Question: Just a bit concerned that a phone or email legal briefing for both partners would not be viewed as legitimate a process as a face to face with lawyers in the event of any future legal dispute. Can you please advise on this aspect of the process?
Good question and one that we (RP Emery and our Associate lawyers) have contemplated since we first started in 2009, but I think you are the first customer to email this question.
The conventional wisdom is that lawyers provide advice over the phone or via skype to clients everyday. It is a common and accepted part of the legal industry.
Since 2009 we have conducted literally thousands of reviews in this manner and we are yet to have an agreement challenged in court on any grounds, let alone the quality of the legal advice .
As part of the process most of the lawyers will seek proof of identity (some don’t). After the consultation each lawyer will issue a Letter of Advice. The letter of advice is a detailed written expression and record of the consultation and what was discussed. Each party to the agreement must sign their letter of advice as an acknowledgement that they have read the letter, understood the advice and they do not require any further changes to the agreement.
Once returned to the lawyer (email is fine), the lawyer will then issue the Certificate of Legal Advice.
The next step is to have your agreement signed in front of a credible witness, we recommend using a JP because a JP must identify you. And that is it finalised, legal and binding.