Covington & Burling
My humanistic background and reading passion – possibly the fatal combination of Cicero’s works with Mortimer’s Rumpole of the Bailey – played a key role in my choice to read law at university. I was also drawn to the international aspects that characterise my professional life as an antitrust lawyer.
At Linklaters, I received excellent training, both academically and practically. The best training is to learn from your own experience and hard work.
Within the context of global antitrust cases, it is sometimes challenging to deal with ‘young’ national competition authorities who are still learning the legal and economic complexities of such cases.
From a personal perspective, it is challenging to combine family life with being on call 24/7.
In the last 15 years, I have been privileged to work on some of the most challenging and stimulating merger control and cartel cases at EU level and in Italy. A highlight was assisting a leading international conglomerate in relation to a cartel investigation that started with a dawn raid carried out by the European Commission, and was closed with no infringement being established.
I guess the most difficult clients are those who do not listen to your advice – no matter how commercial and practical it may be.
I am very lucky that I have always been able to practise my favourite area of law, namely antitrust law, which represents a superb balance between law and economics.
The globalisation of the economy is the key feature that has characterised the legal profession in the last 20 years. As in many sectors, globalisation has brought a number of positive developments, such as the opportunity to work with colleagues across various jurisdictions as a single integrated team. This is a great experience that enriches lawyers at both a professional and cultural level. Globalisation has also brought some less desirable side-effects, such as the transformation of law firms – in certain cases – from true partnerships into large corporations where partners have become shareholders.
The increasing complexity of regulatory frameworks within which corporates and financial institutions operate makes specialisation essential for lawyers to operate as trusted advisers.
Overspecialisation bears the risk of losing the overall picture to the detriment of the client. Therefore, it is important that specialisation only occurs once a lawyer has gained a solid understanding of the overall legal system. I hope that the culture of pro bono, equality and competition continues to expand and permeate law firms in Europe.
Lawyers can – and indeed do – support society as a whole and materially contribute to its development.