Who We Are
Studio Legale Lauro is an Italian law firm, established in 1993 in Naples, providing a wide range of legal services in maritime, commercial and international law matters to the global maritime business sector and industries.
The firm consistently deals with all aspects of law relating to the shipping industry, assisting owners, charterers, P&I clubs, marine underwriters, banks and financial institutions in various fields, such as ship and other asset arrest, charterparties and bills of lading disputes, ship-building contracts, collisions, salvage, marine pollution, international trade and commodity trading, cross-border transactions and loan agreements, as well as criminal and labour law.
Having strong relationships with leading ship-owners and financial institutions, the firm has developed significant expertise in M&A operations, joint-venture agreements, insurance, taxation, bankruptcy proceedings, corporate matters, administrative regulations and competition law.
Since 2010, Studio Legale Lauro has hosted many of the world major shipping-sector firms at “Shipping & the Law”, the yearly conference held in Naples, to discuss the current hottest topics in the shipping industry (www.shippingandthelaw.org).
Francesco S. Lauro - How the Firm is adapting to clients' changing needs
What do you see as the main points that differentiate Studio Legale Lauro from its competitors?
There is a phrase which expresses the way we act: “Less is more”. In other words, we always tend towards efficiency and precision. Our clients are generally big companies and very busy people who do not have the time to read very long advices full of caveats or long engagement letters. Our aim is to achieve the best interests for our clients, full stop! We are not interested at all in billing a lot of hours and consider that the legal cost of cases should never be disproportioned in respect of the benefits granted by the legal assistance. If we can close a deal or a litigation in a favorable, simple and quick, way we always do it. Our aim is to achieve the best result for our clients and limit their costs, risks and time is of essence.
Which practices do you see growing in the next 12 months? What are the drivers behind that?
I believe that the fall outs of the coronavirus will feature during the next 12 months in many ways. There are and there will be lot of opportunities for new deals and acquisitions for our clients who are generally strong and successful companies but also a lot of litigations, good faith and force majeure cases, bankruptcy proceedings. Also, the necessary state aids and loans to sustain the economy should be granted to the parties who deserve them and should not be a competition distortion.
What’s the main change you’ve made in the firm that will benefit clients?
We are trying to innovate constantly, but if you ask me to indicate just one thing I would mention the recent recruitment Marilisa Varrone as our Chief Marketing Officer and Strategist. Marilisa worked with me after she graduated more than 20 years ago when I was the President of Naples Port Authority and helped me to put together a strategic think tank with young bright professionals and academics that had an important role in a very productive presidency and after other interesting experiences is now back supporting us.
Is technology changing the way you interact with your clients, and the services you can provide them?
Right now, I am answering this interview from my home from where I am connected worldwide through the internet and the most advance conference office. I always considered that a good business lawyer should be h24 available to answer the phone and be able to leave, with a small suitecase, towards any destination in the next hour, however now that this is not possible we can appreciate the benefits of the most updated communication technology.
Can you give us a practical example of how you have helped a client to add value to their business?
First of all, if I am what I am as a lawyer this is mainly due to my clients who taught me what their businesses are and to understand what they need from their lawyer. If you want to be of use to your clients, you must understand exactly what their business interest are, both in the short and the long term. Then obviously you have also to try to establish a good empathy with them, intervene at the right time and always offer practicable, discriminatory solutions. I think we do that SLL.
Are clients looking for stability and strategic direction from their law firms – where do you see the firm in three years’ time?
As I said above, in my opinion clients like that their lawyers understand them, their strategic priorities and interest. They are also interested in the firm being well organised and able to furnish them with the best possible assistance. It is difficult to speak about the future at these challenging times and after the Corona Virus epidemic break out, I would be very happy if the trend which brought us to handle so important and interesting cases and matters could continue and in the meantime we would have succeeded in the large majority of them.
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