Mauro Rubino-Sammartano
Firm:
Office:
Viale Cassiodoro 3
20145
City:
Milan
Country:
Italy
Tel:
+39 02 481 9041
Fax:
+39 02 480 08277

Questions and Answers:

Who's Who Legal Thought Leaders - Construction

Mauro Rubino-Sammartano is a partner in the construction law group at LawFed BRSA, representing construction companies, public companies, foreign states and developers. As well as advising and assisting in clients’ negotiations and problems, he is also very active in large international arbitrations concerning construction, and has decades of experience in this area. He regularly teaches and writes, in an academic capacity, on arbitration and construction law, and frequently sits as arbitrator.

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO PURSUE A LEGAL CAREER?

I have always wished for everyone to respect their duties, and to be able to enforce their rights. The legal profession allows you to learn these duties and rights. A legal career allows you to help those who need assistance in that respect.

WHICH CASE HAS BEEN THE MOST MEMORABLE TO YOU AND WHY?

I have achieved great satisfaction whenever I have been able to materially contribute to a reasonable settlement between the client and the opposing party.

As for construction disputes, I remember in particular a dispute between the contractor and the employer concerning works in a very big skyscraper in Europe. I succeeded in identifying and proving all the acts and omissions of other contractors and of the employer, which had caused disruption to the contractor’s work. I achieved the consequent dismissal of the employer’s claim for late completion of the works, with damages awarded to the client.

I have another very good memory of a dispute between a contractor and a subcontractor, concerning buildings for the government of a Middle Eastern country. The subcontractor was claiming compensation for work ordered out of sequence. I acted for the contractor, who was opposing the claims – which were indeed rejected, thanks to a reconstruction of all the acts and omissions by the subcontractor that were to the detriment of the works.

HOW HAS CONSTRUCTION PRACTICE CHANGED SINCE YOU STARTED?

Construction practice has changed considerably in the past few decades.

In out-of-court matters, it has become extremely rare that counsel is asked to participate in negotiations (which was very useful, as it enriched the negotiation team) or even in-house discussions that consider the pros and cons of a bid. This apparently helps a party to save money – but early identification of the various aspects of the deal allows them to avoid losses, which may be material.

In construction disputes, dispute adjudication boards have become a useful tool to avoid – or at least limit – litigation. IT is now playing a decisive role, and there are more joint ventures bidding for big projects.

WHAT DO YOU ENJOY MOST ABOUT YOUR CURRENT ROLE?

The opportunity to continue, without too much pressure, to learn about construction and arbitration.

Acting as arbitrator in large international construction disputes feels more useful than trying to convince someone who is not eager to see justice done.

Unlike manufacturers, a counsel does not know when accepting instructions what difficulties will emerge, and how much time will be required. When you are acting simultaneously on various matters, their interplay interferes with your ability to carry out your duties in an orderly way.

HOW HAS YOUR EXPERTISE AS AN ARBITRATOR ENHANCED YOUR CONSTRUCTION PRACTICE?

By way of his or her neutrality, an arbitrator acquires a view of the dispute that is inevitably more objective than the approach of a counsel who is under pressure from the client, and subject to other commitments and time limits. When this arbitrator acts as counsel in other disputes, he or she may therefore benefit from having a less adversarial approach.

WHAT WAS THE MOST REWARDING PART OF FOUNDING THE ITALIAN SOCIETY OF CONSTRUCTION LAW?

It allowed me to bring Italian construction lawyers together, and brought me closer towards the creation of the European Society of Construction Law (of which I am co-founder and a former president). Even if they are destined to appear on opposite sides, construction lawyers are generally part of one large family. This ethos gave me great pleasure when I chaired the International Bar Association’s international construction projects committee – a task to which I devoted all my energy. I personally invited lawyers from all over the world to meet and to take part in discussions in a very friendly environment. In four years, I doubled its membership.

WHERE DOES THE FUTURE OF CONSTRUCTION PRACTICE LIE?

In my opinion, it lies in helping employers and contractors to adopt a less adversarial approach; looking for more balanced agreements, based on the proper apportionment of duties and benefits; and maintaining a constructive relationship between the employer, the contractor and the engineer. A costs-plus-fee formula (provided one selects a very experienced engineer, of which there are many) may help to achieve a more reasonable balance between price and the quality of performance.

YOU HAVE HAD A VERY DISTINGUISHED CAREER TO DATE. IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ACHIEVE?

I have enjoyed chairing various associations and committees – including the European Court of Arbitration (whose headquarters is in Strasbourg), which I still do – and co-founding the European Society of Construction Law.

I have always focused on serving these bodies more than myself, and on understanding, analysing and proposing new ideas.

I am still committed to the search for new horizons in construction and arbitration, and particularly in the arbitration of construction disputes.

Biographies:

Who's Who Legal Italy - Arbitration

Mauro Rubino-Sammartano is a chartered arbitrator. He has been admitted to the Paris Bar and is an associate member, as an arbitrator, of a set of barristers chambers in London, Littleton Chambers. He chairs the European Court of Arbitration, the International School of Arbitration and Mediation for the Mediterranean and the Middle East and the arbitration group of LawFed BRSA. He has launched the European Court of Arbitration Main Points, which characterise its approach to arbitration.

He sits as an arbitrator, appears as counsel in arbitral proceedings and in courts for challenges against awards. He is a paladin of the full right of a party to call evidence and to examine witnesses without undue interference.

He has been a visiting professor at the Milan and Padua Universities and has chaired the International Association of Lawyers (UIA), the IBA’s international construction committee, the IBA international sales committee and the IBA mediation committee.

His main textbooks are International Arbitration : Law and Practice (third edition, Juris 2014), Il Diritto dell’Arbitrato (Arbitration Law, sixth edition, Cedam, 2010), and Appalti di Opere e Contratti di Servizi (Construction Law and Contracts for Services, Cedam 2006).

His articles include “A Continuous Search for New Horizons” (ARIA 2012, Vol. 23, No 2), “The Arbitrator's Pledge Launched by the European Court of Arbitration” (ARIA 2015, Vol. 26, No 4) and “A Second (Quasi-Perfect) Storm Also in Arbitration” (JOIA, Vol 34, 6, 2017).

He has written and is writing extensively on arbitration, mediation and construction in English, French and Italian.

WWL says: Mauro Rubino Sammartano is a highly respected name in the field of international arbitration, who boasts exceptional expertise handling construction disputes.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Italy which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Construction: Lawyers

Mauro Rubino-Sammartano is a construction lawyer. He graduated at 21, and was admitted to the Courts of Appeals in Italy in 1961, to the Supreme Court in 1975 and to the Paris Bar in 1985. He is an associate tenant as an international arbitrator of Littleton Chambers.

He is president emeritus of the Italian Society of Construction Law (which he formed); he has conceived and co-funded the European Society of Construction Law.

He has chaired the IBA construction committee T, of which he is chairman emeritus, and has launched many publications.

He is the author of textbooks such as Appalti d’Opere e Contratti di Servizi (Construction Contracts and Contracts for Services, second edition, CEDAM 2010, Padua), Il Diritto dell’Arbitrato (Arbitration Law, sixth edition, 2010) and International Arbitration Law and Practice (third edition, Juris 2014). He has also written various articles including “The Role of the Engineer: Myth and Reality” (International Business Law, 1986), “The Crook, the Saint and the Swiss Watch” (Construction Law International, 2006), “Disruption” (2017) and “Concurrent Delays” (Rivista trimestrale degli appalti, 2017).

He has frequently acted as to very large international construction projects, such as dams in Turkey, Africa and Asia, as well as highways, skyscrapers and very large residential projects.

He acts as arbitrator in construction disputes and in investment arbitrations; he also regularly advises and acts as counsel in such areas.

He lectures on construction, international construction, joint ventures and performance bonds on demand.

WWL says: Mauro Rubino Sammartano is described as "an institution" in the construction market by peers. He commands considerable experience as an arbitrator in international construction disputes. ‚Äč

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Construction which can be purchased from our Shop.

Who's Who Legal Italy - Real Estate & Construction

Mauro Rubino-Sammartano is a construction lawyer. He graduated at 21, and was admitted to the Courts of Appeals in Italy in 1961, to the Supreme Court in 1975 and to the Paris Bar in 1985. He is an associate tenant as an international arbitrator of Littleton Chambers.

He is president emeritus of the Italian Society of Construction Law (which he formed); he has conceived and co-funded the European Society of Construction Law.

He has chaired the IBA construction committee T, of which he is chairman emeritus, and has launched many publications.

He is the author of textbooks such as Appalti d’Opere e Contratti di Servizi (Construction Contracts and Contracts for Services, second edition, CEDAM 2010, Padua), Il Diritto dell’Arbitrato (Arbitration Law, sixth edition, 2010) and International Arbitration Law and Practice (third edition, Juris 2014). He has also written various articles including “The Role of the Engineer: Myth and Reality” (International Business Law, 1986), “The Crook, the Saint and the Swiss Watch” (Construction Law International, 2006), “Disruption” (2017) and “Concurrent Delays” (Rivista trimestrale degli appalti, 2017).

He has frequently acted as to very large international construction projects, such as dams in Turkey, Africa and Asia, as well as highways, skyscrapers and very large residential projects.

He acts as arbitrator in construction disputes and in investment arbitrations; he also regularly advises and acts as counsel in such areas.

He lectures on construction, international construction, joint ventures and performance bonds on demand.

WWL says: Mauro Rubino-Sammartano is a leading figure in construction disputes and is widely respected for his work in arbitration and litigation matters relating to contracts.

This biography is an extract from Who's Who Legal: Italy which can be purchased from our Shop.

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