The Italian Court of Cassation has clarified that an agreement referring disputes to international arbitration does not prevent an Italian court from issuing interim measures.
The Court upheld such finding regarding a dispute on the interpretation of the arrangements regarding arbitration in a supply contract between an Italian (Futura Enterprise) and a Belgian company (Bridgestone Europe); which provided for the parties’ right to initiate interim or conservatory proceedings before state courts.
When Futura Enterprise issued an order for payment against Bridgestone Europe before the Italian Court of Bari, Bridgestone opposed the order and filed a jurisdictional challenge with the Italian Supreme Court.
The Italian Court of Cassation refused the challenge and confirmed that an international arbitration agreement does not prevent an Italian court from ordering interim measures. The Court added that a jurisdictional challenge may only be raised in respect of a substantive dispute, involving inter parte proceedings, and not in respect of an order for payment that is rendered on an ex parte basis without the participation of the respondent.
Moreover, the Court also confirmed that an agreement providing for international arbitration contained in a standard form contract simply requires the agreement itself to be in written for, in line with the prerequisites established in the New York Convention.
See full decision here (in Italian): Decision No. 21550/2017. Court of Cassation. FUTURA ENTERPRISE vs. BRIDGESTONE EUROPE
Source: Thomson Reuters Practical Law