What is independent legal advice “ILA,” and do I need it?

What is independent legal advice
Date: 17 Feb, 2023| Author: Fred Streiman

There are many areas of law that recommend independent legal advice. Independent legal advice or ILA is one of the few things in life that exactly describes itself! It is legal advice given, independent of formal representation.

Most commonly, where a person is not formally represented by legal counsel it is recommended that they obtain legal advice prior to signing important legal documents. In providing ILA, the lawyer should review the document with you and confirm any obligations that arise for you or any rights or entitlements you may be giving up by signing the document.

In family law, ILA is usually associated with domestic contracts and separation agreements where one or both parties did not have the benefit of legal representation during the negotiation or drafting period. A good family law lawyer will:

  • review the terms of the agreement and advise you of any rights or entitlements you may be giving up;
  • outline your obligations; and,
  • if applicable, notify you of any claims you may make going forward and limitation periods you should be aware of.

While nothing is bullet proof, obtaining ILA protects your agreement(s) and makes it difficult to contest or overturn later on as the lawyer giving ILA will provide a certificate or sign a declaration confirming that the document was explained to you and that you were fully informed prior to signing. (In a nutshell, ILA prevents a party from saying they did not understand what they were signing or that they never would have signed if they had known what it meant).

If you are interested in obtaining independent legal advice or have any questions about it, contact us for a consultation or to book an ILA appointment.

Ingrid Saffrey – Call 905-455-7300 ext. 232 or email me at ingrid@dalestreimanlaw.com