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Settlement Agreements

Employment Law

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Years of history

Do you need prompt, practical and expert advice on a Settlement Agreement you have been offered? Do you want specialist advice from a solicitor delivered in clean language that avoids use of jargon? Or are you sure that you wish to sign the settlement agreement but need to obtain an appointment quickly with an employment solicitor who can provide you with their mandatory advice upon the document.

No matter which of these situations you find yourself in the employment team at Hibberts can help, whether you are wanting to sign your settlement agreement asap or whether you want in-depth, specialist advice upon your position and the options available to you.

We regularly achieve improvements in the financial packages and/or other terms offered to employees in a settlement agreement and the feedback from our clients speak for itself. Don’t take our word for it, have a look at our Testimonials.

The majority of our settlement agreement clients do not pay us a penny as the costs of the advice are covered by the employer. Sometimes you would end up being charged for the costs of our work over and above the employer’s contribution but that is only where you have instructed us to carry out extra work after that first appointment or where you choose not to sign the settlement agreement at all and if the employer won’t pay the bill. You will not get any unexpected nasty surprises with bills and the client is always put first.

Whilst we do have offices throughout Cheshire and Shropshire and can meet with you at our offices if you wish, the vast majority of our appointments now are conducted remotely often using video calls. You can have an appointment at a day, time and location convenient to you without you having to come to us.

We can help you with all matters relating to employment settlement agreements. We can provide an extremely quick turnaround and understand that you have often been set challenging deadlines by your employer or may have questions about the process and costs which can seem a bit of a minefield.

Have a look at our FAQ’s below which should answer some questions you might have about Settlement Agreements. If not why not telephone us on 01270 215117 to discuss your query?

Our employment department acts on a daily basis for employees who have been offered a Settlement Agreement by their employer. We are experienced and good at what we do.  We also act for many employers and businesses who need a Settlement Agreement drafting for them, often at very short notice. We can also advise about the drafting of accompanying letters and scripts for meetings.

Employment settlement agreements

In order for a Settlement Agreement to be valid, the employee must receive independent legal advice upon its terms. The Agreement will have an advisers certificate attached to it which the legal adviser has to sign. Because the employee has to receive independent legal advice on it, the employer will normally make a contribution towards your legal costs in doing so. This contribution will vary according to the complexity of the Agreement and your circumstances.

A Settlement Agreement, once signed by all parties, is a legally binding contract in which the employee agrees to terminate their employment and agrees to waive virtually all claims that they have, or may have, against their employer. In return, in many cases, the employee will receive a termination payment.

Settlement agreement solicitors in Cheshire with offices in Crewe, Nantwich and Tarporley.

Settlement agreement solicitors in Shropshire with office in Whitchurch.

Many employees may have had no previous experience or knowledge of a Settlement Agreement and may be somewhat suspicious as to their employer’s motives. We understand that and will take time to talk to you about the background and the options available to you.

Hibberts employment solicitors will provide thorough advice to you, spending the time to take comprehensive instructions from you about how you came to be offered the Agreement and most importantly about the claims that we advise that you have or may have. Once we have advised you, you will walk away fully understanding the terms of the Agreement and its implications for you in the future.

Why sign a settlement agreement?

Settlement agreements have obvious advantages for employers, such as securing the termination of the employment of the employee whilst also protecting the employer against future claims being brought against it. However they also offer advantages to an employee – as well as the financial incentive that is usually on offer for the employee to enter into a Settlement Agreement, they can also include other things which you cannot achieve via an Employment Tribunal claim, such as an agreed form reference.

Redundancy Settlement Agreements – what are they?

An employer may ask you to sign settlement agreement if you’ve been placed at risk of redundancy, are about to be made redundant or sometimes even before any formal redundancy process or consultation starts. Some employers use this tactic a lot, some never do it. Often the employee is benefitting from an enhanced redundancy package, conditional upon them signing the settlement agreement.

A settlement agreement in these cases is exactly the same as the other types of settlement agreement we advise on. Basically the employer is wanting to save time to shortcut the process, wants to achieve a settlement that offers the business protection against future claims or is after something in return

For more information regarding Settlement Agreements contact Camille Renaudon on 01270 215117 or email cvr@hibberts.com


Settlement Agreement FAQs

What is a settlement agreement?

A Settlement Agreement is a written document entered into and signed by employer and employee which settles or compromises the employee’s right to pursue claims which the employee has against a respondent, which is usually their current or former employer. In return, the employee usually receives a payment, known as a Termination Payment, for agreeing to enter into a Settlement Agreement.

What do I do if I have been offered one?

Contact Hibberts Solicitors to arrange an appointment with a friendly and approachable employment law specialist. We will be able to advise you quickly and we don’t use jargon or complicated technical language. Click here [insert link to testimonials] to see reviews and testimonials left by other employment clients.

Settlement Agreements are more common than you think although many people have never heard of them. It is absolutely vital that you find an experienced legal adviser to advise you upon the Settlement Agreement and you should use an employment specialist who regularly advises on settlement agreements, as we do.

If you need advice or think you may be offered a settlement agreement in the near future please contact the employment department at Hibberts LLP on 01270 215117. We will arrange an appointment at a convenient time and location to advise you.

Do I have to get legal advice, can’t I just sign it?

As an employee you have to receive independent legal advice otherwise your Settlement Agreement won’t be valid. If you were to sign it and send it back then the document is not legally binding. Settlement Agreements will have an adviser’s certificate attached to it and this is where the legal adviser also has to sign the document to confirm that they have provided independent legal advice to the employee.

How much will the advice cost and who pays for it?

Usually the employer will agree to make a contribution toward the employee’s legal costs and the majority of our clients to not have to pay a penny out of their own pocket. Of those that do they are clear about the point at which costs become payable and it is entirely their decision. You will not get an nasty surprises or unexpected bills.

The amount of the legal costs contribution by your employer will differ from case to case but maybe anywhere between £250 + vat – £750 + vat.

Our Guarantee

As long as the employer’s contribution is a minimum of £250 + vat we guarantee to advise you upon a Settlement Agreement without any charge to you if you sign the Agreement at the end of our first appointment.

Should you choose not to sign the Agreement but instruct us to negotiate on your behalf then in those circumstances there is a risk of you having to pay towards the costs of our work. We will discuss this with you clearly first so that you are well aware of that possibility and are able to make an informed decision. We will always keep you advised about the likely costs involved in the matter and will tell you if at any point we think our costs may exceed the contribution offered by the employer.

How long will our appointment take?

Generally our first appointment with you is around 60 minutes. We will gather information from you about the background to the matter and how, why and when the Settlement Agreement was offered.

Our role is two-fold; firstly we need to assess what claims you have or may have against the employer and if appropriate we will then go on to advise you about the potential values of such claims. The second aspect of our role as the legal adviser is to advise you upon the Settlement Agreement itself and make sure you understand it.

We go through the document with you, advise you in detail upon the content and you will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you wish to.

At the end of the appointment we will advise you upon the options open to you and we will advise you of any amendments we suggest could or should be made to the Agreement.

What are the next steps after that first appointment?

Ultimately, how you choose to proceed is entirely a matter for you, our job is to ensure that you have received personal and professional advice upon the Settlement Agreement offered to you, that you fully understand the document so that you can then make an informed decision about how to proceed.

Abut 2/3 of our clients will sin at the end of that first appointment. Our job then is to ensure a copy signed by you and your legal adviser is returned promptly to your employer. We will also request that both you the client and we are provided with a copy of the fully executed document, once it has been signed by the employer as well. Only then is it a legally binding contract you see.

If you choose to negotiate the contents of the settlement agreement then we will discuss with you whether you would like us to do it for you. Nearly all clients do ask us to as in our experience that gives you a better chance of achieving the changes you are asking for.

What if I am not happy with the offer that has been made to me?
If having the benefit of our advice you decide that you do not wish to sign the Agreement in its’ original form then, with your consent, we would negotiate the terms of the Agreement with your employer. We will keep you fully updated about the content and the outcome of those negotiations.

What if I choose not to sign it at all?

That is an option that a small number of our clients choose. If so one practical point to be aware of is that often the employer will not make any payment towards costs and so you would normally be billed for our time spent on your file. You will bear that in mind when deciding whether or not to arrange an appointment.

What do I need to bring with me to an appointment?

  1. Proof of identification – We are required to comply with various regulations including those set out by the Law Society and to comply with Money Laundering Regulations, therefore, we will need to take proof of identification from you at our appointment. Normally that would be in the form of either a passport or a driving licence and also a recent utility bill or bank statement
  2. Your contract of employment
  3. A recent wage slip
  4. A copy of the Settlement Agreement
  5. Any correspondence you have relating to the offer of the Settlement Agreement or the termination of your employment.

More information will be given to you when you contact us to book your appointment.

What should I do next?
Please contact our employment department and speak to our head of department Camille Renaudon on 01270 215117 to discuss further. Alternatively, you can contact us here.

We can arrange an appointment for you at a time and location to suit you and we have offices across South Cheshire and North Shropshire.

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of clients would recommend us