Born in 1968, Laura Ristori graduated in 1992 from the University of Florence Law School with 110/110 cum Laude and immediately joined as young associate a major Florentine law firm. In 1995 she gained her LL.M. at Columbia Law School. In the same year she passed the Italian Bar Exam and started working as a business lawyer in Florence. In 2002, together with three other lawyers, she founded her own law firm in Florence and, as a partner, has worked there since then. In 2006 she completed her Ph.D. in European Competition Law.
Ristori is also a professional mediator for civil and commercial disputes. Since 2010 she has been working for the Florence Bar Mediation Institution (Organismo di Conciliazione di Firenze), and in that quality she has mediated hundreds of civil and commercial disputes. She has been trained in mediation and negotiation at the Program on Negotiation (PON) at Harvard Law School, and at the University of Florence Law School, and she has attended several other workshops and seminars in mediation and negotiation in the US, Mexico, France, Slovenia and Italy. She has been trained in transformative mediation by Joseph Folger; in mediation through understanding by Gary Friedman and Jack Himmelstein, and on dispute resolution system design by Kenneth Cloke.
Recently, Ristori became interested in peace building and in 2014 she trained as a mediator in violent conflict and in war to peace transition contexts at the USIP (United States Institute for Peace) in Washington D.C.
Ristori is herself a trainer in mediation and negotiation techniques for the Laboratorio Unaltromodo (LUAM) at the University of Florence Law School, for the Lider Lab at the Istituto di Studi Superiori Sant’Anna in Pisa and for the Florence BAR Foundation for continuing education of lawyers. For these institutions she has trained since 2007 several lawyers and other professionals in mediation and negotiation techniques. Occasionally, she teaches mediation and negotiation for the students of the University of Florence Law School.
She has written articles on competition law and chapters for four books on mediation. She is also the co-author of a book on long term commercial contracts forthcoming in September by Wolters-Kluwers publishing Company.