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Our specialist team regularly advises clients with Italian and British Interests and connections. We help clients understand the many differences between English and Italian provisions, and how they interact, in the following areas: succession law; succession process; matrimonial property regime; mental capacity; trusts; and, taxes.
We have widely recognised expertise in the succession and tax area, and in particular in understanding which countries rules will apply. We are often asked by law firms for our expert opinion on cross border succession matters. The Private International Law rules (including the EU Succession Regulation 650/12 (often known as Brussels IV)) can be complex; we benefit from our broad experience and practice to help clients understand. Andrew Godfrey is ranked by Chambers High Net Worth (2019) for his expertise in Italy, and Richard Frimston is noted as a leader for cross-border estates and succession.
Assets in UK
We offer advice on the most appropriate succession planning for Italians owning assets in the UK. With our extensive experience in cross-border matters we can explain the interaction between English and Italian succession law and tax, and draft wills accordingly.
We assist with the estates of Italian nationals who have died owning assets in the UK. We can obtain the Grant of Probate (the Court's authority required to deal with the assets) and make all necessary tax submissions to HMRC (the UK tax authority) for UK inheritance tax, income tax and capital gains tax. We explain how English Cross-border succession laws work, who will be responsible for managing the English succession and who will inherit the English assets.
We also provide the necessary specific tax advice needed when English assets are sold either during lifetime or after death.
Assets in Italy
We regularly advise clients on the English aspects of owning assets in Italy, and often work with Italian professionals to put sensible planning in place or deal with the administration of an Italian estate. We benefit from having worked with many Italian lawyers, notaries and accountants over many years throughout the country. We are also the sole UK members of the International networks Lexunion and Legus.
Matrimonial Property Regime
Key to the analysis of the succession regime that applies is understanding the matrimonial property regime of the client. This involves analysing their particular circumstances and the cross-border rules that apply. The EU Matrimonial Property Regulation has recently been introduced in Italy. Even though England does not have such regimes it can recognise their existence.
Cross-border Mental Capacity
Our team are experienced in advising on cross-border mental capacity issues involving many jurisdictions including Italy.
The common law on trusts has been practiced in the English Courts for many centuries. Following the ratification of The Hague Convention of Trusts by Italy, trusts have been recognised in Italy since 1992. There is no Italian trust law in itself but rather the trusts are governed by the law of another jurisdiction, often England or Jersey, with cases also being decided in the Italian Courts.
In an increasingly globalised world economy, business dealings and contracts will often involve different jurisdictions. Corporations and individuals may have property and other assets, family or wealth structures in more than one jurisdiction and so resolving an international dispute may seem an insurmountable hurdle. We provide advice to Italian clients regarding contractual disputes in the High Court and in arbitration proceedings which are governed by English Law and/or English jurisdiction clauses. We also advise on how to effectively enforce court orders and arbitration awards against assets located in the UK.