Paolo Franzo
Made in Italy – Hardened in New York

Paolo Franzo is an Italian lawyer who is a member of the Italian Bar Association and can also represent clients in the Italian Supreme Court.  A graduate of the University of Milan – he established his own law firm in the center of Milan over 30 years ago.

Today, with the inauguration of PFL – Paolo Franzo Law, we welcome the link between these two firms that are an ocean apart.  

What was the catalyst to change from an all-Italian professional to an international one?

One day, a couple of Italian clients decided to relocate their business to the United States and asked Paolo to follow them.

And he did!

This is where the story begins.

Paolo was already familiar with business in the United States, albeit from afar.  In fact, he had previously worked with a number of clients working with American companies, particularly in the aeronautical field – a particular passion of Paolo’s as he is a licensed pilot himself. However, up until now, he had been questioning whether or not to take a giant leap and immerse himself in a new jurisdiction with a legal career in the United States.

It was 2003 when this particular client decided to transfer their company and themselves to the United States. In writing, it appeared easy to do. In reality, it meant entering a completely new environment, facing numerous written and unwritten market rules, in addition to immersing oneself and business, in a highly competitive marketplace.

On the cusp of a significant change ahead, Paolo Franzo immediately began to immerse himself in this new market. He attended numerous professional conferences in the United States, where he met local lawyers who provided him with the information and means necessary to enter the American marketplace. At this same time, his client was being advised by an American legal professional – as Paolo was not (yet!) qualified to practice as a lawyer in the country. However, even though he could not practice law in the United States, the client still wanted Paolo to continue to work with them there as he valued his business acumen so much.

At this point, Paolo’s legal career, in theory, should have been laid to rest if he was to remain in the United States.

Instead, he found a way to collaborate with American law firms, where he assisted with the creation of trusts and foundations to protect patrimonies and the disabled. As much as he enjoyed being successful with his work – there was still a strong desire to fully practice his vocation, especially in court, in the United States. There was only one way to achieve this. He went back to law school.

After obtaining a master’s degree at the Fordham University School of Law in 2016, he took the Bar exam, and after passing the Bar exam, he was admitted to practice law by the New York State Bar. He could finally practice law in court as a New York Attorney. He is currently an active American Bar Association (ABA) member and has also served on their committee.

Today Paolo is recognized as a practicing lawyer in both the United States and Italy.

Why is this important?

This multi-jurisdictional evolution of his career has opened up many new and important professional opportunities for Paolo Franzo – but more importantly, it has enabled him to go beyond as a lawyer as he is inspired by the juridical approach of both countries allowing him to pioneer innovative solutions and strategies tailored to the individual needs of each client.

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