He specialises in assisting UK, Italian and international clients on a wide cross-section of English law corporate and commercial matters.
Tom is privileged to have lived in Italy since 2011 and is a fluent Italian speaker. His clients are principally Italian businesses with interests in the UK or internationally where the use of English law is preferred for its reputation and reliability. He also enjoys assisting UK and international clients interested in investing in Italy or partnering with Italian businesses where his ability to bridge the linguistic and cultural gap is particularly appreciated.
A fan of Italian culture and creativity, many of Tom’s clients are from the fashion and luxury goods sector, including MaxMara, Moncler, Valentino, Pal Zileri and Consorzio Italia del Gusto, a consortium of some of Italy’s leading food and wine brands, including Rana, Barilla, Lavazza, San Benedetto and Casa Vinicola Zonin.
Tom has also assisted the firm itself with its international expansion and was instrumental in drafting and advising on the alliance agreements with KhattarWong in Singapore and Withers Australia.
Bertazzoni SpA., an Italian manufacturer of high-end ovens and kitchenware, on a partnership with its long-standing Egyptian distributor for the production of a new line of cookers for sale in the Middle Eastern and African markets.
Consorzio Italia del Gusto, a consortium of well-known Italian food and drink producers (including Barilla, Lavazza, San Benedetto, Casa Vinicola Zonin and many others) on the distribution of products in the UK through the online retail channel of a well-known supermarket.
A top-ranked tennis player and his family on various investments internationally including in tech start-ups and food and nutritional lines.
The MaxMara Group (including MaxMara, Marella and Marina Rinaldi) on its various endorsement arrangements including with Amy Adams, Jennifer Garner, Patricia Arquette and Miranda Kerr.
A client of Withers’ wealth planning practice on the sale of his 33% stake in a Russian fishing group for USD 200 million. This deal involved working closely with the firm’s tax team and with a Russian associate firm.
Italian owners of the Ariston Thermo Group, a multinational business involved in the manufacture and sale of boilers and heating appliances, on their arrangements with the Group’s UK subsidiary, including shareholder and director matters.
Thor Equities Group, a New York based investment fund, on its investments in Italy, including the acquisition of a company holding prime commercial real estate in the heart of Milan’s fashion district and the acquisition of a luxury Neapolitan men’s clothing line.
Renault and Infiniti Nissan on the successful resolution of their sponsorship and engine supply agreements with the Red Bull Group.
The Vivienne Westwood Group on various matters including on a review of its corporate governance procedures, internal Group restructuring and on the acquisition of its longstanding UK franchisee.
Celtech, an Italian paper manufacturer based in Tuscany, on the sale of its UK paper production facility.
Danieli Industries, an Italian manufacturer of steel foundries listed on the Italian stock exchange, on its English law manufacture and sale agreements with its Egyptian clients.
Shoe designer Patrick Cox on his partnership agreements in the Far East.
Moncler SpA on arrangements with its UK based subsidiary including directorship matters.
Damien Hirst’s group on various matters including in the loan of his artworks to galleries in Italy.
Flavio Briatore on various acquisitions and disposals of his interests in the Billionaire Clothing line.
Me in a minute
My path to becoming a lawyer was a little unconventional
I consider myself extremely lucky to live and work in Italy. It is a country which has long held a fascination for me. At school, I was fortunate enough to be taught Latin and early Roman civilisation. I carried my passion for this through to the study of the Classics at university. I have vivid memories of my first trip to Italy - to Rome - on a school trip when I was 16. It was then I decided to learn Italian and my love of Italian culture was really born.
My path to becoming a lawyer was a little unconventional. While at university, I planned on becoming a lawyer but, to the horror of my professors, I became heavily involved in student theatre productions. I thought I would try life as an actor. I am glad I did. I spent three wonderful years at drama school which gave me experiences and taught me lessons which I would never have gained elsewhere.
Life as an artist seems appealing from the outside but, as so many others will agree, the reality on the inside is a little more challenging. I decided to return to my original plan of becoming a lawyer and was very fortunate to train and qualify at Withers.
After some heavy prompting, I was despatched to work as part of Withers’ English team in our Milan office. The work is very broad-ranging, and I really enjoy helping Italian clients on a wide variety of English law corporate and commercial matters. This involves a whole host of activities including acquiring or selling UK companies, entering into joint ventures with international partners, structuring relationships between shareholders and directors or taking part in large commercial deals. No day is the same, and I have been blessed by being able to build up a thorough grounding in all aspects of commercial and corporate law which has been key to understanding our clients’ objectives and helping them to realise their goals.
I have particularly enjoyed working with our Italian brands and luxury goods clients. The creativity and drive of Italian entrepreneurs and small/medium businesses is inspiring and much underrated and misunderstood abroad. Italy is full of possibility and potential. For myself, the ability to work here is incredible; but the ability to live here - to hike above Lake Como, to ski in the Dolomites, to trip down to Florence, Rome or Venice for a weekend (to say nothing of the food!) - is a dream come true.
British Chamber of Commerce for Italy, Councillor
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