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It is not prohibited by law to resolve commercial disputes through ADR in Italy. Mediation or arbitration in Italy are the most widespread and in growing demand, especially for the resolution of international business disputes. This review will focus on the specifics of dispute resolution in Italy through mediation or arbitration.

Regulation of arbitration in Italy

The use of arbitration for commercial disputes is very common in Italy. Despite the fact that arbitration is faster and provides a high level of technical competence and confidentiality, the parties still prefer to go straight to court. But the situation is gradually changing and in recent years the settlement of a dispute through arbitration in Italy has become a more popular solution among the conflicting parties. Perhaps because more and more entrepreneurs are convinced that the decision of the arbitrator is legally binding on the parties and has the same legal force as the decision of the state judge.

Why you need to enter into arbitration agreements

A dispute can only be referred to arbitration on the basis of a special agreement of the parties (i.e. an arbitration agreement). For an arbitration agreement to be valid and effective, it must be written in an unambiguous manner and must be signed by the parties. Since the venue and the rules / regulations for the event are separate concepts and may differ from each other if the parties wish so, it is important that the disclaimer is clearly spelled out. In the commercial contract, it is desirable to include provisions on the arbitration clause so that there are no questions and misunderstandings in the future.

What disputes can and can not be resolved by arbitration

A dispute may be referred to arbitration in Italy only if it concerns the rights of the parties arising from a civil or commercial relationship.

The resolution of a labor dispute through arbitration in Italy is allowed, but only if it is provided for by an employment contract or legislation. But disputes concerning bankruptcy or insolvency are the exclusive competence of state courts.

International arbitration in Italy

In foreign arbitral proceedings, parties cannot apply to Italian courts for support. A party seeking recognition and enforcement of a foreign award must apply to a competent appellate court.

If you want to enforce an arbitral award in Italy you must deposit it with the competent court of first instance. The court must check the documentation and, if everything is correct, recognize the conclusion as enforceable. This rule does not apply if the award is contractual. If the arbitration venue is in Italy, the parties can challenge the arbitral award in Italian courts. The cancellation procedure will be governed by Italian law.

Information disclosure

The scope of disclosure in international arbitration is primarily influenced by the procedural law of the arbitration venue, and not the arbitration rules under which the parties agreed to resolve disputes. If you choose Italy as the venue for the arbitration, then this will minimize the disclosure of information - it will be limited by the agreement of the parties.

The fact is that, as in procedural law, there is no concept of disclosure of information in continental European jurisdictions. This provides certain advantages to parties wishing to maintain the confidentiality of the arbitration process and subsequent award.

At the same time, if you choose, for example, London or New York as the place of arbitration, then the disclosure of information will be and at the request of the tribunal information will be required. Therefore, our advice: you can avoid material disclosure of information by using the right combination of arbitration rules and the location of the arbitration process. Italy is not the worst option in this respect.

Using mediation in Italy

Conciliatory pre-trial procedures, in particular mediation, can be very effective if the parties really want to find a commercial resolution to the dispute in Italy. However, there are categories of conflicts for which there is a mandatory attempt at reconciliation with the help of a mediator before the start of the trial in Italy. Among such disputes - cases about banking or financial services, insurance issues and a number of others.


Both arbitration and mediation in Italy are actively used as alternatives to litigation. Italian courts are empowered to enforce domestic arbitral awards. As for international decisions, it is worth contacting specialized courts. 

Consultation on the settlement of a business dispute in Italy will explain in detail how the process of peaceful resolution of a conflict situation in this jurisdiction takes place. To sign up for a consultation with our specialists, please fill out the feedback form below.