Italian law firm Gatti Pavesi Bianchi strikes deal to expand overseas - sources

LONDON, Sept 21 (Reuters) - Italian law firm Gatti Pavesi Bianchi has signed a deal to merge with rival Ludovici Piccone & Partners to boost its European client network and diversify in areas including tax and private wealth, sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The merged entity will be named Gatti Pavesi Bianchi Ludovici (GPBL) and will start operations in January relying on a combined network of 140 lawyers - of which 20 equity partners - across five offices in Europe, the sources said.

The deal gives Gatti Pavesi Bianchi access to clients in Luxembourg and Austria where Ludovici Piccone & Partners operates with local offices.

It will also allow both law firms to tap into new business segments, with Gatti Pavesi Bianchi expanding into Italian and international tax law and also gaining access to high net worth individuals, trusts and foundations which are among Ludovici Piccone & Partners’ key areas of expertise.

The new firm will provide legal advise on various aspects of civil, commercial and corporate law and will address growing demand for advise on wealth planning and succession issues among family-owned companies across Europe.

Based in Milan and Rome, Gatti Pavesi Bianchi specialises in a wide range of financial transactions - including merger and acquisition (M&A) deals, initial public offerings and restructurings. It recently represented Intesa Sanpaolo on its merger with UBI Banca and also advised Banca Carige on its capital needs. (Reporting by Pamela Barbaglia; editing by Louise Heavens)