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Francesco Portolano


Francesco Portolano

Francesco ‘has over 25 years’ experience advising on complex corporate M&A and regulatory matters. He is a national authority in the field and frequently provides counsel to prominent US companies looking to invest in Italy’.” WHO’S WHO LEGAL 2018 – M&A and Governance (Italy)

Francesco Portolano is experienced in advising on M&A transactions, with additional support on corporate governance. He is known for his acumen in the TMT sphere, with particular recommendation for his media expertise. Chambers Global 2018 – Corporate M&A

Founding partner Francesco Portolano remains a highly regarded and active practitioner in the media sector. He is particularly prominent in M&A mandates, representing international corporates. He also provides in-depth regulatory and licensing support.
Chambers Europe 2017 – TMT IT

Francesco’s twenty-six years experience includes advising on a broad range of M&A, private equity and venture capital matters, as well as joint ventures and corporate governance issues. Most of his work is for US clients acquiring Italian companies, mostly in the digital/media sector, including devising and negotiating complex corporate structures to tackle regulatory issues such as foreign control restrictions, cross-media ownership, etc.

In the 2012 Financial Times Law 50 report Francesco was ranked among the “top 10 legal innovators in Europe”. According to the report Francesco “leads ‘a team of lawyers who refuse to be limited to inside-the-box thinking’ [and] tackled each challenge with deep insight and a tireless fascination for innovative approaches, with the sort of dynamic legal skill set one rarely sees in Italian media counsel”.

He is “Highly regarded” by IFLR1000 and recommended by Chambers Global for his experience as an M&A lawyer. Thanks to his TMT transactional experience he is also ranked as one of the top 30 international media lawyers in the world by Best of the Best and is recommended in TMT by Chambers EuropeWho’s Who Legal, and Legal500.  Francesco was first ranked by Legal500 in 2005, at age 35.

In 2018, for the fourth year in a row, Francesco has been included in the “Lawyer of the year” ranking of the top 50 lawyers in Italy by legalcommunity.it.

He was a member of the Technical Staff of the Ministry of Communications in 2006/2007, focusing on corporate issues in the TMT sector.  He is past Co-Chair of the International Private Equity and Venture Capital Committee of the ABA Business Law Section.  He is also a member of the International Advisory Board of the Association of Media and Entertainment Counsel (AMEC).

Francesco worked in the Rome and Chicago offices of Baker & McKenzie from 1992 to 2001. During his 3 years in Chicago Francesco was responsible for the Italian desk, he was a member of the EMEA practice group and worked on outbound and US-bound as well as domestic transactions and multi-jurisdictional deals.

Francesco has  obtained an LLM from the University of Chicago Law School (which he attended while working at Baker & McKenzie). In 1991, at age 21, he graduated summa cum laude from the LUISS Guido Carli University. Francesco is admitted to practice before the Italian highest courts.

Foreign languages: English (speaking proficiency).

Francesco is a member of the Milan Bar Association (A-2017001840).



Milan: +39 02 722341
Rome: +39 06 696661

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