Regulation

Overview

Is third-party litigation funding permitted? Is it commonly used?

In Italy, litigation funding contracts are permitted, as an instance of application of the principle of freedom of contract as set forth in article 1322, paragraph 2 of the Civil Code, in which it is stated that:

[Parties] may . . . conclude contracts that do not belong to the categories that have a particular discipline, provided they are aimed at achieving interests worthy of protection according to the legal system.

This economic-juridical operation is largely unknown at present and is not practised at all.

Restrictions on funding fees

Are there limits on the fees and interest funders can charge?

Since litigation funding contracts are an expression of the freedom of contract of parties, determination of the funding fees is a matter for free bargaining. No limits are set.

Generally speaking, the sum that is due to the funder is determined as a percentage of the sum actually made over to the funded party. However, the sum may be arrived at in other manners (eg, as a multiple of sums invested, as a fixed fee, etc).

Specific rules for litigation funding

Are there any specific legislative or regulatory provisions applicable to third-party litigation funding?

No. In Italy, there are no applicable legislative or regulatory provisions.

Legal advice

Do specific professional or ethical rules apply to lawyers advising clients in relation to third-party litigation funding?

There are no professional or ethical rules that would prevent lawyers from informing their clients about the possibility of litigation funding. However, given the principles of freedom, autonomy and independence of lawyers during their activities, it is advisable - or it is indeed even mandatory - that lawyers and funders have no interests in common.

Regulators

Do any public bodies have any particular interest in or oversight over third-party litigation funding?

No. At present, there is no supervisory body.