European law firm Fieldfisher has agreed a merger with Italian law firm Studio Associato Servizi Professionali Integrati (SASPI). The merger, structured as a Swiss Verein, takes effect today - 1st July 2016 - and sees SASPI adopt the Fieldfisher brand name.
SASPI has 170 professionals in total – of which 21 are partners – mostly lawyers but with a number of tax accountants, and operates from offices in Milan, Rome, Venice and Turin. Together the two firms total around 970 professionals, and the merger takes the total number of offices in the Fieldfisher network to 13.
SASPI was set up in 2002 by partners who had acquired substantial experience working for major international accountancy practices, with many joining from a Big 4 accounting firm, and was most recently a member of a top ten global accountancy network.
SASPI's areas of expertise include banking, corporate, company secretarial, compliance and commercial, employment, data protection and tax law. It has approximately 450 clients, of which 80% are multinationals, including – amongst others – Apple, Amazon, BMW, Deutsche Post, Total and Intesa Sanpaolo, the Italian banking group.
SASPI has experienced an average 20% annual growth over the last five years.
Fieldfisher managing partner, Michael Chissick, said: "This is a significant development for the firm, providing four new offices in Italy and 21 partners who will add value and depth as we look to grow.
"We're very pleased with the synergies between the client bases of the two firms and there are clear opportunities for cross-selling and co-operation. In particular the agreement will strengthen our European employment, banking, corporate and tax groups – areas in which SASPI is particularly strong."
John Stewart, managing partner of SASPI, said: "This is the next stage in developing our international presence and being part of a growing international legal brand. Fieldfisher's international network of offices stretches from Silicon Valley to Shanghai, with European offices in France, Belgium, Germany and the UK. This geographic reach was very attractive to us but equally so was the firm's reputation in technology, IP and banking, all of which complement the growing needs of our clients. Going forward we will look to grow our life sciences, IP and technology capabilities in Italy and to continue our growth of the last five years. We are looking to make Fieldfisher the largest law firm in Italy."
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