Most common examples of Independent Legal Advice?

What are the most common examples of Independent Legal Advice – typically they are relating to commercial finance or personal legal matters.

Independent Legal Advice for Commercial matters

  • A director providing an independent guarantee (guaranteeing the loan in their personal capacity) to a commercial loan (Company BTL Mortgage, Commercial Mortgage etc)
  • Joint Borrower/Sole Proprietor Mortgage- this is where the borrowers (e.g., parent and their child) are different to the parties that will legally own the property (usually just the child). Barclays are the most common lender who offer this at present.
  • Occupier’s Consent to Mortgage- this is where an occupier (over the age of 17) of a property (e.g., children or a current tenant) consent to a mortgage over the Property where they are an occupier but not an owner of the Property or party to the mortgage

Examples for Independent Legal Advice – ILP for Personal Legal matters

  • Transfers of Equity (someone being transferred off or on to a title)- These are dealt with separately by the Private Client Department and is outside the scope of our work
  • Employee Settlement Agreements- these are outside the scope of our work and is dealt with separately by the Employment Department

Document Certification

Document certification is available. Document certification may be needed for many reasons. Common examples are certifying original Passports and Utility Bills to prove your identity to third parties, such as other Solicitors, or Government Departments.

The certification process is when a solicitor makes a copy of an original document and then signs it to certify that it is a true and accurate copy of the original. The solicitor may also be required to certify the likeness of the applicant of photographic identification. For certification, we will need to see the original document.


Document witnessing is also available. A legal document may need to be witnessed in the presence of a solicitor.  Our charges for document witnessing are £50 plus VAT for the first signature and then £10 plus VAT per additional signature.

Payment cannot be made in cash and must be made either in advance via our payment link below or by card payment before the appointment.

Document witnessing is not Independent Legal Advice (ILA).

Swears and Affirmations

Swears and affirmations are when an individual signs a document in the presence of a solicitor and ‘swears’ or ‘affirms’ that the contents of that document are true.

Examples of documents that need to be sworn or affirmed include statutory declarations and oaths for executors or administrators as part of the Probate process.

The cost of a swear is £5 for the document to be sworn and an additional £2 for each attachment known as an ‘exhibit’.

Please bring cash with you, as unfortunately, we don’t take card payments for these services.  These services are undertaken by an individual lawyer and are therefore not subject to VAT.

On the point of undue influence raised by the guarantors, the court found that the letter the guarantors signed waiving their right to seek independent legal advice was not given under the undue influence of the lender. It rejected the argument that by including the consent to variation clause in the guarantee the lender had created a relationship of trust and confidence between the lender and the guarantors. The guarantors were held to be men of business who understood the risks of giving the guarantee. The doctrine of undue influence was, therefore, not relevant in this case.

(Maxted and another v Investec Bank Plc [2017] EWHC 1997 (Ch))

If you need independent legal advice in connection with a personal guarantee then please contact Nick Attwell on 0207 722 9898.

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