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Francesca Petronio

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

Francesca Petronio is heading the Litigation practice of the firm’s Milan office. Francesca Petronio 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. She also regularly assists clients on compliance programs-related issues, 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 TopLegal Awards 2011

Speaking Engagements and Publications

  • “The Guidelines to the General Data Protection Regulation issued by the Italian Data Protection Authority”, Lexology, May 2017
    “Le nuove norme sull’Informativa non finanziaria e le prime difficoltà attuative”, Lexology, April 2017
    Co-author of “Italy” chapter to the 4th edition of The Product Regulation and Liability Review, February 2017
    “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”, Paul Hastings 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 People’s Republic of China Media Type”, Paul Hastings Client Alert, April 27, 2011
    “U.K. Bribery Act Guidance Part 1: Guidance Overview”, Paul Hastings Client Alert, March 30, 2011
    “Protecting Companies in a Challenging Environment: Compliance Programs under Italian Law—The First Nine Years”, Paul Hastings Client Alert, February 24, 2010

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