Simona Agnolucci

Partner

San Francisco
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP
One Front Street
San Francisco, CA 94111
T 415 858 7447
F 415 858 7599
sagnolucciwillkie.com

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.

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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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.

Selected Significant Matters

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.

Prior Experience

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

Selected Professional and Business Activities

  • Member, Northern District of California Civil Rules & Practice Committee
  • Board of Directors, the University of California, Hastings College of the Law
  • Advisory Board, Center for Gender and Refugee Studies
  • Board of Directors, Legal Services for Children
  • Amicus Briefs Committee, Queen's Bench Women's Bar Association

Selected Publications and Lectures

  • "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

Recognition, Honors & Awards

  • Winning Litigators, National Law Journal, 2019
  • California Trailblazers, The Recorder, 2019
  • Top 40 Under 40, The Daily Journal, 2016
  • Northern California Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2010 – 2016
  • Lawyer on the Fast Track, The Recorder, 2013
  • 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.

Recognition, Honors & Awards

  • Winning Litigators, National Law Journal, 2019
  • California Trailblazers, The Recorder, 2019
  • Top 40 Under 40, The Daily Journal, 2016
  • Northern California Rising Star, Super Lawyers, 2010 – 2016
  • Lawyer on the Fast Track, The Recorder, 2013
  • 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.
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