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SJ Berwin opens in Italy with PE, M&A and buy-out team

Leading European corporate firm, SJ Berwin LLP has opened an Italian operation headed by buy-out and acquisition finance specialist Alberto Morano.

The firm has just won the European private equity industry award, EVCA Real Deals Law Firm of the Year 2005, and the new Italian offices, which opened in Milan and Turin on 5 December, will further its European strategy.

Morano, who has been made a partner of the firm, and will be joined by partners Massimo Chiaia, Arturo Meglio and Fabio Cigna. The team brings expertise in the fields of private equity, M&A, acquisition finance, real estate, corporate and labour law and, in the near future, will expand to include EU & competition law.

Prior to joining SJ Berwin, Morano was in-house counsel at Citibank, while back in 1990 he founded Studio Legale Morano e Associati and subsequently joined White & Case LLP.

"SJ Berwin has a highly focused European expansion strategy. A presence in Italy has always been a vital part of that strategy," says senior partner David Harrel. "I am delighted that Alberto and his team have decided to join SJ Berwin which will give us a foothold in the important Italian market."

Morano believe the expertise that his team provides is a clear strategic fit with SJ Berwin. "I am looking forward to working with such highly-regarded corporate finance teams across Europe," he says. "I act for a broad range of international and institutional clients which complements SJ Berwin's client base and their focus on cross-border transactions."

Jonathan Blake, head of European corporate finance and private equity, reveals that the Italian office is a major part of SJ Berwin's European Law Firm Strategy.
"The office will focus on private equity buyouts and M&A in the Italian marketplace," says Blake. "Alberto and his colleagues are well known in the Italian market and work with very high quality clients. They are, therefore, a perfect fit with the firm's existing European Private Equity and M&A practice. We are delighted to welcome them to the firm, and look forward to introducing them to many of our clients. "

Background notes: The opening of offices in Milan and Turin follows the launch of similar operations in Paris, Madrid, Munich, Berlin and Frankfurt and brings the number of partners to 143 across the combined European business. SJ Berwin already offers a range of services to its clients in Continental Europe including EU & Competition and real estate, as well as M&A, tax and private equity.

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