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Francesca Petronio

Partner, Litigation Department
T 39-02-30414-226
F 39-02-30414-005

Francesca Petronio heads the Litigation practice of the firm’s Milan office. She has extensive experience in litigation, cross-border disputes and litigation, domestic and international arbitration, bankruptcy, and corporate and commercial litigation matters. In addition, she specializes in litigation and pre-litigation issues, white-collar crimes, administrative and criminal liability and compliance matters under Legislative Decree 231/2001, and also assists domestic and international clients in internal investigations, defending them before regulatory authorities or in the context of criminal investigations. Ms. Petronio also regularly assists clients on issues related to compliance programs, legal risks, and data protection law.

She is regularly invited to speak on various legal topics in Italy and abroad, and is also a contributor to law and economic publications and newspapers.


  • A U.S. conglomerate on internal and criminal investigations into one of its Italian subsidiaries in connection with the United Nations Oil-for-Food program. Advised on the potential criminal liability pursuant to Law 231. Criminal investigation pending in Italy and DoJ and SEC investigation pending in the U.S. Other countries involved: U.S. and Iraq
  • A U.S. insurance brokerage group on an internal investigation into one of its Italian subsidiaries and, in particular, on potential liabilities that arose out of activities performed by company officers. Wrongdoing occurred in Italy, the UK, and the U.S.
  • A U.S. producer of energy industry equipment on internal and criminal investigations of two of its Italian subsidiaries for bribes paid by officers in connection with international supply agreements. Advised on the potential criminal liability pursuant to Italian Law No. 231/2001. Criminal investigation pending in Italy, and DoJ and SEC investigation pending in the U.S. Other countries involved: U.S., North Africa, Middle East, and Russia
  • Major Italian companies and banks on the implementation of Law 231 Organizational Models
  • The Italian subsidiary of a Swedish producer of home furnishing in a litigation against a general contractor. Valued at approximately €90 million
  • A major international bank in connection with a criminal investigation into derivative trades entered into with Italian public authorities
  • Two subsidiaries of an Italian group leader in the food industry in a claw-back action against an international company processor and packager in the food sector. The value of this matter was €15 million

Accolades and Recognitions

  • Head of the team named Best Regulatory Firm of the Year at the International Women in Compliance Awards 2017, finalist in 2016
  • Only Italian professional named among the 100 remarkable women in Investigations from around the world by the Global Investigation Review 2015
  • Ranked by Chambers Global and Chambers Europe in the Dispute Resolution section regarding Italy
  • Recommended by The Legal 500 in the Dispute Resolution sections regarding Italy
  • Named Litigation Lawyer of the Year at the Top Legal Awards 2011

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Member of the Italian Bar Association since 1997 and of the Milan Bar Association
  • Officer of the International Bar Association and Chair of the Sub-Committee on double jeopardy in the framework of IBA’s Anti-Corruption Committee
  • Admitted to practice before Italy’s Supreme Court of Cassation
  • Lecturer at the National School for In-house counsels of AIGI since 2011
  • Co-founder of the Arbitrando association (


  • University of Parma, Italy J.D., 1994 (magna cum laude)
  • Attended a post degree course on Italian Bankruptcy Law in 2007

Recent Speaking Engagements and Publications

Moderator at 5th C5 Anti-Corruption Conference on “Judges and Prosecutors' Keynote Panel” in Milan, November 21, 2017 
Moderator at the Women in Compliance Roundtable organized by C5 in Milan, 20 November 2017 
Speaker at OECD – 2nd Annual International Conference on “National anti-corruption guidelines: establishing dialogue between the public and private sectors” in Paris, September 11, 2017 
“Italy Admits Punitive Damages”, Lexology, July 18, 2017 
Speaker at Paradigma seminar on “Il rischio legale e di non conformità per reati non coperti dal D.Lgs. n. 231/01”, June 15, 2017 
Speaker at the IBA Anti-Corruption Conference on “Double Jeopardy and Managing Risks in Cross-Border Investigations and Prosecutions” in Paris, June 13, 2017 
Double jeopardy in a multijurisdictional reality: new trends and challenges”, Anti-Corruption Law and Practice Report 2017: Innovation in Enforcement and Compliance, May 2017 
Speaker at the seminar on compliance matters organized by AIGI, May 27, 2017 
New Rules on Private-to-Private Corruption Adopted in Italy”, Lexology, May 25, 2017 
Guide on the Application of the General Data Protection Regulation”, Lexology, May 22, 2017 
Le nuove norme sull’Informativa non finanziaria e le prime difficoltà attuative”, Lexology, April 20, 2017 
Privacy, guida del Garante per la Protezione dei Dati Personali al Nuovo Regolamento Europeo in materia di Protezione dei Dati Personali” [Privacy, guidelines of the Italian Data Protection Authority to the New European Regulation on Data Protection], Diritto 24 (Il Sole 24 Ore), March 23, 2017 
Co-author of “Italy” chapter to the 4th edition of The Product Regulation and Liability Review, February 2017 
Raggiunto l’accordo UE/USA nell’ambito del trasferimento dei dati personali: il nuovo ‘Scudo Privacy’" [Reaching a EU/USA agreement on the transfer of personal data: the new “Data Protection Shield”], Diritto 24 (Il Sole 24 Ore), February 4, 2016
EU Ex Parte Freezing Order Now Available: What Banks and Their Clients Should Know”, Paul Hastings Client Alert, January 18, 2017 
Guidelines on Data Protection Officers Adopted by Article 29 Data Protection Working Party”, Lexology, January 12, 2017 
Italy Moves Towards the Admissibility of Punitive Damages”, Lexology, May 24, 2016 
Speaker at the seminar on Legal Risk organized by AIGI, April 22, 2016 
Italy’s Court of the Auditors Sets Principle of Banks’ Liability for Damages When Acting as Advisors to Public Entities”, Lexology, March 22, 2016 
Italy Finally Approves Statute Amending Bankruptcy Act and Other Laws to Facilitate Restructurings and Reinforce Creditors’ Rights”, Lexology, September 10, 2015
The Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive”, Client Alert, September 8, 2015
A Strengthening of Anti-Corruption Legislation in Italy”, Ethic Intelligence, July 2015 
Speaker at the seminar on Anti-Money Laundering organized by Paradigma, March 17, 2015 
Il soffiatore del fischietto in Italia (c.d. ‘whistleblower’)” [Whistleblowers in Italy], Diritto 24 (Il Sole 24 Ore), February 2015 
Italy withdraws from energy Charter treaty: What’s next?” Paul Hastings Client Alert, April 30, 2015 (published on Law360) 
New rules on jurisdictions and enforcement of foreign judgments in the EU to streamline the enforcement of court decisions and prevent dilatory tactics”, Paul Hastings Client Alert, January 29, 2015 
Protecting Companies in a Challenging Environment: Compliance Programs Under Italian Law—the New 2014 Guidelines of Confindustria”, Paul Hastings Client Alert, December 23, 2014 
Speaker at the seminar “Il ruolo degli amministratori nelle società di capital doveri: responsabilità e forme di tutela” (Liability of directors) organized by Paradigma, October 2014 
Italian Data Privacy Law: The Recent Decision on Google”, Paul Hastings Client Alert, September 16, 2014 (published on Law360) 
Moderator at the seminar “Il Sistema di responsabilità degli amministratori delegati e dei direttori generali nella gestione di impresa” [The liabilities of directors with delegated powers and of managing directors in managing a business] (CDV conference management), June 2014 

  • Speaker at the ISFA Forum & Cybercop challenge 2014 Computer Forensic and Digital Investigation, May 23-24, 2014 
  • The ‘Ne Bis in Idem’ Principle among International Treaties and Domestic Rules: The Recent Case Law of the European Court of Human Rights on Italy”, Paul Hastings Client Alert, June 5, 2014 
  • New Criteria of Venue for Disputes Involving Foreign Companies Operating in Italy”, Paul Hastings Client Alert, May 5, 2014 
  • Le Nuovissime Disposizioni Regolamentari Comunitarie e Italiane Tra Corporate Governance e Gestione Del Rischio Fiscale” [The Latest EU and Italian Regulatory Provisions between Corporate Governance and Management of Tax Risk], Paul Hastings Client Alert, July 17, 2013 
  • The Latest Reform of Italian Appeal Proceedings in Recent Case Law: A Step Towards Faster Civil Proceedings Involving a Higher Standard of Defense”, Paul Hastings Client Alert, June 19, 2013 
  • Effects of the Cancellation of Italian Companies from the Companies Register and the Succession of the Shareholders”, Paul Hastings Client Alert, June 10, 2013 
  • New Italian Rules for Joint and Several Liability in Contracts and Subcontracts”, Paul Hastings Client Alert, June 3, 2013 
  • EU Announces New Rules on Disclosure Requirements for Extractive and Forestry Industries”, Paul Hastings Client Alert, April 11, 2013 
  • Extraterritorial Effect of the Anti-Corruption Law of the Peoples Republic of China”, Paul Hastings Client Alert, April 27, 2011