Herbert Smith Freehills has bolstered its technology, media and telecoms (TMT) and competition regulatory and trade (CRT) platforms with the hire of Andrea Appella as a Consultant in the firm's Milan office.
A qualified lawyer and solicitor, Andrea brings a wealth of experience from 25 years of in-house practice in the creative industries (audio-visual/media/technology) on an international scale, specialising in competition, intellectual property and regulatory law, most recently as Head of Global Competition at Netflix. His previous roles in-house include Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at News Corporation/21st Century Fox, Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Warner Bros/Time Warner, and Director at MTV Europe.
He has worked on a wide range of mergers and acquisitions (most recently Fox/Disney), competition proceedings, market and regulatory investigations, copyright and digital single market policy and regulation, regulation of audio-visual media services and digital platforms, and artificial intelligence. During his tenure in international groups, Andrea undertook significant assignments across all media sectors (movies, TV networks, pay-tv platforms, music, sport, publishing, news, online streaming, digital platforms), providing advice and counsel on some of the most transformational competition and regulatory cases, as well as legislative developments that have shaped the audio-visual and creative industry over the last decades. He was featured in Global Competition Review’s list of top in-house antitrust lawyers in the world (Corporate Counsel 2019) and among the “Stars of the In-House Competition Bar” in Global Competition Review (March 2005).
Prior to his in-house career, Andrea was a lawyer at Herbert Smith Freehills, where he started his career and practised until 1997.
Andrea also held the institutional role of Director of International Affairs at the UK Office of Fair Trading (the predecessor of the Competition and Markets Authority), where he managed relations with the European Commission, the OECD and the International Competition Network. He was co-chair of the Antitrust Committee of the International Bar Association and is currently a non-governmental advisor to the International Competition Network. He has recently collaborated with the Italian Ministry of Culture.
He is currently a Visiting Professor at King's College London, where he teaches "Competition and Intellectual Property in the Media Industry: Law and Practice" on the Master in Law (LLM) programme. He is also a member of the ICPC (Innovation, Competition and Regulation Policy Centre) at the European University of Rome and of the Steering Committee of the Next Generation Lawyers course in partnership with LuceLabCinecittà and the high-level training company BeRight.
His arrival marks another milestone in the growth of Herbert Smith Freehills in Italy since opening its Milan office just over five years ago. In the last twelve months, the firm has made significant lateral moves, including the launch of the European Trademark & Design practice led by Annamaria Algieri, the addition of partner Augusto Santoro to Of Counsel Bernadetta Troisi and her Corporate, Private Equity and ECM team, and the internal promotion of Simone Egidi, head of the Banking and Finance team, to partner.
Kyriakos Fountoukakos, Managing Partner, CRT at Herbert Smith Freehills commented: "Andrea has a fantastic track record, and his insights gained from a career in-house and in regulatory authorities will prove invaluable to our clients who are getting to grips with a fast-moving competition landscape. We're excited to welcome Andrea back to the firm."
Laura Orlando, Italy Managing Partner and Global Co-Head of Herbert Smith Freehills' IP practice, welcomed Andrea and said: "We are delighted to welcome Andrea to our firm. Our expansion has always been driven by a clear sector vision, which has distinguished us since the inception of our Italian practice. Andrea's expertise enriches our TMT platform and allows us to offer an even broader range of services to our clients. In addition, Andrea will work with the European Competition & Antitrust team as well as the Italian team, further strengthening the synergy between the offices in the network".
Andrea added: "It is an honour to return to Herbert Smith Freehills, where I started my career in London. It's a dynamic and international firm that has grown significantly in Italy in a short space of time. My areas of specialisation fit harmoniously with the firm's philosophy and platform, which has always paid particular attention to the TMT sector. I am eager to bring my experience and know-how to the firm and to work closely with my colleagues and clients to meet the legal challenges posed by the dynamic and ever-evolving TMT sector".