Legal expenses regime (in court and out of court) and costs that the parties must incur for a civil suit or for assistance out of court
Art. 91 of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure establishes that:
“The judge, with the ruling that closes the proceedings before him or her, sentences the losing party to reimburse the expenses to the other party and determines their amount together with the lawyer’s fees”.
Art. 92 of the Italian Code of Civil Procedure establishes that:
“The judge may rule out repetition of the expenses sustained by the winning party if he or she deems them excessive or superfluous”.
“If both parties lose, or in the case of absolute novelty of the question discussed or a change in case law as regards the diriment questions, the judge may set off the expenses between the parties, either partially or entirely”.
The professional fee that the lawyer is entitled to ask of the client is regulated by Italian Ministerial Decree no. 37/2018 that came into force on 27 April 2018.
Said decree establishes the practice value brackets (based on which the value of the lawsuit and relevant professional fees are determined) and the breakdown by subject for both the court practices and those out of court, as well as for the lawyer’s activity in the capacity of arbitrator.
Recent Italian Ministerial Decree 37/2018 introduced the novelty that sets a specific fee for the lawyer who assists the client in mediation and assisted negotiation proceedings.
Among other things, Italian Law no. 124 of 4 August 2017 establishes the lawyer’s obligation to provide the client with a cost estimate in writing, in which “...all information regarding the appointment must be specified, such as its difficulty, estimate of the cost for the service divided up into charges (that can be presumed from the beginning to the end of the appointment), expenses and professional fee”.
The lawyer must also specify the details of the professional liability insurance policy.