Ms Francesca Rolla

Francesca Rolla

Lawyer biography

With over 25 years' experience, Francesca Rolla's activity spans almost all areas of contentious work (from product liability litigation, mass torts and white collar crimes to corporate and commercial litigation) across industry sectors as diverse as life sciences, automotive, insurance and consumers goods. She is the head of our Italian Litigation practice and of the Investigations, White Collar & Fraud group in Italy. She is also one of the Litigation practice's primary liaisons to the firm's global Aerospace, Defense, and Government Services sector team.
Be it a corporate dispute, a class action or a complex commercial litigation, domestic or cross border, before State courts of Arbitral tribunals, Francesca is at the forefront of Italian litigators, with the ability to "translate the obscure Italian proceedings into easily understandable language". Drawing on her extensive experience in product liability and mass tort litigation and in non-contentious advice (such as on product safety and product compliance), combined with industry expertise, Francesca also advises on remedies and strategies to manage potential exposure to criminal or regulatory investigations and assists in conducting internal investigations, representing clients before regulatory or criminal authorities when investigations are eventually commenced.
Francesca is ranked as Leading Individual in Chambers, Legal 500, and Who'sWho Legal for Dispute Resolution, Life sciences and Product Liability. She won the 2015 Euromoney LGM European Woman in Business Law Award as best in Product Liability and the 2014 ILO Client Choice Award for Product Liability.  She is listed as Life Science Star for Italy by LGM Life Sciences.


  • English
  • French
  • Italian


Healthcare & Life Sciences

Supreme Court upholds first class action relating to medical devices
Italy | 16 May 2018

After seven years, the Supreme Court finally ended the first product-related class action promoted in Italy relating to a medical device. The decision is noteworthy, despite the small sum awarded, because very few class actions have been declared admissible to date and even fewer cases have been upheld on the merits due to strict admissibility requirements.

Product Regulation & Liability

Mobile phones may cause brain tumours: Turin Court of Appeals revives debate
Italy | 13 February 2020

After a two-year dispute, the Turin Court of Appeals has dismissed the appeal filed by the National Insurance Provider (INAIL) and upheld the first-instance decision issued by the Court of Ivrea in 2017, which established causation between extensive work-related use of mobile phones and brain tumours and ordered INAIL to compensate the claimant with a lifelong payment.

Blood Derivative Products: Supreme Court Rules on Causation and Limitation
Italy | 28 August 2008

Two decisions by the joint divisions of the Supreme Court have laid down significant principles on causation and limitation. Although the claims involved treatment with blood derivative products, the court's reasoning is likely to affect a far wider range of cases.

Are Product Warnings Sufficient to Establish an Awareness Defence?
Italy | 24 January 2008

The Italian legislation that implements the EU Product Liability Directive specifies that a producer is not liable for damage caused by a defect in a product if the consumer is aware of the defect and of the ensuing risk, and accepts such risk. A recent decision is one of the first in Italy to consider in detail the standards that product information must meet in order to warn consumers adequately.

Supreme Court Rules on Burden of Proof in Product Liability Claims
Italy | 19 July 2007

The EU Product Liability Directive and Italy's implementing legislation establish that an injured party bears the burden of proving the defect in the product, the damage and the causation between the two. However, manufacturers have been found liable solely on the basis of damage and causation, the alleged defect in their product being inferred. A Supreme Court ruling sheds new light on the issue.

Liability for Incorrect Labelling of Foodstuffs
Italy | 07 June 2007

A case involving a distributor's liability for the inaccurate labelling of an alcoholic beverage raises the question of whether a mere distributor - which is not involved in the production process and has no influence on what information appears on the label - may be held liable for incorrect labelling under national legislation.

Nutrition and Health: Producer Fined for Misleading Product Claim
Italy | 03 May 2007

The Antitrust Authority, the body in charge of enforcing the laws relating to misleading and comparative advertising, has fined an Italian producer of frozen pre-fried potatoes for using a nutritional claim which was considered to be misleading to consumers. This decision partly foreshadowed the nutritional claim provisions in the recently enacted EU Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation.

Courts Uphold Development Risks Defence
Italy | 16 November 2006

In two cases involving infections caused by blood transfusions or treatment with blood derivatives, product manufacturers have been able to avail themselves of the development risks defence or an equivalent. The revival of this defence is an encouraging trend for manufacturers and suppliers which operate in innovative industries.

Towards a Class Action System for Product Liability Claims?
Italy | 09 November 2006

Two draft bills aimed at introducing class actions in Italy were recently presented to Parliament. Both are aimed at providing consumers affected by the same unlawful event with greater legal protection, but one explicitly allows for class proceedings in respect of tort as well as contract claims. In principle, this would open the door to class claims against product manufacturers and distributors.