He established his professional practice as an advisor to companies active in both Italian and international markets, with a particular focus on identifying the most effective strategies for growing an international business, as well as on the contracts and transactions necessary to make this happen.
Along with his preparation as an international lawyer, from the beginning of his professional career Luca has dedicated himself to sports law. Over the years, this has enabled him to grow and extend his practice in this sector. In addition to assisting corporate clients, such as sponsors, manufacturers of sportswear and technical equipment, sports marketing agencies and media companies, Luca has become a trusted advisor to athletes, coaches, managers and agents.
Luca leads a team of lawyers based in Withers’ main offices in Europe, the USA and Asia, who offer highly specialised sport-related services. This covers all the legal and fiscal aspects in a wide range of areas including business operations, sponsorship contracts, international transfers of players, playing contracts, management contracts, direct investment, asset management, competition and league regulations, reputation management and arbitration in commercial and disciplinary matters, intellectual property and licensing of audio-visual rights.
Luca has published numerous articles on commercial and sports law in Italy, England, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden and is a contributor to ‘International Sports Law’ and ‘Taxation Review’, and a member of the Editorial Board of ‘World Sports Law Report’.
‘Effetto Giorno’, on the ‘Calcio Catania scandal’ - 30 June 2015, interview for Radio 24
‘Expert Panel su Calcio e Sostenibilita ’, interview by Dott. Cominetti, CSR, 22 June 2015
‘A tutto campo’, on latest Italian football betting scandal, ‘Dirty Soccer’ inquiry by Procura della Repubblica di Catanzaro, 21 May 2015, interview by Radio Rai 1
‘Settlor Control and Influence’, ‘Stress Testing Trust Structures’ and ‘Cross Border Wealth Planning for Divorce’, IBC conferences
Advises sports personalities and brands in various jurisdictions. He has assisted, amongst others, Wojciech Szczesny, Ilkay Gundogan, Manolo Gabbiadini, Alexandre Pato, Fabio Borini, Mario Gomez, Pavel Nedved, Jurgen Klopp, Roberto Donadoni, Alberto Zaccheroni, Andrea Mandorlini and Roy Hodgson. He acts as global legal counsel to Novak Djokovic.
Amongst his corporate clients, Luca is counsel to Santa Margherita, one of the leading wine producers in Italy; Arena, a major Italian swimwear manufacturer; Gruppo Umana, leader in staff leasing services, Zanellato, high fashion handbags and accessories and Italian maison, Krizia.
‘Sportlervermittlung & sportlermanagement’, Stamfly - Beck, Mainz, co-author
‘Sports Image Rights in Europe’, ‘Player’s Agents Worldwide - Legal Aspects and TV Rights and Sport - Legal Aspects’, T.M.C. Asser Institut, The Hague), co-author
‘Comparing how image rights laws apply to sport in the US, UK and Europe’, Law in Sports, 22 December 2015
‘Resolving failed last minute football transfer deals: lessons from the De Gea case’, Law In Sports, 16 December 2015
‘Recent case law on image rights: a two part analysis - Part 2’, World Sports Law Report, volume 13, issue 10 - Ferr, September 2015
‘On the front foot: managing the wealth of an athlete’, Wealth Structuring 20:20 - Ed. II, online publication by Appleby Global Group Services Ltd
I became inspired admiring my grandfather, an 'avvocato' in the small North Eastern Italian city of Pordenone
As my long-time friend, Oliver Bierhoff (former AC Milan and Germany international and the current director of the German national team) used to say, I’m one of those failed football players who claim they would have had a brilliant career as a professional player, if that knee injury hadn’t stopped them. That’s me: a frustrated footballer turned lawyer.
After graduating with a thesis in international private law, I began my legal career as a transactional lawyer, helping Italian companies do business all over the world. During these early years, I also took a pioneering step into sports law (fatal attraction), starting by advising Udinese Calcio on the numerous (and successful) international transfers of their players. I soon ended up becoming the advisor to several football clubs, agents and managers and now find myself global head of sports at Withers.
I was lucky enough in my early years to learn my trade, professionally speaking, on matters involving such famous names as Alessandro Del Piero, Gianluca Vialli, Roy Hodgson and Kaka. A kind of Nirvana, if you are passionate about sport.
After many years in the sector, dealing with big names and celebrities from all walks of sport, there is still a special place in my memory for the successful challenge brought against Italian match participation restrictions affecting non-EU players, when, in the summer of 2000, I managed to obtain a full assimilation for Czech Pavel Nedva•d to the EU players (at that time the Czech Republic was not part of the EU).
Me in a minute
Circolo Canottieri Aniene, Rome
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