Corporate arbitration: the doctrine is (finally) right, its application is wrong

Corporate arbitration is a major topic for Italian arbitration practitioners.  The Italian Supreme Court developed a doctrine and laid down principles not entirely right.  Some lower Courts tried to take a more appropriate approach, but to no avail (I discussed this issue, for instance, in this post).

A recent decision issued by the Court of first instance of Bologna (No. 1378 of 13 June 2019, Italian text availabe here) ostensibly applied the right doctrine (or the doctrine I deem right); nonetheless, it came to the wrong conclusion.

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Corporate disputes

Corporate disputes are capable of arbitration, under Italian law, if they concern negotiable rights (Art. 34(1) of Legislative Decree no. 5 of 17 January 2003). Therefore, the question is: what does “negotiable rights” mean?

The Court of first instance of Florence established an interesting doctrine of arbitrability of corporate disputes, which is enunciated in a recent decision (no. 2906 of 8 September 2016, Italian text available here).

I already examined that doctrine (in this post); moreover, the issue of arbitrability of corporate disputes has often been  mentioned on this blog (for instance, in this post, in this one and this one too).

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Once again, on arbitration and statute of limitations

The Supreme Court sitting en banc (decision no. 13722 of 6 July 2016, Italian text available here) resolved the question of law (previously discussed in this post) concerning the relationship between arbitration and the limitation period provided for by a specific statute of limitations, that is to say by Article 2527(2) of Italian Civil Code (Article 2533(3) of Italian Civil Code currently in force).

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Corporate arbitration: and yet it moves!

A recent decision by the Court of first instance of Florence (decision no. 1129 of 21 March 2016 of III Civil Chamber of the Court of first instance of Florence, Italian text available here) re-opens the debate on the topic of arbitrability of corporate disputes, and it is particularly notable for the clarity of its reasoning.

We previously talked about this topic on several occasions (for instance, on this post, on this one and this one as well).

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Corporate arbitration and interim measures

The Court of first instance of Milan in a recent order of 22 December 2015 (Italian text available here) deals with the issue of the relationship between corporate arbitration and the residual jurisdiction of the Courts to issue interim measures. This ruling is in line with the settled case law of the Court of Milan (as well as of several other Italian Courts).

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Arbitration and statute of limitations

The First Civil Chamber of the Supreme Court requested the First President of the Court to transfer to the Supreme Court sitting en banc a case concerning the relationship between arbitration and the limitation period provided for by a specific statue of limitations. The dispute concerned Article 2527(3) of the Italian Civil Code, which states that the member excluded from a cooperative company is entitled to challenge the relevant resolution within 30 days of its communication. The current rule in force is Article 2533(3) of the Italian Civil Code, which extended the limitation period to sixty days, the same limitation period provided for by Article 2287(2) of the Italian Civil Code with respect to partnerships. The Italian full text of the order no. 20101 of 7 October 2015 is available here.

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