Benedetta AudiaPartner, Foreign Legal Consultant
Admitted in Italy
Licensed as a Foreign Legal Consultant by the NY State Supreme Court, Appellate Division
Prior to joining the firm, Ms. Audia spent almost 18 years working for multilateral organizations and conceptualizing the legal architecture of thousands of multimillion-dollar projects implemented in developing countries, where she traveled extensively to lead negotiations with high-level government officials. In her new role at the firm, Ms. Audia will draw from her experience to guide private sector companies in international development and business matters, as well as provide counsel to multilateral organizations, non-governmental organizations and government entities on a wide array of issues including United Nations privileges and immunities, due diligence, investigations, funds receipt and disbursement, project design and dispute settlement. Prior to joining multilateral organizations, Ms. Audia worked on Mergers and Acquisitions and was involved in numerous domestic and international transactions.
A seasoned negotiator with extensive experience in multiple jurisdictions, Ms. Audia routinely advises clients on innovative ways to structure project agreements while mitigating risks and ensuring taxpayers’ funds are used for their intended purpose. She advises senior officials on complex strategic and legal matters where a solution-oriented approach must be coupled with the ability to protect organizational interests. Noteworthy is Ms. Audia’s knowledge and experience in procurement and grant disbursement modalities, including vendor sanctions, bid protests, contract awards and general terms and conditions.
Ms. Audia has settled major disputes and has been involved in complex arbitrations across a wide variety of sectors including infrastructure, procurement, health and environment. She drafted a number of policy documents and successfully negotiated global partnership and funding agreements with major donor governments covering voluntary contributions as well as multi-partner trust funds.
Ms. Audia has provided training to thousands of United Nations personnel, foreign government officials and representatives of non-state entities relating to the structure and the legal status of the United Nations and the privileges and immunities enjoyed by the United Nations and its officials. She speaks and writes regularly on topics related to public international law, procurement and blockchain. Ms. Audia is an Adjunct Professor of Public Procurement in International Development at George Washington University, an Adjunct Professor of Contracting in International Development at Fordham University and a Law Professor at LUISS Guido Carli University. She recently co-authored two books, one on the legal aspects of blockchain and one on global lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Served as Head of the Corporate and Institutional Law Practice of a UN system organization as well as Chair of the UNSDG Fiduciary Management and Oversight Group (FMOG);
- Personally commended by the Permanent Representative to the United Nations for the "dedicated and skillful work in reaching an agreement which allowed the transfer of the most dangerous Syrian chemicals from the Danish ship ARK FUTURA to the US ship M/V CAPE RAY, facing complicated challenges and finding solutions quickly".
- Successfully negotiated more than 100 Host Country Agreements, covering the status of UN offices and personnel in Host Countries.
- Handled bid protests, disputes and claims, negotiating settlements with UN contractors and other institutions.
- Concluded complex agreements covering the purchase of aircrafts and construction of large infrastructure (e.g. hospitals, schools, bridges, roads).
- Represented the UN before the United Nations Dispute Tribunal.
- Led negotiations with high-level government officials and pharmaceutical companies for the provision of medicines in several developing countries.
- Acted as legal focal point during COVID-19.
- Advised on emission reduction projects under the Clean Development Mechanism (“CDM”) and Joint Implementation Mechanism (“JIM”) of the Kyoto protocol. Conceptualized the first CDM Loan Scheme and worked on thousands of renewable energy projects in developing and Least Developed Countries (“LDCs”).
- Negotiated framework and funding agreements with the World Bank (IDA and IBRD), USAID, the Millennium Challenge Corporation, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Department of State, the European Investment Bank, the African Development Bank, the Asian Development Bank, the Islamic Development Bank, the Saudi Fund for Development, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and the Global Fund.
- Conducted high-level negotiations with several Permanent Missions to the United Nations;
- Contributed to the development of audit recommendations from UN internal and external auditors.
- Drafted a number of UN policies covering due diligence, grants, vendor sanctions, delegations of authority, environmental and social guidelines, intellectual property and data protection. Developed template funding, grant, works and procurement agreements as well as general terms and conditions for works, goods and services.
- Conducted internal investigations in several developing countries.
- J.D., Luiss Guido Carli University
summa cum laude
M.A., Luiss Guido Carli University
summa cum laude
Publications and media
- Co-authored, "The Legal Aspects of Blockchain," Innovations: Technology, Governance, Globalization, 2018
- Co-authored, "Public Procurement Regulation in (a) Crisis?: Global Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic," Hart Publishing, 2021
- Speaker, Middle East Tech Summit, Dubai, March 7, 2023
- Speaker, UN Conference on the Least Developed Countries, Doha, March 5-7, 2023
- Speaker, Promoting integrity in international development, February 28, 2023
- Speaker, "Doing Business with the United Nations: An Overview of the Procurement Process and Significant Issues," AFLA, February 16, 2023
- Speaker, Discovering the United Nations system. From addressing global challenges to next steps in procurement reform. A discussion with the Permanent Representative of Italy to the UN, February 9, 2023
- Adjunct Professor, Procurement in International Development, George Washington University
- Adjunct Professor, Contracting in International Development: the UN and beyond, Fordham Law School
- Law Professor, LUISS Guido Carli University