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Attwells Solicitors offer personal law services alongside our core discipline of conveyancing and property law.

We specialise in providing a full range of personal law services for you and your family such as advice on workplace disputessettlement agreements and will writing.

We understand many of our personal law services are required during extremely emotional and challenging times and therefore we employ a friendly jargon-free approach to ensure you will be fully aware and in control of your legal matter.

Our solicitors will offer you the best possible advice, time, knowledge and know how to make informed decisions regarding your life. In addition, we will always aim to save you money. To this end all our services can be instructed under fixed fee terms.

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Personal Law

As mentioned above our personal law services encompass more than conveyancing or property law matters. Our solicitors are able to assist you with legal matters concerning less commonplace legal disputes such as inheritance disputes and personal injury. You can also drop into our office to deal with swears affirmations and document certifications.

Attwells Solicitors have offices in Ipswich, Colchester and St. John’s Wood. We are therefore able to offer you our personal law services across Suffolk, Essex and London. For some of our personal law services we will offer home visit. However, an additional fee may apply.

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Independent Legal Advice

During a transaction, be it in a business or personal context, you may find yourself in a situation where you are being told that you need to take Independent Legal Advice.

Typically, Independent Legal Advice is required for a matter that is incidental to, but critical for the completion of a transaction.

Independent Legal Advice is commonly required in the following circumstances:

  • Director’s Personal Guarantees (on Corporate loans and mortgages)
  • Personal Guarantees (where an individual guarantees  repayment of a loan made to someone else)
  • 3rd Party Legal Mortgages (where the Borrower is not the same person as the person offering the lender security)
  • Occupier’s Consent to a Mortgage
  • Family “Springboard” Mortgages
  • Transfers of Equity
  • Employment Settlement Agreements

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By entering into any of the above documents, you will usually be agreeing to either take on some form of liability or waive some of your rights but without necessarily enjoying any direct personal benefit for doing so. It is therefore very important that you fully understand the implications and seek appropriate professional guidance. It is right that Lenders and Solicitors insist that you obtain Independent Legal Advice under such circumstances.

That said, being told to get Independent Legal Advice is almost always an unwelcome surprise. Too often the requirement is communicated at the eleventh hour causing uncertainty, expense and delays as you try to find a law firm willing and able to give you the advice you need in a reasonable timeframe.

At Attwells, we understand that obtaining Independent Legal Advice is often time-sensitive and always critical to your matter. We don’t think that your transaction should be delayed any longer than it needs to be.  So, we have devised a simple and practical solution:

We offer :

  • A dedicated Independent Legal Advice Service
  • Quick turn around
  • Fixed fees

Our aim, wherever possible, is to provide you with the Certificate of Independent Legal Advice within 72 hours of receiving formal instructions.

Who will do my work?

Your matter will be undertaken by those listed in our staff slider. This is located left or at the bottom of the page.

Our fee scales are simple too:

Basic Fee for ILA

(for one person)

£549.00 + VAT

Cost for each additional

individual requiring ILA

£149.00 + VAT

Occupier ILA fee

£250.00 + VAT

Additional occupier

requiring ILA

£149.00 + VAT


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Swears Affirmations and Document Certification

Our Ipswich, Colchester and North London Offices are open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5.30pm for you to drop in for swears or affirmations.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 we are unable to offer Swears Affirmations and Document Certification.

Document Certification

Document certification is available. Document certification may be needed for many reasons. Common examples are certifying original Passports and Utility Bills to prove your identity to third parties, such as other Solicitors, or Government Departments.

The certification process is when a Solicitor makes a copy of an original document and then signs it to certify that it is a true and accurate copy of the original. The Solicitor may also be required to certify the likeness of the applicant of photographic identification. For certification, we will need to see the original document.

Our charges for document certification are as follows:

  • Certification: £50 plus VAT for the first document and then £10 plus VAT per additional document
  • Land Registry Form ID1: £75 plus VAT
  • Land Registry Form ID2: £85 plus VAT

Payment cannot be made in cash and must be made either in advance via our payment link below or by card payment before the appointment.

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Document witnessing is also available. A legal document may need to be witnessed in the presence of a solicitor.  Our charges for document witnessing are £50 plus VAT for the first signature and then £10 plus VAT per additional signature.

Payment cannot be made in cash and must be made either in advance via our payment link below or by card payment before the appointment.

Document witnessing is not Independent Legal Advice (ILA).

What are Swears and Affirmations?

Swears and affirmations are when an individual signs a document in the presence of a Solicitor and “swears” or “affirms” that the contents of that document are true.

Examples of documents that need to be sworn or affirmed include statutory declarations and oaths for executors or administrators as part of the probate process.

The cost of a swear is £5 for the document to be sworn and an additional £2 for each attachment known as an “exhibit”.

Please bring cash with you, as unfortunately we don’t take card payments for these services.  These services are undertaken by an individual lawyer and are therefore not subject to VAT.

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Next Step

For a swear, affirmation, certification or witnessing you will also need to ensure that you bring with you some photographic identification in the form of a passport or photo driving licence so that you can be identified for the “swear”, “affirmation” document certification or witnessing by our Solicitor.  For certified identification or witnessing, you must attend in person as the solicitor will need to certify that the identification document bears a true likeness to the individual.

We have a number of qualified Solicitors at our Ipswich, Colchester and North London offices that are “Commissioners for Oaths” so if you need a document to be sworn, affirmed, certified or witnessed we can help you.

Attwells Solicitors is not a notary public and therefore if you require a document to be notarised, or ‘legalised’, then we will not be able to help with this process, but we can put you in touch with a local firm who will be able to help.

When undertaking a swear, affirmation, certification or witnessing your signature, a Solicitor is not providing legal advice as to the contents or enforceability of the document that you are signing but instead is verifying that you have carried out the swear or affirmation correctly or that the document is an identical copy of the original or that the solicitor has witnessed your signature.

If you require initial legal advice in connection with a matter, then we are happy to have an initial, no-obligation chat over the telephone.

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