Filippo Troisi, senior founding partner at Legance, details the key factors that have contributed to the rapid growth of the Italian firm, recounting the success of an independent law firm that aimed to become a recognized institution in the Italian legal market.
Leaders League: Legance was founded in 2007 – how do you explain its rapid growth?
Filippo Troisi: Our Firm was founded at the end of 2007 based on a highly institutional model. At the beginning it constituted of a group of about 80 lawyers and 22 partners, now we have offices in Rome, Milan and London totaling 200 lawyers, 36 of whom are equity partners. This rapid expansion has been triggered by three main factors: the continual acquisition of high-profile corporate and financial clients; the involvement of the Firm in major market transactions and, the constant and substantial growth of all key performance indicators.
Leaders League: Where is your firm positioned in the Italian market?
F.T: Legance is now generally recognized as one of the top four law firms (known as the “Big Four”) in the Italian market. According to an independent survey carried out by an Italian legal magazine, among the General Counsels of Italy’s 30 leading listed companies, our Firm emerged as the most popular for M&A and Banking and Finance sectors. What’s more, some of our transactions are considered by the market as the most important of the past year and include the assistance provided to, to name but a few, Fiat, in the cross-border merger with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, Sky plc in the acquisition of Sky Italia and Fortress Investment Group in the acquisition of UniCredit Credit Management Bank. 2015 is going to be even better and we are working on top-tier cross-border transactions such as the merger of Cyberonics with Sorin. Consequently, Legance has constantly broken its revenue and profit records, achieving higher performances that other, more established law firms. We are very proud of our results, especially considering that they have come during the years following the worst economic crisis since the Second World War. With the crisis finally over, we see an incredibly bright future ahead of us.
Leaders League: What distinguishes you from other law Firms?
F.T. We were the first Firm in Italy to choose a creative name, not referencing the surnames of the founding partners. The reason for this was that we wanted to establish a law firm where everybody is important but no one is essential. Being institutional is the key factor of our DNA and distinguishes us from other law firms. Our vision is to have a Firm that benefits from the efforts of its recognizable senior partners, but invests on a continual basis in the growth of talented younger partners. Historically, our market has been dominated by domestic firms closely connected to their founding partners, who have not always been able to manage their firms through to the second generation of partners. Even today, there are several firms whose founding partners remain key pillars of their firms, but are close to retirement. What will happen then? We believe that in order to excel, it is essential to create a solid and strong organization. We are structured based on a decentralized management model, in which operating duties are delegated to highly-qualified staff. The ultimate management of the Firm is delegated to a Management Committee, composed of five partners (including a Managing Partner), appointed by the partners’ meeting every three years. Other key bodies are the Strategy Committee, the Conflicts Committee and the Remuneration Committee. Members of the committees change after every term of appointment, so as to expose various partners to wide-ranging responsibilities. This approach has fostered the sense of being part of an institution, where individuals are important, but team spirit is primordial. Such team spirit is also due to the distinct system of remuneration we have implemented, based on meritocratic criteria, which aims at balancing solidarity among partners. Furthermore, our partners are not allowed to be members of the BoD of listed or non-listed companies; this is a unique trait compared to all other leading law firms.
Leaders League: In 2013 you opened in London, how do you devise the firm’s international strategy?
F.T. The firm has a strong international vocation and has always been attentive to the international needs of its clients. In avoiding exclusive relations, we have created a flexible network with the most important law firms in European and non-European countries. The most important jurisdictions are managed by ad hoc country partners. This allows us to choose the best professionals and the most reliable international partners to meet in the best possible way the needs and requirements of our clients. With London being the financial capital of Europe, we deemed it essential to have an office there and the extraordinary results achieved in the first two years validate that decision.
Leaders League: What types of clients do you work with?
F.T. We represent both strategic multinational clients and top Private Equity firms. We guarantee every client comprehensive and coordinated assistance, focusing both on quality and efficiently, by ensuring the continuous presence on each project of at least one partner (responsible for the project itself and relations with the client), as well as an appropriate number of lawyers experienced in all the relevant areas of law.