Ashurst set to close in Rome after pulling out of Sweden last week

Rome-ItlayAshurst is set to close its Rome office as partners inside the firm say it has been reviewing all of its smaller international bases.

The firm, which last week (20 June) announced it was closing its Stockholm base, is believed to have been reviewing a number of smaller international offices, including those in continental Europe.

One current partner described the review as “a discussion of how many critical miles you need.”

The closure of the Rome office follows the departure of a number of partners from the office in recent months.

In October last year, DLA Piper hired a team of nine lawyers from Ashurst in Italy, with managing partner Domenico Gullo also subsequently moving to DLA Piper to reunite with his former colleagues.

Ashurst then appointed London securities and derivatives partner Stephen Edlmann as managing partner of its Italian offices.

The closure of the Rome office that, following the departures to DLA, housed only a handful of lawyers, leaves Ashurst with a base in Milan. The sole partner in the Rome office has resigned and, while it is unclear what is happening to the remaining associate and trainee, the firm has confirmed they will not be moving to Milan.

Stephen Edlmann, managing partner of Ashurst in Italy said: “In reaching the decision that we can operate more efficiently and effectively out of one centre, client interests have been paramount and they will continue to receive the same high level of service from the firm. We have a successful business in Italy, talented lawyers and we remain very well positioned to further strengthen and build our offering in Milan.”

Ashurst denied it had conducted any ‘formal review’ of its international offices.

The decision to pull out of Rome comes after the firm’s four-partner Stockholm office, which also employed a further 21 other lawyers, transferred to local law firm Hamilton.

Following the moves, Ashurst’s continental European offering consists of bases in Brussels, Frankfurt, Madrid, Milan and Munich.

Elsewhere in the EMEA region it has a three-partner office in Abu Dhabi, a four-partner office in Dubai, and a base in Glasgow in addition to its London headquarters.

News of the office closures follows an overhaul of Ashurst’s management team.

In the wake of the appointment of Paul Jenkins as the international firm’s global managing partner, the firm rejigged its management structure with the introduction of a London managing partner role earlier this month.

Corporate co-head Simon Beddow, who was previously tipped as a likely contender to replace James Collis as global managing partner, has taken up the newly created role of London managing partner.