Independent Legal Advice Certificate

Our Independent Legal Advice Certificate  template:

  • expertly-drafted template for peace of mind
  • protects your security
  • ensures compliance with case law
  • easy to edit and complete
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How Does It Work?

  • 1. Download
  • 2. Edit
  • 3. Print
  • 4. Sign

This template for an Independent Legal Advice Certificate is intended for use where someone is giving security for a loan and the lender is under a duty to ensure that person receives the benefit of independent legal advice before signing the security documentation. See the heading below: The Etridge Case.

Such an event commonly occurs when the husband borrows money to fund his business and, in return, he grants a legal charge or mortgage over the family home in favour of the lender. In such a case, the wife’s consent would be needed to the charge’s going in place. She would need to sign the charge or mortgage, so that she defers her rights to the lender’s (usually being a bank). Even if she is not on the title deeds to the house her consent will still be needed, as she will have the right to occupy the house.

Often the lender, if it is a mainstream bank, will have its preferred form of certificate, which it will supply and it will ask the wife’s independent legal adviser to sign it. However, if the lender does not supply the necessary draft or if it does not have one, for example if it is a private lender, then that is precisely when you can use our form of certificate. If you are a private lender you would still want to know the independent advice has been properly given as it is for the benefit of both (a) the wife, so she knows what she is doing and the risks involved, and (b) you as the lender, so that you know the wife cannot turn round later and say you failed to ensure she got independent legal advice on her rights before she signed them away. If you did fail to ensure she obtained such independent advice, then you might find the security against her interest or rights in the property is void and, as a result, you might be unable to repossess the home or evict her.

The Etridge case

The lender has a duty to the wife in accordance with an English legal case called Royal Bank of Scotland plc v Etridge (No 2), from 2001. The outcome of that case is why this form of certificate can be useful in protecting the wife’s interests and those of the lender. You can read more about this case and how it applies here:

Using our Independent Legal Advice Certificate template

You will find our template exceedingly easy to use. It has been drafted by a UK solicitor who is experienced in banking law, so you know you can rely on it.

It should either (a) be given to the person needing the independent advice to take to her solicitor, or (b) be sent to the solicitor advising her. The solicitor will know how to complete it. For this reason, it does not come with any separate guide as to its completion and use, as our other templates do. However, if you have any queries about it just contact us.

Once the solicitor has completed and returned it and you have the signed legal charge back from the person due to sign it, then you should keep the certificate safe with the original of the legal charge in case of the need to prove the person signing it was duly and independently advised.