Diritto delle Assicurazioni

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Diritto Amministrativo, Pubblico Comunitario - Diritto delle Assicurazioni

The so-called “Gelli” Law (Law no. 24 of 8 March 2017), named after its main drafter, finally come into force on 1 April 2017. The new law sets the framework for medical malpractice.

According to the Italian Parliament, the objective of this new regulation is be to harmonize the relationship between doctors and patients, in particular: monitoring the medical malpractice cases and disputes, drafting preventive measures, as well as reducing the level of litigation.

Civil liability of healthcare facilities and doctors
With regard to the civil liability, Article 7 of the Gelli Law clarifies, once and for all, the distinction between the liability of the healthcare facilities and that of doctors employed by the facility on the basis of the following criteria:

Liability of healthcare facilities, public or private, is always contact based, pursuant to Article 1218 and Article 1228 of Italian Civil Code.

In other words, hospitals are liable vis-à-vis third parties on the basis of contract law for any breaches and for the wrongdoings of their employees and/or non-employed professionals. According to Gelli Law, there is no difference between private and public hospitals.

With reference to the burden of proof, this means that, on one hand, the claimant (patient) must provide evidence of the damages suffered due to the medical treatment, alleging the relevant breach of the contractual duty, and, on the other hand, the defendant (hospital) must proove that the performance was duly carried out and the outcomes were caused by an unforeseeable event, unavoidable in the context of ordinary professional care. In this case, statute of limitation is 10 years.

Liability of doctors is based on tort, with the exception of self employed doctors, pursuant to Article 2043 of the Italian Civil Code.

Therefore, doctors employed by Public or Private Hospitals, doctors pursuing their activity in the “intramoenia” scheme or accreditation with the National Health System, researchers and doctors performing telemedicine are liable in tort unless they breached specific contractual obligations directly entered into with the patient.

The initial burden of proof is with the patient. The claimant must provide evidence of the fault of the doctor, as well as the causal relation between the damages and the wrongdoing of the doctor. In the case of tort the statute of limitation period is 5 years.

Assessment on negligence and malpractice
The Gelli Law clarified also the crucial point of the determination of the doctor’s negligence. Indeed, pursuant to Article 7(3) of the Law, in order to ascertain and determine compensation in damages, the Court must take into account the new Article 590 sexies of the Italian Criminal Code, introduced by the Law under Article 6.

In particular, the above-mentioned Article established that the healthcare professionals who cause death or personal injury to a patient during the exercise of their functions will be subject to the penalties provided for manslaughter or negligent personal injury.

Furthermore, in case of medical malpractice, it is up to the healthcare professionals to provide evidence that they acted in accordance with recommended guidelines published under the law, in order to avoid their own liability. In the absence of specific guidelines the professional must adhere to principles of good practice.

Compulsory Insurance
The Gelli Law provides also for a mandatory Insurance coverage of health facilities and professionals and for the direct right of action of patients against the Insurers.
Article 10 of the Law defines the public or private health facilities as “the hospitals of the National Health Service, facilities and private hospitals operating autonomously or under the regime of accreditation with the National Health Service that provide health services to third parties”.
Therefore, professionals working in such institutions must hold professional insurance in order to allow for possible recovery actions by the entity.
However, all the other professionals not included in the above-mentioned definitions must in any case hold an adequate professional insurance coverage according to Article 3(5)(e) of Law Decree 13 august 2011, n. 138 (as amended).
For the time being, it is still to early to provide any comment on those compulsory insurances, mainly because a number of minimal provisions still need to be clarified by means of a ministrial decree to be published. We will return to this issue in a subsequent edition of Across.

Brief remarks on the European framework
Some of the principles behind the the Gelli Law are already in place in other European countries. For example:

(i) France has required, since 2002 (Law No. 4 March 2002 No. 203), an obligation to subscribe to professional liability insurance by the health facilities and professionals;

(ii) Sweden provides that medical professionals are obliged to subscribe to policies for professional liability insurance.

With regard to the medical malpractice insurance schemes, the example of England and Wales lays down that the liability for negligence of employees is undertaken by the National Health Service Trusts. This means that medical professionals not employed by the National Health Service obtain indemnity through a medical defense organization or private insurance.
With reference to liability, in the majority of European territories, medical malpractice claims are typically tort claims brought against an individual professional for negligence, or claims brought against a medical institution under the principle of vicarious liability.

In the UK, as a general rule, if a doctor is employed by the National Health Service, the latter is vicariously liable for the doctor’s negligent acts and omissions.
However, if a doctor is exempted from the indemnity programme coverage, he or she can be sued directly for negligence.
In Germany, medical malpractice law is based on the relevant Civil Code provisions on liability and on causes of action only developed by case law.
In light of all the above, only the future enactment of all the relevant implementing decrees and the future case law will show whether Gelli Law will be consistent with the principles expressed by the other European countries and the goal of a general harmonization of such principles will be achieved.

It seems clear that the new regulation on medical malpractice is an important piece of legislation which introduces greater certaintly to an area that was previously uncertain. It goes without saying that the previous uncertainty has been one of the reasons for the increase in litigation in the medical sector and one of the aims of the reform is to try to decrease such litigation.
Obviously the principles on medical malpractice liability appears to be strongly affected by the structure of the National Health Systems in the different EU countries and due to the differences in the national legislations, they do not seem to be easily armonized.
However, having a set of rules reducing the areas of uncertainties appears to simplify the market and also grants a clearer system in the EU arena.




Diritto delle Assicurazioni - Internazionalizzazione - Diritto dell’Energia - Contenzioso & Arbitrati - International Trade & Customs - Diritto Amministrativo, Pubblico Comunitario

The UK is nothing if not pragmatic. The pragmatism has sometime been referred to as perfidiousness: perfidious Albion. What is sure is that the UK will approach the divorce with the EU in a very pragmatic fashion. It will seek to develop bi-lateral relations with its direct trading partners. It will seek to revive the trade pre erences in the Commonwealth. It will seek independent influence in all international bodies.

Diritto delle Assicurazioni - Diritto Amministrativo, Pubblico Comunitario

Three months have already passed since the UK referendum on leaving the European Union and the debates and in-depth analysis on the potential impact on the Insurance Market are still open; the three months has not produced much clarity.
It goes without saying that currently London is the largest global hub for commercial and speciality risk and part of such a success has been due to being part of the EU. Now, in the short term, the ramifications of the vote to leave will probably change the map of the global insurance business and will create a level of uncertainty which has been rarely experienced.
Apart from the latest news of the immediate cut of almost 3,000 employees in Lloyd’s market and further catastrophic scenarios, we will try to focus our attention to some of the main issues raised as a result of the referendum: (a) with regards to the UK insurers operating in Italy and (b) with regards to Italian Insurers operating in the UK.

Loss of Mutual Recognition or Passporting

The EU Single Market granted International Insurers access to the EU market on London’s doorstep and, at the same time, allowed UK based insurers to be able to write insurance and reinsurance in the other 27 Members States both on a cross-border basis or directly in those countries in which they had branches.
The passport system allowed UK Insurers to establish branches in other Member States as well as Italian Insurers to open branches in UK under the so called “Home Country Control” system, meaning that the Home Country Supervisor had the exclusive responsibility for any regulatory and prudential supervision of the Insurer within the EU.
Such a passport system allowed both UK and Italian insurers through the Italian and London hub to service their clients/assured globally.
As a consequence of Brexit, and based on the current regulation, UK insurers and intermediaries will have to consider establishing or using EU subsidiaries and/or obtain new authorizations in order to offer cross-border services to EU clients. In this perspective to UK Insurers will apply Articles 28 and 29 of the Italian Insurance Code (“IIC”) and they will need to obtain new authorization in order to carry out business under the right of establishment, according to the prohibition to carry on business under the freedom of services.

The same issue will affect the business of Italian based/authorized insurers who will be entitled to carry on business in UK on a cross-border basis only through local subsidiaries and/or through new authorizations.

Furthermore, from a regulatory point of view, the Home Country Control System will not operate and branches will be subject to the prudential and regulatory control by the Supervisory Authority in the hosting country.


Regulatory Uncertainty
The EU (and Italy) is facing something which has never been experienced before. A quite clear set of regulations has been developed in the EU over the last decades in order to properly regulate the insurance business by Member States Insurers or Third State Insurers within and outside the EU. However, it is hard to say that Brexit will not have any impact on the current law because there is still in place a clear set of rules for Third State Insurers and UK could be simply considered a Third State, hence the relevant rules governing the activity of Third States’ Insurers will apply.
But, in our view, it is unlikely that EU and UK will not negotiate a treaty in order to regulate the largest global insurance hub. We assume that a sector of such importance will be the core of the discussion between EU and UK as a consequence of the formal request to leave the EU. We can expect a period of uncertainty about the legal basis for insurance regulation and responsibility of institution/supervision and at the moment it is next to impossible to make predictions.
The UK government will have to commence a focussed negotiation with the EU Commission for the withdrawal agreement, which will have also to include a number of transitional measures regarding budgetary, legal, political and finance rules. Those transitional measures will obviously increase the level of uncertainty of the legal applicable framework. This is something really new and with unpredictable points on the outcome and the timeframe.

Policy Review
The change of the current legal regime will affect the terms and effects of the contracts and transactions.
Due to the strong connections between trade and insurances, we assume that a review of standard documentation in trade will probably have an impact also on the surrounding insurance products and policy wording (including the consequences related to the application of a different tax regime).
Moreover policyholders’ residency will become an issue and policies terms could need reviews. Indeed, the administration of long term contracts involving insureds, risks and policyholders outside UK could became difficult as a consequence of the abandon of the passport system.

International Trade and New Barriers
A further key aspect of the business of UK insurers and intermediaries which may be affected by UK being outside the European Union could also be that UK will not longer be entitled to benefit from treaties between EU and third states, so that insurers and intermediaries based in UK could face new barriers when providing service to third countries until the EU treaties would be replaced by UK treaties. Furthermore, UK will need also to implement new regulations and treaties (also with the EU) in order to regulate the data protection schemes (and grant the data flow into the UK from EU), the enforcement of judgments, employees rights and obligations (on both sides the UK citizens employed in EU and EU citizen employed in UK) and, more in general, professionals providing their service on the mutual recognition scheme within the EU.
This will take a long time and, on a very preliminary standpoint, it could lead to further risks and areas of uncertainties in the insurance business. These issues could also push insurers and intermediaries to identify possible alternatives to continue to write business on a cross-border basis and maintaining the EU passport system.

Tax Implications
The UK’s decision to leave the EU will have important effects in tax field.
In particular, the exit of the UK from EU would have as a principle consequence the non-application of the EU Directives. The most relevant Directives not more applicable would be: parent-subsidiary Directive (dir. 90/435/CEE), interests and royalties Directive (dir. 2003/49/CE), merger Directive (dir. 90/434/CEE) and administrative cooperation in the field of taxation Directive (dir. 2011/16/UE). The matters listed above, in absence of different and specific agreement with EU Countries, would be governed by Double Tax Treaties (“DTT”), which involve, generally, a tax regime less advantageous.
As to concern indirect taxation, particularly Value Added Tax (“VAT”), after Brexit, the UK would no longer be required to apply the VAT Directives and Regulations. This means that the sale of goods between the UK and the EU would no longer be considered as intra-EU transactions but as import/export, with the consequence application of VAT.

Change of EU Insurance Market Scenario
Being the largest Insurance Hub in Europe, the UK has always had a “greater voice at the trade table being part of the EU, being part of a larger economic entity” and has been highly influential in the development of EU rules for Insurance business.
As a consequence of Brexit, we can expect that there will be a reshuffling of influence within EU decision making rooms. In this scenario, according to the long-lasting experience and success of insurance business, we hope that Italy will be able to increase its level of influence in the development of the common rules within the EU.
Furthermore, there could be also the possibility that a new insurance hub will need to be considered within the EU Market in order to accept the international insurers and intermediaries moving from London.
With particular reference to the business of intermediaries, UK entities could be forced to move to an EU member state in order not to loose the benefit of passporting; leaving the EU market and remaining in UK (in the absence of an agreement) would force those intermediary to rebuild completely their distribution networks.
In a recent interview published on an English newspaper, John Nelson (the head of Lloyd’s) says that “The UK’s position at the centre of the global insurance market is under threat after the famous Lloyd’s of London market said it may be forced to move some of its business to continental Europe as a result of the Brexit vote” because “There will be bits of business where it will be better for us and more efficient for us, if we don’t get single market access if we write it in the EU” (http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/brexit-will-make-insurance-firms-quit-uk-says-lloyds-of-london-boss-a7225941.html).

It is clear that we are not in the position to predict whether this is really what is going to happen or whether this is simple positioning before the negotiations: however, what is clear is that we will need to keep on our toes to capture the opportunities that are likely to occur. 


Diritto delle Assicurazioni

The Joint Division of the Italian Supreme Court with decision n. 9140 filed on 6 May 2016 ruled on the validity of the “claims made” clause in insurance contracts. The ruling sets out the following basic principles in relation to these clauses: “in insurance contracts covering civil liability towards third parties, the clause granting coverage subject to both the wrongful act and the request for damages occuring during the policy period or within specified time periods set by the contract  (i.e. so called “mixed” or “non-pure” claims made clause) is not vexatious; such clause, under certain conditions, might however be declared void because the underlying interests does not deserve protection under the applicable law (“difetto di meritevolezza”), or ….[in case of consumers]…. because the clause causes a significant imbalance in the parties’ rights and obligations under the contract to the detriment of the consumer; the relevant evaluation must be carried out by the Court awarding on the merit [i.e. Tribunals and Courts of Appeal] and such evaluation is not subject to appeal before the Court of Cassation, provided that the judgement’s reasoning is adequate”. 

The decision will be a milestone in the Insurance industry for the following reasons.

The Court has split the “claims made” clauses in two major categories: one related to the so called “pure” clauses and one related to the so called “impure” or “mixed” clauses. The “pure” clauses cover requests for damages received by the Insured for the first time during the policy period irrespective of the date the unlawful act was committed. Instead, the “impure” clauses cover requests for damages received by the Insured for the first time during the policy period provided that the related unlawful acts committed by the Insured also occurred during the policy period or in a limited period of time preceding the date of commencement of the policy (retroactivity period).

The Court in line with its previous case-law (see judgements of the Court of Cassation n. 7273/2013 and 3622/2014), recognised the possibility to derogate from article 1917, I paragraph of the Italian Civil Code (that provides that “the insurer is bound to indemnify the insured for the damages which the latter must pay to a third party as a result of the events occurred during the period of insurance and depending on the liability provided by the contract”) and affirmed the validity of the claims made clause, overcoming a case-law tendency of the Courts of first instance that deemed the clause invalid for being in violation of article 1917, of article 2965, as well as of articles 2965, 2932 and 2935 of the Italian Civil Code (see judgement of the Court of Genoa of 8 April 2008; judgement of the Court of Rome, section XIII of 1 March 2006; judgement of the Court of Bologna of 1.10.2002).

In addition to the aspect related to the validity of the claims made clause, the Court also addressed the problem of its “vexatious nature”, stating – contrary to much of recent case-law – that the claims made clause (included the mixed clause) cannot be deemed vexatious.

However, according to the Court, the “mixed” claims made clause must be examined by the Judge to evaluate whether the underlying interests deserve protection under the applicable law and it can be declared null and void in case the result of such evaluation is negative. On this point, the Court clarified that “the assumption that the underlying interests might not deserve protection under the applicable law appears in principle unfounded in relation to the “pure” claims made clauses that, by not providing for any time limitations in relation to their retroactivity, completely devaluate the relevance of the date the unlawful act was committed, whereas the result of the evaluation is more problematic in relation to the so called “impure” clauses”. The Court did not provide any guidelines to establish when the interests underlying the clause deserve protection under the applicable law, instead the Court only stated that “any evaluation as to whether the interests underlying the clause deserve protection under the applicable law must be carried out in practice, and, more specifically, in relation to the aspects of each specific case at stake”.

Moreover, the Supreme Court, by further exploring the effects of declaring the clause null and void, states that, in case the interests underlying the “impure” clause are found to deserve no protection under the applicable law, the statutory framework of civil liability insurance contracts provided for in the Italian Civil Code (i.e. the loss occurrence scheme) will have to be applied. The Court found that the application of such framework is permitted by article 1419, II paragraph of the Italian Civil Code and by article 2 of the Constitution that “allows the Judge to amend and supplement the contract, when this is necessary to guarantee a fair balance of the parties’ interests and prevent or combat the abuse of rights”. Therefore, the declaration of the “mixed” clause being null and void does not render the contract void (as previously argued by the Court of Appeal of Rome with judgement n. 312 of 18 January 2012), instead it only transform the insurance scheme to a loss occurrence.

Finally, also the view put forward by the Court as regards the impact of the claims made clause on mandatory statutory professional liability insurance deserves attention. In this regard, the Court clarifies that article 3, paragraph V of Legislative Decree n. 138 of 2011 requires professionals to underwrite “an adequate insurance policy for the risks related to their professional activity”. According to the Court, the assessment of the suitability of the policy will very hardly have a positive outcome in presence of a claims made clause, that, regardless of how it is structured, exposes the Insured to coverage gaps”.

It is too early to clearly determine the impact of the judgment in the Insurance Industry in Italy and on policies issued before that decision. However, it seems clear that the decision raises a number of questions among the professionals involved in the industry within and outside Italy. The debate is already starting inter alia  among the foreign Insurers, brokers and intermediaries currently placing their insurance policies in the Italian market and mainly those EU underwriters carrying out their business in Italy under the right of establishment or the freedom of services principles. It is not a mystery that claims made policies have been introduced in Italy by foreign insurers and achieved significant penetration into contracts due to their capacity to grant coverage for risk which would have been unlikely insured under the common loss occurrence schemes (the only scheme regulated under the current provision of the Italian civil code).

In Italy, claims made policies have never been specifically regulated and their interpretation has always been left to the Courts on a case by case basis.

The decision has the great advantage that for the first time the Supreme Court confirmed that “pure” claims’ made policy are valid and providing coverage for unlimited retroactivity periods, claim made clauses are not considered oppressive (so that under the Italian law they do not need any express approval and acceptance).

However, the judgment will also raise doubts and comments with regards to the so called “mixed” claims made policies (those providing coverage with regards to events occurred in a limited retroactivity period). With regards to that case, it seems that the Court overruled the previous interpretation of those atypical but so common (and successful) coverage schemes.

In particular the new Court’s construction could lead to the risk that a claims’ made clause could be considered null and void ex officio by the Judge under an overall evaluation of the deservedness of the policy.  Such a principle (and in particular the risks related to the interpretation case by case by the Judge) could open an area of uncertainty on the validity of the policies already issued in Italy in the “mixed claims made scheme” and would have an impact on the policies to be underwritten in the future.

In this perspective, it is not completely clear whether the latter could be an obstacle in the market and, in particular, in the attraction of foreign insurers in our country. Historically the Italian insurance market has always been one of the most active and relevant within the EU (not only for our tradition because it is told that the first insurance policy was issued in Venice) and, de iure condendo, we strongly suggest the Italian Government to set forth a clear peace of law in order to definitely regulate claims’ made policies also in Italy, avoid any area of uncertainty and grant our Country to continue to keep up with the European Union Insurance Industry.

Diritto delle Assicurazioni

La Corte di Cassazione, a Sezioni Unite, con sentenza n. 9140 depositata il 6 maggio 2016, si e’ pronunciata con riguardo alla validità della clausola “claims made”, enunciando il seguente principio di diritto: “nel contratto di assicurazione della responsabilità civile la clausola che subordina l’operatività della copertura alla circostanza che tanto il fatto illecito quanto la richiesta risarcitoria intervengano entro il periodo di efficacia del contratto o, comunque, entro determinati periodi di tempo preventivamente individuati (cd. clausola claims made mista o impura) non è vessatoria; essa, in presenza di determinate condizioni, può tuttavia essere dichiarata nulla per difetto di meritevolezza ovvero, laddove sia applicabile la disciplina di cui al decreto legislativo n. 206 del 2005, per il fatto di determinare, a carico del consumatore, un significativo squilibrio dei diritti e degli obblighi derivanti dal contratto; la relativa valutazione, da effettuarsi dal giudice di merito, è incensurabile in sede di legittimità; ove congruamente motivata”.

È necessario premettere che le Sezioni Unite, in linea con precedenti pronunce , hanno suddiviso le clausole “claims made” in due macro-categorie: una relativa alle clausole c.d. “pure” ed una relativa alle clausole cd. “miste” o “impure”. Le prime sono destinate alla manleva delle richieste di risarcimento ricevute dall’assicurato per la prima volta durante il periodo di decorrenza della polizza indipendentemente dalla data di commissione del fatto illecito. Le seconde, invece, prevedono l’operatività della copertura assicurativa quando la richiesta di risarcimento sia ricevuta dall’assicurato per la prima volta durante il periodo di decorrenza della polizza, a condizione che i relativi comportamenti colposi dell’assicurato siano intervenuti anch’essi  durante il periodo di decorrenza della polizza, o in un limitato periodo di tempo immediatamente precedente la data di inizio di decorrenza della polizza (c.d. periodo di “retroattivita’”).

La Suprema Corte, con la pronuncia a Sezioni Unite, quindi, in adesione al proprio precedente orientamento (cfr. Cass. 7273/2013 e 3622/2014), ha riconosciuto la possibilità di derogare – attraverso la pattuizione claims made, al disposto dell’art. 1917, I comma, c.c. (il quale prevede che “l’assicuratore è obbligato a tenere indenne l’assicurato di quanto questi, in conseguenza del fatto accaduto durante il tempo dell’assicurazione, deve pagare a un terzo, in dipendenza della responsabilità dedotta nel contratto”) ed ha quindi affermato la piena validità della clausola claims made, superando definitivamente un orientamento della giurisprudenza di merito che riteneva la clausola stessa invalida per violazione dell’art. 1917, dell’art. 2965, ovvero degli artt. 2965, 2932 e 2935 del Codice Civile (cfr. Tribunale di Genova, 8 aprile 2008; Tribunale di Roma sez. XIII, 1 marzo 2006; Tribunale Bologna, 2.10.2002).

Accanto al profilo della validità della clausola claims made, la Suprema Corte ha affrontato anche  il tema della sua “vessatorietà”, affermando – diversamente da quanto statuito da buona parte della recente giurisprudenza – che la clausola claims made (inclusa quella “mista”)  non possa ritenersi vessatoria.

Per contro, ad avviso della Suprema Corte, la clausola claims made “mista” deve essere scrutinata sotto il profilo della meritevolezza e potrà essere dichiarata nulla ove tale valutazione risultasse essere negativa.

Sul punto, le Sezioni Unite hanno precisato che “la prospettazione dell’immeritevolezza è, in via di principio, infondata con riferimento alle clausole c.d. pure, che non prevedendo limitazioni temporali alla loro retroattività, svalutano del tutto la rilevanza dell’epoca di commissione del fatto illecito mentre l’esito dello scrutinio è più problematico con riferimento alle clausole cd. impure”. La Cassazione non ha fornito delle direttive precise con riguardo agli indici  idonei a dare concretezza al concetto di “immeritevolezza”, ma si è limitata a dichiarare che “qualsivoglia indagine sulla meritevolezza deve essere condotta in concreto, con riferimento, cioè, alla fattispecie negoziale di volta in volta alla valutazione dell’interprete”.

Inoltre la Suprema Corte, approfondendo la questione riguardante gli effetti della dedotta nullità, afferma che, nel caso di accertata immeritevolezza della clausola cd. “impura”, si dovrà applicare lo schema legale del contratto di assicurazione della responsabilità civile, e cioè della formula loss occurrence. Tale applicazione sarebbe consentita, secondo le Sezioni Unite, dalla previsione di cui all’art. 1419, II comma, c.c. e dal precetto dettato dall’art. 2 della Costituzione “che consente al giudice di intervenire anche in senso modificativo o integrativo sullo statuto negoziale, qualora ciò sia necessario per garantire l’equo contemperamento degli interessi delle parti e prevenire o reprimere l’abuso del diritto”. Quindi, la nullità della clausola cd. “mista” non rende il contratto nullo (come in precedenza sostenuto dalla Corte d’Appello di Roma con sentenza n. 312 del 18 gennaio 2012), ma si limita a trasformare lo schema assicurativo in loss occurrence.

Da ultimo, va ricordato il punto di vista esposto dalla Suprema Corte con riferimento all’impatto della clausola claims made con riguardo all’assicurazione obbligatoria della responsabilità civile connessa all’esercizio della propria attività professionale. Infatti, argomenta la Suprema Corte,. l’art. 3, comma 5, del D.L. 138 del 2011 prevede l’obbligo per i professionisti di stipulare “idonea assicurazione per i rischi derivanti dall’esercizio dell’attività professionale”. A riguardo, prosegue la sentenza, “il giudizio di idoneità della polizza difficilmente potrà avere esito positivo in presenza di una clausola claims made, la quale, comunque articolata, espone il garantito a buchi di copertura”.”

La legge portuale italiana vieta ad un operatore la gestione di più aree demaniali aventi ad oggetto la stessa attività di impresa in un medesimo porto. Analizziamo come questo divieto potrebbe essere stato modificato a seguito della recente riforma del 2016.

Proseguiamo ad esaminare una recente sentenza del Tribunale Amministrativo Regionale della Toscana, la quale ha chiarito gli obblighi gravanti sull’Amministrazione Pubblica in caso di espropriazione di aree private nei porti italiani.

La recente estensione del campo di applicazione del Regolamento generale di esenzione per categoria (2014) alla concessione di aiuti di stato a porti ed aeroporti dell’UE ci induce a ricordare due recenti sentenze della Corte di Giustizia in merito agli aiuti di Stato nel settore marittimo e – in particolare – alla compensazione degli obblighi di servizio pubblico alle imprese incaricate della gestione di servizi d’interesse economico generale.

Poi, analizziamo due sentenze, provenienti da Regno Unito e Spagna, riguardanti l’applicazione di due importanti convenzioni internazionali nell’ambito de trasporti internazionali, le Hague-Visby Rules e la CMR. La sentenza inglese conferma che la mancata materiale emissione di una polizza di carico non rileva al fine di escludere l’applicabilità della normativa uniforme, mentre la sentenza spagnola ci fornisce una definizione di “colpa parificata a dolo” ai fini dell’esclusione del limite di responsabilità vettoriale.

Anche la Corte di Cassazione italiana ha emesso due interessanti sentenze in materia di trasporti. La Suprema Corte italiana ha negato al portatore della polizza di carico la titolarità ad agire nei confronti di un vettore marittimo per danni alla merce, in caso di mancata girata della polizza di carico dal ricevitore al portatore, e ha considerato uno “scambio di contenitori” quale ipotesi di colpa grave del vettore stradale.

Infine, analizziamo una sentenza della Commissione Tributaria di Roma, relativa alla IRESA, la tassa sul rumore negli aeroporti italiani. Tale sentenza, in considerazione del fatto che la Regione Lazio ha disatteso i principi e le finalità previsti dalla normativa nazionale ed europea relativi alla destinazione del gettito derivante dall’imposta, ha concluso per la disapplicazione dell’IRESA per come prevista dalla normativa regionale.

Alberto Rossi

There’s a fair European wind blowing

Probably the most important outcome of the French election is not so much the actual electoral defeat of the National Front but the decision of that party to remove from its policy programme the idea of withdrawing from the Euro and promoting a referendum on Frexit. In other words, those parties which have based their political offer to the electorate on the negative impact of globalization and the hard impact of immigration, no longer see the solution as the break-up of the EU.

The same in happening in the Netherlands and even in the UK where the May government is promoting the need to address the negative aspects of globalization and migration in a substantive manner and not long saying that Brexit itself is the answer.

This is a window of opportunity that the EU must embrace. The underlying issues of migration and globalization must be addressed. But if they are addressed in a satisfactory manner the EU itself is not being challenged. There is a recognition in France and in the Netherlands, and even in Germany given the results in the recent Lander elections among the vast majority of the electorate that the EU remains a valid project and that the solutions are best found within its remit.

If Macron and Merkel can get together with the Italy and Spain, much can be done. From an insider’s point of view the only possible hiccup in catching this favourable wind is the capacity of the Commission to recognize it.


Alitalia: amministrazione straordinaria secondo round
Con decreto del Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico (MISE) del 2 maggio 2017 è stata disposta la procedura di amministrazione straordinaria di Alitalia Società Aerea Italiana S.p.A. ai sensi del d.l. n. 347/2003 (c.d. legge Marzano) e con sentenza del Tribunale di Civitavecchia dell’11 maggio 2017 è stato dichiarato lo stato di insolvenza.

Il Tribunale può inserire in sede di omologazione clausole modificative della proposta di concordato?
La Cassazione 3 aprile 2017, n. 8632 ha stabilito che il decreto di omologazione può essere reclamato, anche in assenza di opposizioni, in relazione ad addizioni estranee alla proposta introdotte d’imperio dal Tribunale, che non rappresentino semplici formule organizzative della fase di esecuzione del concordato.

La banca risponde del danno causato alla società dagli amministratori per ricorso abusivo al credito?
La Cassazione 20 aprile 2017, n. 9983 conferma un proprio precedente secondo cui la banca può essere ritenuta responsabile per concorso nell’illecito, distinguendo la fattispecie da quella della concessione abusiva di credito.

Cause di ineleggibilità e decadenza del sindaco professionista in uno studio associato
Ai sensi dell’art. 2399, lett. c), c.c. è ineleggibile, e se eletto decade dall’ufficio, il sindaco che intrattiene con la società o sue controllate rapporti di natura patrimoniale che ne compromettano l’indipendenza. Ci si interroga se il caso in cui il sindaco sia parte di uno studio associato che presta attività di consulenza alla medesima società integri l’ipotesi prevista dalla legge. Sebbene il quesito sia risolto tendenzialmente in senso affermativo, permangono tuttavia dubbi circa i criteri adottati dalla Corte di Cassazione al fine di determinare i casi in cui, concretamente, l’indipendenza del sindaco possa dirsi compromessa.

La portata della delega gestoria nelle s.r.l.: contenuto e limiti
La Suprema Corte, con sentenza n. 25085 del 7 dicembre 2016, ha riconosciuto la legittimità di una delega di gestione di carattere generale, da parte del consiglio di amministrazione a favore di singoli consiglieri delegati con esercizio disgiunto dei poteri, nella misura in cui la stessa non sia diretta ad escludere l’esercizio di un concorrente potere di gestione da parte dell’organo collegiale amministrativo.

Trattamento di dati per finalità di marketing: la tutela delle persone giuridiche
Il Garante per la Protezione dei Dati Personali, con provvedimento n. 4 del 12 gennaio 2017, ha precisato la disciplina relativa al trattamento di dati personali per finalità di marketing, dichiarando illegittimo sia  il trattamento di dati raccolti per il tramite di moduli presenti all’interno dei siti internet delle società sia il trattamento di dati (i.e. le utenze telefoniche) autonomamente reperiti sul web.

La responsabilità amministrativa degli enti ex d.lgs. n. 231/2001 all’interno dei gruppi di imprese
È ammissibile una responsabilità, ai sensi del d.lgs. n. 231 del 2001, della società capogruppo per reati commessi nell’ambito delle attività svolte dalle società da essa controllate a condizione che a) il soggetto che agisce per conto della holding concorra con il soggetto che commette il reato per  conto  della persona giuridica controllata; e che b) possa ritenersi che la holding abbia ricevuto un concreto vantaggio o perseguito un effettivo interesse a mezzo del reato commesso nell’ambito dell’attività svolta dalla società controllata.

Considerazioni in merito alla rinunciabilità dell’effetto risolutorio della diffida ad adempiere
La sentenza della Corte di Cassazione, sez. II, n. 4205 del 3 marzo 2016 offre l’opportunità per dare brevemente conto delle diverse posizioni di giurisprudenza e dottrina in materia di rinunciabilità dell’effetto risolutorio della diffida ad adempiere.

La responsabilità degli amministratori non operativi e il dovere di agire in modo informato
La responsabilità degli amministratori privi di deleghe operative, alla luce della sentenza della Corte di Cassazione Civile, Sez. I, 31 agosto 2016, n. 17441 in commento, non può discendere da una generica condotta di omessa vigilanza – tale da essere identificata nei fatti come una responsabilità oggettiva – ma deve essere ricondotta alla violazione del dovere di agire informati, sia sulla base delle informazioni che devono essere rilasciate da parte degli amministratori operativi, sia sulla base delle informazioni che gli amministratori non operativi possono acquisire di propria iniziativa. L’individuazione dei presupposti della responsabilità degli amministratori deleganti si inquadra, pertanto, in un discorso che valorizza la differenziazione dei doveri imposti agli amministratori delegati e quelli tipici degli amministratori non esecutivi.


Patti parasociali di rinuncia preventiva all’azione di responsabilità nei confronti degli amministratori
Con sentenza 28 settembre 2015, n. 19193, la sezione specializzata in materia di impresa del Tribunale di Roma, nell’affrontare il tema della rinuncia pattizia all’azione di responsabilità verso gli amministratori di una società, ha affermato la validità delle clausole dei patti parasociali, con le quali i soci “entranti” si impegnano a non esercitare l’azione di responsabilità nei confronti degli amministratori “uscenti” o comunque a non votare favorevolmente in assemblea.

La Suprema Corte cambia orientamento: invalido il contratto bancario e finanziario firmato dal solo cliente
La Suprema Corte torna sulla questione della validità dei contratti c.d. monofirma, ossia della copia del contratti bancari e finanziari conservati negli archivi della banca recanti la sola sottoscrizione del cliente e privi invece della firma dell’istituto di credito, affermando che detti contratti sono nulli e, come tali, inopponibili al correntista.

Acquisto di quote di s.n.c.: l’errore sul valore della partecipazione può essere fondatamente dedotto come errore essenziale?
Il Tribunale di Milano ha affermato che di regola – anche con riferimento alle compravendite di quote di s.n.c. – l’accoglimento della domanda di annullamento del contratto per errore essenziale non può prescindere dall’esistenza nel contratto di una esplicita garanzia circa il valore del patrimonio e la qualità dei beni della società (garanzia che nella concreta fattispecie, a giudizio del Tribunale, mancava). 

Le nuova disciplina del giudizio davanti alla Corte di cassazione (D.L. 168/2016, convertito dalla L. 197/2016)
Con un nuovo intervento di fine estate, il legislatore è intervenuto ancora una volta in via d’urgenza sulla disciplina del codice di procedura civile, in particolare sulla disciplina del giudizio davanti alla Corte di cassazione: il 31 agosto 2016 è stato infatti pubblicato il decreto legge 168/2016, recante “Misure urgenti per la definizione del contenzioso presso la Corte di cassazione e per l’efficienza degli uffici giudiziari” (“D.L. 168/2016”).

Le Sezioni Unite della Corte di Cassazione sulla qualificazione e l’impugnazione del lodo non definitivo e del lodo parziale
Lodo che decide parzialmente il merito della controversia, immediatamente impugnabile a norma dell’art. 827 c.p.c., comma 3, è sia quello di condanna generica ex art. 278 c.p.c. sia quello che decide una o alcune delle domande proposte senza definire l’intero giudizio, non essendo immediatamente impugnabili i lodi che decidono questioni pregiudiziali o preliminari.

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