The firm successfully represents Underwriters from the London insurance market in a Fine Art dispute
– the firm has successfully advised Underwriters from the London insurance market in the legal proceedings brought by the assured before the Court of Milan. The Underwriters were acting as defendants in the case and the assured was claiming the assessment of the validity of his unilateral withdrawal on ground of an alleged just cause from the appraisal prior to its conclusion and consequently the invalidity of the conclusions raised by the appraisers on the loss. As a result of the above demands, the assured was claiming the payment of an indemnity of Euro 10 Millions for the damages caused to a collection of high value works of art allegedly occurred during an exhibition. In its Judgement the Court of Milan ruled that (a) the appraisal clause implies a condition precedent to the lawsuit until the conclusion of the appraisal; (b) during the appraisal the assured is not entitled to unilaterally withdraw from the agreement; (c) once concluded, the appraisal can be disputed only on ground of defects in consent (mistake, duress and fraud) or breach of contract. The Court accordingly dismissed the entire claim of the assured. The assured lodged an appeal against the judgement of the lower Cour but the Court of Appeal of Milan has dismissed the claim on the merit.
– the firm successfully represents the UK branch of a Swiss insurance group in the subrogation action against an Italian entity in bankruptcy proceedings. With regard to this matter, it is important to highlight that the subrogation action of the insurer against a third party liable for the loss indemnified, in the event of bankruptcy proceedings of such third party, the subrogation relates to an unsecured credit (recitius the credit towards the entity in bankruptcy proceedings has no privilege) and as a result the recovery is unlikely. Conversely, in the event the third party is covered by a liability insurance, the claim for compensation against such third party – and accordingly the subrogation action – has a privilege over the indemnity due under the liability insurance cover of the third party, in accordance with artt. 2767 and 2778 n. 11 of the Italian Civil Code.
The firm successfully represents Underwriters from the London insurance market in proceedings against a jeweller
– the firm has successfully advised Underwriters from the London insurance market in the legal proceedings against the assured at Milan Court. The Underwriters were acting as defendants in the case and the assured was demanding the payment of an indemnity for a theft occurred at premises and covered under a Jewellers’ Block Policy. In its Judgement the Court of Milan ruled that the misrepresentations of the security measures in place at inception, as represented by the assured under the proposal form, entail a gross negligence of the jeweller pursuant to art. 1892 of the Italian Civil Code (1) and accordingly the Underwriters are not bound to pay the sum insured. The Court further ruled that the fact that the security measures were not in place also at the time of the loss entails autonomously a loss caused by gross negligence of the assured pursuant to art. 1900 of the Italian Civil Code (2).
(1) Article 1892 of the Italian Civil Code (“codice civile”) – named Misrepresentations or fraudulent or grossly negligent failure in disclose – provides that “If the contracting party, fraudulently or through gross negligence, misrepresents or fails to disclose circumstances which, if known to the insurer, would have caused him to withhold his consent to the contract, or to withhold his consent on the same conditions, the insurer can annul the contract. The insurer is entitled to the premiums covering the period of insurance running at the time when he petitioned for annulment of the contract, and in all cases to the premiums agreed upon for the first year. If the loss occurs before the expiration of the period indicated in the preceding paragraph, the insurer is not bound to pay the sum insured.“
(2) Article 1900 of the Italian Civil Code (“codice civile”) – named Loss caused by fraud or gross negligence of the Insured – provides that “The insurer is not liable for losses caused by the fraud or gross negligence of the contracting party, of the insured, or of the beneficiary, unless there is an agreement to the contrary for cases of gross negligence.“
The firm successfully represents Underwriters from the London insurance market in proceedings in connection with a cash in transit dispute
– the firm has successfully advised Underwriters from the London insurance market in the legal proceedings against the assured at Pavia Court. The assured, the performing carrier of collection and count services, summoned Underwriters as third party guarantor pursuant to the professional liability cover provided for in its cash in transit policy. In detail, an operator in food & beverage services has contracted to a third party (the contracting carrier) collection and count of cash and other valuables. The contracting carrier has then sub-contracted the services to the assured and on such ground the operator was demanding to the assured the compensation of EUR 2 Million, allegedly disappeared during the performance of the services. In its Judgement the Court of Pavia ruled that the absence of a direct contractual relationship between the operator and the performing carrier exclude a contractual liability of the performing carrier pursuant to art. 1656 of the Italian Civil Code and accordingly the operator has not a direct action against the performing carrier.
– the firm acted for Certain Underwriters at Lloyd’s in a high value Fine Art dispute relating to an alleged loss suffered during an exhibition which have been declined. During the litigation against the owner of the work of art and the Foundation organising the exhibition we obtained a successful settlement providing for the payment of the 5% of the overall claim;