Francesco Portolano

Practice area contact for:
Francesco Portolano advises clients from the media and tourism sectors on disposals and management buyouts. He is also well-versed on matters involving multiple jurisdictions.
Francesco’s thirty year experience includes advising on M&Aprivate 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 issues such as foreign control restrictions, government regulatory approvals, 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”.

Francesco is ranked by Chambers Global 2022 for Corporate and M&A (Band 6), by Chambers Europe 2022 for Corporate and M&A/Mid Market (Band 5) and for TMT: Media (Band 3), by The Legal 500 EMEA 2022 for TMT (“Hall of Fame”). He is also “Highly Regarded” by IFLR1000 for M&A, Private Equity and Media. Francesco was first ranked by The Legal 500 EMEA in 2005, at age 35.

Furthermore, Francesco is ranked by Who’s Who Legal in several guides: he is “Recommended” in the Corporate Governance 2022Data 2022 (Information Technology), M&A 2022 and Telecoms & Media 2022 guides; he is “Recommended” in the “Data” and the “M&A and Governance” areas in the Italy 2022 guide; he is a “Thought Leader” in the Thought Leaders – Data 2022 guide (“Information Technology” chapter).

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 transactions.

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.

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

Foreign languages: English

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

Francesco Portolano fronts the M&A offering and is particularly accomplished in matters with a complex regulatory component."
Francesco Portolano: brilliant mind and able to proactively give useful ideas to the customer on market evolution, laws, etc.”
LEGAL 500 EMEA 2021 - TMT
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