The legal team at Marc White & Co includes several internationally qualified lawyers, and we work with trusted legal contacts in Italy, including qualified avvocati (Italian lawyers), registered at Ordine degli Avvocati (Italian Law Society).
Our team is experienced dealing with a range of Anglo-Italian cross-border issues, such as wills and probate, property transactions, medical negligence, corporate law, employment law, investment and partnership agreements, and family legal matters.
We understand the difficulty many people experience when they try to find a lawyer who can assist with cross-border matters and we aim to make cross-border resolution as straight-forward as possible.
Enlisting independent legal advice that’s effective and complete for both the British and Italian aspect of any given matter is vital. Otherwise, legal provisions such as wills may not be recognised by either country, leaving individuals without the benefit of their full legal entitlements.
At Marc White & Co, we’re experienced in ensuring clients avoid any legal pitfalls, including those that relate directly to cross-border legal rules. We’re also experienced dealing with the different systems and procedures that arise across the British and Italian legal systems and are therefore able to secure the best legal solutions for clients.
Some of the legal issues we typically work with, include:
- Buying a House in Italy
- Criminal Law
- Debt Collection
- Employment Law
- Family Law
- Italian Citizenship
- Italian Wills Powers of Attorney and lifetime gifts
- Medical Negligence
- Mortgages in Italy
- NIE Numbers (also NIF numbers)
- Personal Injury
- Property Disputes
- Property Transfers
- Protection of Vulnerable Adults law in Italy
- Reclaiming an Overpayment of Italian Inheritance Tax
- Residency in Italy
- Selling Property in Italy
- Taxation – non residents
Buying a House in Italy
Whether you are buying a property in Italy as a holiday home, an investment property or permanently relocating to Italy, finding an independent English-speaking Italian property lawyer to protect your legal interests is essential. The procedure is very different to conveyancing in England and an Italian Notary will need to be involved.
Under the Italian law the seller and the purchaser usually sign a preliminary contract (“contratto preliminare”) that is a private fully binding contract by which the parties stipulate the main terms and conditions of the transaction and undertake to sign the definitive contract (“contratto definitivo”) before an Italian Notary.
We can assist from beginning to end, drafting the preliminary contract, carrying out all necessary searches at the Italian Land Registry (“Conservatoria dei Registri Immobiliari”) to search the title, instructing a surveyor to check the data and maps filed at the Cadastre Office (“Catasto “) and the planning compliance of the property (“conformità urbanistica”), liaising with the Italian notary who will draft the definitive contract and providing after sale assistance.
You can sign a Power of Attorney (“Procura”)before a Notary Public and we will be able to assist you in a way that could mean you can avoid going to Italy at any point of the process.
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The role of the Italian Notary is often overlooked and we are able to issue or certify UK documents in Italian which can save a great deal of time and expense.
Should you become involved in criminal proceedings in Italy, regardless of the type of case, it is vital that you contact a criminal solicitor at the earliest opportunity. It can take a very long time for a trial date to be set – even for minor offences – so it is essential that you are represented by a professional who understands the Italian legal system with its complicated system of calculating penalties and fines. Be aware – convictions do not always disappear by passage of time. Being detained at the border whilst on a business trip can be highly embarrassing (yes that really did happen).
Italian law differs from English law in many aspects of this area and we can provide you with a professional and efficient debt recovery service. In general, we offer debt recovery advice, and if necessary will take recovery and/or enforcement action against an individual or company.
The system is very different to the UK and employee rights are generally far better protected in Italy. We can also act for employees covering the full range of disputes. We are able to assist ex-pats working throughout Italy on employed, self-employed or retainer agreements.
We can assist with the following situations:
- Civil Partnerships
- Separation Agreements
- Child Maintenance
- Co-habitation Agreements
- Child Access Arrangements
- Financial Settlements
In addition to providing advice, we can negotiate agreements and settlements on your behalf, or if necessary, prepare your case for court in Italy.
Brexit has increased the number of British citizen who wish to apply for citizenship in EU countries. We are able to assist clients, with a comprehensive service to ensure an Italian citizenship application is processed promptly and efficiently.
Italian Wills Powers of Attorney and lifetime gifts
Dealing with cross-border wills (“testamento” in Italian) and estates can be complex and the laws that relate to you depend on your own specific circumstances. The laws in relation to wills and inheritance in Italy can be very different to those in the jurisdiction of England and Wales so it is important that you seek the advice of a cross-border legal specialist in relation to your wills and inheritance matters, including inheritance tax and estate administration.
Our assistance in estate planning includes the assessment of the law applicable to your future succession (“successione”) and the advice on possible solutions that take into account your wish and the tax consequences of your choice. We can assist you in writing your Italian or English Will(s).
Litigation involves bringing or defending a claim in court, or in general representing someone at court in all types of cases, including tax, administrative, etc. Co-operation between countries has increased dramatically and it is therefore possible to pursue a legal claim across borders in Europe. In general, a claim filed in Italy, or a judgment made by an Italian court can be executed and enforced in the UK exactly as if was issued by a County Court in the UK.
If you live in the UK and have been notified of a case against you, you can sign a Power of Attorney before a Notary Public and we will be able to assist you in a way that could mean you can avoid going to Italy at any point of the process. It is important to note that some criminal cases do require the presence of the parties at court.
We can help with compensation claims for matters of Medical Negligence involving hospitals or medical care centres or private doctors located in Italy.
This is a brief list of the damages that can be claimed:
- Pain and suffering and permanent health damage (“Danno biologico” and “danno morale”).
- Loss of earnings and future earnings (“Danno patrimoniale”)
- Medical costs
Mortgages in Italy
If you are looking to finance the purchase a property in Italy it’s possible to obtain a mortgage from an Italian bank as a non-resident, but it is useful to know the three steps towards getting a mortgage in Italy: application, completion and registration – each stage requiring the services of a Notary Public who will draft deeds and deal with the Italian Land Registry (“Conservatoria dei Registri Immobiliari)” on your behalf.
NIE Numbers (also NIF numbers) (“Codice Fiscale”)
An NIE number is required if you intend to:
• Purchase a property in Italy
- Open a bank account in Italy
- Start a business
- Work in Italy
- Pay taxes in Italy
- Receive or disclaim an inheritance
- Reside in Italy
You will need to sign a Power of Attorney in order to apply for the NIE and we can help you through the entire process.
We can help with compensation claims for all types of accidents, negligence and, in general, compensation arising from injuries or damages for incidents which happen in Italy as well as in matters of Medical Negligence occurred in Italian hospitals or medical care centres.
This is a brief list of the damages that can be claimed:
- Pain and suffering and permanent health damage (“Danno biologico”).
- Loss of earnings and future earnings
- Medical costs
- Damage to property
- Injuries sustained
- Consequential surgery (on a private basis)
- Loss of pension benefits
- Cost of nursing care and domestic assistance (commercial or provided by family/friends)
- General expenses
- Loss of use of a vehicle
- Vehicle repair
Probate / Inheritance
Probate in the UK means the process of administering a deceased’s person’s estate. An executor or similar will generally be tasked with this.
The Italian system is very different and although recognises the concept of an executor, it does provide different powers as the estate is never vested upon the executor. Under the Italian law the estate is usually administered by the heirs directly. We can draft Power of Attorneys (“Procura”) in double language appointing an Italian lawyer to deal with all the task required by the administration service in Italy, draft an “Atto di Notorietà” (deed of Notoriety) or a “dichiarazione sostitutiva di atto di notorietà” (attested affidavits) required by Italian banks and by the Italian Inland Revenue, draft the inheritance tax declaration (“dichiarazione di successione”) and file it on your behalf, deposit all relevant documents with the files on an Italian notary and in general we offer a complete probate service relieving you of what can be an onerous task at a time when you have lost someone close to you.
We offer assistance with issues such as difficulty with tenants, disputes between spouses or divorced couples, inheritance disputes, off-plan property and timeshare disputes.
We can provide you with expert help along the way with all types of property transfer in Italy, including inheritance, separation, registration and ownership. We also deal with the payment of taxes, deed registration and Land Registry issues.
Reclaiming an Overpayment of Italian Inheritance Tax
The domestic rules of inheritance tax and the level of taxation vary substantially between Italy and UK. In Italy inheritance tax (“imposta di successione”) is levied on the heirs and not on the estate as in UK. The low level of taxation makes Italy a “tax paradise” as far as inheritance tax is concerned. Italy and UK have signed a Convention for the avoidance of double taxation regarding inheritance tax (signed in London on 15 February 1966). In cross-border successions involving assets located in Italy and in UK we can assist you in avoiding the payment of double taxation.
Residency in Italy
We are able to assist both private and corporate clients, with a comprehensive service to ensure a residency application is processed promptly and efficiently.
Selling Property in Italy
When selling a property in Italy you need to be aware that the procedure is very similar to buying a home. It is vital, therefore, to engage the services of a cross-border legal specialist. We can assist you through the selling process including title deeds, local property taxes, details of the community statutes and Land Registry matters.
Taxation – non residents
We can assist non-resident and ex-pat clients with all manner of advice on taxation issues in Italy, including tax identification numbers (NIFs), non-resident income tax, local property tax, and capital gains tax.
Timeshare and holiday club contracts have gained a rather bad reputation for a number of reasons in recent years. It is important to know exactly which sort of scheme you are entering into and to understand your rights and liabilities to avoid legal issues later on. We can help with timeshare disputes such as maintenance, administration or management fees, and repurchasing issues.