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.

Simona represents clients in complex investigations brought by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. She also conducts internal investigations for corporate clients and Special Committees. She has defended corporate and individual clients from allegations of economic espionage, trade-secret theft, tax evasion, accounting and revenue recognition fraud, insider trading, witness tampering, obstruction of justice, and violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Chambers USA (2024) ranks Simona among the leading practitioners in California for Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations, where she is noted as “poised, confident, and well-prepared – be it in court or on a phone call.” 

Simona has an active pro bono practice, in which she primarily represents women fleeing gender-based persecution. Her groundbreaking pro bono work has been recognized by national media, including the New York Times.

Simona speaks Italian, French and Spanish.

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Prior to joining Willkie in 2019, Simona was a partner at Keker Van Nest & Peters.

  • Chambers USA, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations (Band 3), California, 2021-2024
  • Benchmark Litigation
    • Litigation Star - White Collar Crime and Commercial (National, California), 2024
    • Top 250 Women in Litigation, 2023
  • Legal 500 U.S., Recommended Lawyer,
    • Dispute Resolution: Corporate Investigations and White-Collar Criminal Defense, 2024 
    • Dispute Resolution: General Commercial Disputes, 2023-2024
    • Media, Technology and Telecoms: Cyber Law (including Data Privacy and Data Protection), 2023-2024
  • Best Lawyers
    • Criminal Defense: White-Collar, 2023-2024
    • Litigation - Securities, 2023-2024
  • Daily Journal
    • Top Women Lawyers, 2022
    • Top 40 Under 40, 2016 
  • Corporate Counsel Magazine’s Women: Influence & Power in Law Awards, Thought Leadership Award, 2022
  • The Recorder
    • California Trailblazers, 2019
    • Lawyers of the Fast Track, 2019
  • National Law Journal, Winning Litigators, 2019
  •  Super Lawyers, Northern California Rising Star, 2010 – 2016
  • UC Hastings Rising Alumna of the Year, 2013
  • Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Father Cuchulain Moriarty Award, 2011. The award honors lawyers who have made an extraordinary pro bono contribution to the Lawyers' Committee's Asylum Project.
  • Chair of the University of California Law, San Francisco Board of Directors 
  • Local Rules Committee, Northern District of California
  • Board of Directors, Bar Association of San Francisco Justice and Diversity Center
  • Bar Association of San Francisco Judicial Committee
  • Advisory Board, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies
  • "Fundamentals of Trial Practice," Virtual Institute on White Collar Crime, 2020
  • “Trying a Class Action,” Association of Corporate Counsel, 2019
  • “Civil Law Symposium: Class Actions,” Northern District of California Practice Program, 2018
  • Faculty, "Class Actions 2017: Litigating, Defending & Managing Class Actions," Bridgeport Continuing Education, 2017
  • Faculty, "Consumer Class Action Litigation Conference," Bridgeport Continuing Education, 2017
  • "Practical Trial Tips from the Frontlines," ABA Annual National Institute on White Collar Crime, 2015
  • "Cross-Examination: Trial Objections," PLI California Trial Advocacy, 2015
  • "Getting Into Court: How Junior Attorneys Can Obtain Valuable Courtroom Experience," Association of Business Trial Lawyers, 2015
  • "The Criminalization of Trade Secret Theft Under the Economic Espionage Act, 18 U.S.C. 1831 and 1832," Bar Association of San Francisco's Hot Topics in Trade Secret Law, 2014
  • "Cross-Examination; Trial Objections," PLI California Trial Advocacy, 2014

Class Actions*

  • 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.



University of California College of the Law, San Francisco, J.D., 2006 Stanford University, B.A., 1998

Bar Admissions

California, 2006

Court Admissions

United States District Court, Southern District of California, 2020 United States Court of Appeals, 1st Circuit, 2019 United States District Court, Eastern District of California, 2018 United States District Court, Central District of California, 2018 United States Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, 2014 United States Court of Appeals, 7th Circuit, 2012 United States District Court, Northern District of California, 2008 United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit, 2007


Hon. William C. Canby Jr., United States Court of Appeals, 9th Circuit

Events & Speaking Engagements