance and settlement agreements, implementation of collective lay-offs and restructurings, structuring of incentive and development of compensation policies, employment policies and guidance on their application, negotiation of collective bargaining agreements, union information and consultation procedures in cases of transfer of undertakings and collective lay-offs. Our lawyers assist clients in drafting corporate policies on ethics and discipline, in particular on the application of Legislative Decree no. 231/2001 regarding work safety-related offences, and assist foreign companies in adapting their workplace practices and procedures to local law. Clients are assisted on any labor disputes both in and out of court, including litigation concerning staff supply agreements and litigation with the unions for unfair labor practices or shop stewards rights.


Real Estate


We have extensive experience on a full range of real estate transactions, including setting up and liquidation of real estate investment funds, real estate financing and re-financing, and lease agreements in the hospitality, retail, residential and commercial sectors. Our practice also covers public concessions and project finance.


We advise energy producers and distributors on the evaluation of projects, admission to the incentive rates for projects promoted by the electricity generation business from renewable sources and acquisition transactions, involving special purpose corporate vehicles for the construction and management of power plants. Our lawyers can assist companies and credit institutions on any energy related matter and phase, from start-up projects and acquisitions of projects to challenges in court.


* Studio Legale Delfino e Associati, operating in Italy, is affiliated with Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP.
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