June 9th, 2014

As part of the equity release process, the Equity Release Council (formerly SHIP) laid down a number of principles that both lenders and solicitors must follow. By bringing consumer protection to the fore has helped stabilise and add a layer of confidence to the whole realm of how equity release schemes are perceived.

The Equity Release Council (ERC) Code of Conduct states that independence is key to a best advice process. Therefore, in recognition of this, certain legal professionals who specialise in transacting equity release business for its clients formed a coalition. They called this group of seven equity release legal specialists the Equity Release Solicitors Alliance (ERSA). Their goal is to provide the customer with access to an independent solicitor, separate to that of the equity release provider, governed by the rules of the ERC.

Primarily, any person requiring legal advice would usually search online, the yellow pages or upon the recommendation of their equity release adviser. As the ERSA solicitors provide a fixed fee which is invariably lower than any local solicitor and offer no charges should the case not proceed, their experience is invaluable in executing the legalities of quickly completing the equity release process.

As equity release specialists, LondonEquityRelease.com would always offer the services of an ERSA solicitor; based on cost, professionalism, experience and ensuring no undue influence is being exhibited externally from any family members. Obviously, any client of ours has the right to choose an equity release solicitor of their own but for reasons of speed & cost, ERSA solicitors have shown to offer the best service historically.

With our clientele based in London, London Equity Release has access to one of the largest equity release legal firms who are members of ERSA. We would therefore provide the introduction to them on your behalf following completion of your equity release application with your adviser. For this we purpose, we would recommend Ashfords solicitors and here is an introduction from Peter Barton who is a partner in Ashfords and head of their equity release team there: –

Our Ashfords London office is located at 1 New Fetter Lane, in the heart of London’s lawmakers, within walking distance from Waterloo, Charing Cross, Euston and Kings Cross, and a stone’s throw from Hatten Garden and Covent Garden.

Ashfords Equity Release Department has over 15 years of experience and has assisted clients from all over London and is highly experienced in the London property market and is particularly adept at assisting clients who are using equity release to fund a lease extension. We are proud to me a member of the Equity Release Council and members of a number of the Council committees.

Unlike most other law firms in Central London, Ashfords is a full service law firm, so all of your legal affairs can be dealt with under one roof without the need to instruct several separate firms. We find this especially useful in London as often there are other legal issues to be resolved at the same time as the equity release.

Often you may also need to be looking at:

1. Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Trusts.
2. Inheritance Tax planning
3. Lease extension
4. Buying and selling using equity release
5. Matrimonial matters.
We have London specialists in all of these areas so we can all work together for you. We have noticed, in London and the surrounding counties more than any other part of the Country, people are releasing equity from their homes, at least in part to make gifts to family/into Trust, either to help out the family or as a way of mitigating tax.

Gifting carries with it other issues such as whether tax advice is needed, do Wills need updating, do Trusts need to be set up, HMRC notified. All of these matters can be dealt with.

As we are highly experienced in equity release in London and in the general London property market we are also able to assist if outside help is required (estate agents, accountants etc) in your location.

Our aim is to offer a professional and efficient service for you and also for you to feel we are approachable and accessible enough via the London transport service. We look forward to hearing from you.

Ashfords & Peter Barton’s main contact details are as follows: –

Peter Barton (Partner)
Ashfords LLP Solicitors
Ashford House
Grenadier Road
Exeter Devon
Tel: 01392 334060
Mob: 07921 233934