Origins and history

Origins and history2020-09-09T14:37:06+02:00

Erminio Giovanardi was born in Modena in 1884, an idealist of the liberal secular Risorgimento state, who opposed the middle-class provincial lifestyle of his family (his father Silvio was also a lawyer, even if he had never practiced). He was a brilliant all-round student and in 1905, after graduating in law, he moved to Milan, where, on the recommendation of an acquaintance, the Milanese silk industrialist Felice Ferri, he was apprenticed to the Boniforti law firm at Via Ancona, close to Via San Marco. There he met his peer Luigi Bianchi, who would later on become his partner. After having qualified as a lawyer, in 1909 Erminio Giovanardi left the Boniforti law firm and opened his own law firm in Via Dante, 4 where, a few years later, he was joined by Bianchi following the retirement of the elderly Boniforti. A bronze bas-relief of Mr Boniforti is displayed in our firm.

Avv. Boniforti

Avv. Boniforti


Erminio Giovanardi volunteered for service at the front in 1915 and was awarded military honours for his action on Mount Vodice and in the Battle of Bainsizza. In 1918 he moved with the armistice commission to Vienna, with his wife and his new-born son Stefano, where he headed the press office of the Italian Embassy until 1926, after which, despite his opposition to the Italian regime, he decided to return to Italy. Together with Luigi Bianchi, he re-opened the law firm at Via dei Bossi 3, where he predominantly advised foreign clients, exploiting his fluency in German and French. He was also appointed as a long-standing ‘Justice of the Peace’ in recognition of his sense of justice and humane approach, and for which he was twice awarded the prestigious medaglia d’oro by the City of Milan.

Erminio Giovanardi

Erminio Giovanardi


When the Second World War broke out, Erminio’s son, Stefano, had just graduated with honours in law with his thesis in civil law under the guidance of Prof. Francesco Carnelutti, and drafted to East Africa, where he was taken as a prisoner of war by the English, who transferred him to India, first in Bangalore, then later in Yol. The operation of the law firm, already affected by the war, was interrupted in 1943, when the Giovanardi family had to leave Milan during the bombardment, and later resumed in 1945, when the war ended, at the same office at Via dei Bossi, 3. Stefano Giovanardi was released and returned from India as a member of the Bar, and joined the firm in 1947 together with his father Erminio and Luigi Bianchi.

Stefano Giovanardi

Avv. Stefano Giovanardi


Soon after the war, Arturo Ratti, a chartered accountant whose office in Via Montenapoleone, had collapsed under the bombardments, joined the law firm. This successful partnership continued for many years, even when Ratti moved to a new office at Via dei Bossi, 3, in order to contend with space requirements imposed by the growth of their respective accounting and law practice.

In the mid-60s, Stefano Giovanardi consolidated his relations with key clients, predominantly advising them on commercial litigation matters, and thus firmly established the firm’s authority and reputation. At the same time, Erminio Giovanardi, who was by then over 80 years old, gradually stepped back from the practice, as did Luigi Bianchi, who shortly afterwards retired, leaving room for a young lawyer Gianluigi Turconi, whose father, also a lawyer, had recently died. Together Stefano Giovanardi and Gianluigi Turconi expanded the firm’s practice to the credit sector, remaining a point of reference for civil, commercial and insolvency litigation matters. In Turconi retired from the profession to devote himself to other activities, but he retained close ties with the law firm. That same year Erminio Giovanardi, still a member of the Bar Association, passed away.

In the ensuring years Stefano Giovanardi enlarged the firm’s practice, continuing to focus on the credit sector.

In 1980, during his third year of law school, Stefano’s son, Carlo Alberto Giovanardi, started his traineeship at the law firm, performing administrative-related duties. After his graduation in law (1982) and military service (1982-1983), Carlo Alberto Giovanardi qualified as a lawyer in 1985 and started practicing law with his father, Stefano Giovanardi, replicating, albeit in a different setting, the collaboration that 38 years earlier this father, Stefano, had begun with his grandfather, Erminio Giovanardi.

In 1986, when the owner of the building in Via dei Bossi, 3, Credito Italiano, requested the building, Giovanardi law firm moved to Via San Calimero, 7, where it remained until 1992. After which it moved to its current Milan office in Piazza del Liberty, 8.

Lastly, together with Erminio Giovanardi, Luigi Bianchi, Stefano Giovanardi and Gianluigi Turconi, we must mention Elena Salvini as being one of the key figures of our firm’s history, who joined the firm as a very young secretary in 1971 and retired in 2014 after 43 years of service, and to whom we express our gratitude.

This passage from Stefano Giovanardi’s biography gives an idea of the situation in Milan after the bombing: “Dad and  Bianchi had the same office in  via dei Bossi no. 3, but the activity was quite idle. As everywhere, heating was not working. In the corridor we had a sawdust- stove: we had to fill an iron cylinder with sawdust and plug it in. The sawdust burned little by little for some hours, heating the apartment. Dad’s room, freed from furniture, became the sawdust deposit. Both the desks were in the bigger room, once used by Bianchi. There was only one secretary, with few jobs; instead of staying at the Remington typewriter, in her room, she preferred to stay in the corridor, huddled up close to the stove”.


In 1992 Stefano Giovanardi, Carlo Alberto Giovanardi and Andrea Fattori founded our present law firm, which has expanded in order to meet the ever-changing market demands: in 2007 the attorneys Cecilia Lampertico and Filippo Cantalamessa became partners. Unfortunately, in 2009 Stefano Giovanardi passed away after an accomplished legal career spanning 62 years.

In 2011 the Genoa office was opened by the attorney Linda Morellini. In 2013 the attorneys Marco Marinoni and Cristiano Ruspi were appointed as partners, and in 2015 the attorneys Valeria Mazzoletti and Linda Morellini subsequently became partners.

From January 2015 the firm was redesigned, adopting the name Giovanardi e Associati Studio Legale, with the goal of enhancing professional growth, while respecting the historically cemented values: confidentiality, client availability, fairness, quality of service and a high level of understanding of complex matters.

The Firm took the name Giovanardi Pototschnig & Associati in 2017, following the entry of Paolo Pototschnig, as name partner, along with his team. Paolo Pototschnig and his wife Valeria Mazzoletti, and some professionals of their team, left the Firm in summer 2020 to continue their activity in another reality while the Firm, currently taking the name Giovanardi Studio Legale, reasserts its professional values and its cultural and ethical heritage which has always distinguished it, looking to the future thanks to a new generation of lawyers grown internally under the guidance of the name partner and the most senior members who enjoyed the values of the Firm.

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