Leaders List Interview: 60 seconds with Riccardo Barone, Tavecchio & Associati
Tell Citywealth’s readers about your role.
I am a young partner and tax expert at Tavecchio & Associati, a private client boutique law firm in Milan, Italy.
My focus is on cross-border estate and wealth planning,international tax structuringas well astaxation related to relocations of private clients to and from Italy. I also deal with real estate taxation and taxation of financial investments.
Talk us through one of your most recent client cases.
Together with Andrea Tavecchio, the founding partner of our firm, I advisea UHNWIas international lead counsel on his relocation to Italy. The matter comprises highly complex cross-border taxation issues related to our client’s stake in a large Latin American corporation, with affiliates in Europe and the US.
What are the most important skills and personal qualities for a tax lawyer?
For me, as a tax lawyer focusing on private clients, people skills, empathyand authenticity are of crucial importance. Furthermore, no matter the complexity and time pressure,taking a structured approach and the necessary time to assess the situation and to evaluate my options is fundamental.
What is the biggest challenge lawyers in your sector are currently facing?
Firstly, the COVIDpandemic forced us to assist our clients remotely, without face-to-face meetings. After countless video calls, I am really looking forward to seeing my clients in person again. With private clients, direct human interaction is of paramount importance. Virtual meetings will never fully replace physical meetings.
Secondly, even for a younger and IT-savvy lawyer like me, keeping up with technology is no walk in the park. While I am not afraid to be replaced by LegalTech anytime soon, constantly adapting the way we work, implementing the tools used by our clients, is certainly a challenge.
Are your clients behaving differently in the present era?
The implications and complications of the COVID pandemic have caused many of our clients to change their priorities. They want tofocus more on the most important things in their life: their health and well-being.
As a consequence, some of our clients have delayed or expedited projects – such as relocating to Italy or acquiring real estate in Italy. In some cases, they want to sit out the restrictions related to the COVID crisis and become active again. In other cases, they gave a push totheir projects, accelerating them and deciding it was the right moment for big changes.
Best and worst parts of your job.
The best part of my job is to be able to help an incredibly diverse range of private clients with their most important projects and challenges. Nothing makes me happier than finding a clever solution for one of our clients!
Another great part of my job is working in a superb team, consisting of extraordinary and highly motivated people of different ages and backgrounds.
The worst part of my job? There is really nothing worth complaining about, although I have to say thatinforming clients about bad news can be quite challenging.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you have been given?
My mother inspired me to believethat it will all work outin every phase of my life.
My father taught me to always give my everything, no matter what I do, and remain positive and authentic.
My mentor Andrea Tavecchio guided me to be patient with myself, move forward step by stepandtake a long-term approach with relationships.
Riccardo Barone is a member of Citywealth Leaders List.