Avvocato: that is, a person (formerly first a Procuratore Legale, who had practiced that legal profession for at least six years) who is admitted to the albo (roll or register) of the avvocati .

To appear in front of the so-called superior jurisdictions (Court of Cassation, Court of Auditors, Constitutional Court, Council of State (Consiglio di Stato), the avvocato must possess further qualifications and be listed in a special register. Each legal professional can undertake the defence of the party without any limitations with regard to the subject matter he normally deals with. This means that no "specialist" avvocati exist as a matter of law.

The new disegna di legge (agosto 1998), if adopted, will allow some avvocati to call themselves specialists (articolo 7)

The object of the professional activity is the assistance and counselling in judgment and in any other circumstance out of judgment of any interested party. It may be performed by professionals entered into the register as an Avvocato . If this is not so, there could exist an offence, the unlawful practice of the profession under art. 238 of the Criminal Code, whose provisions dictate a penalty of six months of detention or a fine from 200.000 Liras to one million.

Article 2 of the legge 23 novembre 1939 n.1815 which forbade the practice of law except in a Studio legale has been repealed by article 24 of legge n.266 of 7 August 1997. However the replacement law has not yet been adopted. It is expected to allow incorporated practice and partnerships between lawyers, and may even contemplate multidisciplinary practice. (Disegno di legge: agosto 1998).

Last updated - 1st October 1998