June 2016 Alumni Highlight

Hanz ChiappettaHanz Chiappetta (’01) graduated from the University of Milan in 1999 with the United States equivalent of a Juris Doctor. He then went on to receive his Master of Laws in Comparative Legal Studies at Pace in 2001. How he arrived at the decision to attend Pace Law for his LLM was a well-thought out and practical decision. The nature of Hanz's business would require that he regularly advise clients on their investments in the United States. As a result, and in order to provide the best counsel to his clients in Italy and throughout Europe, Hanz researched American law schools that had the best LLM programs in Comparative Law. At the top of his list was Pace. "Pace has a reputation both in Europe and more broadly as an institution that provides not only a great learning experience for international students, but allows you to graduate with a practical education that you can actually put to use immediately upon graduating from the program."

After graduating from Pace, Hanz studied for the New York bar exam. "I studied extremely hard and prepared every day leading up to the exam, but Pace gave me the tools to pass that exam." After passing the bar exam, Hanz worked for a year in the United States and then returned to Italy. He is now joining Girardi LLP. The firm has offices in Italy and Hanz is leading the effort at their office in New York. Hanz's practice in particular focuses on providing contractual and corporate advice to his clients in Italy and Europe about their investments in the United States. He has a special focus on international commercial agreements, corporate transactions, real estate and IP. "One of the most interesting parts of my practice as an attorney is the varied type of companies I provide counsel. I work with IT companies, fashion companies, e-commerce companies. The list goes on. And with each one, I use the tools I learned at Pace to provide sound advice and properly advocate for my clients."

In addition to his legal practice, Hanz is very involved in assisting Italian companies involved in the mechanical sectors investing worldwide and in particular in the US. He is also legal advisor of ANIMA, which is the biggest association in Italy representing the Mechanical and Engineering Industry on a national level. Hanz also regularly lectures on international commercial law topics at the major business associations located in the Milan area.

Hanz fondly recalls Professor Gayl Westerman and Professor Louise Martin-Valiquette.  "Professor Westerman was very supportive in working with me to structure the international law curriculum as part of my LLM Program in a way that made the most sense for me. I also cannot forget Professor Valiquette’s tips in assisting clients doing business cross-border transactions."

When asked what the most useful course was that he took as part of his LLM program at Pace, Hanz said he "cannot pick just one. The education has to be taken as a whole. Each course provided me with a different tool to become the lawyer that I am today."