Independent Legal Advice on Settlement Agreement
Price: £250 - £750 plus VAT. Attwells Solicitors are able to offer almost all clients a completely free service.*
*Depending on the terms of the agreement having already been agreed at the time of instruction, the legal contribution provided by employer and the complexity of the agreement.
What is included in the price:
- Initial telephone conversation
- Initial brief review of the settlement agreement prior to instruction
- Once instructed, a thorough review of the settlement agreement
- Detailed report to you on the terms and effect of you entering into the agreement
- Arranging your signature to the agreement
- Completion of the adviser’s certificate (ensuring that the agreement becomes legally binding)
- Sending the signed agreements to your employer/former employer for their signature
- Receiving the countersigned agreement back and ensuring it has been properly executed
- Sending the countersigned agreement out to you, for your safekeeping
- Updating you as to the progress of the agreement throughout by way of email or telephone
- Meeting at your local office with a specialist employment lawyer to go through the agreement terms by term (where required)
What is excluded from the price:
- Negotiation with your employer to enhance the settlement package or amend the terms of the agreement (can be arranged at further cost)
- Tax advice
- Advice on benefits
- Legal advice outside of the service requested
What is the process?
You contact us and we take initial instructions from you as to the headline terms of the agreement (e.g. termination date, compensation package, deadlines for completion, employer contribution to your legal fees etc.) and the circumstances leading up to your employer offering you the agreement.
We then ask you to provide us with a copy of the agreement (where available). Once received, one of our employment law specialists will briefly review the agreement and advise if we can undertake the work involved for the contribution provided by your employer. In the large majority of cases we do undertake the work for the contribution provided by your employer, meaning it does not cost you, the employee, a penny. Upon confirmation, we will send you a formal engagement letter to confirm our instruction.
Once we have received formal instructions from you, a member of our employment law team will draft a comprehensive report to you on the terms and effect of you signing the agreement. This is usually within 2 working days of instruction (we will always fulfil deadlines set by your employer/former employer, subject to them being agreed prior to instruction). We can meet clients to go through the agreement face to face if they prefer. If, having read the report alongside the agreement, you are happy to proceed, we will then ask you to sign where indicated and return two copies of the agreement, signed by you, to us.
Upon receipt of the signed agreements, we will then complete the Adviser’s certificate and send both agreements, alongside our invoice for settlement, to your employer/former employer, who will then countersign and return one copy of the fully executed agreement to us. Once received, we will take a copy and send you the original, for your safekeeping.
How long will it take?
We aim to have a report to you on the terms and effect of the agreement within 48 hours of formal instruction. Same day appointments can be made subject to availability. If there is a deadline for the agreement to be delivered, please raise this with us at the outset and we will ensure we can meet that deadline.
What is a Settlement Agreement?
Settlement agreements (formerly ‘compromise agreements’) are legally binding agreements that are used to end an employment relationship between an employer and employee. A settlement agreement is commonly used to resolve an employment dispute or to end an employee’s employment. In signing the agreement, an employee will be agreeing to waive their rights to bring a claim against the employer in return for compensation.
Is a Settlement Agreement compulsory?
No. Settlement agreements are voluntary. You do not have to agree to enter into one if you do not wish to do so. Additionally, you are under no obligation to accept the terms proposed to you. Speak to one of our employment law specialists about the process of negotiation.
What are the common terms of a Settlement Agreement?
A well written Settlement Agreement usually includes:-
- A tax free compensation payment to the employee (up to a maximum of £30,000)
- Confidentiality or ‘gagging’ clauses
- Full and final settlement clause (the employee waiving their right to bring a claim against their employer/former employer)
- Return of company property
- A financial contribution towards the employee’s legal fees in obtaining advice on the agreement (ranging from £250-£750 plus VAT)
- The requirement for an independent Solicitor to sign the agreement confirming that they have advised the employee on the terms and effect of the agreement (so as to make the agreement legally binding)
Why choose Attwells Solicitors?
Attwells are experienced in employment matters, advising employees and employers on all areas of employment law and HR. We take a personal approach to all our client relationships and seek to provide you with cost effective, pragmatic and commercially-minded solutions. We have assisted hundreds of employees with their settlement agreements, ensuring that they get the best possible deal, and in most cases it has not cost them a penny! You will be provided with a direct dial and email address for your chosen lawyer, giving you a direct line to your adviser from the very start.
Why do I need your help?
You will need to have your Settlement agreement signed off by a Solicitor in order for it to be legally binding. However, the service we offer encompasses many potential advantages for employees entering into settlement agreements, including ensuring that you are getting a good deal, advising you of any potential claims you have or could have against your employer (such as unfair dismissal or discrimination) and the compensation you would likely receive if you were to bring a claim, and informing you fully of the potential effect of the terms of the agreement, above and beyond their ‘face value’, so as to ensure that you are completely aware of what you are getting yourself into. We also advise you of any ‘hidden traps’ or post-termination restrictions, make sure you are aware of any potential tax implications and, where required, negotiating an uplift in the compensation on offer using our practical, experienced and savvy negotiation skills to get you the very best deal.
I am an employer – can I instruct you to draft a Settlement Agreement for my business?
Put simply, yes! We are experts in all matters involving settlement agreements including the drafting, negotiation and enforcement of the same. We are commercially minded and can ensure that the agreement we draft for you protects your business completely. We offer advice on potential claims from an employee, when and whether to offer settlement agreements and how such discussions should be undertaken so as to prevent potentially costly claims.
How much will I pay?
We aim to give you free, independent and impartial legal advice that doesn’t cost you a penny. We send our invoices directly to the employer.*
*Subject to the employer’s legal contribution and the terms of the agreement being agreed. If you instruct us to negotiate on your behalf, further fees will be payable.
How to instruct Attwells Solicitors?
Instructing us is simple. You can either click on the instruct button below to register your interest or you can call your local office. We have offices in Ipswich, Colchester and London. When instructing us please inform us of the office you would like to use.