Alenia Aeronavali Wins Interim Decision before Venice Court

December 14, 2007

Cleary Gottlieb successfully defended Alenia Aeronavali S.p.A., a member of the Finmeccanica group which is Italy’s leading aircraft maintenance and conversion company, against a request for a freeze and other interim measures that had been filed with the Court of Venice by Cargo Aircraft Management, Inc. and one of its affiliates. The plaintiffs, U.S. companies that are active in managing and leasing cargo aircraft, sought these measures in connection with a program, developed by Alenia in cooperation with Boeing, to convert B767-200 passenger aircraft into cargo planes. The plaintiffs’ motion, which alleged breaches of contract by Alenia, sought to block all work in progress on the conversion program’s prototype aircraft, which was owned by one of the plaintiffs. If the plaintiffs’ motion had been granted by the court, it would have jeopardizing the viability of the entire conversion program, which is dependent on successful certification of the prototype.

On the basis of extensive submissions by both parties, the Court of Venice agreed with Cleary Gottlieb, counsel for Alenia, and found that there was no legal or business justification for a freeze order, insofar as the plaintiffs had failed to show that they would sustain any irreparable harm if Alenia were permitted to complete conversion of the prototype.