Ornella Belfiori



current location


Why did you join DLA Piper? 

I approached DLA Piper when I was still at university, when I saw an advertisement for an internship position in the Litigation and Regulatory group in the White-Collar Crime, Investigations and Compliance team. At that time, I was on the verge of completing my master’s thesis in European Criminal Procedures and I still had to sit a couple of formal exams before getting my law degree. 

But the opportunity to work at DLA Piper immediately caught my eye. Having chosen a major profile in Criminal Law, I was aiming to work at a firm where I could combine my passion for white-collar crime and compliance with my intention to challenge myself in an international work environment. DLA Piper just seemed to be the perfect fit! So, I didn’t hesitate and applied immediately for the internship. 

What is your current role? 

After my six-month internship I was selected for a trainee lawyer role. Then, after having passed the Bar exam, I continued my career at DLA Piper as a lawyer. I have been with the firm for almost five years now. 

I am currently seconded to one of the firm’s top clients, where I provide legal support to the Supervisory Bodies of the group and corporate compliance advice. 

What have you learned from your experiences at DLA Piper? 

From the moment I accepted the internship at the firm, I felt I had become a part of a family. DLA Piper was my first “real” work experience after having completed an internship at the European Parliament and working as a summer associate at another law firm in Brussels. 

DLA Piper is one of the most prominent international law firms in Italy. As an intern/trainee, you can expect to be given responsibility and the chance to work on cutting-edge matters. For me, this translated into the possibility to gain unparalleled professional experience in white-collar and corporate crime and other areas of practice that are rarely seen in other firms. You will have plenty of opportunities to learn from the partners you work with, and from senior associates and other junior colleagues.

Every aspect of work here is the result of teamwork, and interns and trainees really are part of the team. 

DLA Piper is also one of the very few law firms around the world to have a dedicated pro bono practice. Participation in pro bono initiatives is open to all colleagues. I have had the opportunity to work on some meaningful projects, such as providing recommendations on the Ethiopia’s Draft Criminal Procedure and Evidence Code and answering legal questions on issues of asylum and refugee law asked by young migrants and refugees on an anonymous digital platform provided by UNICEF. 

Is there anything you would like to highlight about your experiences at DLA Piper? 

The firm has a keen interest in developing talent and retaining people and supports its associates in offsetting the cost of their education. This year, I received a scholarship that will allow me to pursue a master’s in Anti-Corruption Studies at the International Anti-Corruption Academy. I am thankful to the DLA Piper Chorus Committee (which successfully organized and managed the internal scholarship competition) and to everyone else at the firm who took part in the selection process, and to my supervising partner for her continuous support. Without financial support from the firm, I wouldn’t have been able to take part in the program.