During the third week of September I was given the opportunity to visit the city of Milan and to work with our colleagues from Cocuzza & Associati. As a lawyer specialized in the field of Commercial Tenancy Law in the Netherlands, I work with Italian (retail) companies on a regular basis. By reasons of this my choice to go to Milan was mostly driven by the fact to get a better understanding of the Italian (retail) market and – of course – by my wish to get to know the city of Milan, which I had never visited before and of which I heard so many great stories!


After making my way through the city centre on the first day of my stay – and getting a first impression of the city – I had a very warm welcome at Cocuzza & Associati. It felt a bit like starting a new job, but everybody made me feel at ease right away. During my stay I took every opportunity to get to know the Italian legal system and to find out the differences with the Dutch legal system, especially in respect of Commercial Tenancy Law. An amazing opportunity for me to this effect was to attend a seminar on retail and franchise law in Italy that was organized by Cocuzza & Associati precisely during the week of my stay. Also, I was given the chance to attend a court hearing in Milan, which is something I would never could have done if it had not been for the efforts of Cocuzza & Associati and for which I am tremendously grateful.


Of course, five days are not enough to get to know another country's legal system completely. That being said, I got a good glimpse at the Italian way of doing things. My newfound understanding of the Italian Market will most definitely help me in future relations with not only Italian, but also other companies that are active on the international (retail) market. More importantly, however, I got to know a group of wonderful people who made my stay in Milan unforgettable and which I hope to see again very soon.


I would like to thank Giulia Comparini and the team at Cocuzza & Associati for helping me organizing my trip to Milan! Special thanks to Patrizio Cataldo and everybody else who took the time of showing me around in Milan during the lunch breaks and after working hours. I am very much looking forward to future ADVOC meetings and I can only recommend the Advoc Exchange Programme to everyone. It is fantastic to – from time to time – get a look at things from a different angle.


By Stephan Diel
Attorney-at-Law, Boels Zanders
(Commercial Tenancy Law)