Independent Legal Advice

Independent Legal Advice is a common requirement during the conveyancing process; whether it is a condition of the mortgage lender for a Joint Mortgage Sole Proprietor mortgage or in relation to a transfer of equity where one party is being removed from the legal title.

The challenge is that Independent Legal Advice may not have been something you budgeted for; both the cost of getting the ILA and the time for organising it, even though it is a mandatory part of the process required for the transaction to complete.

It can often be difficult to find a local solicitor who can help provide the requisite legal advice as many see the work to be high risk, especially following the court case Padden v Bevan Ashford Solicitors where the solicitor was forced to pay £67,000 for not providing adequate independent legal advice to their client. Our solicitors are fully qualified to provide Independent Legal Advice and we offer:

  • Face to Face or Skype calls to suit your circumstances
  • Flexible meeting times available
  • Fixed fee - agreed up front with no hidden extras
  • If you're getting a required independent legal advice mortgage, we work with all mortgage lenders including Barclays, Natwest, HSBC, Paragon, Precise and Metro Bank

Our solicitor will fully explain the implications of entering into the mortgage agreement and the risks you need to be aware of.Call us now to discuss further on 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply).

* Need to complete quickly? We can help at no extra cost
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There are many reasons you may require Independent Legal Advice and these include:

Why do you need Independent Legal Advice?

It is important to note that all legal advice should be independent. The reason you need further independent advice is when you are completing a joint transaction where you both want the same transaction to complete, however you have potentially conflicting interests that need further explanation in order to help you fully understand the implications on you individually when the transaction completes.

In conveyancing transaction, once the ILA has been provided, the legal advisor will issue a Certificate of Independent Legal Advice to the acting solicitor for the transaction or directly to the mortgage lender.

ILA example - Transfer of Equity

John and Mary jointly own a property and they are separating so only John will own the property. Although the transaction to transfer the property from John and Mary to John solely is the end result for both, Mary will be advised to seek independent Legal Advice so that she is has legal advice from a solicitor who is acting solely in Mary's best interests. This advice could include explaining that Mary will no longer be a legal owner of the property, or support in understanding how much Mary is to be paid for her share of the property and whether this equates to her.

Important: With transfer of equity cases you can waive your rights to seek independent legal advice however you cannot do this if the mortgage lender insists on it as a condition of the mortgage offer.

ILA example - Joint Mortgage Sole Proprietor ('JMSP') Mortgage Condition

With a JMSP mortgage product up to four people can be on the mortgage deed however the legal owners of the property may comprise only some of those on the mortgage. It is a required independent legal advice mortgage product often used by parents helping their children buy their first home as the child's salary combined with their parent's salaries makes the mortgage product more affordable.

For this type of mortgage product, the mortgage lender will always require the party/ies who are liable for the mortgage, but who aren't legal owners to seek independent legal advice.

The instruction from the bank might be similar to this: "The legal adviser must explain the content and effect of the first legal mortgage over the Property to CLIENT NAME and arrange for it to be executed. The legal adviser must also complete the attached standard letter confirming that independent legal advice has been given. The borrowers must pay any fees relating to this matter."

The legal advisor will then complete a Certificate of Independent Legal Advice (which might be termed an independent legal advice certificate UK) which will contain the following: "I confirm that I act for CLIENT NAME. I have explained the nature of the Legal Charge and the consequences of signing the first legal mortgage over the property in conjunction with the proposed mortgage application. CLIENT NAME wishes to proceed with this mortgage. I have explained that you require confirmation that I have given this advice so that CLIENT NAME may not dispute being legally bound by the mortgage and I confirm that I have the authority of CLIENT NAME to give this confirmation".

Who can provide Independent Legal Advice?

The requirements vary depending on the ILA, however the legal advisor will most commonly be a practising Solicitor, Licensed Conveyancer or a Fellow of the Institute of Legal Executives. They might well be a specialist independent legal advice solicitor.

Does your legal advisor need to be local?

Independent advice always used to be completed physically face to face in the solicitor's offices because the advisor needs to verify that the person they are providing the advice to is independent and to the appropriate person. With advances in technology, forward thinking legal advisors can now provide independent legal advice adopting other face to face means, such as Skype or face time*. This means that you shouldn't have to consult online - unless you particularly wish to - for 'cheap independent legal advice near me'.

Using Skype, the legal advisor will identify the client they are giving legal advice to via a visual review of the client's passport or driving licence; a digital copy of this is also stored. The client will also need to be alone in the room at the time of the meeting.

Not all solicitors adopt this type of technology so make sure to check as you may be forced to work with a local solicitor if you can find one who is able to help. 

Do you need Independent Legal Advice?

Our solicitor provides value-for-money, cheap independent legal advice for home moves in London, Surrey, Berkshire and throughout England. We can work to your time scales. We can provide face or face or Skype* to allow for the Independent Legal Advice to be provided to you at home or at work which means you do not have to come into our offices, although you can do so if you wish. In urgent cases the certificate of Independent Legal advice can be issued on the same day as the advice is given and this can be emailed to the acting solicitor for the transaction or the mortgage lender with a hard copy sent in the post.

* Important: You must be on your own, with no one else in the room, for the full duration of time that the independent legal advice is being given via Skype.

  • Face to Face or Skype calls to suit your circumstances
  • Flexible meeting times available
  • Fixed fee - agreed up front with no hidden extras

Our solicitor will ensure you fully understand the implications of completing the transaction and how this will effect you.

Call us now to discuss further on 0333 344 3234 (local call charges apply).

* Need to complete quickly? We can help at no extra cost

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