Massimo Benedettelli

ARBLIT - Radicati di Brozolo Sabatini Benedettelli Torsello

Via Alberto da Giussano, 15
20145, Milan, Italy


Peers and clients say:

"Massimo is a leading arbitrator in Italy and abroad"
"He has broad experience in the arbitration arena and is one of the most reliable, smart and professional Italian arbitrators"


Since October 2014, Massimo has been a name partner of ArbLit, a law firm specialised in international arbitration and cross-border litigation. In July 2021, upon designation of the ICC World Council Massimo was appointed Italian member of the ICC Court of Arbitration to serve for the 2021-2023 term. Since July 2018 Massimo has participated in the works of the ICC Court as Italian alternate member. Full professor (professore ordinario) of international law at the Department of Law of the University "Aldo Moro", Bari, Italy until 2023 (having received tenure in 1994), Massimo is currently fellow of business law and director of the program on International Arbitration and Risk Management at SDA Bocconi, Milan, Italy and professor of practice at the Department of Law of the Bocconi University, Milan, Italy, where he lectures on “Dispute Resolutions in a Globalised World”. Throughout his academic career he also taught private international Law, international economic law, EU law and European commercial law. In January 2022 upon invitation of the Curatorium of the Academy of International Law of The Hague he gave a course at the Peace Palace on “Powers in International Arbitration Between Party Autonomy, Arbitral Authority and State Sovereignty”.

What inspired you to pursue a legal career?

I had no intention to become a lawyer. In fact, I initially studied political sciences with a view to enter into diplomacy. Meeting Paolo Picone, one of the leading international law scholars in the world, was a turning point. I discovered law as a social phenomenon where politics and logic intermingle. This raised my academic interest in the topic. The profession came later.

What motivated you to specialise in arbitration?

Its unavoidable conflict-of-laws (and jurisdictions) dimension, whatever the supporters of a “transnational” or “truly international” approach to arbitration may think.

Some practitioners report that, post pandemic, arbitration costs are deterring parties from bringing matters. Is this your experience?

Not really, my workload has increased. As a matter of fact, the “discovery” of “virtual” hearing techniques, which reduces costs, may justify recourse to arbitration even more than before.

Sources report that the prominence of third-party funding (TPF) in arbitration cases is now increasing the scrutiny surrounding award enforceability. How do you think this could impact award enforceability?

I do not see a problem as long as disclosure duties are complied with. Rather, I see TPF as a means to open the arbitration path to SMEs, consistently with access-to-justice requirements.

What are the advantages of arbitration compared to litigation?

The New York Convention, the New York Convention and the New York Convention: worldwide enforceability of arbitration agreements and awards.

In your experience, what advantages can clients benefit from in hiring a multilingual arbitrator?

Is that really an advantage? If I had my own interest at bar in a dispute submitted to arbitration, I would rather focus on the arbitrator’s qualities as to legal skills.

You have enjoyed a very distinguished career so far. What would you like to achieve that you have not yet accomplished?

Finding time to finally learn a transcription for piano of the adagio from Bruckner’s VII symphony I recently discovered.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Always act as if your behaviour could become a rule of universal application (or, to put it otherwise, treat your neighbour as you would wish others treat you): you know, Kant is still so modern …