Francesco Portolano
Partner
Francesco Portolano offers transactional advice to foreign publishing groups and Italian subsidiaries of multinational mass media companies. One client points out that Portolano is a 'tough negotiator,' and appreciates his ability to 'combine M&A skills and knowledge of the media market dynamics'."
CHAMBERS GLOBAL 2021 – CORPORATE/M&A

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 both Chambers Global and Chambers Europe for Corporate and M&A (Band 6), by Chambers Europe for TMT: Media (Band 2), by Legal500 for TMT (“Hall of Fame”). He is also “Highly Regarded” by IFLR1000 for M&A, Private Equity and Media. Francesco was first ranked by Legal500 in 2005, at age 35.

Furthermore, Francesco is ranked by Who’s Who Legal in several guides: he is a “Global Leader” in the Corporate Governance 2021, Data 2021 (“Information Technology” and “Telecoms & Media”) and M&A 2021 guides; he is a “National Leader” for the “Data” and the “M&A and Governance” areas in the Italy 2020 guide; he is a “Thought Leader” of the Corporate Governance, Data (“Information Technology” and “Telecoms & Media”) and M&A areas in the Thought Leaders 2020 guide. He is also ranked as one of the top 6 Italian media lawyers in the world by the 2019 “Expert Guides” by Legal Media Group.

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 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).

Francesco Portolano: brilliant mind and able to proactively give useful ideas to the customer on market evolution, laws, etc.”
LEGAL 500 EMEA 2021 - TMT
Francesco Portolano handles transactions including share deals and corporate reorganisations. He regularly assists clients in the field of media and technology.”
CHAMBERS GLOBAL 2020 – CORPORATE/M&A
Francesco Portolano frequently assists media clients with IP issues, M&A deals and regulatory concerns. He is also active in litigation cases representing entertainment and film sector clients.”
CHAMBERS EUROPE 2020 – TMT: MEDIA
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