Independent Legal Advice2022-04-01T12:38:41+00:00

Independent Legal Advice

During a transaction, whether as a business or in your personal capacity, you may need to take Independent Legal Advice (ILA). Typically, Independent Legal Advice is required for a matter that is incidental to another transaction that you may be involved in.

In circumstances where ILA is required, you will usually be agreeing to either take on some form of liability or waive some of your rights but without necessarily enjoying any direct personal.

  • Director’s Personal Guarantees (on corporate loans and mortgages)

  • Personal Guarantees (where an individual guarantees repayment of a loan made to someone else)

  • 3rd Party Legal Mortgages (where the borrower is not the same person as the person offering the lender security)

  • Occupier’s Consent to a Mortgage

  • Family “Springboard” Mortgages

  • Transfers of Equity

  • Employment Settlement Agreements

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Attwells are conveyancing solicitors

Why do I need Independent Legal Advice?

By entering into any of the above documents, you will usually be agreeing to either take on some form of liability or waive some of your rights but without necessarily enjoying any direct personal benefit for doing so. It is therefore very important that you fully understand the implications and seek appropriate professional guidance. It is right that lenders and solicitors insist that you obtain Independent Legal Advice under such circumstances.

That said, being told to get Independent Legal Advice is almost always an unwelcome surprise. Too often the requirement is communicated at the eleventh hour, causing uncertainty, expense, and delays as you try to find a law firm willing and able to give you the advice you need in a reasonable timeframe.

FAQ’s for Independent Legal Advice

What is included in our price?2022-03-25T11:24:09+00:00

The Cost of Law – What is included in our price?

In 2018 the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) introduced price transparency regulations with the aim of informing consumers prior to instructing a solicitor. This was after a public survey confirmed that the most common barrier to obtaining legal support was uncertainty around cost.

Since 2018 Attwells Solicitors have welcomed the SRA’s changes, becoming one of the first law firms locally to publish their prices. With the launch of their new website, clients will be able to not only receive an online quote 24/7 for all of the firm’s main services but will also be able to instruct online.

While modernising their service offering, Attwells have also adapted their educational programmes to help reduce youth unemployment. Throughout the multiple lockdowns, Attwells continued to hire new staff.  Since the start of the pandemic, they have also been offering both work experience and apprenticeship placements to college and university leavers remotely.

Attwells provide a number of services that have been affected by SRA price transparency rules including conveyancing. In addition, Attwells also publish client reviews so that buyers can be well informed when choosing to instruct.

It has been rumoured that the SRA also plan to introduce mandatory review publishing for all law firms across England and Wales to improve buyer choice. A recent article by Aualtrics suggested that over 90% of consumers read reviews before purchasing. With Attwells already publishing over 1,400 reviews, they are one of the first advocates for online reviews locally.

Most common examples of Independent Legal Advice?2022-02-01T16:43:33+00:00

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.

Witnessing

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.

What are the specific requirements of Independent Legal Advice2022-02-01T16:52:40+00:00

Here are the top 4 requirements of Independent Legal Advice:

  1. Advice must be given in a face-to-face (or via Zoom under current circumstances*) to the client.
  2. There must be no other person present when the solicitor is giving advice (if more than one person then they need to meet with us separately).
  3. The client must read, understand and sign our report to confirm they are satisfied with the advice received.
  4. The documents must be signed by the client and witnessed by the solicitor who is providing the Independent Legal Advice.

What is Independent Legal Advice used for: 

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
What is Independent Legal Advice?2022-02-01T16:58:33+00:00

Independent Legal Advice (ILA) is face-to-face advice given by a solicitor to an individual on their personal obligations under a document. There are specific requirements on the solicitor (listed below) when providing ILA to ensure that there is no undue influence (pressure being put on the person by someone else forcing them to enter into the document).

ILA is allocated based on the physical location of the client. In a non-Covid climate, we would only be able to provide ILA to clients who are able to visit our office locations.

Independent Legal Advice is commonly required in the following circumstances:

  • Director’s Personal Guarantees (on corporate loans and mortgages)
  • Personal Guarantees (where an individual guarantees repayment of a loan made to someone else)
  • 3rd Party Legal Mortgages (where the borrower is not the same person as the person offering the lender security)
  • Occupier’s Consent to a Mortgage
  • Family “Springboard” Mortgages
  • Transfers of Equity
  • Employment Settlement Agreements

By entering into any of the above documents, you will usually be agreeing to either take on some form of liability or waive some of your rights but without necessarily enjoying any direct personal benefit for doing so. It is therefore very important that you fully understand the implications and seek appropriate professional guidance. Lenders and solicitors insist that you obtain Independent Legal Advice under such circumstances.

That said, being told to get Independent Legal Advice is almost always an unwelcome surprise. Too often the requirement is communicated at the eleventh hour causing uncertainty, expense, and delays as you try to find a law firm willing and able to give you the advice you need in a reasonable timeframe.

Why do I need it?

By entering into any of the above documents, you will usually be agreeing to either take on some form of liability or waive some of your rights but without necessarily enjoying any direct personal benefit for doing so. It is therefore very important that you fully understand the implications and seek appropriate professional guidance. It is right that lenders and solicitors insist that you obtain Independent Legal Advice under such circumstances.

That said, being told to get Independent Legal Advice is almost always an unwelcome surprise. Too often the requirement is communicated at the eleventh hour, causing uncertainty, expense, and delays as you try to find a law firm willing and able to give you the advice you need in a reasonable timeframe.

Receive a Independent Legal Advice Quote

How much does Independent Legal Advice cost?

What is included in the service?

  • File opening and initial client ID checks
  • Reviewing the documents and drafting a full written report on the obligations under the document
  • A face-to-face/virtual meeting to explain the content of the report and to respond to any questions.
  • Arranging the signature of the documents in the meeting and witnessing the signature of the documents

What is excluded from the service?

  • Advice of a financial nature on the documents
  • Negotiating the terms of the documents
  • Legal advice outside the scope of the service described above
  • Tax advice
  • Accounting advice

What you can expect when instructing Attwells Solicitors

Personal Law Articles

We have taken the time to explain different parts of the legal process and to offer practical advice.  A lot of our articles have been written based on the personal experience of our solicitors, support staff, and clients. We hope you find the information useful.

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