Stefano Manfucci: Guardian of the Contract


by Ron Irwin

From a handshake between friends to armies of lawyers quibbling over the details of a multinational merger, contracts are the edifice of commerce. In Cagli, Italy, Stefano Manfucci is one of the chief architects of that structure.

Stefano, like his father before him, is a public notary.  A respected legal professional, Stefano is devoted to the art of quid pro quo, finding balance between buyer and seller.

In the vocabularies of an accord, public notaries do not represent one party over another. They represent all contractual parties equally. This system creates an environment of exchange where the goal is not to get the best deal for one client but rather the fairest deal for everyone. Stefano said the role of the public notary is the protector of a process, not of a party or here to launch slideshow

“The public notary is a guardian of the legal contract and legal affairs,” Stefano said.

He explained contracts affixed with the seal of the notary are far stronger and much more difficult to break than those not prepared by a notary. Constructing these contracts with terms all can agree on can be difficult. Often his role seems to be more mediator than lawyer.

The craft of public notary, however, is an art Stefano fears may be dying. New laws designed to stimulate expansion of the free market tend to cut out the services of notary.

Despite the changes he sees coming to his profession, Stefano seems to embrace progress within the walls of this Renaissance village, evidenced by the modern art and furniture decorating his office. He has a clear vision for Cagli’s future as a tourist and cultural center for the region. Stefano likes to look forward but is guided by the lessons of the past.

“Every time is the time we live in,” Stefano said. “So we must be happy.”

Cagli is Stefano’s home, born to the town he now serves. He was educated in legal studies at the University of Bologna. He did not decide on the notary specialty until the passing of his dad.  At that time, Stefano’s priorities shifted, and he embraced the career of a public notary.

Married for 21 years, Stefano has two daughters who are preparing for their futures. His eldest daughter Silvia, 18, is studying the classics at the University of Urbino. His younger daughter Francesca, 13, is completing her second class of primary school. He does not believe either will follow his professional path, nor would he expect them to. quote manfucci

“It is not important for children to follow their father,” Stefano said. “It is important that they study what is interesting.”

Stefano’s passion for work and community keeps him engaged. He stays connected with community politics, even serving five years as an elected official to the Cagli city administration. He said higher political office is not in his future because of the time it takes away from his practice.

When he does break away, Stefano enjoys bike riding through the mountains around Cagli and trekking long distances. Stefano is well travelled, having visited New York, Washington, and New Orleans during his honeymoon.

Stefano said 10 years from now he hopes to still be doing the same work as long as he can “keep up with the changes.” He said the free-market approach coming to Italy could reduce the role of notaries. He is not opposed to the free-market process, but the European Union seems to be pushing more American types of law, which he doesn’t think is a bright idea.

Despite the changes, the seal of the Italian public notary still resonates as a symbol of equity in commerce, unimpeachable integrity and dedication to the process. Stefano Manfucci seems to embody these values. 




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