Simona Agnolucci is a partner in the Litigation Department, Managing Partner of the San Francisco office and a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. Simona focuses on high-stakes complex litigation, including class actions, bet-the-company commercial disputes and white collar criminal defense. Her clients include “sharing economy” technology companies, medical device manufacturers, brokerage companies, investment advisors, smartphone manufacturers, and leading law firms. Simona has tried cases in state, federal and administrative court, including several as first chair.
- Downey v. Public Storage and Perez v. Public Storage: Lead counsel in two class actions filed in California against the United States’ largest self-storage operator, Public Storage, alleging violations of Business & Professions Code Section 17200 and the Consumer Legal Remedies Act. Both matters are pending in Los Angeles Superior Court. In May 2018, defeated class certification in the Downey case. Successfully moved to exclude testimony from all of the plaintiffs’ experts in the Perez case. First-chaired trial of the only claim remaining in the Perez case in January 2019. In April 2019, the Court issued a decision in Public Storage’s favor on all claims.
- Independent Contractors v. Lyft, Caviar, TaskRabbit: Represented Lyft, Caviar and TaskRabbit in putative class actions addressing issues critical to the new economy: whether drivers, couriers and Taskers have been misclassified as independent contractors rather than employees.
White Collar Criminal and Investigations*
- United States v. Walter Liew: In a two-month federal jury trial, defended Silicon Valley engineer Walter Liew, who was indicted for attempted economic espionage and conspiracy to sell DuPont’s manufacturing trade secrets to the company’s Chinese competitors. The case was part of the government's effort to combat what it deemed as China's "persistent" industrial spying.
- Department of Justice and Securities and Exchange Commission v. Executive: Successfully represented a high-ranking employee of a publicly-traded company in a complex Foreign Corrupt Practices Act investigation spanning several countries.
- Securities and Exchange Commission v. Public Company: Represented a Special Committee of the Board of Directors of a publicly-traded technology company in the investigation of alleged insider trading.
Intellectual Property and Commercial Litigation*
- Edwards Lifesciences v. CoreValve Inc. et al.: Defended Medtronic, Inc. and its subsidiary, CoreValve, in a multi-patent case brought by Edwards Lifesciences in the District of Delaware. The patents at stake concerned CoreValve’s lifesaving transcatheter artificial heart valve. Although an injunction was initially ordered, convinced the court to stay that injunction, and then later resolved all of the pending patent litigation with a successful settlement.
- Apple, Inc. v. HTC Corp.: Defended smartphone manufacturer HTC Corp. from Apple’s assertion of six patents relating to user interface features. HTC originally was added to an action between Apple and Motorola that had been pending in the Southern District of Florida for almost two years. Successfully moved to sever Apple’s claims against HTC and HTC’s counterclaims from the litigation between Motorola and Apple, and to transfer the case to Delaware. HTC thereafter obtained a settlement to become the first Android handset maker licensed by Apple.
* Simona advised on these matters prior to joining Willkie.
Prior to joining Willkie in 2019, Simona was a partner at Keker Van Nest & Peters.