Alberto Santa Maria

Alberto Santa Maria

Partner

Professor Santa Maria has been practicing law for over 50 years. He has built a broad and in-depth experience in a wide variety of practice areas, is often entrusted with key roles and responsibilities by the Italian and foreign governments, and frequently counsels leading Italian banks and companies.

Professor Santa Maria regularly advises the Italian government regarding privatizations, restructurings, and several aspects of European law and international trade law. He has been involved in many major M&A deals, mainly in the banking, health care, chemical, and industrial fields.

Professor Santa Maria represents high-profile clients and institutions before Italian courts in leading cases on commercial and corporate law, and before the European Commission, European General Court, and European Court of Justice in proceedings concerning competition, antitrust, state aid, and international trade law.

He is frequently appointed as arbitrator or chairman of the arbitration panel in national and foreign arbitration procedures.

Professor Santa Maria also sits on the boards of several leading companies such as Bracco S.p.A., Bracco USA Inc., Cornér Banca S.A., Villa d’Este S.p.A., and he is the Chairman of Immobiliare San Carlo Trieste S.p.A. He served as secretary of the board of directors of EXPO 2015 S.p.A. (from incorporation until the liquidation of the company). He also previously served on the boards of Morgan Grenfell (1984-1994), Banca Popolare di Milano, Campari S.p.A., Esaote S.p.A., Ferrovie dello Stato S.p.A., and Riunione Adriaca di Sicurtà (RAS) S.p.A.

Concentrations

  • Corporate and M&A
  • International law
  • Conflict of laws
  • European Union law
  • International trade law
  • Competition and antitrust law
  • Litigation and arbitration
  • Telecommunications
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Capabilities

Experiencia

Represented:

  • as leading counsel, on behalf of an Italian health care company in a proceeding against an insurance brokerage agency, regarding compensation for damages for breach of contract. Case still pending before the Court of Appeal of Milan.°
  • as leading counsel, on behalf of an Italian healthcare company in a complex environmental proceeding for the refund of the costs of the reclaim held on the lands purchased from two chemicals companies. Case still pending before the Court of Appeal of Milan.°
  • an Italian Entrepreneur in two applications before the Strasbourg Court of Human Rights (pending)
  • as leading counsel, on behalf of a UK investment fund in the acquisition of the consumer credit company of a prominent Italian bank (2019).°
  • as leading counsel, on behalf of an Italian Bank in a seminal judgement of the EU General Court on alleged State aid granted by the Italian State (Tercas) (CASE T-98/16, T-196/16 and T-198/16 (2019).°
  • as leading counsel, on behalf of a plastic component supplier, against a multinational automotive group for contractual breach, abusive behaviours - abuse of economic dependence and abuse of a dominant position – including the arbitrary termination of a contractual relationship, relying on the latest case law on abuse of law and on violation of the good faith principle. Case awarded before the Court of Turin and then settled (2018).°
  • as leading counsel, on behalf of several associations of undertakings of the Milan area in the intervention in the challenges before the Court of justice of EU of the selection of the new seat of European Medicines Agency - EMA (Amsterdam) (CASE C-182/18 R) (2018).°
  • as counsel, on behalf of an Italian food group in the appeal to the Supreme Court against the judgment confirming the decision of the Italian Authority for the financial products market - CONSOB to sanction some managers of the group for insider trading (2017).°
  • as leading counsel, on behalf of an Italian luxury hotel in the procedure initiated by minority shareholders for alleged erroneous determination of the exchange ratio during the merger between the owner companies (Court of Milan) (2017).°
  • as secretary of the board of directors at the company EXPO organizing the 2015 exhibition in Milan (since 2009 up to 2016).°
  • as leading counsel, on behalf of a UK hedge fund in a complex corporate and securities litigation brought against an Italian bank for alleged violation of the obligation to disclose and inform the market about its activities, risks and financial results. Case awarded before the Court of Milan and then settled (2014).°
  • as leading counsel, an Italian energy company, before the European Court of Justice (“ECJ”) in a preliminary reference proceeding concerning the notion of “interest” pursuant to Regulation (EC) No. 794/2004 in the recovery phase of State aid (CASE C-89/14) (2014).°
  • as leading counsel, on behalf of an Italian energy company before the Court of Justice of EU in preliminary reference challenging a State aid decision of the European Commission (CASE C-318/09 P e C-320/09 P) (2009).°

Recent Arbitration appointment:

  • Member of the arbitration panel in a proceeding before the International Milan Arbitration Chamber, regarding the sale agreement of photovoltaic plants acquired by Italian and Spanish companies from a Spanish firm (2017).°
  • Member of the arbitration panel in a proceeding before the International Milan Arbitration Chamber, regarding a dispute for a series of alleged contractual breaches of a share purchase agreement of a company active in production of fans for industries and major infrastructure projects, such as subways and tunnels. The alleged violations relate to certain works performed in Iran (2017).°
  • Member of an international arbitration panel at the Vienna Arbitration Centre in a dispute concerning a contract for the realization of the signalling, automation, security, ticketing, power supply, and telecommunication systems on the Lybian Sirth-Bengasi railway line (2016).°
  • Member of the arbitration panel in a proceeding before the International Milan Arbitration Chamber against the shareholders of the company relating to an acquisition. The case regards the validity and the calculation of the option price exercised for the purchase of the shares (2014).°
  • Member of an international arbitration panel in a proceeding before the Swiss Chambers’ Court of Arbitration and Mediation of Genève relating to a dispute arising from a share purchase agreement concluded for the acquisition of a company active in aircraft operations and the lease of helicopters (2014).°
  • Chairman of the arbitration panel in a proceeding before the International Milan Arbitration Chamber regarding the alleged breach of contract in connection with the preparation and presentation of the Drug Master File (DMF) for a Pharmaceutical Product of. The DMF is the technical documentation requested by the Italian Pharmaceutical Agency in order to give the authorization for the production and distribution of an active pharmacophore (2013).°
  • Member of the arbitration panel in a proceeding before the International Milan Arbitration Chamber, regarding the supply of methane gas to the Municipality of Cormano, in the Province of Milan (2013).°
  • Member of the arbitration panel in a proceeding before the International Milan Arbitration Chamber concerning the request of compensation for damages following the breach of contract regarding the joint design, development and marketing of a utility vehicle in the USA (2013).°
  • Member of the arbitration panel in a proceeding before the International Milan Arbitration Chamber concerning the legitimacy of the annulment of the appointment of the past CEO and President of a manufacturing group, requested by the board of directors in 2008 (2012).°
  • Member of the arbitration panel in the proceeding before the International Arbitration Chamber of London arising from an accident occurred to a ship rent by an Italian oil company at the port of Siracusa. The accident of the ship caused extensive damages to a quay owned by the oil company and insured by two main Italian assurance companies. (2012).°
  • Appointed by the Italian government to the restructuring of the automotive state-owned Alfa Romeo Group.°
  • Appointment by the Italian government as a commissioner to an international joint commission established in 1982, to investigate a dispute between the government and IOR, the Vatican's bank, arising from the dissolution of Banco Ambrosiano, one of Italy's largest banks.°
  • Appointed by the government of San Marino to draft the Republic of San Marino's banking laws and to discuss it for approval with the Bank of Italy.°
  • Appointed by Minister of Treasury (Minister Ciampi) as member of the board of Italian Railway State Company (Ferrovie dello Stato) (1998-1989).°
  • Appointed by the Commissioner Liquidator of Ente Partecipazioni e Finanziamento Industria Manifatturiera (EFIM) in extraordinary administration, a large state-owned conglomerate, at the time by far the largest bankruptcy in Italy's history. As part of this representation, Prof. Santa Maria handled many privatization transactions via the sale of parts of the conglomerate to both domestic and international buyers in stock and asset sale transactions and represented EFIM in proceedings before the European Commission. He also renegotiated the terms of EFIM's debt with the steering committee of the foreign creditor banks and defended and settled lawsuits filed by foreign banks, including several currency swap-related claims with an aggregate nominal value of several billions of dollars.°
  • Assisted the main Italian banks as well ABI (Italian Banking Association) in a €3 billion State aid proceeding before the European Court of First Instance and the European Court of Justice relating to the validity of an Italian law known as "Legge Ciampi", versus the European Commission.°
  • Member of the Italian delegation, as legal counsel of the Minister of the Economy, at the G7 and at the Annual Meetings Boards of Governors, World Bank Group, International Monetary Fund, Dubai, 2003.°
  • Acted as counsel for the Italian government and the Italian Football League in connection with the challenge by the European Commission of an Italian law known as "Decreto salva calcio" (2004).°
  • Appointed by the Italian Minister of Economy as member of a committee of legal experts encharged with the drafting of new Global Legal Standard rules (2009).°

°The above representations were handled by Professor Santa Maria prior to his joining Greenberg Traurig Santa Maria, an affiliate of Greenberg Traurig, P.A. and Greenberg Traurig, LLP.

  • Full Professor, International Law, EU Law and Conflict of Laws, School of Law of the State University of Milan, 1984-2011
  • Professor, International Law and European Community (Union) Law, School of Business and Administration of Bocconi University of Milan, 1971-1994
  • Full Professor, International Law, School of Law of the Universities of Palermo, Trieste and Genoa, 1976-1984
  • Lecturer and Appointed Professor, International Law (ass., ord. and libero docente), School of Law of the State University of Milan, 1971-1976

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, Chambers Europe and Chambers Global:
    • Selected, Leading Individual, Dispute Resolution and Arbitration - Italy, 2019
    • Selected, Leading Individual, Dispute Resolution and Arbitration - Italy, 2018
    • Selected, Leading Individual, Dispute Resolution and Arbitration - Italy, 2017
  • Listed, Legal 500 EMEA:
    • Selected, Dispute Resolution and EU regulatory and competition - Italy, 2019
    • Selected, Dispute Resolution and EU regulatory and competition - Italy, 2018
    • Selected, Dispute Resolution and EU regulatory and competition - Italy, 2017
  • Legalcommunity Corporate Awards 2017 – Litigation Lawyer of the year
  • Legalcommunity Corporate Awards 2016 – Litigation Lawyer of the year
  • Top Legal Awards 2014 – Excellence Award of the year
  • Member, Milan Bar Association, (1966 on)
  • Member, the Aspen Institute, (2005 on)
  • Associazione Italiana per l’Arbitrato (AIA), (1989 on)
  • Member of Arbitration Panels for:
    • American Arbitration Association (AAA), (1986 on)
    • National and International Arbitration Chamber of Milan (1999 on)
    • Korean Commercial Arbitration Board and Permanent Arbitration Court of Mauritius (1990 on)

Credentials

Educación
  • J.D., University of Milan
Admitida para practicar como abogado en
  • Italy (admitted to Supreme Court)