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In order to represent foreign clients in a civil lawsuit in Italy, the Italian lawyer needs a written power of attorney called "procura alle liti" which must be signed by the client himself. 

Most of the time, the procura alle liti is signed in Italy in front of the lawyer, who has the power - under the Italian law - to certify that the signature has been made in his presence on a precise day.

What happens then if the client can't meet the lawyer in Italy?

The Italian law provides that any procura alle liti coming from abroad must be drafted according to the law of the foreign Country where the foreign client resides. But "Fear not, thou foreign client!": any reputable notary in your Country surely knows how to handle this issue.
  
From a practical standpoint, we provide our foreign clients with the Italian procura alle liti as a model to be translated into their language, so that the foreign notary can “import” the text into a formal document which the client will then sign in front of him.

In the aforementioned document the notary must state that the signature has been made in his presence, in a certain place, on a precise day and that the notary himself has previously verified the client's identity.

The document made by the notary must be translated back into Italian, this time by a sworn translator.

Finally, an apostille - which is basically an official stamp - must be affixed both on the notarized document and the translation.

However, if the client's Country is not a Member of The Hague Convention on Apostille, an ordinary legalization procedure must be followed. 

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Alessio Storari

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