As responsible members of society and players of the market, we believed it was important to set out a Charter of our values which partners, outside consultants and associates are called upon to share and respect, in addition of course to observance of the standards laid down by the deontological rules applicable to their respective professions.
It is an integral part of the way we work so we wish to make it known.
1. Shared principles and values. Bound Individuals
1.1 Studio Legale De Berti Jacchia Franchini Forlani (“Firm”) has adopted this Document, setting out the shared values and principles underlying the conduct of its partners, consultants, associates and employees (“Persons Bound”), working at all levels and at all its offices.
1.2 All the Persons Bound adhere to this Document, respecting its provisions and causing them to be respected with regard to their duties and responsibilities.
1.3 The associates of the Firm may be called upon to sign a separate document applying to them.
1.4 Third Parties acting in the name or behalf of the Firm in any capacity whatsoever are also Persons Bound. The provisions of this Document also apply to them mutatis mutandis and it is the responsibility of the person who appointed or instructed them to ensure that this is done.
2.1 The mission of the Firm is to supply high quality legal or accountancy services to its clients, with added value and professional skill, living special attention to innovative solutions, new business models, new markets and new entrants in the economic scene.
2.2 The Firm occupies a responsible position in society and on the market and pursues its mission always observing the principles and provisions set out in this Document.
3. General principles
3.1 The partners, consultants and associates of the Firm (“Professionals”) abide by standards of ethical conduct no lower than those prescribed by the deontological rules of their respective professional associations. In all their relations with the authorities, clients, colleagues and third parties, they comply with the provisions of this Document.
3.2 The Firm scrupulously respects the principle of non-discrimination.
4. Honesty and integrity
4.1 The Professionals carry out their work with honesty and integrity, and refrain from all and any conduct or practice which may even potentially be illegal, corrupt, collusive, or morally reprehensible in any way, from practising or encouraging favouritism and from seeking or accepting personal advantages unrelated to the professional relationship.
4.2 The Professionals are bound by the duty not to pay, offer or promise, directly or indirectly, payments or gifts or other advantages to public officials and servants, persons working within the legal system, private officers, contractors or other contractual parties, in order to obtain or influence the obtaining of professional work or roles, awards, contracts, decisions or measures to the advantage of the Firm, its clients or third parties.
4.3 An advantage is any gift or service provided free of charge or for a price manifestly lower than the market price, including accommodation, meals, entertainment or travel for anything more than a modest value. The amount of a modest value may be determined in advance.
4.4 Any gifts or advantages of a modest value shall in no event compromise or place in doubt the integrity or independence of the person who received them or the reputation of the Firm.
5. Competence and professional behaviour
5.1 In carrying out their work, the Professionals will maintain standards of excellence, competence, professionalism and care, responding swiftly and readily to clients’ needs and in their best interests.
5.2 The Professionals have an ongoing commitment to promoting the reputation of the Firm and increasing its prestige.
5.3 The Professionals will work conscientiously, with independence and objective judgement, so as to produce professional results appropriate to their respective levels of experience and responsibility and to meet the needs and expectations of the client.
5.4 The Professionals will carry out their work developing, deepening and updating their knowledge and the sources of reference for their respective fields and disciplines, and seeking specialist support in other fields and disciplines, both within and outside the Firm.
6.1 The Persons Bound will always respect and cause to be respected by those reporting to them the confidentiality of all information and documents concerning actual or potential professional mandates, clients and counterparties, and will not reveal, disclose or use such information or documents for other purposes unless they enter into the public domain other than through them.
6.2 The Professionals are bound to observe all applicable laws including, in particular, those regulating privileged information, trading of influence, assignation of public contracts and orders, trade secrets, competition, data protection and money laundering.
6.3 The Professionals are in any event bound to comply with the deontological rules of their respective professions.
7. Loyalty, transparency and spirit of collaboration
7.1 The Persons Bound will behave towards each other with loyalty, transparency and spirit of cooperation within the context of their respective activities, functions and hierarchical positions.
8. Decorum, responsible behaviour
8.1 The Persons Bound will behave with decorum both inside and outside the Firm, showing each other respect in personal relationships, as well as in external relations and public life.
8.2 The Persons Bound will act responsibly with regard to the common resources of the Firm.
9. Non-discrimination. Diversity
9.1 The Firm is committed to avoiding and not tolerating any form of discrimination based on a person’s gender, age, ethnic origin, language, disability, religious, political or union convictions, sexual orientation or private life choices.
9.2 The Firm encourages diversity of gender.
10. Working environment. Attention to needs
10.1 The Firm encourages a cohesive and welcoming working environment, inviting contributions from everybody.
10.2 The Firm pays attention to individual needs and achieving a reasonable balance between professional demands and those of the Firm with personal, family and health requirements.
11. Image. Relations with the media
11.1 The image and the brand of the Firm are a common asset.
11.2 Professionals will be truthful and discreet in their relations with the outside world and the media, always respecting their duty of confidentiality towards clients and shared policies of the Firm.
12.1 The Firm encourages the training of young Professionals, new graduates and students, maintaining good relationships with universities and research bodies, welcoming interns, and organising or joining collective training and coaching projects, both at a national and an international level.
12.2 The Firm will ensure that its associates and employees will be made familiar with the principles and provisions set out in this Document.
13. Pro bono activities
13.1 The Firm encourages and supports pro bono activities, such as, by way of example, those concerning the environment, culture, the artistic heritage, scientific research and the support of disadvantaged persons having limited legal protection.
14. No political ties
14.1 The Firm does not take any political position and does not either directly or indirectly support, finance or sponsor political groups, parties or movements, their representatives or candidates.
14.2 Any political activities on the part of Persons Bound is of a strictly personal nature.
15. Transparent and proper relations with the Judiciary, the Civil Service and Professional Associations
15.1 The Firm’s relationships with the Judiciary, the Civil Service and Professional Associations are of a transparent, proper, dignified, separate and respectful nature, conducted with a spirit of full collaboration within the law.
16. Conflicts of interests
16.1 The Professionals are committed not to accepting or seeking work or instructions in situations where there would be a conflict of interests.
16.2 The Professionals are committed to not using confidential information to which they may gain access in the course of their work to their own advantage or to the advantage of third parties, including within the sphere or their own assets or wealth or those of their families.
16.3 The commitment to avoid conflicts of interests is to be interpreted broadly and extends to persons working for the Professionals themselves.
16.4 The standard for checking and evaluating situations of even only potential conflict of interests is at least that prescribed by the respective professional rules.
17.1 Any breach of the provisions of this Document will prejudice the fiduciary relationship between the Firm and the Person Bound concerned.
17.2 Subject always to the penalties laid down by law, by the professional associations to which the Professionals respectively belong and the disciplinary action provided by the collective employment agreements applicable to employees of the Firm, any breach of this Document will result in effective, proportional and dissuasive action being taken against the person(s) concerned.
18.1 The Persons Bound shall duly report without delay any conflict of interest or breach of this Document, even where merely suspected, to the partner of reference or a partner responsible for human resources, as the case may be, or to the Supervisory Committee if appointed, who will respond with and adopt all necessary action.
18.2 No adverse consequences will be suffered by a person who in good faith has reported an apparent conflict of interest or an apparent breach of this Document.
18.3 The identity of the reporting person will be kept confidential, subject to duties laid down by law.
19. Supervisory Committee
19.1 A Supervisory Committee may be set up to monitor the application of this Document and the enforcement of its provisions.
20. Other applicable provisions. Hierarchy of sources
20.1 In any event, the provisions of the law, the Bar Council Deontological Code and the Chartered Accountants’ Deontological Code, as the case may be, as well as the collective employment agreements applicable to employees of the Firm will also apply.
20.2 In the event of any conflict between the provisions of this Document and the deontological rules of the profession, the latter shall prevail.
21. Entry into force and duration
21.1 This Document was approved by the General Meeting of Partners on 19.06.2017. It will enter into force on 01.07.2017 for an unlimited term and may be updated from time to time.