Francesco Portolano

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Francesco Portolano combines unquestionable technical expertise with the ability to always negotiate to the best of his ability, presenting to the client the pros and cons of each option on the table."
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 & technology 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 2024 for Corporate and M&A (Band 4), by Chambers Europe 2024 for Corporate and M&A/Mid Market (Band 4),  by The Legal 500 EMEA 2024 for TMT (“Hall of Fame”). He is also “Highly Regarded” by IFLR1000 2023 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 Telecoms & Media & Entertainment 2024 (“Telecoms & Media”), M&A and Governance 2023 (“Corporate Governance”, “M&A”), Data 2023 (“Information Technology”) guides; he is “Recommended” in the “Data”, “M&A and Governance”, and “Telecoms, Media & Entertainment” chapters of the Italy 2023 guide; he is a “Thought Leader” in the Thought Leaders – Data 2023 (“Information Technology”) and the Thought Leaders – M&A and Governance 2023 (“M&A”) guides.

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 is an adept lawyer who often assists clients with regulatory matters and media tenders. His practice also includes acquisitions and establishment of joint ventures.”
Francesco is intelligent, ready and always has a solution at hand.”
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