The Italian law no. 27 of 24th March 2012, on “Conversion with amendments of Decree-Law no. 1 of 24th January 2012, concerning urgent measures on competition, infrastructure development and competitiveness known as “ The Liberalization Decree” or ” The Salva-Italia Decree” was published in Ordinary Supplement no. 53 of Official Gazette no. 71 of March 24th, 2012.
The text of the conversion law which was finally approved by the Chamber of Deputies on March 22nd contains, among other things, significant innovations for freelance professionals.
There was confirmation of the abrogation of the fee rates for those professions which are regulated in professional associations, while a new measure provides for fixing compensation in the event of liquidation by a court with reference to the parameters established by the Minister (Art. 9, paragraph 2). The above parameters must be established within 120 days of the date of the law converting the decree coming into effect. By decree of the Minister of Justice, in agreement with the Minister of Economy and Finance, the parameters for costs and contributions to professional pension funds and archives based on previous fee rates will also be fixed within the same time scale. In addition it is explicitly the aim of the decree to provide long term safeguards for the financial stability of the professional pension funds.
All fees for professional services are to be agreed at the time of the appointment in the terms set out by the single associations. The professional must make known to the client the level of difficulty of the assignment and provide all relevant information regarding any possible additional costs which may arise over the course of the entire assignment; in addition the professional must also make known to the client the information concerning the insurance policy which covers eventual damages caused in the course of professional activity (paragraph 4). The professional is also required to present the client with an approximate estimate in which the cost of each item, including expenses, taxes and contributions must be stated. During the modifications carried out during the process of conversion into law the prediction provision according to which failure to comply with the regulations constitutes a violation of the rules of discipline on the part of the professional was deleted from paragraph 4.