Allen & Overy boosts Italian litigation practice with partner hire from Delfino Willkie

Francesca Petronio becomes magic circle firm’s 10th global litigation practice recruit this year

Francesca Petronio Image courtesy of Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy has hired disputes lawyer Francesca Petronio from Delfino Willkie Farr & Gallagher to strengthen its commercial litigation practice in Italy.

Petronio joins as a partner in the magic circle firm’s Milan office, bringing with her more than two decades of experience in domestic and international litigation and arbitration cases. She has a focus on bankruptcy and commercial disputes and expertise in proceedings related to investigations, white-collar crime, administrative liability and compliance.

Stefano Sennhauser, senior partner of Allen & Overy Italy, said: “The appointment of Francesca is an integral part of the growth strategy that we are pursuing profitably in Italy and which, in only a few years, has led to a significant expansion of the partnership. Her expertise and extensive experience will be of great value in assisting our clients in a macroeconomic climate characterised by unpredictable circumstances and market uncertainties.” 

Petronio arrives after three years at Delfino – US firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher’s Italian affiliate. Prior to that, she was a partner and head of litigation for Italy at Paul Hastings for almost 15 years and a senior associate at Norton Rose for four years.

Italian litigation partners Massimo Greco and Amilcare Sada and employment partner Livio Bossotto added that Petronio is a highly experienced professional whose appointment will bolster the firm’s litigation services.

Petronio is the firm’s 10th global litigation practice hire this year, though the first in seven months following a surge of recruitment activity in the first quarter that ended with the arrival of London partner David Herlihy in March from Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom.

Elsewhere in Italy this month, a team of 21 energy and infrastructure lawyers quit Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe to launch a sustainability-focused boutique, Green Horse. The new firm will be led by former Orrick Italy partners Carlo Montella and Andrea Gentili.

Meantime back in March, UK top 30 firm Withers hired a luxury law team from Baker McKenzie in Milan, including partner Carlo Alberto Demichelis, who joined as head of brand protection and intellectual property advisory for Italy.

Last November, US litigation specialist Boies Schiller Flexner opened in Milan after recruiting four partners and their teams from local firm RP Legal & Tax.

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