“He was a professional, a charismatic and loving father and grandfather. All those who knew him and worked with him appreciated his straightforwardness, determination and honesty, and cannot but have a revered and affectionate memory of him. We want to remember Modesto Bertolli with the same affection, regard and sincere gratitude in this dedicated space.“
Gianluigi e Davide Bertolli
Modesto Bertolli (1916-2005) Founder of Bertolli & Associati Law Firm
The war period and education
Modesto Bertolli was born in Spino d’Adda on 28th November 1916. He lost his father when he was four years old, and was raised by his mother and his maternal grandfather, who was a Podestà (Italian Chief Magistrate) of the town. During the Second World War, he joined the 33rd Infantry Division Acqui and in 1941 he reached the Greek/Albanian front, where he experienced the horror of trench warfare. On this occasion he saw many friends and fellows die. Miraculously, he survived. In 1942 he was sent with the Division on the Greek Island of Cephalonia. While in Greece, between 1942 and 1943, he completed his studies, took his exams in Corfu and obtained a diploma in accounting.
Thanks to a leave he took just before the 8th September 1943, he was not in Cephalonia during the first day of battle and mass shootings which caused the death of his fellows, surviving one of the most terrible massacres of prisoners of war of the Second World War. Only a few hundred soldiers survived out of the 11,000 belonging to the 33rd Infantry Division Acqui.
After going back to the military base in Silandro, he was captured by German soldiers and deported to the Dachau concentration camp together with other Italian soldiers. He was released only at the end of the war in 1945; he then reached Berlin by walking and by whichever means of transportation came to his hand. He left the war-torn German capital and finally came back to Italy.
The war was over.
It was time to rebuild Italy and plan the future.
Milan: commitment, passion, hard word and praise
The war was over; the entire country needed help to get back on its feet.
In Milan, Mr. Bertolli had an active role in the reconstruction process: he managed the relocation of ruins in the area currently known as “Monte Stella” or “Montagnetta di San Siro”.
1950 was a crucial year, not only for Modesto Bertolli’s future, but for ours too: in 1950 he opened the Bertolli law firm, starting his career as an Accountant. In this same year, he also got married. He had 4 children: Gianluigi (51), current senior partner of the firm, Maria Teresa (1955), currently working in fashion, Emanuela (1961) lawyer, and Cristina (1964) housewife.
Gianluigi married Susanna Dolcino in 1977, and the couple has 2 children: Davide (1980) current partner of the law firm, and Marta (1984), architect and interior designer.
Another important moment of Modesto Bertolli’s professional life is 1956, when he founded the Sindacato Nazionale Revisori Ufficiali dei Conti (National Trade Union of Official Auditors), which then became INRC (Istituto Nazionale Revisori Contabili, National Institute of Auditors) and later INRL (Istituto Nazionale Revisori Legali, National Institute of External Auditors), of which he was the president until his death, in 2005. Intellectual honesty and the ability to proactively interact with anyone, even with his rivals: these were the main qualities his colleagues and acquaintances, who got to know him during both his professional and personal life, appreciated most.
He always showed great commitment in defending the role of auditors, by trying to prevent the profession from becoming the exclusive jurisdiction of chartered accountants.
To this commitment, he devoted fifty years of his career.
He also held other offices: just to name a few, he was a member of the Board of Statutory Auditors of Banca Popolare di Milano in the 70’s, he was appointed court consultant after the scandal that hit Banca Popolare di Novara in 1985, and he was a member of the Board of Statutory Auditors of Enichem in the 80’s. Modesto Bertolli was a tax judge of the first degree tax commission of Milan for approximately 20 years. In 1955, thanks to his merits, he was honoured with the title of Cavaliere with a motion signed by President Gronchi, and in 1982 he was appointed Ufficiale with a motion signed by President Pertini.