Leonardo Graffi

Partner, Milan, London




Leonardo Graffi is a dual qualified lawyer (Italy and U.S.) and is recognized as a highly regarded corporate and M&A lawyer with  extensive knowledge of the private equity sector. He has nearly 15 years' experience advising clients on the full spectrum of M&A transactions including joint ventures, cross-border and Italian public and private M&A deals.

Leonardo has advised strategic and private equity clients on several acquisitions/disposals of companies and businesses operating in a wide range of sectors, including banking, insurance, automotive, aviation, retail, pharmaceutical and high tech.

He is frequently called upon to work with companies and investment banks, especially in connection with complex, cross-border M&A and securities transactions.

His practice also covers commercial contracts, sanctions and golden power regulations.

Leonardo is recognized as highly regarded in M&A and Private Equity by IFLR1000 2019 and is recognized as a recommended lawyer in Corporate and M&A and Private Equity by The Legal 500 2019. Leonardo is also ranked as an Up and Coming lawyer in Corporate and M&A by Chambers Global/Europe 2019.


Leonardo works with a diverse group of corporate clients and private equity firms.

His corporate clients include: DentalPro Group, Global Cellnex Italia, Huvepharma, I.M.A. Industria Macchine Automatiche, Smartbox and Wilmar Group.

He has also advised several private equity firms including: Blackstone Group, Cinven, CVC, Infracapital, InfraVia Capital Partners, Macquarie, Palladio and Summit Partners.

Bars and Courts
Rome Bar
New York State Bar
University of Bologna


Harvard Law School

MA (Gammon Fellow), United States



M&A and Private Equity

CVC acquisition of the Recordati Group, 2018
Leonardo advised an investment consortium led by CVC Capital Partners in connection with the acquisition from the Recordati family of the holding company that owns a 51.8% stake in the Italian pharmaceutical group Recordati and subsequent mandatory tender offer for approximately €3 billion (US$3.5 billion).

Goldman Sachs and Blackstone's investment in Prima Assicurazioni, 2018
Leonardo advised Goldman Sachs and Blackstone Tactical Opportunities in connection with their investment in Prima Assicurazioni, an online insurance firm specialized in the distribution of automobile insurance policies.

Muzinich purchase of Springrowth SGR, 2018
Leonardo advised Muzinich & Co Limited in connection with the purchase of 100% of the share capital of Springrowth SGR S.p.A. from its current shareholders.

Cloetta's sale of Cloetta Italia to Katjes International, 2017
Leonardo advised Cloetta in connection with its sale of Cloetta Italia to Katjes International.

Summit Partners on the acquisition of DentalPro by BC Partners, 2017
Leonardo advised private equity fund Summit Partners and its portfolio company DentalPro in connection with the agreement for the acquisition of DentalPro by private equity fund BC Partners.

Infracapital and InfraVia's acquisition of Gruppo Investimenti Portuali, 2017
Leonardo advised Infracapital and InfraVia Capital Partners in connection with the acquisition of Gruppo Investimenti Portuali S.p.A., a leading container port operator in northern Italy holding majority and minority stakes in several container terminal concessions in major Italian ports.

I.M.A. and GIMA's  acquisition of Komax Systems Rockford and Komax Systems Malaysia, 2016
Leonardo advised I.M.A. - Industria Macchine Automatiche and its subsidiary GIMA in connection with the acquisition of 100% of Komax Systems Rockford and 76% of Komax Systems Malaysia, companies based in Switzerland, the United States and Malaysia.

Cellnex Italia's acquisition of CommsCon Italia, 2016
Leonardo advised Cellnex Italia S.r.l., part of the Spanish group Cellnex Telecom - European telecoms and wireless communications infrastructure leading operator -, in connection with the acquisition of CommsCon Italia S.r.l., Italian company specialized in the design and implementation of GSM and UMTS.

DentalPro's acquisition of the dental clinics group Giovanni Bona and Dentadent, 2016
Leonardo advised DentalPro, controlled by the private equity fund Summit Partners, in connection with the (i) acquisition of the dental clinics group Giovanni Bona, controlled by AB Holding S.p.A.; and (ii) the acquisition of the dental clinics group Dentadent, controlled by GIP Invest S.r.l.

Huvepharma's acquisition of a Sanofi's business unit, 2016
Leonardo advised Huvepharma in connection with the acquisition of a business unit of the French multinational pharmaceutical company Sanofi S.A.

De'Longhi Industrial's sale of DeLclima to Mitsubishi, 2015
Leonardo advised De'Longhi Industrial S.A. in connection with the €508 million sale of 74.97% of the share capital of DeLclima S.p.A., a listed Italian company active in the manufacturing and sale of chillers and heat pumps, to Mitsubishi Electric Corporation.

Capita Asset Services' sale of shares in the company to Formation Capital, 2014*
Leonardo advised Capita Asset Services as special servicer, in connection with the approximately £478 million sale to Formation Capital of shares in the company, and all subsidiaries, which owns almost 300 former Southern Cross UK care homes.

Cinven's sale of part of Avio's business to General Electric, 2013*
Leonardo advised Cinven in connection with the US $4.3 billion sale of Avio's Italy-based civil and military aircraft aviation propulsion components and systems business, to General Electric.

State Street's acquisition of Intesa Sanpaolo's securities services business, 2010*
Leonardo advised State Street Corporation in connection with the US$1.87 billion cash acquisition of Intesa Sanpaolo's securities services business, which included the merger by incorporation of Intesa Sanpaolo Bank.

* Prior joining White & Case


Inadempimenti e vizi di conformità nel diritto della vendita internazionale, Contratto e Impresa/ Europa, p. 345., 2013

La Special Purpose Acquisition Company, Giurisprudenza commerciale, vol. III, pp. 445-463., 2010

Spunti in tema di costituzione di fondi di private equity e attività di fund raising nell'ordinamento giuridico statunitense, Contratto e impresa/ Europa, p. 1041 ss., 2008

Securing Harmonized Effects of Arbitration Agreements Under the New York Convention, in Houston Journal of International Law 2006, Houston Journal of International Law, p. 663 ss.

Case Law on the Concept of "Fundamental Breach" in the Vienna Sales Convention, Revue de droit des affaires internationales / International Business Law Journal, pp. 338-349., 2003


Awards and Recognition

Corporate and M&A
Up and Coming: Chambers & Partners Europe/Global 2019
Recommended: The Legal 500 EMEA 2019
Highly Regarded: IFLR1000 2019

Leonardo has been recognized as one of the top ten most active M&A lawyers by Mergermarket in 2016.

Private Equity
Recommended: The Legal 500 EMEA 2019
Highly Regarded: IFLR1000 2019