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Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or shehab.khurshid@legalease.co.uk

 

Legal Developments Worldwide

Articles contributed by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati

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Golden powers: a new set of special powers for the Italian Government

October 2017 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati.

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The Law Decree No. 21 of 15 March 2012, converted by Law No. 56 of 11 May 2012, introduced a new set of special powers for the Italian Government in relation to strategic sectors such as defence and national security, energy, transport and communications.

Renewable Energy and Conservation - Overview

October 2017 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati.

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The article concerns the regulation of the Renewable Energy Market in Italy, providing a brief overview on the matter at hand. 

LIBERALISATION OF THE GAS DISTRIBUTION SERVICE: AN UPHILL STRUGGLE?

May 2017 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati.

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The Legislative Decree No. 164/2000 (also known as “Letta Decree”) qualifies the natural-gas distribution activity as a public service. This qualification derives from the aim of natural-gas distribution to meet the needs of the community, by ensuring the equal access to the gas grid (so-called “third party access”), the continuity and the quality of the service.

After stating the public service nature of the distribution activity, Article 14 of the aforementioned Decree regulates the procedure for awarding it through mandatory public tenders launched by Local Entities. Within a gas distribution market qualified as a natural monopoly, the choice for tender procedures is directed at ensuring competition between different companies (in order to earn benefits in terms of efficiency, quality of the service and more reasonable prices for the end-consumers).

New Rules on Public Procurement: A Stronger Stance for “Greener” Public Contracts

February 2017 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati.

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With Legislative Decree No. 50/2016 (the so-called “Public Procurement Code”, hereinafter “PPC” or “the Code”) Italy implemented the EU Directives 2014/23/EU, 2014/24/EU and 2014/25/EU, concerning, respectively: (i) the award of concession contracts; (ii) public procurement; and (iii) procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors. The PPC, by repealing the 2006 Code on public procurement (Legislative Decree No. 163/2006), reorganised the pre-existing Italian legislation on public contracts relating to public works, services and supplies.

THE MADIA ACT ON PUBLIC COMPANIES: AN OVERVIEW

November 2016 - Corporate & Commercial . Legal Developments by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati.

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It is estimated that there are about 8,000 companies in Italy whose capital is owned by public administrations (State, Regions, Provinces, Municipalities, etc.…).

Ultimately, the need for spending review has led the Italian Government to intervene (again) in this sector of the Public Administration, by issuing Legislative Decree No. 175/2016 (“the Decree”), which follows other reforms promoted by Minister Marianna Madia pursuant to Law No. 124/2015.

The Decree aims at regulating the participation of public administrations in the share capital of companies, in order to rationalize the number of public companies and make sure that they are duly managed.

The EU and Italian Concessions for the Exploitation of Publicly Owned Maritime Assets

August 2016 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati.

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In Italy, the economic interests related to the commercial exploitation of publicly owned maritime (and lakeside) assets are considerable. The Italian coastline is, in fact, longer than 7,000 km and there are more than 30,000 bathing businesses. The majority are family-run businesses and employ over 100,000 people.

These assets fall under the rules laid out by the Legislative Decree No. 327/1942 (the so-called Shipping Code). In particular, Article 36 provides that their commercial exploitation may be subject to a concession. It also establishes that, in case of various requests over the same maritime asset, the Administration will choose the applicant who guarantees the best utilisation of the property in accordance with the public interest and intends to set up removable equipment.  However, in practice, the existing concessions are generally automatically renewed upon expiry without carrying out any transparent and impartial procedure for selecting candidates.

PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION – A REFORM

February 2016 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati.

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Laws reforming the Italian Public Administration have been approved concerning so-called “silenzio assenso” and time limits on non-judicial executive action. There are moves for tighter controls on leadership, to improve quality in the public sectors, to streamline all services and to make them more economical.

In-House Providing

December 2015 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati.

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“In-house providing” is the result of the dispensation of public tender procedures for public administrations, and allows the administrations themselves to provide goods, services and works internally, rather than acquiring them from the market. This model was created under EU case-law, specifically with the Teckal Judgement dated 18 November 1999, Case C-107/1998 between Teckal S.r.l and the Municipality of Viano, which defined two necessary parameters for in-house contract award procedures.

Procurement System within the framework of MePA

November 2015 - EU & Competition. Legal Developments by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati.

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In compliance with the provisions of art. 328, cl. 4, d.P.R. 207/2010, the Contracting Authority can purchase goods and services below the value of European Union thresholds by taking advantage of the public administration electronic market. To do so, they must follow one of the following procedures:

TIMESHARE AND TRUST

August 2015 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati.

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TIMESHARE AND TRUST

Timeshare is a legal device deriving from commercial practice and characterized by a complex structure, due to the fact that it cannot be qualified as a single specific right, but rather as a bundle of rights with varying attributes and content (some of which are typical of real property law system and others of contract law system).

Italian legislature, notwithstanding both EU directives (No. 94/47/EC and 08/122/EU) and the emerging need to positively regulate timeshare as an independent legal device, showed very little ability in innovating and understanding the issues of new commercial realities. It also showed a distinct lack of awareness towards the consequences legislative choices could cause on an economic and social level. Indeed, the Italian implementation of EU guidelines raised many issues: it has proved to be both inconsistent with the main principles of the Italian legal system and inadequate in meeting market expectations. The result is a confused, inorganic regulation, which seriously lacks clarity. What remains inadequately addressed, is the problem of timeshare's legal nature, along with the coordination between the new legal form of timeshare and the general provisions on consumers' protection, especially if we consider the need for more vigorous purchasers’ protection against the risk of fraud and failure of the counter-party.

The rules laid down in Articles 69-81 of the Consumer Code (amended with Legislative Decree No. 79/2011) are undoubtedly insufficient to adjust the various ways in which timeshare interest has been created in commercial practice, and are not able to regulate the broad range of products and services offered on the market nowadays. These insufficiencies occur both in the first version of the Consumer Code – through which the means of protection set out in the EU directives were implemented, in addition to the means of protection already in place in the Italian real property law system (with reference to the transfer of real-estate property rights) – and in the amendments resulting from the implementation of the latest EU directive (which seems to accommodate the needs and characteristics of the Anglo-Saxon system, but fails to take into account the peculiarities of the Italian system).

The current version of Article 69, paragraph 1, letter a) of the Consumer Code describes the timeshare contract, in very general and simple terms, as "any contract lasting more than one year, in which a consumer acquires, for consideration, the right to use one or more accommodations overnight for more than one period of use". There is no explicit enunciation of the many different types of timeshares outlined by the practice.

Both the operator attempting to apply the law (who appears increasingly disoriented), and the consumer are hindered by all the side effects of such a contradictory and ineffective discipline.

“AGCOM” AND POSTAL SERVICES

April 2015 - Intellectual Property . Legal Developments by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati.

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One of the issues that Studio Legale Villata, Degli Esposti, Perfetti e Associati has been dealing with recently is the involvement of the regulatory authority AGCOM (Italian Communications Authority) in the postal sector.

FUNCTIONAL AND ACCOUNTING UNBUNDLING IN THE ELECTRICAL AND GAS SECTOR

November 2014 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati.

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I. The Resolution of the Authority for Electricity and Gas (hereinafter just the "Authority"), January 18, 2007, no. 11/07 (hereinafter "TIU") has brought about the introduction of new administrative and accounting separation obligations (also known as unbundling) for companies operating in the electricity and gas markets. This measure, which is made ​​to meet the provisions of functional and accounting unbundling contained in previous resolutions of the Authority, is part of a regulatory system made ​​up of both national and EU legal sources (among which the following are of particular importance; i) Law 14 November 1995, no. 481; ii) Resolutions Authority no. 310/2001 and no. 311/2001; iii) the EU Directives 2003/54/EC and 2003/55/​​EC).

ODOUR POLLUTION REGULATION

September 2014 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati.

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I. Odour pollution is a significant environmental issue that, if overlooked, can affect public amenity and the quality of life. Indeed, noxious (and even toxic) environmental odours may cause related health problems, triggering symptoms by a variety of physiological mechanisms, including exacerbation of underlying medical conditions, innate odour aversions, aversive conditioning phenomena and stress-induced illnesses.

Public awareness towards odour as an environmental nuisance has been growing over the years. The localization of housing developments near existing industrial and farming activities, the remarkable intensification of livestock farms and the increasing industrialization are among the causes of this phenomenon.

Our firm, Studio Legale Villata, Degli Esposti, Perfetti and Associates, given its extensive experience and expertise in the field of Environmental Law, has been dealing with this kind of issue, which is too often neglected by Italian legal framework and practise. We find ourselves confronted with matters concerning this subject with increasing regularity.

ENVIRONMENTAL DAMAGE AND STRICT LIABILITY

February 2014 - Projects, Energy & Natural Resources. Legal Developments by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati.

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I. Our firm, Studio Legale Villata, Degli Esposti, Perfetti and Associates, carries out a large part of its work in the field of Environmental law. The establishment of Law NO. 97/2013 on 6th August 2013 heavily influenced the regulation of compensation for environmental damages, as it follows in the footsteps of European Union Directives by introducing the concept of "strict liability". This infers a type of liability which is independent from the wilful misconduct or gross negligence of an operator and allows for convictions based upon the damages themselves rather than the deeds or intentions of whoever may have caused them.

Law NO. 97 (so-called European Law 2013), in force from 4th September 2013, was necessary in light of the infringement proceedings n. 2007/4679 brought about by the EU Commission against Italy. This was due to the fact that prior Italian regulation regarding compensation for environmental damages did not comply with European Legislation (EU Directive 2004/35/CE), as it only provided for liability based upon culpability. Article 25 from the European Law 2013 introduced this "strict liability" which ultimately modified Articles 298bis and 311 of Legislative Decree NO. 152/2006. 

THE “DECREE OF DOING”: OUTLINING SOME OF ITS PRACTICAL ASPECTS

December 2013 - Real Estate & Property. Legal Developments by Villata, Degli Esposti e Associati.

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The "Decreto del Fare" ("Decree of Doing" - Law Decree 21st June 2013, n. 69,  turned into Law 9th August 2013, n. 98) contains regulations designed to simplify legal matters related to the construction industry with the purpose of helping its workers and to kick start a sector deeply affected by the economic crisis.

However not all these attempts at simplification were successful: on one hand it is important to note that the "Decree of Doing" provided an answer to certain unresolved questions, on the other hand, some provisions set out by said decree created some practical problems.

 

Our Firm, as a specialist in all sectors of Administrative Law, deals with questions concerning building and construction on a daily basis and has encountered various cases which illustrate that the application of the "Decree of Doing" requires careful consideration. The following paragraphs will deal with some of these practical matters.