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Independent Legal Advice (ILA)

Scott Bailey's Lexel-accredited solicitors make obtaining expert Independent Legal Advice (ILA) quick, easy and affordable. Our simple fixed-fee process ensures everything runs as smoothly as possible, and there are no hidden costs to worry about.

Independent legal advice is vital to many legal processes and transactions, including personal guarantees, settlement agreements, equity releases, and loans. It ensures individual clients understand the implications of agreements they enter into and that contracts are enforceable, protecting all parties involved.

Contact Scott Bailey today for independent legal advice that you can rely on.

Get Independent Legal Advice

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How much does Independent Legal Advice cost?

Our fixed-fee service makes obtaining independent legal advice affordable and stress-free.

Basic independent legal advice

£440 + VAT for one person on a bank or other lender security document. For each additional individual requiring ILA on the same matter, we charge just £160 + VAT.

Occupier’s Consent

A basic occupier consent fee for equity release and third-party charge matters is £350 + VAT. For each additional occupier required to obtain advice on the same matter, we charge £150 + VAT.

In some cases, including settlement agreements, the other party may be expected to cover ILA costs. Our solicitors will let you know if this is an option for you.

Our Process

Our simple three-step process makes obtaining ILA as straightforward and quick as possible.

  1. Get in touch to book an appointment. Our team will set you up as a client and review your papers if possible – we recommend providing them in advance so we can review them and ensure there are no unexpected steps required.
  2. Meet with one of our specialist lawyers to discuss the agreement. Most lenders require this to be done face-to-face, but we are happy to arrange a video call if you would prefer and your lender allows it. This is your chance to ask us any questions you have regarding the documents before you sign.
  3. We will witness your signature (assuming you wish to sign) and complete the lender’s adviser certificate, to prove we provided the advice in accordance with their requirement. If you prefer, we can send your signed paperwork back to your lender, or other solicitors acting on the transaction for you.

What is Independent Legal Advice?

An individual client is often required to obtain independent legal advice (or “ILA”), from an independent legal adviser, in respect of their transaction documents. Usually, the solicitor, legal executive or licensed conveyancer, will provide a signed certificate stating when and where they provided the impartial advice. If a dispute arises regarding the documentation, the solicitor may be called upon to confirm that independent advice was provided and the correct process was followed.

Increasingly, some law firms don’t want to provide independent legal advice to clients, often seeing it as a hindrance, but we are happy to help.

Signing a personal guarantee

When do I need Independent Legal Advice?

There are many transactions where you will be required to obtain independent legal advice before funds will be released. Regular examples include:

  • Loan security – where you own a property or land, and a tenant (perhaps your company) is offering this as security to a lender
  • Personal guarantees – often called PGs, these are relevant where you are guaranteeing a family member’s loan or mortgage, purchasing a property through a limited company, getting a commercial loan, or perhaps extending your commercial overdraft facility
  • Occupier’s Consent Forms – where you occupy a property but are not a party to the mortgage documents
  • Gifts – where you are providing a gift to a family member to purchase a property, the lender may require you to confirm it is a gift rather than a loan, and that you are waiving your rights
  • Local legal advice – where the solicitors acting on your behalf are too far away to meet with you directly, you may need to find a local advisor to see you in person

Why do I need independent legal advice?

If you have ever read through a mortgage document, you will know that the lender has serious powers in terms of what it can do if payments are not received as and when they are due. Most people, however, wouldn’t read such documents, and lenders therefore require borrowers and related parties to obtain ILA. This ensures that borrowers have a proper understanding of the risks involved with taking on the loan. The benefit to the lender is that you cannot then claim that you were never told what you were signing should a dispute arise down the line.

Much of this area of law concerning mortgages spans from the case of Royal Bank of Scotland v Etridge, following which courts agreed that borrowers for a mortgage should be advised to seek independent advice before signing documentation. This helps prevent unscrupulous family members taking advantage over vulnerable parties, as well as the risk from potentially unscrupulous lenders.

The benefit for you as an individual is that you understand the risks. It may be that following the provision of the legal advice, you choose to reconsider your banking, and perhaps seek a better arrangement elsewhere i.e. with another lender who may not require so much security for example.

Can I be accompanied by a friend of family member during our ILA appointment?

Generally, so that you can speak candidly, you should be on your own for the meeting, and not accompanied by friends or family members. If you have a particular need to have someone else present, please do let us know when booking your appointment.

Lawyer discussing personal guarantee ILA with client

How do I get Independent Legal Advice?

If you would like to find out more about what is involved with obtaining ILA, or you are ready to book an appointment, please contact our expert independent legal advisers in Hampshire. Based in Lymington in the New Forest, we provide ILA to clients across the Dorset, Wiltshire and Hampshire regions.

Increasingly, lenders are happy for ILA to be provided remotely, and where this is the case we can provide the advice remotely wherever you are based. Ask your lender, or get in touch if you are unsure.

Ben Ironmonger is Partner and head of Company and Commercial law at Scott Bailey LLP and regularly provides ILA services. As well as Ben, ILA is provided at Scott Bailey by Victoria Smalley (licensed conveyancer) and Daniel Ratcliff (legal executive).

Our lawyers solve problems
like yours every day.

We would like to hear from you. Please send us a message by filling out our form or contact us using the details below.

Phone: 01590 676933

Fax: 01590 679663

Email: [email protected]

Scott Bailey LLP, 63 High Street, Lymington, Hampshire, SO41 9ZT

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