Independent Legal Advice

What is Independent Legal Advice? or ILA

Parties negotiating and finalizing terms of an agreement are told to get an ILA or obtain a Certificate of Independent Legal Advice from a Lawyer. So What is Independent Legal Advice?

Independent Legal Advice is advice obtained by each party to the Agreement from a separate Lawyer. One Lawyer cannot and should not represent all the parties to the Agreement, even if all parties to the Agreement would prefer to have one Lawyer represent them.

Independent legal advice or “ILA” is a document that proves that somebody has been given legal advice from an independent lawyer who has no association with the other party involved in the Contract.

Independent Legal Adivice

A Certificate of Independent Legal Advice essentially means the party receiving the legal advice confirms that he/she fully understood the legal documents, including all benefits and liabilities and was not forced to agree to the legal documents.

Why is it Important to have Independent Legal Advice

Any agreement, contract or a legal document can successfully be challenged and set aside if made under duress, undue influence, unconscionability, failure of proper disclosure of information or lack of independent legal advice.

A Certificate of Independent Legal Advice prevents a party  from later stating that they did not understand the material or the consequences of the documents they were signing.

If a person enters into a contract or an agreement, then he/she must obtain an Independent Legal Advice Ontario to validate the Agreement. This certificate confirms that the party entered into the Agreement at his/her own free will, with full knowledge and understanding.

Therefore, it is of utmost importance to get an Independent Legal Advice prior to signing any agreement, contract or legal document.

Role of A Lawyer Giving Independent Legal Advice

The Lawyer issuing a certificate of Independent Legal Advice  shall discuss  with the client the terms of the Contract or the Agreement. The Lawyer should also explain the legal jargon to the client to ensure his/her client fully understands the obligations and liabilities as well benefits of the Contractor  or the Agreement.

During the course of discussions the Lawyer will inquire if his/her client was forced to sign such documents and in view of all facts including terms and conditions of the contract may advise not to sign the contract. 

We provide Free 15 minutes Consultation for Independent Legal Advice Letter or ILA for Family Law or Independent Legal Advice for Separation Agreements, Cohabitation Agreements, or Marriage Contracts

independent legal advice cost

Independent Legal Advice Cost

All inclusive

$ 450 + Tax
  • Review of the Agreement INCLUDED.
  • Review of the all Legal Documents and Attachments INCLUDED.
  • Consultation for Agreement & all Legal documents INCLUDED.
  • Legal Advice INCLUDED.
  • Suggestions as to your entitlement & Liabilities under Family Laws & Real Estate Laws INCLUDED.
  • Independent Legal Advice Certificate INCLUDED.
  • Reviewing Financial Disclosure and already prepared by the Client INCLUDED.
  • Negotiation of terms of an Agreement is NOT INCLUDED.

How much does it cost to get a Certificate of Independent Legal Advice in Ontario?

A well-executed certificate of independent legal advice will take a lawyer around one to three hours depending on the complexity of the content. More complex documents may involve family agreements that include details regarding family homes, children, and spousal support. The overall time charged will include a client meeting, time to review the document, reporting back to the client and organizing and witnessing the signing of the agreement. It is usual to be charged the lawyers hourly rate for this. Feel free to ask your lawyer about their fees and how they are charged prior to agreeing on the transaction.

At Shaikh Law we charge a FLAT LEGAL FEES $450 for Independent Legal Advice Letter, Mississauga, Brampton.which includes a review of the document by a Lawyer, client meeting to discuss the Legal aspects of the document drafting the Certificate of Independent Legal Advice, Time spent witnessing and signing the Agreement. This fees only apply to Legal documents prepared by a Lawyer only. If the document is not drafted by a Lawyer, then hourly Legal Rate of $360 would apply.  Any additional negotiation or revisions to the agreement will be charged at an hourly rate of $360 per hour as an additional. For family Law matters it is crucial that full Financial Disclosure which includes Last three years to Tax Returns, Last Three Pay stubs and details of all Assets and Liabilities must be attached prior to review of documents.

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When is a Certificate of Independent Legal Advice required?

According to the lawyers’ rules of professional conduct, there are certain situations in which a certificate of independent legal advice is advised:

  • Where there is a potential conflict of interest, a lawyer may still be permitted to act for a client but will be required to advise the client to seek independent legal advice prior to the case. This is to enable the client to fully understand the implications of a conflict of interest.
  • A joint retainer occurs when two or more people hire the same lawyer to represent them for a shared purpose. In this scenario, lawyers are advised to recommend that their clients seek independent legal advice. This is to ensure that the clients have a full understanding of the meaning of a joint retainer and are entering into it in an informed and uncoerced manner. This is particularly important if one of the parties is vulnerable or less informed than the other.
  • If a lawyer is entering into a transaction with a client they should either suggest that a client seeks independent legal advice or, if they have declined to do so they should ask the client to sign a document to show that they have chosen not to seek independent legal advice.
  • If a lawyer finds out that they have made an error or an omission that could be damaging to the client’s case, the client should be advised to seek independent legal advice.


Certificate of Independent Legal Advice Family Law

Lawyers will frequently be asked clients to seek independent legal advice when signing agreements about family matters. This is because family law involves some really important clauses. They are contractually binding and usually last forever. The impact of the clauses is significant, such as the payment of support to a spouse, how a couple plans to divide property and pensions and how the children are cared for. Therefore, each party needs to fully understand the implications before they sign.

Certificate of Independent Legal Advice Real Estate

If clients are entering into a real estate contract it is likely to be one of the biggest transactions of their life, but real estate laws are complex, and individuals should be sure that they fully understand the contract that they are entering into. It is best to consult and a lawyer to seek independent legal advice before buying or selling a property.

Certificate of Independent Legal Advice Mortgage – Spouse

In a situation where one spouse is named on the title of a mortgage and the other spouse is not, it may be a requirement of the bank that the unnamed spouse should receive a Certificate of Independent Legal Advice. This ensures that the unnamed spouse understands their rights with regards to the matrimonial home and mortgage.

What is independent legal advice?

Independent legal advice is the advice given to a client from a lawyer on a legal matter before a transaction is completed, to ensure that the individual fully understands the contract that they are entering into.

Why should I get independent legal advice?

In some situations, you should take the independent legal advice to make sure you fully understand the implications of the contract you are signing and the transaction you are entering into. You maybe waving a right to something or giving your consent to something that you do not fully understand. Once you have signed the contract it is legally binding, and you cannot change the terms. It is important to understand your rights and responsibilities from the outset.

What happens when I get independent legal advice?

When you seek independent legal advice, you will find a lawyer who will meet with you to discuss the process, your lawyer will then review the documentation and when you are happy to agree to the terms, the lawyer will witness a signature and issue a certificate to state that you have received independent legal advice and have understood the information you have been given.

Proving that you got independent legal advice

Independent Legal Advice letter will be issued and signed by yourself to prove that you have received and understood the advice. You can then show this to a third party if the independent legal advice was a condition of the transaction.

What if I can’t afford to pay a lawyer to give me independent legal advice?

If you are on a low income you may be financially eligible to receive Legal Aid in Ontario. You will need to take a financial test to find out your eligibility. If you are entitled to Legal Aid, then you will be given a certificate which can then be used to pay a lawyer who accepts Legal Aid clients. This is only available in certain areas of the law.

Purpose of Independent Legal Advice

It is the responsibility of the Lawyer providing independent legal advice (“ILA”) to ensure that his/her client understands and appreciates the nature, risk, liabilities, and benefits of the document about to be signed. The lawyer should explain the document to the client even if the client has read the document prior in time. If the lawyer is of the opinion that the client is being forced to sign the document or agreement then the lawyer should not be issuing the certificate of independent legal advice.

Providing Independent Legal Advice (“ILA”) to a Guarantor (Surety)

The Lawyer for a guarantor must review and explain to the guarantor the terms of the guarantee as well as highlighting the nature, effect, risks and obligations under the guarantee, including the liability that will be incurred and the manner in which such liability may be enforced, thereby allowing the guarantor to make an informed and considered decision. The Lawyer providing Certificate of Independent Legal Advice (“ILA”) to a Guarantor (Surety) must ensure that the guarantor appreciates the nature of and risks associated with providing the proposed guarantee as well as the likely practical consequences of not providing the guarantee.

The purpose of ILA is to prevent a lender from taking unfair advantage of a guarantor thereby reducing disparities in bargaining power. However, practically speaking in most cases, the client feels obligated to enter into the Guarantee for various other and hence it becomes extremely difficult for the lawyer to decide if the guarantor is freely and voluntarily signing the guarantee or not?

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