History of the Firm
Santa Maria Studio Legale Associato was established in 1970 by Alberto Santa Maria, full Professor of international law and international economic law at the University of Milan and widely regarded as one of Italy’s most experienced and prominent attorneys in Italy.
Headquartered in Milan, the Firm offers one of the most sophisticated international practices among the Italian based law firms.
The Firm’s high profile was first recognized when Alberto Santa Maria was appointed by the Italian Government to the three - member commission that was to mediate with The Vatican with respect to certain activities involving the IOR (The Vatican’s financial institution) and Banco Ambrosiano, a case that spanned several jurisdictions. In the wake of this experience, Alberto Santa Maria was also appointed to draft the Republic of San Marino’s banking laws.
Starting from the 1980s and in the wake of the privatisation of State-owned conglomerates in the late 90’s, during which the Firm was involved in the then-largest liquidation in Italian history (EFIM), Santa Maria Studio Legale Associato significantly expanded its M&A practice by handling several complex domestic and cross-border transactions, both with public and with private companies.
In the meanwhile, the Firm’s EU and competition law department achieved considerable results, in particular concerning State aid cases, and was able to expand its track record of disputes before EU courts.
The Firm also gained a solid expertise in civil and commercial litigation before Italian courts as well as in national and international arbitration proceedings, also ran by major international arbitration institutions.
Nowadays, the firm assists governments and a wide range of corporate and private equity clients, in connection with all aspects of international trade and commercial law, EU Law including competition and State aid matters, as well as on corporate and M&A transactions, joint ventures, privatisation, restructuring and financing. The litigation practice has been strengthening as well, with the firm’s attorneys acting as counsel in landmark international cases.