Cozen O’Connor served as U.S. and Canadian counsel in Investindustrial’s acquisition of a majority stake in Eataly S.p.A., the global chain of upscale Italian marketplaces. A team led by M&A attorney and Italy Practice chair Christian Moretti conducted significant due diligence of more than 20 Eataly businesses in the United States and Canada, in collaboration with Deloitte Legal Italy and Studio Legale Chiomenti. For nearly two decades, Eataly has been operating high-quality Italian food markets and restaurant concepts in prestigious locations across the globe, including flagship stores in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, Dallas, and Silicon Valley.
The attorneys in Cozen O’Connor’s Italy Practice have decades of experience representing both Italian companies doing business in the United States and U.S. companies doing business in Italy. Our team provides day-to-day strategic guidance, practical business solutions, and tailored legal representation to Italian-owned companies and multinationals, leveraging Cozen O’Connor’s 31 offices, many practice areas, and vast industry experience to our clients’ benefit. We have an unparalleled track record in partnering with Italian companies that are market leaders or rapidly growing their U.S. operations, and have been named the 2022 Italian Practice of the Year Worldwide by TopLegal, a leading Italian legal publication. We take pride in helping our clients achieve tremendous success and cutting-edge results in the global marketplace.
Law firms and foreign practice desks are not created equal. Representing Italian clients is our team’s primary focus, not a sideline to a domestic practice. In addition, we bring the advantage of working within a full-service firm with 26 offices in the United States with in-depth local market knowledge and legal acumen. This combination of rigorous U.S. training, breadth of service offerings, and expansive geographic footprint uniquely positions us to meet the needs of all Italian companies.
We guide our clients through the complexities of the U.S. marketplace and the ever-changing federal and state government regulations to effectively and cost-efficiently manage legal risks and capitalize on transformative business opportunities. We offer top-tier legal experience, combined with practical business advice and cost-efficiency. Further, we bring to the table sophisticated regulatory and compliance capabilities. Members of our Italy Practice work with members of the firm’s Government & Regulatory and Public Strategies groups to assist Italian companies in all major areas of regulatory compliance and government representation, including antitrust and trade regulation, transportation and logistics, health care, energy, environmental, and consumer protection and privacy. Cozen O’Connor attorneys and government relations professionals have held high-level government positions at the state and federal levels and routinely assist Italian companies in identifying channels of government funding and obtaining government grants and loans and promoting their interests before the legislative and executive branches, more recently in matters of trade and manufacturing policies.
Our U.S. clients doing business in Italy benefit from the fact that we have practiced in Italy and have a deep knowledge and understanding of Italian laws and regulations, as well as the intricacies of Italian marketplace and industries. Members of our team regularly travel to Italy and have established long-standing working relationships with leading Italian law firms, banks, and accounting firms. Because we do not currently practice Italian law, our service model in this context is to act as a centralized point of contact for U.S. companies and private equity funds doing business in Italy, partnering with Italian counsel to deliver a work product that is responsive to our clients’ business goals within a short timeframe.
Our dedicated team includes native Italian speaking, trained, and licensed attorneys who have a deep knowledge of and insight into the U.S. market and nuanced differences between the Italian and U.S. legal systems. We serve as primary outside legal counsel in the United States for several Italian and other foreign businesses and government agencies. We are actively involved with Italian chambers of commerce and trade associations and have co-founded and hold senior officer positions in various U.S.-based non-profit organizations that promote and celebrate the rich cultural heritage of Italy.
The Italy Practice is chaired by Christian Moretti, who also serves as the firm’s vice chair of the International Practice. Christian is a native Italian and dual-admitted lawyer who practiced for many years at AmLaw 50 law firms and also served as general counsel to a $1.5 billion multinational corporation headquartered in Italy. In the last two years, he was recognized by The Legal 500 as one of the leading practitioners in New York for cross-border M&A in the middle market. Christian is a permanent adviser to the Columbia Law School Association, after having served as its president and director for more than a decade. He also serves as an officer and subcommittee chair of the International Commerce and Distribution Committee of the International Bar Association.
Cozen O’Connor is the U.S. member of OMNIA, a network of independent, full-service law firms located in 17 foreign jurisdictions that includes an Italian desk or Italian native lawyers who are trained and licensed in such foreign jurisdiction.
Banking Regulation. Our attorneys have experience representing Italian-owned commercial and investment banks; investment funds; insurers and reinsurers; and other corporate entities. Cozen O’Connor assists clients facing regulatory scrutiny, private litigation, or both. We defend clients in civil litigation brought under commercial and investment banking, wealth management, or securities laws and regulations. And we protect clients in governmental investigations and enforcement actions initiated the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Federal Reserve Board (FRB), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), Public Company Accounting and Oversight Board (PCAOB), and other federal and state regulatory agencies. View Experience
Corporate and Commercial Transactions. We have been providing sophisticated corporate and transactional advice to a diverse set of Italian businesses and entrepreneurs for more than 20 years. In our dual role as trusted advisers and aggressive dealmakers, we advise on such issues as general corporate matters, mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, private equity and venture capital, underwritten and syndicated offerings, commercial finance and lending, technology transfers, and complex licensing. In addition, we handle day-to-day transactional and commercial matters, such as leases, technology, joint venture, joint development, collaboration, distribution and manufacturing and supply agreements. We have assisted hundreds of Italian companies in setting up U.S. operations and subsidiaries. Our long-standing relationships with Italian attorneys and accountants allows us to act as a “one-stop shop” in the United States for all day-to-day governance and operational issues and ensure that U.S. activities are consistent with Italian governance, tax, accounting, compliance, employment, and other relevant issues. View Experience
Fashion Law. The attorneys in our Italy Practice have a long-standing experience providing clients in the fashion, beauty, and luxury goods space with the tailored and insightful advice and counsel essential to success. We routinely advise Italian multinational clothing-retail companies, luxury goods holding companies, fine jewelry brands, luxury fashion brands, fashion accessories companies, wearable and fashion tech companies, and others. We provide counsel on commercial transactions including licensing, distribution, franchising, collaboration and joint venture agreements, warehouse, showroom and store leases, and factoring and other financing arrangements. We handle matters involving trademark and copyright prosecution and infringement, social media marketing, influencer agreements, advertising, and anti-counterfeiting. We are well-versed in all employment-related risks facing the fashion industry, including wage and hour collective actions, ADA matters, and discrimination and wrongful termination claims. Finally, we routinely assist fashion companies with all manner of regulatory compliance issues, including labeling, trade and customs, product safety and Proposition 65, sustainability, and supply chain issues. View Experience
Immigration. Our immigration attorneys provide the support that international employers and individuals need in dealing with the complex U.S. immigration laws. Our full-service Immigration Practice advises domestic and international corporations and businesses and their employees in seeking temporary visa options and permanent residence in the United States.
Intellectual Property. For many of our Italian clients, intellectual property is at the core of their business. We provide litigation, prosecution and registration, counseling, and transactional services to help acquire, value, maintain, protect, and exploit all forms of intellectual property, including in the areas of patent, trademark, trade name, domain name, service mark, trade dress, and copyright. Our attorneys couple business acumen with prescient analysis of an ever-shifting legal and technological landscape. And we have the scientific and technical background to handle the most complex IP matters. View Experience
Litigation. One of the country’s most successful litigation firms, Cozen O’Connor has been winning complex commercial trials for more than 50 years. With more than 300 highly respected litigators, including numerous fellows of the American College of Trial Lawyers, we are a go-to firm for sophisticated clients with complicated and consequential business litigation. The Italy Practice routinely represents Italian clients in complex litigation matters. We are frequently called upon to handle cross-border commercial litigation and arbitration, as well as IP-related, employment-related, product liability, antitrust, construction, bankruptcy, and other cases on behalf of Italian clients. View Experience
Labor & Employment. Our attorneys help Italian clients comply with the myriad laws governing their relationships with employees and consultants located in the United States. Our full-service labor and employment department handles high-stakes employment litigation, including individual and class claims of discrimination, harassment, wage and hour violations, defamation, non-compete violations, and wrongful discharge. Our team has defended numerous Italian companies against Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) class action lawsuits and claims brought in New York, California, and Florida, and is very familiar with each jurisdiction’s peculiarities and standards. We help our Italian clients to reach favorable resolutions of these and other cases and to proactively address compliance issues.
Mergers & Acquisitions. Our Italy Practice has decades of experience helping a remarkably diverse set of Italian clients and private equity funds execute advantageous purchases or sales in the United States. Throughout his career, Christian Moretti, the chair of our Italy Practice, has helped structure, negotiate, and complete more than $25 billion worth of M&A transactions, both domestic and cross-border. Our mergers and acquisitions attorneys negotiate asset sales and purchases; stock sales and purchases; mergers, consolidations, and joint ventures; and spin-offs, roll-ups, and recapitalizations. They regularly close deals valued from tens of millions to billions of dollars. View Experience
Real Estate. Cozen O’Connor has earned its place among the nation’s top-rated real estate firms over the last two decades. Our Italy Practice routinely represents Italian-owned regional and national developers, builders, owners, private equity funds, institutional and private investors, and banks in the acquisition, development, financing, leasing, ground leasing, management, and sale of real estate in every asset class. With a real estate practice that includes more than 70 attorneys in 10 offices who are regularly supported by members of our corporate, litigation, tax, and environmental groups, we provide comprehensive, integrated service to some of the largest Italian real estate players in the country. View Experience
Regulatory Compliance. Our attorneys represent Italian clients in customs, export control, economic sanction, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, dumping and countervailing duty, and other international trade matters before the trade courts, international organizations, and U.S. departments of State, Commerce, Treasury, Homeland Security, and Defense. We also advise domestic and international clients on strategies for foreign-based manufacture, importation, and distribution of goods. Further, we advise clients on how to incorporate and safeguard against anti-competitive trade barriers, regulatory systems, and trade remedies, both internationally and domestically. In addition, Cozen O’Connor helps global product manufacturers, distributors, and retailers — including highly regulated companies — achieve regulatory compliance, reduce exposure to civil litigation and government enforcement actions, and manage product withdrawals and recalls.
Our attorneys have deep knowledge of all applicable federal regulations, model regulations of voluntary membership organizations, state regulations that apply to specific industries (such as cannabis) or geographies (such as California’s Prop 65), commonly adopted industry standards, and best practices issued by major trade associations. Finally, we provide advice and counsel on the full panoply of issues clients face in the cybersecurity and privacy area. View Experience
Securities and Capital Markets. The firm represents Italian companies in international offerings of public and private equity and debt, high-yield debt, private investments in public equity, rated securities and private placement transactions (including rule 144A and regulation S). We also advise clients on securities regulations and compliance issues and in dealing with regulatory agencies, and we counsel clients in connection with their reporting, listing, and public company obligations under U.S. federal securities laws. View Experience
Tax. Our tax attorneys advise clients on the tax implications of mergers and acquisitions, financings, real estate deals, entity structure, contractual arrangements, cross-border transactions, and other business arrangements and represent clients in tax controversies and litigation. In addition, our lawyers represent Italian high net worth individuals and families and their family offices with U.S. tax planning and personal, business, tax, and charitable giving management. We draw on the experience of lawyers throughout the firm to create tax-efficient structures for our high net worth individuals and family office clients and advise in areas such as U.S. regulatory compliance, structuring of pooled investment vehicles, asset protection, risk management, and private foundations.