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Italy: Law Amending Compensation System for Judges and Lawyers Takes Effect

(May 16, 2018) On April 24, 2018, a new law amending the compensation system for certain judges and lawyers came into effect in Italy, which among other things encourages lawyers to enable documents filed in court to be electronically searchable. (Decree of the Ministry of Justice No. 37 of March 8, 2018, Regulations on the Amendment to Decree No. 55 of March 10, 1955, Concerning the Determination of Parameters for the Payment of Compensation for the Forensic Profession, in Accordance with Article 13, Paragraph 6 of Law No. 247 of December 31, 2012) (Decree No. 37), GAZZETTA UFFICIALE (G.U.), Apr. 24, 2018 (in Italian), G.U. website.)

The new Law amends the criteria for establishing fees with respect to several court-related activities (Decree No. 37, art. 1) and to extrajudicial assignments (id. art. 4(1)). In particular, the salaries of judges of the Regional Administrative Court and the Council of State are increased by up to 50% in certain situations. (Id. art. 1(2)(e).) The salaries of arbitral tribunals are also amended. (Id. art. 2(1).)

Compensation for “Telematic” Lawyers

The Law includes a 30% increase in the compensation of attorneys who avail themselves of court procedures using telematics (the transmission and processing of information via telecommunications) by using appropriate digital techniques, in particular, the submission of petitions, writs, and accompanying documentation in a searchable format that allows for navigation within each document. (Nuovi Parametri Forensi – Decreto Ministeriale No. 37/2018, Pubblicato in G.U. No. 96 del 26.04.2018 [New Forensic Parameters – Ministerial Decree No. 37/2018, Published in G.U. No. 96 of April 26, 2018], ORDINE DEGLI AVVOCATI DI FIRENZE (Apr. 27, 2018).)

Compensation in Mediation Procedures

 The Law amends the parameters applicable to mediation procedures and assisted-negotiation procedures by guaranteeing fixed compensation amounts during all stages of the procedures. (Decree No. 37, art. 5(1); Nuovi Parametri Forensi, supra.)

Compensation in Criminal Matters

The new Law also updates the parameters for setting compensation concerning legal work done in cases arising from criminal activities. (Decree No. 37, art. 3(1).) In particular, the Law establishes the possibility of increasing or decreasing the compensation of a lawyer who defends more than one defendant having the same procedural position. (Nuovi Parametri Forensi, supra.)