Francesca C. Castagnola is a visionary in providing banking services to the legal industry. As Senior Managing Director of Western Alliance Bank's Juris Banking Group, she has built expert teams that specialize in providing full-service banking solutions to meet the need of law firms, claims administrators and related legal service providers. She is also a founding officer of the Bank's San Diego Division.
Ms. Castagnola oversees 5 different lines of business which serve the legal community, including Settlement Services, where she focuses on the entire life cycle of large legal settlements, from escrow through distribution and residual balances for class action mass torts. She also manages Western Alliance Bank's Chapter 11 bankruptcy offering, which is registered with all 21 U.S. Trustee Regions, and has managed the banking aspects of hundreds of Qualified Settlement Funds and complex bankruptcies since 2003.
Drawing upon her 35 years of banking experience, Ms. Castagnola also developed and leads the Bank's full-service juris banking group, which has been built to serve innovative law firms, alternative legal service providers, and legal technology companies. The group's offerings include depository and lending solutions designed for the firms that are changing the way legal services are delivered.
In 2020, she spearheaded Western Alliance Bank's first-of-its-kind Rule 23 Amendments Research Report, and in 2021 led the 2nd annual research report centering on the complex issues and nuanced perspectives of cy pres, objectors and quick-pay. Francesca and her team also launched one of the most respected conferences in the mass tort and class action space, the Western Alliance Bank Class Action Law Forumâ„¢, in 2019. As Founder and Steering Committee member, she is dedicated to bringing together top industry experts from the Plaintiffs' Bar, Defense Bar, the bench and legal service providers to share their expertise and insights on leading industry trends and practices.
A frequent speaker and writer, some of Ms. Castagnola's published articles and collaborations with industry leaders include:
- Securities Class Actions Are Surging and Getting More Complex: Here's What You Need to Know
- As Data Breaches Proliferate, Class Action Law Hustles to Keep Pace
- How Women in Law Can Master Their Career
- Revealing the Legal Industry's Views on Objectors, Cy Pres, Quick-Pay and Rule 23
- Class Action Experts Weigh In on Rule 23 Changes
- Transparency and Accountability are Paramount in Class Action
- The Age of Mega Filings: Four Post-Settlement Considerations for the Care and Safety of Funds
- Five Things Plaintiffs' Counsel Should Know about the Settlement-Distribution Process
Francesca also serves on Western Alliance Bank's Opportunity Council, which provides guidance and support to the Bank's various business resource and affinity groups including WAL Women's Alliance, PRIDE@Work, African American Group, Abilities Group, and many more. She is a member of the Board of Trustees and Chair of the Finance Committee for The Academy of our Lady of Peace, the oldest and only all-girls' catholic high school in San Diego.
Ms. Castagnola attended the University of San Diego.