Massimo Chiais has over 25 years of experience in M&A, private equity, corporate law, contract law and real estate projects.

Massimo regularly advises institutional and corporate clients on extraordinary transactions and a variety of legal matters concerning their day-to-day activity in various sectors, some of which are highly regulated.

Massimo has a significant expertise and is recognized as leading practitioner in the following industries: luxury & fashion, interior design and furniture, hotel and leisure, logistics and transportation, automotive (where, for years, he assisted Johnson Controls, ITT and TRW), steel and oil & gas, having been also member of the ENI’s Legal Department.

In such sectors, Massimo was involved in numerous extraordinary transactions, joint ventures, complex corporate and governance matters, real estate projects, as well as major contracts typical of the business.

He speaks Italian, English, Spanish and French.


Prior to joining Willkie, Massimo was with Italian law firm Ughi e Nunziante.  He also previously served as in-house counsel with ENI Group, the Italian State-owned oil corporation, where he was assigned to a major project in Venezuela for one year.

Massimo is a member of the IBA (Corporate Law Committee), the Tax and Legal Committee of the Italian Private Equity Association (, the Board of Directors of the Italian Association of Corporate Law Firms ( and the ICC Experts’ Committee for the drafting of the International template of distribution agreement and agency agreement.

Massimo is author of several publications in corporate law and contract law and speaks at seminars and training courses on same subjects. 

  • Rockwood: Italian counsel to Rockwood in the dismissal of its Performance Additives and Titanium Dioxide businesses to Huntsman;
  • Fujitsu: advised Fujitsu in the setting-up of a long-term strategic JV for the development and marketing of new cutting-edge OCR devices;
  • Richemont International: assistance in several extraordinary transactions, including a JV with Kering in the eyewear sector, the sale of Montegrappa, the acquisition of Antica Ditta Marchisio (leading Italian manufacturer of jewellery) and the sale of Lancel to Piquadro;
  • STIS: counsel to STIS in the acquisition of a leading Italian glass manufacturer;
  • Severstal: assistance to Severstal in the acquisition of Lucchini;
  • Lucchini: counsel to Lucchini in the sale of its Polish division to ArcelorMittal;
  • Biotie: advised the Finnish listed company Biotie in a cross-border merger with an Italian listed biotech company;
  • TEVA Pharmaceutical: advised TEVA in the acquisition of the Italian leading generic drugs manufacturer from Pfizer;
  • Veolia: advised Veolia in the acquisition of the waste treatment division of the Edison Group;
  • Henderson, Bridgepoint, PAI, Trilantic, Aletti: counsel in the acquisition or prospected acquisition of companies in the engineering, construction, personal care, media, retail, catering, fashion, interior design, gaming, non-woven and oil & gas industries;
  • La Pierre de France: counsel to La Pierre de France in the acquisition of a Carrara based marble transformer;
  • CEVA, Mondo Convenienza, IKEA, Spreafico: assistance in major logistic projects and logistic services agreements (including, judicial administration proceedings aimed at ensuring compliance with applicable labour standards);
  • Experimental Group/Brookfield: counsel in the acquisition/ refurbishment of few hotels;
  • Cartier, Montblanc, Van Cleef & Arpels, Buccellati, Panerai, Jaeger LeCoutre, Chloé, Lancel, Serapian: advice in the opening/closure of several boutiques (including, factory outlets, public concessions, duty free shops, shops-in-shops), as well as on the acquisition/development of real estate manufacturing units and logistics hubs and the lease of office spaces;
  • Richemont Group, Patrizia Pepe, Liu-Jo: legal advice on corporate law and contract law matters, with particular reference to distribution agreements, supply agreements, licence agreements and e-commerce.



Università degli Studi di Roma “La Sapienza”, J.D. (magna cum laude), 1995

Bar Admissions

Italy, 1998