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If you are a property solicitor then it’s likely that from time to time your clients (or people connected to them) will need to obtain independent legal advice. At ILA Direct we specialise in providing face to face independent legal advice on mortgages, personal guarantees and occupier consent deeds.   

 

We pride ourselves on delivering high-quality legal advice as quickly and conveniently as possible and you can refer contacts to us safe in the knowledge that we will not try to poach your client from you, because independent legal advice is all we offer.

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Benefits of ILA Direct for Solicitors:

  • Fast, Flexible, Professional, Secure.

  • No risk of competition - One of the main benefits of ILA Direct for solicitors and other legal advisors is that independent legal advice is all we do. Nobody wants to refer their client to a competitor but solicitors often have no choice. With ILA Direct, you can refer your client to us safe in the knowledge that we will look after them without trying to steal them from you.

  • Face to face advice – If you are acting for the bank you have a duty to protect the lender's interest by ensuring that any security is enforceable. If independent legal advice is not provided properly there is a risk that the guarantor may be able to escape liability. If the bank requires advice to be given face to face, is it sensible to refer your client to an online firm knowing that the advice will not be provided face to face, thus potentially prejudicing the bank's ability to enforce its security?

  • Advice is not treated as a formality – the Law Society take the view that “to comply properly with the House of Lords judgment, guidance is likely to take several chargeable hours". It is therefore concerning that many cheap online firms, and even some high street firms, routinely attempt to provide independent legal advice in as little as 15 to 30 minutes. We take as much time as is necessary to get to know each client, and their circumstances, to ensure we can advise them appropriately. By trusting us to ensure that the independent legal advice is delivered correctly, you can be confident that your lender client will not experience difficulties should they need to enforce the security.

  • Practical and unobstructed advice - Whilst the most unobstructed advice may in some circumstances be not to proceed, by taking the time to understand the bigger picture we appreciate that the client will, in the vast majority of cases, obtain some indirect benefit by doing so and wish to proceed in any event. Where the client has concerns about proceeding, we can advise them on how best to proceed whilst at the same time protecting their own interests. Provided we are content that the client has understood the advice provided and is not proceeding under duress, we will not stand in the way. 

  • No risk of a conflict of interest - when providing independent legal advice, even though the client will often wish to proceed in any event, the best advice may often be not to proceed. If that is the case, a conflict of interest will arise meaning that your firm should cease acting for all parties.  See the section below "Can I advise myself" for further information.  

Can I advise myself? 

Many lenders will, in some circumstances, agree to the same firm advising all parties to a transaction (generally on the provision it is dealt with by a different solicitor and in a different office). However, the lender will place the onus on you, as the solicitor, to decide if this is appropriate. 

Whilst the Etridge judgement does contemplate that the same solicitor could in some circumstances act for the borrower, the guarantor and the lender in an administrative capacity, solicitors should consider very carefully whether it is appropriate for them to do so.

The Law Society considers that “The risk of conflict is extreme when attempting to reconcile Lord Nicholls' comments concerning the provision of full information with a client who in many cases may not wish for the documentation to be fully explained”.

In our experience, when the third party realises that their home may be at risk, questions often arise and there may be some reluctance or hesitation to proceed. Often the most appropriate advice will be not to proceed (even though the client may wish to proceed in any event) and in such cases, this would clearly be a conflict of interest for the solicitor attempting to advise all parties. 

Consider the advice you should be given to each party. On the one hand, you should be advising your lender client to take as much security as possible. On the other hand, you should be advising an individual to avoid giving security unless it is absolutely essential. This is a clear conflict of interest and accordingly, the firm trying to advise all parties should then cease acting for all parties.   

With this in mind, why put yourself and your professional indemnity insurance at risk when ILA Direct can quickly and easily arrange for an individual to receive independent legal advice at an affordable price? 

If you are a Solicitor, Mortgage Broker or Mortgage Lender?

If you are a solicitor, mortgage broker or mortgage lender, you can find out more about the specific benefits of referring your clients to ILA Direct by clicking on one of the following buttons below...

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