Florence: the first joint Chamber of Arbitration is set up by way of a collaboration among notaries, lawyers, tax accountants and the Chamber of Commerce



Florence, setting up the Arbitration Chamber of Florence: the first example in Italy of a joint arbitration chamber involving a public agency such as the Chamber of Commerce and professional associations of the legal and economic sectors.

The joint Chamber of Arbitration will be located at the Chamber of Commerce of Florence, which will also pay the costs of operation.

The founding professional Orders, together with the Chamber of Commerce, will work together to carry out activities in Florence and to promote national and international arbitration, with particular reference to the inclusion of arbitration clauses in contracts.

The primary organ of the Arbitration Chamber is the Council that, among other functions, will appoint arbitrators and experts, propose to the council of the Chamber of Commerce and to the Orders any changes in the arbitration rules, set out rules of conduct for arbitrators, make suggestions and express opinions on arbitration matters, decide on appointments to the list of arbitrators and keep it up to date, and decide on any objections to an arbitrator.

The Professional Orders will take care of the professional training and the specific expertise of the arbitrators.

We are pleased that the Chamber of Commerce of Florence is to become a place where the professional associations of the area gather to offer a means of dispute resolution for companies and citizens,” says the President of the Chamber of Commerce of Florence, Vasco Galgani. “The attractiveness of a territory and its competitiveness are enhanced by an institution like this which gives certainty on costs and durations even when there are unexpected obstacles in the way of doing business.”

“The culture of arbitration needed to be strengthened with professionalism and this has been done thanks to the attention the Chamber of Commerce pays to the world of the professions,”  declares the President of the Bar Association of Florence, Sergio Paparo. “Arbitration is an alternative to the courts and this joint unit also has the task of disseminating the culture.”

A thought shared by the President of the Notarial Council of Florence, Vincenzo Vettori: “The idea is to extend this experience to other geographic areas. In addition, the synergies among the three professional bodies have already had notable success in the context of conciliation. With the help of the Chamber of Commerce we hope to extend these results to arbitration as well.”

“Often the main difficulty lies in being able to put together the different needs of the three professional bodies, but this is an exceptional moment in Florence,” says the president of the Order of Chartered Accountants of Florence, Gino Mazzi. “The three Orders of the economic and legal professions are extremely united, to the point of being able to establish an institution like this joint Arbitration Chamber.

And the next step is already clear: the establishment of an International Arbitration Chamber such as exist at present in very few European cities like London, Paris and Milan.

But what is arbitration?

Arbitration is a tool for the resolution of civil and commercial disputes as an alternative to the lawcourts. Its key feature is the possibility to make use of referees, including technicians and experts properly trained in the field. The procedure is terminated within 180 days.

For what types of disputes can one resort to arbitration?

Arbitration may be used for any dispute of a commercial nature arising between enterprises, within a company, or between businesses and consumers if the contract includes an arbitration clause or there is a prior agreement under which the parties undertake to submit any future disputes to a referee. However, with the agreement of the parties it is possible to resort to arbitration also for disputes that are not covered by a contract.

What are the advantages of arbitration?

Arbitration offers a number of advantages: speed, clear and simple rules, confidentiality, and limited costs fixed by a scale of fees established by the Arbitration Chamber.

Who are the arbitrators?

They are professionals registered on the list of arbitrators of the Arbitration Chamber, experts in the economic and legal fields, who have received special training for handling arbitration proceedings.

What weight does the decision at the end of the proceedings carry?

It depends on the type of arbitration chosen by the parties:

a) the final decision (i.e. the award) in the case of formal arbitration is the equivalent to the judgment of a lower court;

b) the decision in informal arbitration serves the purpose of amicable negotiation. 

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