The agency fought off opposition from the Milan offices of Young & Rubicam and Saatchi & Saatchi to secure the brief. Work will run out of both the agency's London and Rome offices, and will include major European markets as well as the US, where the coffee industry continues to prosper under major coffee chains such as Starbucks.
The Italian coffee brand has a presence in 70 countries. The UK business was won by Bartle Bogle Hegarty in 1998, but became dormant a year later.
Subsequent work has been by Italian agencies.
The global media account was not affected by the review and remains with Mediaedge: cia, which won the business last August.
The Illy brand started out as a supplier to top-end bars and restaurants in Italy, but has since built a strong global consumer franchise. It has plans to extend its presence into the consumer coffee market.
Illy's main competitor, Lavazza, is the brand leader in the middle market and is running a ten million euro pan-European poster campaign.
This win cements the opportunity for Leagas Delaney to build its reputation as a European creative force after also being handed the Saab Italy business for its Rome office.