Gabriele Giambrone is interviewed on the BBC consumer daytime television programme Rip-off Britain

Rip-off Britain, the popular BBC daytime consumer programme hosted by Angela Rippon, Gloria Hunniford and Julia Sommerville interviewed Gabriele Giambrone, managing partner of Giambrone and international law firm, on how to deal with court summons and appearances, whether as a witness or in any other capacity, in a European court. 

Many people have experiences when on holiday abroad which result in a court case in a foreign country.  Regardless of whether you are a witness or being called to the court because of a perceived dispute or misdemeanour, you need to be able to give the best account of yourself. 

Gabriele Giambrone advised that if you are called as a witness you may be able to access the capacity of giving your evidence by video conference, if this facility is available in both countries and it is acceptable to the foreign court.  This would be far less stressful than having to visit the foreign court.

If you are required to attend due to a dispute or misdemeanour, Gabriele Giambrone pointed out that many people, daunted by the potential legal costs, overlook the fact that they may very well have legal expenses insurance attached to an insurance policy which they can access in such circumstances.  

Regardless of the circumstances Gabriele Giambrone advises that you would be very well advised to take advice from a UK based lawyer competent in the jurisdiction and country that you are called to before you actually have to attend the court either in person or by video conference.  There are stark differences in the legal implications in different jurisdictions and anyone who is before a court should be aware of what they can and cannot expect and how they should conduct themselves and of course have a complete understanding of the merits or otherwise of their case.  Consulates should also be able to assist you.

It is imperative that all the evidence is gathered and documented in a systematic and methodical manner and potential witnesses are contacted for their version of events.  A lawyer, competent in the jurisdiction in question, will be able to advise you as to how the evidence should be drafted to meet the requirements and expectations of each country’s legal system, as well as giving you a comprehensive understanding of the implications of the case.

Gabriele Giambrone strongly urges anyone placed in the position of having to answer to a foreign court not to ignore the summons as such an action will almost certainly result in far reaching consequences that could have financial and legal implications to the individual.  In many cases once a court order or decision has been made there is no opportunity to reverse the situation and there can be very serious repercussions.  No court in any jurisdiction takes lightly having its instructions being flouted or ignored and all jurisdictions will act robustly to ensure that there are no examples of “getting away with defying the court”.   The lawyers in Giambrone from all the various offices are all in agreement that court summons must be taken very seriously and addressed as soon as possible.

If you wish to see the full Rip-Off Britain episode, you can do so here

Should you find yourself in the position of having to answer to a foreign court and would like to have further information as to how to address the issue please email or call 020 3102 7428