While IT & TLC law skills usually originate, in law firms dealing with such matters, as a by-product of their pre-existent IP practice, Studio Legale Sutti’s practice in this area has developed from the interest of a number of the Firm’s members in information technology per se, and from our efforts to stay, from the very beginning, on the technological cutting edge with regard to information and communication services. Thus, our involvement in IT and TLC is a very determinant part of our history, evolution and achievements.
Our approach to this area of law reflects such development, and has led to the establishment of an inter-disciplinary IT, TLC, TMT Group, which includes members of both our Company-Commercial Dept. and our IP Dept., some of whom also participated in our Y2K/Euro Task Force.
Among the more traditional Studio Legale Sutti’s IT Group services are: assistance with regard to negotiating and drafting custom software development contracts and outsourcing agreements; revision of standard terms and conditions, and shrink-wrap agreements, for software sale; advice on EDI, e-commerce and teleworking; litigation related to on-line contracts, liability for hardware and software failure, patent and software copyright infringements, the legal protection of databases, and unfair competition in the IT sector: and, from 1998 to 2002, Y2K and Euro-related issues.
Of course, the hottest issues are now those related to B2B and B2C e-commerce and the Net in general, including the related corporate tax planning, compliance with the legal security requirements applicable to treatments of personal data and the certification of digital signatures, the EU consumer protection rules applicable to on-line sales, the legal protection of Internet-based business ideas, and the prosecution of the so-called “computer crimes”.
The Group also concentrates on hi-tech joint-ventures, IT cross-licensing, and transfers of know-how in the TMT sector.
Lastly, IT, multimedia, consumer electronics, and high-tech in general, are also the strong point of our patent attorney practice, which includes the drafting of IT, TLC and multimedia patent applications, and the registration of software with the Italian Copyright Agency (SIAE).
A large part of the domestic media coverage obtained by Studio Legale Sutti since the early eighties is related to our peculiar involvement in the IT sector. The interest in this feature of SLS of course increased once Internet-based and Internet-related business had boomed, and in the period of the so-called New Economy. In this climate, the weekly business news magazine Il Mondo published, in its issue of the 23rd of April 1999, an article on Stefano Sutti, the Firm’s Managing Partner, entitled “The Pioneer of the Cyberlaw Firm”; an year later even a consumer-oriented magazine such as Happy Web has reiterated once more this “traditional” SLS theme in its issue of April 2000 (“I Want to Talk to My Cyberlawyer”), and so did the lifestyle magazine Capital (“The Cyberlawyers”, June 2000).
Again, Stefano Sutti – who in 2002 was appointed as Professor in Business IT Law by the University of Padua for its Master Course on the Internet and lectures for the Postdoctorate Course in Law and Economics of International e-Commerce organised by SCiNT – was the only lawyer mentioned by Donatella Percivale, in the issue of the 05/05/2000 of Il Mondo, among the Italian, Net-based, “New Economy” entrepreneurs and evangelists; and he was as well among the very few lawyers mentioned for the Italian jurisdiction by Law Business Research’s prestigious An International Who’s Who of Internet and e-Commerce Lawyers, by Legal Media Group’s Technology, Media & Telecommunications Lawyers 2002,and in the IT & TLC section of European Legal Experts 2001 (Legalease).
Vast domestic and international media exposure has also been enjoyed by our obtaining the first Italian and European judgment in a Y2K dispute, and by the petition filed by SLS in October 1998 on behalf of a non-profit organisation of IT and TLC operators and users, for alleged abuse of dominant position, against a large software producer with the Italian antitrust authority, the Autorità Garante della Concorrenza e del Mercato.
On another occasion, at the end of 2001, ANSA (04/12) Il Giorno (“Surprise to Web Surfers: This Site Is Under Seals” 08/12), La Provincia Pavese (“The Justice Online in the Web”, 05/12),Italia Oggi (“Web Site Seized Real Estate-Style. The Cordoned-Off Home Page”, 06/12), The International Law Office Newsletter (“Studio Legale Sutti Seals Website Coup”), and other media, mentioned Studio Legale Sutti with respect to the first seizure obtained in Italy of a Web site per se – which was “cordoned off” and put “under seal” by the police in cyberspace, upon SLS’s client request, according to the procedure in force for seizures of real sites and buildings – for the advertisement contained therein of machinery allegedly infringing a patent.
A very different Web-related case which made the front page, on 16/01/2002, of all the Italian press (including Il Giorno, Il Corriere della Sera, Il Sole 24Ore, Il Gazzettino, Il Secolo XIX, La Stampa, etc.) saw us for once represent an individual in the so-called “High Tech Hate” affair, where a group of hackers on the occasion of the G8 meeting in Genoa allegedly penetrated the Web sites of the Pentagon, the Italian Senate, and plenty of European Ministries, Chambers of Commerce, political parties, press agencies and ISPs, in order to leave a message against globalisation.
As far as the specialised legal press is concerned, it is therefore of little surprise that we are regularly cited as the leading IT practice in the jurisdictions where SLS is now active.
IT law was for instance mentioned among SLS’s “strong areas of practice” by European Counsel 3000 (published by L&C Publishing Ltd.) in its 1999, 1998 and 1997 editions – where Stefano Sutti’s expertise in matters related to hi-tech and electronics was also cited. Now, Global Counsel 3000, the new annual practice survey of the same publisher, again reports in its 2000 edition that SLS was recommended for “Internet-related work”; and in its 2001-2002 edition notes again our expertise in “technology & telecommunications”. Consistently, in 2002, 2003 and 2004 we are again recommended for “Communications”, with regard to both our Italian practice and our Bucharest office.
Similarly, our “strong practice” in the area of “Telecoms / Internet” is mentioned by ILFR’s 1000 – The Guide to the World’s Leading International Business Law Firms (now also online in the site of the Legal Media Group) since 1999. In the 2002 edition, we were pleased to read that “for IT and e-commerce, Studio Legale Sutti ranks as the top specialist firm”; and that our office in Sofia is separately recommended for “technology & telecommunications”. This opinion is also shared by The World’s Leading Lawyers (aka Chambers and Partners Global) 2002, where SLS is described as “the leading firm for IP-related matters concerning the Internet”, and again by the 2003 edition of the same publication, where we read: “Market opinion acknowledges SLS IP team’s long standing expertise in the high-tech industry. Other areas of specialisation include IT and Internet, cellular phones and fibre optics technology, 3D trademarks and MP3 technology”.
In the survey on “Foreign Law Firms in London” published by the 2000 edition of Legal 500 UK SLS is especially recommended, among Italian firms having an office in the United Kingdom, for “IP & IT”, while our work in the area of Y2K litigation was mentioned in the Italian section of the same directory. Speaking of the Internet and e-Commerce, according to The European Legal 500. 2001 edition, “it has been an established policy of the firm to become leaders in this field, serving B2B and B2C clients on all their legal and business advisory needs”. Again, in the 2002 edition we were recommended for “Telecoms, Media & E-Commerce” as a firm “offering a full range of services”, as we are again in 2003, which also mentions our competence in the field of e-banking.
Lastly, Studio Legale Sutti is the only Italian law firm recommended by KuesterLaw – The Technology Law Resource for Italy, and is listed under “Legal IT, Communications and Computer Law Attorneys” by the American Legal-ease Attorney Listing Service.
At the beginning of the nineties Studio Legale Sutti has participated in a number of IT-related EU projects as a member of Legit- Specialists in Legal IT, and in this capacity also took part in the conference organised by IBC UK Conferences Ltd. and sponsored by the ICC on the 27 and 28 November 1996 in Bruxelles on “European Information and Communication Technologies: Policy and Practice into the 21st Century”, where Stefano Sutti chaired the session dedicated to the relationships between computer science, competition and intellectual property.
SLS’s expertise in the area of European TLC and e-business was once more recognised at the end of 2000 when we were invited to join the Global Alliance for E-Commerce Law, a club of heavy-weight independent law practices, initially covering the United States, the Pacific Rim and Asia, on the forefront of the legal assistance to e-business operations. The interest of this initiative is that the Alliance is not so much the typical referral network amongst independent law firms scattered in different jurisdictions, but rather an ambitious knowledge-management joint-venture amongst top specialists in this sector, and by consequence a quality trademark based on peer recognition. Given that e-business is global and multi-jurisdictional by definition, membership in the Alliance thus provides an obvious added value, epecially with regard to issues related to general terms and conditions of trade, taxation and tax planning, intellectual property and competition aspects, business methods, security, regulatory compliance, privacy and personal data processing, consumer protection, and Internet-related international disputes.
Accordingly, our appointment as the Alliance’s first European member was widely echoed by the Italian and international press (see Il Mondo, 01/06/2001; The International Law Office Newsletters 06/12/2000; Commercio Elettronico 01/01/2001; Italia Oggi, 09/11/2000; Britaly, 01/12/2009 – the Newsletter of the British Chamber of Commerce in Italy; Il Secolo XIX, 10/12/2000, “Global Alliance Lands in Genoa”; The European Legal 500, 2001 edition; International Legal News, 20/11/2000; The Legal Media Group News 03/11/2000; The International Technology Law Review 01/12/2000; WordLaw Business 01/01/2001, etc.).
Since 2003, we represent the Alliance as well in Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania, and have been appointed to the prestigious position of world Coordinating Member – hardly an everyday occurence in any similar organisation for continental-Europe law firms, as it has been noted by the specialised legal and IT media – see again Legal Week 09/10/2003, “Italy’s Sutti Wins e-Law Group Role”; The Laywer 13/10/2003, “Studio Legale Sutti To Head up Global Network”; Mondaq 22/10/2003, “Studio Legale Sutti Appointed World Coordinator Of The Global Alliance For E-Commerce Law”; Studio Celentano22/10/2003, “Lo Studio Legale Sutti alla alla guida della prima alleanza globale di grandi studi specializzata esclusivamente sull’e-commerce ed Internet”, Excite23/10/2003,”e-Commerce Law: Studio Legale Sutti alla guida della Global Alliance”, Interfree23/10/2003, “Studio legale italiano a capo della Global Alliance for e-Commerce Law”, Aziende.it 22/10/2003, “E-commerce, Sutti a capo della Global Alliance”, ItLOOX 22/10/2003, “Internet: Studio Legale Sutti guida la Global Alliance”, Fullpress 20/11/2003, “Studio legale italiano alla guida della Global Alliance for e-Commerce Law”, Bernabé Magazine 24/11/2003, with an interview to Stefano Sutti (“La legge dei più bravi”).
We were also amongst the founders of euroITcounsel, an international circle of specialist lawyers, with strict admission requirements, which promotes the study of IT-related legislations. As such, euroITcounsel has been present at the Cebit 2000 in Hannover where on 25 February a member of SLS held a conference on the “Legislative and Regulatory Implementation of the Digital Signature in Italy”.
Owing to our especial focus on IT and TLC law and our direct interest in highly-specialised human resources in this field, in 2002 Studio Legale Sutti (in association with two other leading hi-tech practices) took the unusual initiative of partcipating in the creation and development, under its own very trademark, of one of the most ambitious Master courses in Law available in Italy (residential, 1200 hours classroom and laboratory teaching, plus a three-months’ compulsory stage period within the most important national IT law firms). The Master course will take place for the first time in 2003 under the aegis of Omni@media and Italia Lavoro, the educational arm of the Italian Ministry of Employment and Social Policies.
The initiative has been announced on, inter alia, La Stampa 27/12/2002; Il Tempo 07/01/2003; Altalex; Interlex 23/01/2003 (“Master in Information Technology Law”); Diritto.it 01/02/2003 (“Master in Information Technology Law”); and commented in articles published by Italia Oggi 20/01/2003 (which interviewed on the occasion SLS’s managing partner); Legal Week 11/02/2003 (“Italian trio launch training partnership. Top firms team up with labour ministry for tech venture”); Il Mondo 14/02/2003 (“Avvocati Online”); Studio Celentano (“Un Master in IT Law”); Yahoo11/02/2003 (“Un Master in Information Technology Law”); Interfree 01/02/2003 (“Il Master per l’avvocato hi-tech”), FullPress 13/02/2003 (“Primo Master in Information Technology Law”); Il Denaro 15/02/2003 (“Diritto dell’informatica, nascono i professionisti); Diritto d’Autore 05/03; Il Mattino 29/05/2003. Lastly, on 06/06/2003, a TV interview concerning the initiative was broadcasted in prime time by TG3, one of the daily news services of RAI-TV.
Given our traditional concentration on the IT & TLC sector and issues, SLS’s members have always been present also in many other conference and seminars held in our country and abroad, some of them (those concerned with IP-related issues) being listed in the page of our IP & Competition Dept.
One of those is those is the Italian Cyberspace Law Conference organised by Prof. Ziccardi each year in Bologna, where on 21/11/2003 Simona Cazzaniga presented a report on “The New Protection of the Intellectual Property in the Internet Age”, and Stefano Sutti on “Information Technology Law in a Law Practice”. Similarly, Prof. Cazzaniga, Cesare Bulgheroni and Prof. Giampaolo Corabi have been invited by AICA in Milan to an interdisciplinary discussion of software patents on 12/02/2004, to illustrate respectively the intellectual property-, criminal law-, and corporate tax planning-related issues. Again Prof. Corabi has been requested by the Circolo dei Giuristi Telematici to lecture in the Chamber of Commerce of Grosseto on on “e-Commerce and Corporate Tax Planning” on 15/01/2004.
Among other recent non IP-related, events where we were given the opportunity to participate, we may mention those which were held in Milan by CEGOS on “Negotiating and Drafting IT Contracts” on 22/10/1999, and by Systech – System Technology Institute, under the title “Y2K – What To Do When It Is Too Late for Technical Solutions” on 20/09/1999; and that organised by Fondazione Cassamarca, again on the “Millenium Bug”, which took place in Treviso on the 27/11/1999.
With respect to matter more directly related to the Net, SLS was invited in January 2000 by the Rotary Club – Milano Nord to discuss the Italian law on privacy and the online treatment of personal data, and again on 03/03/2000 lectured on “The Legal Security Requirements for the Treatment of Ordinary and Sensitive Personal Data” in the seminar organised by Centro di Formazione del Sole-24Ore on Legal Security Issues in the Treatment of Personal Data, with the participation of Dr. Giovanni Buttarelli, Secretary General of the Italian Privacy Authority.
We spoke again on Security in the Internet, the conference organised by IIR on the 27/06/2000 in Milan, where Stefano Sutti discussed the legal minimum security requirements and Gustavo Ghidini the legal protection of information published or transmitted on the Internet, and the same organisation requested Stefano Sutti to discuss the Security of Local and Wide Area Corporate Networks in November 2000 and “The Legal Protection of Corporate Information Systems” in the conference Objective: Zero Intrusion on 19-20/12/2001. Security Management and the Law was again the subject matter of the IIR seminar which took place on 17-18/04/2002, where we reported on “Corporate Policies and Protection of Corporate Data”.
Centro Studi Ateneo invited in turn Prof. Ballarino to discuss “Internet Law and Conflict of Laws” in the its meeting on Internet Law held in Padua on the 5th October 2001. “Computer Crimes, Privacy and How to Elude Legal Limits to Corporate Controls” was instead discussed in the 4-5/12/2001 IIR seminar on Corporate Security, and “IS Policies and Corporate Security” in that on Security Management and the Law on 16-18/04/2002. “ITC Security and the Law” was also the topic of a lecture given on 03/07/2003 in a course on Internet and the Law offered in Milan by the European School of Economics.
Tito Ballarino is as well the director of the the Master course on Internet Law, organised by the University of Padua, which has now reached its third edition, and where Stefano Sutti also plays the role of contract professor and member of the academic board. The Paduan Master Course on Internet Law also sponsored on 10/10/2003 in Milan the Agora conference on Digital Signature, which was chaired by Prof. Ballarino himself.
The contracts for the development, maintenance and hosting/housing of Web sites were the subject of two conferences held by Stefano Sutti, the first in Amsterdam, in English, in the frame of the Computer Law Association European CyberSpaceCamp 2001, the second in the 28/11/2001 CEGOS seminar on Outsourcing Contracts for the New Economy. “Security and Safety Obligations and Liabilities in Outsourcing Contracts” were also discussed by Gianluca Gilardi on the 27/07/2003 in the seminar IT Outsourcing (IIR). Again, on 06/06/2003 Stefano Sutti was invited to discuss main contractual patterns in e-business (“I principali modelli di contratti on-line”) in the framework of the Corso di Alta Formazione in Diritto ed Economia del Commercio Elettronico e Internazionale (SCiNT). “Legal Aspects of Document and Workflow Management” is the subject of two courses contributed by SLS to LRA in Milan on 19/11/2003 and 10/03/2004.
Intranets were instead the subject of two lectures given by Andrea Montanari, respectively “New Corporate Strategies in the Internet Era: Protecting the Company’s Know-How” (Knowledge Management and Intranets in the E-Business Era, 25-26/10/2000, by Business International), and “Intranets: How to Make the Most of Corporate Information and Know-How” (Intranets and Knowledge Management, 29-30/11/2000, by IIR). The topics of the “Physical and Digital Storage of Documents Containing Personal Data” was instead discussed for the same corporate training provider by Gianluca Gilardi on 19-20/02/2002 (Information Storage Services. Comparate Experiences). Open Source and ITC Policies and Strategies in Consultancy Firms was the subject matter discussed in a round table attended by Stefano Sutti and Gianluca Gilardi on 26/09/2003 and organised by IusOnDemand.
Again, Stefano Sutti, Andrea Montanari and Fulvio Moneta Caglio were invited to lecture on the legal and fiscal aspects of the activity of the Application Service Providers in a workshop jointly organised by CEGOS and SLS in Milan on 11/10/2000; for IIR in the same city Gianluca Gilardi spoke on “How to Draft Safe and Flexible Outsourcing or ASP Contracts” (in Outsourcing vs. ASP) on 24-25/09/2001, and “EDP Divisions Spin-Offs as an Alternative to Outsourcing” (in IT, Outsourcing, SLA) on 18-19/09/2002, and Marco Pistis discussed “IT Contracts and Corporate Strategy” (in IT Contracts) on 21/11/2001.
E-business has been instead the subject of two seminars sponsored by IIR in December 2000, where we disccussed respectively on Technologies and Solutions for E-business and Legal and Tax Aspects of E-Commerce. CEGOS has again invited SLS to discuss “Privacy, Treatment of Personal Data and Employer’s Liability: Forbidden or Obligatory Snooping?” in the conference on The Electronic Control of Employees on 23/03/2001 in Milan, and IIR the legal implications of the Transition from EDI and XML on 27-28 March 2001, as well as “Private-public partnerships with Technology Pourveyours” (in Information Technology and Italian PublicAgencies), on 26-27/02/2003. The directives for e-government in Italy were also the topic of a report by Marco Pistis in a LRA even held on 28/10/2003 in Milan on The Digital Protocols and the Workflow Management in Italian Public Agencies.
Studio Legale Sutti also co-organised on 25-26/03/2003 a joint seminar with the same conference organiser, on Business and IT Law Issues, with the participation of Davide Valsecchi, Simona Cazzaniga, Gianluca Gilardi, Tito Ballarino and Stefano Sutti.
Lastly, Stefano Sutti has chaired on 05/07/2001 the CEGOS conference in Milan on Privacy and the Internet , where he also discussed “How to deal with Internet-related data protection and privacy disputes”; and on the 21/11/2003 Stefano Sutti and Simona Cazzaniga participated to the Italian Cyberspace Law Conference with two reports on “Information Technology Law in the Practice of Law” and on “The New Protection of Intellectual Property in the ITC Era”.
Studio Legale Sutti is indisputedly the Italian international law firm the most oriented towards contentious and semi-contentious work. In this respect, it is in a position to represent final clients and assist foreign colleagues in Milan, Bergamo, Vigevano, Rome, Genoa, Monza & Brianza, through its local offices; and throughout Italy, profiting from an extensive network of local correspondents in all the other most important judicial centres of the country. Morever, after the establishment of our Sofia, Belgrade and Bucharest offices, our contentious practice has been extended to representation before all Bulgarian, Serbian and Romanian courts, where we rely on the presence of some of the very leading local counsel in our ranks.
Angelo Sutti, the founder – and senior partner until the early nineties – of the Firm was himself one of the most respected litigators of his generation in the courts of Milan and Bergamo, where he practised for more than forty years.
Litigation, arbitration, appeals and ADR are not managed by a separate department, because in Italy they are not considered, according to a very old tradition, an area of practice per se; but rather a supplementary, specific skill of lawyers who specialise in the area of the substantial law involved in the merits of each given case.
Moreover, we insist that even our partners and associates dealing mostly with transactional work actively participate in continuing education programs aimed at developing advocacy skills and an in-depth knowledge of the related procedural rules. Rethorics, neurolinguistic programming, morphopsychology, theory of games, comparative procedural law, elocution, presentation techniques, are also part of this training.
Litigation and dispute resolution work is tightly integrated with the rest of the Firm’s practice, in particular with services related to ADR, and to strategic business advice, in this area largely based upon the Harvard risk tree analysis, a process which is constantly revised and updated in cooperation with the client, and if possible with his in-house counsel department.
As a matter of fact, litigation and arbitration, besides being a metaphor of the entire legal profession (and perhaps of life), are in our view fundamental business tools, with respect to both the exploitation of opportunities and damage control. In this respect, the timely commencement of appropriate legal proceedings or a prompt reaction to the same – if possible also profiting from a creative use of provisional remedies, injunctive relief, and summary judgments – may indeed make the difference with regard to one’s survival and success in the market.
On the other hand, many disputes and criminal cases are won before the beginning of the trial, so that the utmost attention must be paid not only to performance in court, but to preparation and strategy, areas to which we devote all our efforts.
We also agree with Lao-Tzu and Miyamoto Musashi that even better than litigation and defences won before trial are those won without having to actually fight them. In this respect, while mediocre litigators rarely make good negotiators, in our experience the best litigators are often also excellent negotiators.
In addition to its traditional expertise in Corporate, Commercial and IP/Competition trials and appeals, the Firm provides as well representation:
- in white collar crime cases, to both individual and corporate defendants, and to victims (who in Italy cannot privately prosecute, but play indeed an active role, and may be represented by counsel, in criminal proceedings, in order to obtain interim relief and damages in criminal courts themselves);
- in all kind of arbitrations;
- in Italian Regional Administrative Tribunals, Corte dei Conti (see for example the judgment published here) and Conseil d’Etat proceedings;
- in Labour Courts;
- in B2B debt recovery proceedings and in enforcements of foreign judgements and awards in Italy, Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania;
- in EU Courts;
- in Italian, Romanian and European antitrust investigations;
- before the Italian Tax Courts (where Studio Legale Sutti’s Tax Department deals daily with several high-profile disputes on behalf of corporate clients);
- and before other regulatory and disciplinary bodies, authorities and tribunals, such as the Italian Advertising Self-Discipline Tribunal, the Italian Industrial Designers’ Self-Discipline Tribunal, etc.
Several members of SLS hold academic and teaching position related to civil and criminal procedure and more in general to dispute resolution, namely in Rome, Milan, Turin, and in the new Master Course on International Litigation organised by the University of Padua, in the framework of its prestigious Law School, which is the second or third oldest in the world.
Ten SLS members are also admitted to, and involved with, the very particular area of practice represented by appeals before the Italian Court of Cassation – which are the main specialisation of Bruno Sassani, who coordinates such work from our office in Rome where he is also professor of Civil Procedure. A few other SLS members are active instead before the Court of Cassation of Bulgaria and the Romanian Supreme Court.
In addition, the Firm’s Patent & Trademark Agency Services include representation in contentious proceedings before the European Patent Office, and their personnel often serve as Consulenti Tecnici di Parte (party-appointed experts) in Italian civil and criminal proceedings.
Needless to say, SLS’s orientation to contentious and semi-contentious work also involves our London office, whose main purpose is precisely that of offering to local law firms and in-house counsel departments on-site barrister-like services for everything pertaining to the Italian law and jurisdiction, and especially representation in Italian courts and arbitrations for their clients and employers. Thus, in the survey by the International Centre for Commercial Law on “Foreign Law Firms in London”, published in the 2000 edition of Legal 500, SLS was already recommended, amongst Italian firms having an office in the United Kingdom for “Dispute Resolution”.
Conversely, the excellent relationships our Tokyo office entertains with leading Japanese bengoshi in each given area of the law, and it constant monitoring of the Japanese business Bar, makes it a good point of contact for disputes in that country.
Lastly, Studio Legale Sutti was appointed in 2000 as the Italian counsel for the American State Capital Law Firm Group, an alliance of independent leading US law firms based in each State, and in the country, capitals, and involved in both business and administrative law litigation (i.e., challenges to the validity of regulations and governmental or municipal measures before special administrative courts).
Studio Legale Sutti has been along the years nominated as Le Fonti‘s Studio Legale dell’anno per il Contenzioso (2017), ACQ‘s Corporate & Commercial Litigation Firm of the Year (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017) and International Commercial Litigation Law Firm of the Year in Italy (2013, 2014, 2015, 2017), M&A Today‘s Law Firm of the Year – Commercial Litigation (2015, 2017) and International Commercial Litigation Advisory Firm of the Year (2015, 2017), Corporate INTL‘s International Commercial Litigation Law Firm of the Year in Italy (2017), Litigation Law Firm of the Year (2013), Corporate and commercial litigation (2012), Acquisition International‘s International Commercial Litigation Advisory Firm of the Year (2017), and Corporate & Commercial Litigation Firm of the Year (2017), Global Law Expert‘s Commercial Litigation Law Firm of the Year in Italy (2014. 2015), Corporatelivewire / Fenice Media‘s International Commercial Litigation (2013), Setup Verseas International Commercial Litigation(2012), Lawyers World‘s Law Firm of the Year in Italy for Arbitration (2011), and Law Firm of the Year in Italy for Litigation (2011).
Moreover, Stefano Sutti has been awarded as Acquisition International‘s Commercial Lawyer of the Year (2017), ACQ‘s Commercial Lawyer of the Year (2017), Acquisition International‘s Italian Litigator of the Year (2013).
Much of the media coverage obtained over the years by our practice is related to high-profile cases before Italian and other courts, tribunals and authorities, in very different kinds of disputes, from complex corporate cases (especially M&A-related) to appeals on fine points of law, to IP-related matters and patent enforcement campaigns, to antitrust and antidumping proceedings, to Y2K actions, to challenges of administrative measures and disputes against public bodies to the occasional defence of individuals in civil and criminal proceedings, often pro bono. Details and links are provided all over the site.
International disputes are however the field where today Studio Legale Sutti’s reputation is more widespread.
In this respect, the role that Studio Legale Sutti members play in the only existing European Master Course on International Litigation is eloquent. The Masters, the first edition of which is taking place in 2004 under the aegis of the University of Padua, the second oldest law school of the world, has been put under the direction of Tito Ballarino, and sees among the faculty Stefano Sutti himself (Strategy and Comparative Procedure; member of the Steering Comittee), Simona Cazzaniga (International IP Enforcement Campaigns), Eleonora Ballarino (International Private Law). This has not gone unnoticed by press agencies and specialised media: see Yahoo News, 26/11/2003, “Tito Ballarino Direttore Master Universitario a Padova su International Litigation”; Mondaq Business Briefing, “Tito Ballarino Appointed Coordinator of the First European Master in International Litigation (Italy) “; Studio Celentano Law, Web & Zine!, “Studio Legale Sutti partecipa al primo Master in International Litigation”; Italia Oggi 08/12/2003, “Un Master in International Litigation”; Notiziario Giuridico Telematico, “Master in International Litigation”; La Bacheca dello Studio Tommasi 15/11/2003 “Master Universitario di II Livello in International Litigation”; Associazione Culturale per lo Studio del Diritto, “Masters in Diritto della Rete e in Litigation”; Altalex, 15/11/2003 “Master di II livello in International Litigation”; Excite 26/11/2003, “SLS impegnato nel primo Master in Litigation”; itLOOKS, 26/11/2003, “Nomine: Ballarino dello Studio Legale Sutti Direttore del Master in Litigation dell’Università di Padova”.
Thus, we were so requested to present the two Italian reports in the recent seminar organised on 12-15/11/2003 in Salzburg by CILS in Salzburg, entitled respectively “The Internationalisation of Italian Summary Proceedings” and “Provisional Remedies in Italy: The State of the Art”; and accepted the appointment as responsibles for the Serbian and Bulgarian sections of International Recognition and Enforcement of Money Judgments and of International Attachments of Assets, two collective works published and periodically updated by Juris Publishing, Inc., the leading publisher in the field of comprehensive international legal guides.
Our especial focus on international disputes has similarly been recognised by the invitation extended again to Prof. Ballarino to chair the Conference on the EU Regulations on International Litigation (Cassamarca) which took place in Treviso on 10/03/2001. Actually, the Italian judiciary itself, and namely its National Council (CSM, Ufficio dei Referenti per la formazione decentrata – Distretto di Milano) has recently profited in its professional updating programs from his well-known expertise on the interferences between national proceedings and the EU courts (namely, he lectured on “La Corte Europea di Giustizia e il rinvio pregiudiziale” in the seminar Diritto interno e diritto comunitario which took place in Milan on 25/10/2003).
Similarly, SLS litigation, arbitration and ADR specialists are often invited to speak at international seminars, such as that organised by CILS on 12-15/11/2003 in Salzburg, where Eleonora Ballarino and Francesca Ferrero discussed respectively “Provisional Remedies in Italy: The State of the Art” and “The Internationalisation of Italian Summary Proceedings”.
Studio Legale Sutti has also a recognised expertise in corporate defence against consumer actions. Thus, we were invited to discuss defence strategy in Italian cases concerning product liability and the new statute on vendor’s liability in two conferences organised by CEGOS on 12/12/2002 and 09/05/2003.
Speaking of specialist press and surveys, if in 2000 ILFR’s 1000 – The Guide to the World’s Leading International Business Law Firms recommended Studio Legale Sutti for contentious matters, namely in the area of Intellectual Property, Y2K and business crime, in the 2001 edition of the same publication, now online at the address of The Legal Media Group, we are proud to be the Italian law firm unconditionally recommended for “commercial litigation”. The 2002 edition confirms that, mentioning Stefano Sutti and Livia Oglio as the “leading lawyers” in this area and citing our expertise in arbitrations related to “international trade agreements, construction contracts, and project finance operations”. Our recognised leadership in this field also led the same publication to invite us to author the Litigation Guide which was contained in both its paper and Web editions and adds to the numerous other articles and essays on the subject which SLS members have signed over the years.
SLS is among the very few Italian firms recommended for their litigation expertise by the Dispute Resolution Contacts Handbook 1999 (published by Euromoney). Again, Studio Legale Sutti, and more specifically Stefano Sutti, its current Managing Partner, are cited in the 2000 edition of the same publication for their strong reputation in this area.
In fact, Stefano Sutti is consistently mentioned during last years in both the Guide to the World’s Leading Litigation Lawyers (published by the Euromoney Legal Media Group, which also contains brief biographical details) and in European Legal Experts 2001, “Litigation” section (Legalease).
Again, according to InBrief (“Zoe Campbell asks UK lawyers to reccomend Italy’s leading law firms and top lawyers”, June 2002), “Studio Legale Sutti is recommended [in the Italian jurisdiction] for contentious work, arbitration, civil litigation and white collar crime”, Stefano Sutti also obtaining a personal mention.
In this respect, the firm was “highly recommended” by the 1998 and 1999 edition of European Counsel 3000 (published by L&C Publishing Ltd) for commercial litigation and business criminal defense and prosecution. Global Counsel 3000, the new annual practice survey of the same publisher, in its 2000 edition mentioned Cesare Bulgheroni, the head of SLS’s criminal law practice, among the four or five top white collar crime defense and prosecution specialists in Italy, as it also does in its 2001, 2002 and 2003 edition, which indicates us for “dispute resolution”, and where SLS and Bulgheroniare “highly recommended”.
His election, after a long collaboration with SLS, to partnership, a status which he has been the first member of the Italian criminal Bar to attain in an international law firm, had in fact already been largely discussed by the media, again stressing the particular emphasis of SLS on all kinds of contentious work (see Italia Oggi, 07/03/2001; Il Mondo, 09/03/2001, “Bulgheroni, penalista per caso”; European Legal Business, April 2001, “Sutti tackles crime”). Actually, as soon as 1998 Studio Legale Sutti was already recognised by Legal 500 in Europe as “one of the few major firms to offer a specialism in white-collar crime”. Similarly, the 1999 edition of the same publication, notes that SLS “is the only major Italian firm to operate a high-profile white-collar crime department”. Again, for Law.com/uk, in an article published on 08/11/2000, Mr. Bulgheroni is “among the top four or five white-collar crime lawyers in Italy acting for both prosecution and defense” and is “particularly well-known for his work in famous patent and counterfeiting cases”. His position in this respect has also been recognised by the Guide to the World’s Leading White Collar Crime Lawyers (published by Euromoney Legal Media Group), as its more general reputation as a litigator has again been reflected in 2003 by Il Mondo 03/04/2003.
Lastly, our specialisation in appeals before the Italian Court of Cassation was again noted by Global Counsel 3000, 2002-2003, and by The Lawyer, on 24/09/2002, where Prof. Sassani has been mentioned as the “leading Italian Supreme Court litigator”.
Studio Legale Sutti has extensive experience in both ad hoc arbitration and institutional arbitrations (including ICC, AAA, WIPO, HKIAC, Chambre Arbitrale de Paris, etc., flavours), and as such is the Official Contributor for the Italian jurisdiction of the relevant International Law Office newsletter, where we discuss on a regular basis arbitration-related Italian and international trends, case law, judgments and awards. Several other articles on strategy in arbitration and legal updates have been published by Mondaq Business Briefing and in The European Lawyer. The European Legal 500 , moreover, has specifically reccommended us (and our Sofia office) in 2002 for arbitrations related to the Bulgarian jurisdiction. Similarly, the financial weekly magazine Il Mondo (03/10/2003, “Se gioca l’arbitro”) mentions SLS and Cesare Bulgheroni among the “the top Italian specialists in arbitrations”.
Part of our arbitration and ADR practice is the assistance lent through our London office to English solicitors – whenever issues related to the Italian or South-Eastern Europe jurisdictions are involved -, in the field of English court-mandated mediation under the Woolf Reform.
Another specific expertise which deserves to be mentioned here is that related to the brand-new legal rules on the resolution of Italian corporate disputes through By-laws-regulated arbitration. This was in particular the subject of the report presented by Prof. Sassani in the conference Dispute Management and New Corporate Dispute Procedural Rules organised in Milan on 15/05/2003 by Il Sole 24Ore Business Conference.
Further information on our arbitration and ADR practice may also be found on the Martindale-Hubbell International Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Directory (published by Martindale-Hubbell).
Our contentious and semi-contentious work is discussed in detail in our entries in the relevant Mondaq’s directories (a free registration is needed to access them), and in particular:
- Administrative Law
- Antitrust Law
It can be easily noted that our current organisation, the kind of services offered and the range of skills and specialisations available among our members appear especially finely-tuned to typical M&A work, with an emphasis on the acquisition of Italian, Bulgarian, Romanian and Serbian industrial, technology or commercial businesses, and on the establishment of incorporated joint-ventures with companies based in those countries.
This is an area of practice for which SLS is especially recommended amongst others by The European Legal 500 (Legalease), 2002 edition, as we were among the scarce dozen of Italian firms expressly indicated in 2000 by the magazine Global Counsel (PLC) and its M&A Handbook 2000 as having already “made the M&A grade”. In turn, the directory published by the same editor, Global Counsel 3000, consistently recommends Studio Legale Sutti for Italian M&A transactions since 1998. Similar recommandations for our activity in the field of mergers and acquisition are contained in the 2004 edition of ILFR 1000, which notes that our office in London “has established close links with a series of mid-tier UK firms advising on the Italian aspects of acquisitions by UK corporates”.
In Italy, Studio Legale Sutti expertise in M&A work is again recognised by a recent survey of the Italian major legal players published by Lombard – The Italian Magazine of International Finance (February 2003).
In fact, such kind of work – including related negotiations, timely and extensive “due diligence” investigations, the etablishment of turn-key subsidiaries in Italy, related corporate finance and tax planning, regulatory take-over issues and… post-closing litigation – is, in contrast with widespread complaints of a “slow market”, a very significant segment of our business. Of course, our M&A practice covers also the possibly related antitrust and labour issues.
Among recent, disparate matters, we may remember here:
- the pre-due diligence concerning the intended acquisition of a company in the oil sector belonging to the main Italian corporate group by one of the Fortune 50 multinational oil companies (we ended up advising the client not to proceed further!);
- the takeover of a motor industry sale operation by a multibrand operator;
- the transfer of the bio-medical division of one of the largest pharmaceutical company to the world leader in the bio-medical sector;
- the corporate re-organisation of the main European TV manufacturer, including related antitrust issues;
- the takeover of the Italian market leader, by the European market leader, in the field of document storage;
- the acquisition of an Italian carrier and forwarding agent by a global group;
- the acquisition of a minority stake in the main Italian DVD-authoring operation;
- the management buy-out of a technology company;
- the negotiation and EU-antitrust clearance of an incorporated Europe-wide joint-venture concentrating the car-component manufacturing operations of a large energy and materials company and the leading independent producer of aluminium profiles in the world;
- the acquisition, by a multinational heavy-weight in the human resources business listed in the London Stock Exchange, of the Italian leader in the field of outplacement;
- the acquisition of a commercial property trader and developer by a leading European contractor in the field of fairs, international conferences and trade shows.
Other M&A transactions where we advised one of the parties include:
- the acquisition of Bulgarian hotels by a major international chain;
- the acquisition of shares by International Finance Corporation in a major Romanian bank;
- the acquisition of the daily newspapers Romania Libera and National by a leading Germany publishing company;
- the merger between a media giant and a leading recording company (with specific regard to competition issues in South-Eastern Europe).
Many of those transactions have been reported and discussed by the international financial press, which often mentioned as well SLS’s role as legal adviser of the party concerned. A few of the more recent deals are listed by specialised data banks, such as The International Law Office.
This leading role has been once more recognised by the invitation extended to Stefano Sutti to represent the Italian jurisdiction in the recent symposium organised by the European Central Bank and The European Lawyer on 28/11/2002 in Frankfurt, and attended by all the leading European merchant banks and law firms, on “Money v. Ethics: Dilemmas for Law Firms and Financial Institutions in Capital Markets and Mergers and Acquisitions”.
These experiences and our reputation in the field also gave us the opportunity to become the Italian “Country Writers” for M&Aability and to participate as speakers and lecturers in a number of related high-profile seminars, such as that organised by Paradigma in Milan on 29-30 March 2000, where we spoke of “Due Diligence Investigations with Respect to IP Portfolio, Pending Litigation and Arbitration Procedures, Supply Contracts, Information System Issues and Y2K/Euro Compatibility”.
Again, we have discussed “The Contractual and Legal Issues in Business Acquisitions” in the IIR conference on Business Assessments and M&As on 25-25-27 October 2000, lectured for Paradigma about “The Due Diligence in the Purchaser’s Perspective” on 23 November 2000 (Negotiating and Executing Acquisition Contracts); in April 2001 we have given a presentation again for IIR on “The Corporate, Financial, Labour and Antitrust Steps of an Agreed Merger” (Legal and Fiscal Aspects of Extraordinary Transactions); and on the 14 of November 2001, by Livia Oglio, about “Legal and Contractual Issues in Business Acquisitions” (Assessment of M&A Transactions).
Alessandro Galli and Livia Oglio were in turn invited by IIR on 13/02/2002 (M&A 2002) to discuss “Regulatory Stepts in Acquisitions” and “Legal Issues in Negotiating a Deal”. Focused once more on “IP Due Diligence” is instead the report presented by Simona Cazzaniga in the seminar on Due Diligence by the same organisers on 25-25 September 2001.
In 1997 Studio Legale Sutti set up an ad hoc team of lawyers of different expertise and skills aimed at dealing with environmental law issues. Full assistance is provided with regard to all kinds of legal and regulatory environment-related problems, in all possible civil, administrative and criminal aspects, with an emphasis on environmental due diligence operations, environmental compliance auditing, and natural disasters class action defence.
Criminal defence for the alleged breach of Italian, Bulgarian and Yugoslavian laws and regulations concerning, inter alia, chemical pollution, waste disposal, and electromagnetic pollution, is also provided.
In 2006, further to the Italian liberalisation of multisciplinary professional practices, Studio Legale Sutti expanded its services in this area by establishing a team of EHS managers, which provides clients operating productive facilities in Italy with technical assistance regarding environmental audits and compliance, environmental remediation, compliance with waste disposals regulations, and are certified as RSPP (responsabili servizio prevenzione e protezione) with respect to the provisions of DLgs 626/1996 concerning safety in the workplace. In this latter capacity, our EHS managers work closely with our Labour Department, including with respect to industrial relations and investigation of labour accidents.
The establishment of our Environmental Law Group was discussed by The European Law Office in their Web site, where its coordinator was described as “one of Europe’s pre-eminent environmental lawyers”, by Law Firms in Europe 1998 (published by Legalease Ltd.), by The Lawyer, issue of 14/04/1998, The International Law Office Newsletter (“Studio Legale Sutti Recruit New Environment Head”), the International Financial Law Review 01/04/1998, and European Legal Business, in its March-April 1998 issue. The re-organisation of our environmental law services through the establishment of a the Group was still mentioned in the 1999 edition of European Counsel 3000 (published by L&C Publishing Ltd.).
The activity of SLS’s Enviromental Law Group, which is mentioned under “Environmental Law Attorneys” by the American Legal-ease Attorney Listing Service (not to be confused with the abovementioned British publishing company), is explained in detail in our entry in the relevant Mondaq’s on-line directory (a free registration is needed for access).
Studio Legale Sutti is nowadays not only a law firm, but also a Patent & Trademark Agency, and some of our members are accordingly qualified as patent attorneys or patent liason agents, are admitted as such to the Italian, European and Japanese Patent and Trademark Offices, and have engineering or MBA degrees.
Patent & Trademark Agency Services, which are accessible from all SLS’s offices, are headed and coordinated from our Head Office in Milan.
Licio Zambon and Ruggero Del Curatolo have in turn specific responsibilities for our work in the areas respectively of chemical, pharmaceutical, nutritional and cosmetic patents; and of software issues.
Our IP agency services cover in general the drafting and filing of patent, model, design and trademark applications; prior art and prior use search; registration of software with the Italian Copyright Agency (SIAE); intellectual property portfolio assessment in auditing and due diligence operations. The Firm’s services in this area are, however, especially tuned towards the creative exploitation and enforcement of corporate patent portfolios, including licence negotiations and expert assistance and representation in litigation, criminal cases and patent office proceedings. Another focus of our services is the tax IP-filing and -licensing planning, provided in close cooperation with our Tax Department.
More information concerning our activity and expertise in general in the field of IP can be found in the pages concerning our Intellectual Property & Competition Dept., which is the framework in which our Patent & Trademark Agency Services are operated.
Law Firms in Europe 1997 (published by Legalease Ltd.) cited Studio Legale Sutti as the first Italian firm having implemented in-house patent attorney services (which are mentioned in analogous terms by The International Centre for Commercial Law).
SLS is a member of The Intellectual Property Network; a description of our activity in this field is contained in, inter alia, the World IP Contacts Handbook 1998, published by Euromoney; and the relevant data to access our patent services are duly reported in our entry in the wonderful Worldwide Listing of Patent Attorneys & Agents, published on the Web by. James W Piper & Co, as they are in the IP Professionals Business Card Directory.
Studio Legale Sutti also collaborates with Global Technoscan, a leading online technology transfer market place. Global Technoscan offers a vast range of services related to Science News, R&D, Licensing and Technology transfer, Venture Capital, Patents and IP, Science Policy, Events.
Finally, Studio Legale Sutti is the firm indicated for the Italian jurisdiction, with regard to the copyright, patent, trademark, and tradesecret law fields, by Peter Anthony Nieves in his Peter’s Patent Page.
For all corporations, whether they be private or public, domestic or international, there exists a new and palatable legal climate replete with corporate governance, compliance and risk management. What used to be solely within the private purview of a Board is now being regulated, or there is rumour of upcoming regulation. Unfortunately, in an ever-growing cross-border environment, this creates an extraordinarily burdensome and costly task for corporations, whether they be large or small, to ensure that they are compliant with their domestic laws, but also with the international laws of those countries into which they are seeking or hope to engage in business. To be proactive in an environment of uncertainty with current compliance requirements, not to mention the naturally unknown risks of the future, can render a corporation impotent to survive, let alone grow.
Further, while there is a consistent cross-border theme of the requirement to have compliance policies and procedures, code of conducts and ethics, the regulations of one country can in fact be be difficult to implement as prescribed in another without infringing local law. With the risks of engaging in business in one country versus another differing, there is a mandate, either by law or reality, of totally differing attentions.
The problem is not just with those corporations where the law currently requires adherence to certain compliance regulations, but in fact bleeds over to the private arena. Where economic development takes the form of a private domestic company being ‘pronti’ for acquisition by a larger, and perhaps foreign corporation, there is no longer the luxury of time to bring yourself ready as a competitive target for acquisition or cross-border growth.
Juxtapose these factors with the cost of compliance, the dislike of management to absorb an additional burden of either assisting in risk assessment or implementing what they perceive to be yet another burdensome programme, and the overall impossibility of working in, or running a company in an environment of ‘fear’, corporations have, unfortunately tended to either use an ineffective ‘template’ which in the end will be found lacking and insufficient, or worse to ignore or postpone the inevitable reality of the situation.
Thus, the creation of SLS’s Global Corporate Governance and Risk Management Services.
For SLS, enterprise-wide risk analysis does not mean to attempt elimination or even merely mitigation of risk, but to calibrate strategic goals to desired levels of risk exposure. SLS seeks to design a programme for its corporate client that breeds a risk intelligent culture that, through concrete steps, permits the organization to define their risk appetite (vs. risk tolerance), and further, where people at every level are taught to, and feel comfortable with, managing risk as an intrinsic part of their jobs. Rather than being risk-adverse in principle, we help clients to understand the risks of any activity they undertake and manage them accordingly. These are all components of SLS’s programme relating to risk management where a critical component that we address is ensuring that our client’s directors and top managers operate without fear of the unknown, so that they can articulate their business strategy and the main risks that could drive tactical and strategic decisions in the near and long term. By helping the client in defining its risk appetite, SLS better enables the Board to clearly and regularly focus on the company’s strategic plan. Identifying the actual ‘risks’ that could affect the company’s plans or performance, positions the board to evaluate whether management has adequately capped those risks and whether other elements of the company’s operation need to be adjusted. While SLS’s programme for its client is designed such that it becomes management practices to address risk, SLS additionally develops a structure designed to map oversight responsibility, guide management in strategic matters and the importance of the diverse perspectives offered by a broader group in governance. SLS in fact designs a framework for its clients to ensure that the allocation of responsibility fits the client’s circumstances and addresses the spectrum of identified material risks that we come up with in our initial risk assessment. SLS understands that the quest for profitability must be in sync with appropriate risk parameters, and considers risk management exactly as the balancing of risk and reward to maximize profitability. That is in essence the province of the CEO, whose job we seek to make easier, and whose person we seek to protect in this ever-changing criminally charged environment. The Compliance and Ethics programme that SLS usually designs in a hyper-textual format bears in mind a goal of being over-inclusive yet simple, direct, uniform and effective such that the programme can be used not just on a company-wide basis, but globally, with a format easily allowing jurisdictional specific supplements where deemed necessary. While the SLS’s programme may have to be developed from scratch, as in the establishment of a start-up, it goes without saying that what may already be in existence to its effects would be carefully reviewed, re-utilized and integrated whenever this makes legal and economic sense. An analysis is made as to the most effective way from a human resource standpoint and budgetary issues of maintaining the operation of the programme. It is not the intent of SLS to design a programme wherein a corporate client finds itself dependent on others, or incurring an inappropriate line item of expense. Developing an end product that is affordable and efficient all the while maintaining effectiveness is paramount in SLS’s approach. The areas of regulations meant to be acknowledged include, but are not limited to U.S. law of corporate compliance and sentencing guidelines, the U.S. Department of Justice guidance, the SEC guidance, environmental protection agencies guidance, self-audit policies, guidance from multi-national administrative agencies, human services guidance, the USA Patriot Act, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the UK Bribery Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, various country’s stock exchange and federal acquisition regulations, and Italian Law nos. 231/2001, 262/2005 and 196/2003. The programme designed and suggested by the SLS’s Global takes into account the general theme of all such guidance, in view in particular of the legal position of U.S., Italian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian and Romanian companies or subsidiaries. Further, SLS is in particular available to provide jurisdictional supplements with specific regard to doing business in: Albania, Armenia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, FYRO Macedonia, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, ant the United States.
The design and implementation of the programme used to be spearheaded by the Director of SLS’s Global, a former Assistant United States Attorney and ex-SEC staff member, admitted in mutiple US States and before the Supreme Court in the US, as well as in the UK and the EU. In the difficult current regulatory environment, SLS is unique amongst Italian law firms in affixing this credential to its final work product. The human resources devoted to SLS’s Global Corporate Governance, Compliance and Risk Management Services are lawyers and other professionals with a diverse range of subject matter expertise, and linguistic abilities. Further, with its broad range of offices globally, SLS stands ready to service a diverse jurisdictional client base.