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Leading international law firm Herbert Smith Freehills celebrates the fifth anniversary of the launch of its office in Milan, Italy.

Beginning with a team of 10 when it was first launched, the Milan office has grown to approximately 50 people today, including seven partners and three of counsel. The size of the office space was doubled in 2022 in order to accommodate the growing team.

The office has had consecutive annual growth since it first opened, and its client base has broadened significantly to cover a wide range of sectors including pharmaceutical and life sciences, energy and infrastructure, financial services, consumer, fashion and luxury, TMT and food. 

Recognising the need for a comprehensive European patent litigation practice when it first set foot in Milan, Herbert Smith Freehills has developed a unique specialist offering in the Italian legal market and a truly market-leading Energy, Infrastructure and Life Sciences practice. Since then, the firm has broadened these capabilities through key hires and promotions in Milan, including:

  • An energy and infrastructure team hire, including partner Francesca Morra, established the office's Corporate/energy sector offering
  • The hire of partner Enrico Mancuso and team, focusing on white collar crime litigation, corporate internal investigations and compliance
  • The hire of partner Augusto Santoro and a four-strong team including of counsel Bernadetta Troisi, expanded the firm's Corporate/M&A practice in Milan and supports its wider private capital and ECM capability, marking an important step towards building a full-service Corporate offering in Italy
  • The launch of the firm's European Trademark and Design Filing & Prosecution practice through the hire of senior European trademark and design attorney Annamaria Algieri
  • The promotion of Pietro Pouché to partner and Sara Balice to of counsel in 2021 – the first promotions of the office – reinforced the firm's IP litigation capability in Italy
  • The lateral hire of Simone Egidi in 2019 to establish a banking & finance practice in Italy and its promotion to partner in 2023.
  • The recent hire of senior associate Chiara Miccolis, who brings more than 10 years of experience in administrative and public law.

Laura Orlando, Italy managing partner, Herbert Smith Freehills, commented: "Since we launched the office in Milan five years ago, we have been laser-focused on pursuing strategic and measured growth and investing into key areas that truly reflect the international status of our office and the matters we advise on. We continue to operate with this focus and are incredibly proud of our achievements, which speak to our value as a trusted adviser to clients and to the expertise, dedication and quality of our people in the Milan office."

The Milan office regularly advises on high profile innovative and cross-border matters, including:

  • Pearson plc, the world's leading learning company, on the sale of its local K12 Courseware businesses in Italy and Germany to Sanoma Corporation, a leading European K12 learning services company operating in 11 countries and listed in Nasdaq Helsinki (SAA1V).
  • London-based Avenir LNG on its acquisition of the remaining stake of subsidiary company HIGAS from its minority partners, CPL Concordia and Gas and Heat, thus becoming the sole owner of the Italian small-scale LNG terminal.
  • Lionhealth, an innovative benefit company active in the development of food for special medical purposes in collaboration with universities, research centres and patient associations, on its branding strategy and all aspects of IP protection, including legal and regulatory advice in connection with the development and market launch of its products.
  • OneWeb on the foreign direct investment (FDI) filing related to its landmark merger with Eutelsat Communications, a listed French satellite and telecommunications company, to create one of the world's largest satellite operators with a combined entity value of approximately US$7 billion (based on pre-announcement share price).
  • Sorgenia in a green loan on a project financing basis of up to €32 million, underwritten by BPER Banca, for the construction of a photovoltaic plant without incentives ("merchant"), indirectly owned by the Sorgenia Group, and in the related 10-year power purchase agreement (PPA).

Nina Bowyer, EMEA managing partner, Herbert Smith Freehills, said: "I am extremely proud of the strong foothold our team has established in Milan and how they continue to grow from strength to strength, shaping the legal landscape in Italy and beyond. We are committed to continue investing in the right talent, skills and tools that will enable us to support our clients ever more effectively and efficiently."

About Herbert Smith Freehills' Milan office

Herbert Smith Freehills' office in Milan comprises a truly international team of specialist lawyers qualified to practice in Italy and foreign jurisdictions, including England and Wales, the Republic of Ireland and in India. All partners and of counsel are highly experienced, industry-focused and ranked among the best lawyers in Italy in their respective sectors by the leading legal directories. The multi award-winning team supports domestic and international clients on complex, innovative and high-value deals with particular emphasis on the Energy, Infrastructure, Life Sciences, and Digital, Technology, Media and Telecommunications sectors.

Notes to Editors:

Key accolades of Herbert Smith Freehills in Milan:

  • Laura Orlando, Italy Managing Partner and global co-head of IP, was named:
    • "IP Lawyer of the Year" for Italy at the Legalcommunity IP & TMT Awards 2023
    • Italian winner of the International Client Choice Award (Life Sciences, 2022; Intellectual Property: Patents, 2021)
    • Lawyer of the Year for Thought Leadership and Life Sciences at the Italian IP Legalcommunity Awards 2022
    • One of Italy's 50 top lawyers in Legalcommunity's Lawyers of the Year 2018 – 2022
  • The Milan team has won "Best practice – Product Liability" at the Legalcommunity Litigation Awards 2022
  • Enrico Mancuso, Milan Head of Corporate Crime and Investigations, was named the best financial crime lawyer in Italy at the Legalcommunity Finance Awards 2023
  • Francesca Morra, Milan Head of Energy, was crowned Energy Lawyer of the Year - liquified natural gas (LNG) lawyer in Italy at the Legalcommunity Energy Awards 2023
  • Simone Egidi has been recognised "Lawyer of the Year – Sustainability" at the Legalcommunity Finance Awards 2022.

Key contacts

Laura Orlando photo

Laura Orlando

Italy Managing Partner, Joint Global Head of Intellectual Property, EMEA Co-Head of Life Sciences, Milan

Laura Orlando
Nina Bowyer photo

Nina Bowyer

Managing Partner, EMEA, Paris

Nina Bowyer

Media contact

For further information on this article please contact

Wendy Lee-McGuinness

Senior Communications Manager


Milan Laura Orlando Nina Bowyer