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Employment & Work

Settlement Agreement Solicitors

What Is A Settlement Agreement?

A settlement agreement is a contract where an employee agrees to give up any employment claims against their employer, usually in exchange for compensation.

Employers often use these agreements to lay out the terms under which an employee will leave the company. The employer may also use the agreement to protect themselves, e.g. by adding confidentiality clauses and restrictions on competition.

Employers can also use settlement agreements when an employee is staying with the company but the employer wants certainty that a dispute has been fully resolved.

Why Do Employers Use Settlement Agreements?

Using a settlement agreement can often avoid formal disciplinary or redundancy procedures. This can save time and money, and also remove the risk of claims for unfair dismissal.

To prevent employment law claims, an agreement has to meet certain requirements. It has to be in writing and the employee must get independent legal advice on what the agreement means from a qualifying legal adviser, such as a member of our team.

How Can We Help Employees?

Your employer will usually offer to draft a settlement agreement. We can help you negotiate to ensure the terms are fair. This could include:

  • Compensation or redundancy payments
  • Confidentiality
  • An obligation not to make negative comments about you
  • An agreed reference

We have one of the biggest employment law teams in the UK, with offices across the country. We’re experts in getting the best settlements possible for our clients, and have experience across a wide range of industries.

We regularly act for senior executives and high net worth individuals, including in complex agreements that include director duties and responsibilities.

To talk to us about a settlement agreement and how we can help, call us today on 0207 650 3875.

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Settlement Agreement Solicitors - More Information
    • When Might A Settlement Agreement Be Offered?
    • Your employer will offer you a Settlement Agreement when they want to end a contract on terms that are beneficial for both of you. This is usually because they want to avoid a drawn-out process such as a performance review or the redundancy process.

      If you have already raised an issue or grievance with your employer, they may use a Settlement Agreement to avoid you making a claim.

      Contact a member of our team today to find out more about how we can help.

    • What Are The Benefits Of A Settlement Agreement?
    • There are many benefits to signing a Settlement Agreement rather than bringing a claim in the employment tribunal. These include:

      • Settlement Agreements allow you to settle a dispute out of court, prior to a public hearing. There would be no judgement published on a public register.
      • If the Agreement includes a compensation payment, you would receive the full amount (this is not always the case if you receive compensation following a successful judgement)
      • The terms of the deal are confidential.
      • You and your employer can agree to other terms that a judge has no power to award, such as a positive reference, a payment of your costs, confidentiality and provisions to protect your reputation.
      • Agreements can avoid the lengthy process, stress and costs involved with a protracted formal grievance, complaint or tribunal claim.

      Once the agreement is signed by you and your employer (as well as your solicitor, if you’ve received legal advice), it becomes a legally binding contract.

      We can help you negotiate the best terms for you in your Settlement Agreement. Call us today on 0207 650 3875, or use our online form and we’ll call you back.

    • How Can Irwin Mitchell Help?
    • We can advise you on whether or not the terms you’ve been offered are typical and fair. If they’re not, we’ll help you negotiate better terms.

      If you have a potential claim in the Employment Tribunal or High Court, we’ll give you a preliminary assessment of the pros and cons of going ahead with legal proceedings rather than signing the Settlement Agreement.

      We’re tough negotiators, and you can be sure of a quick and efficient service. We can deal directly with your employer, or if you prefer, we can advise you so that you have the knowledge to negotiate directly with your employer.

      If we think the terms of the Settlement Agreement are already fair, we can sign it off after a short meeting or telephone conference.

      In many cases however, we’re able to help clients negotiate more favourable terms, including a larger compensation payment, and no or fewer restrictions on the type of work you can do following termination.

      We pride ourselves on making sure you walk away with the best possible settlement package.  We understand that these negotiations can be difficult and stressful, particularly when you are still employed with the other party, and future income and employment is uncertain.  We’re here to support you, as much or as little as you need it allow you to move on with your career.

      Contact us today on 0207 650 3875 or use our online form

    • What Terms Will The Settlement Agreement Include?
    • There are a number of terms we can include in your Settlement Agreement to address your specific needs, including:

      • How much compensation will be paid and when (including taxable amounts)
      • A list of the claims waived/settled
      • A clause about any claims that are excluded
      • An indemnity requiring you to pay tax
      • The date your employment will end
      • Return of Property and Deletion of Information
      • Confidentiality
      • Restrictive Covenants
      • Warranties
      • Obligations not to disparage
      • Agreed Reference
      • Contribution to legal costs
      • Law and Jurisdiction
      • LTIPs, share options, restricted shared, carried interest, equity
      • Bonus and the impact of good/bad leaver status

      The exact terms will depend on your circumstances and your goals. We'll be able to discuss your needs with you to secure the best terms for you. 

    • Are There Any Disadvantages To A Settlement Agreement?
    • There are some potential drawbacks to a Settlement Agreement, such as:

      • Once you have signed an Agreement, you cannot make an employment tribunal claim about any item on the Agreement.
      • If you cannot reach an agreement with your employer and are still employed, the working relationship may be affected.

      We’ll take this into account when looking at your case. If we feel a Settlement Agreement is not the right option for you, we can advise you on the best course of action instead.

    • Why Choose Irwin Mitchell?
    • Our Employment team is one of the largest in the country, with considerable experience helping clients negotiate Settlement Agreements.

      Irwin Mitchell is a full service law firm with 14 offices across the UK, and we can offer services in   England, Wales and Scotland. However, while we have teams in different regions, we also operate as a genuine national group.

      We help clients across a range of sectors and professional levels, including at executive level where arrangements can be complex and require specialist knowledge.

      We have the expertise to deal with bonus arrangements, including good and bad leaver status, carried interest, LTIPs, sweet equity, share options, restricted shares.  We can also co-ordinate our advice with our tax and pensions advisers.  We understand the importance of reputation management and ensuring that your career progresses unscathed.

      Call the team today on 0207 650 3875 or use our online form and we'll call you back. 

    • What Funding Is Available?
    • Your employer will usually contribute to your legal costs, as the Settlement Agreement is not legally binding without legal advice. In other disputes or claims, Legal Expenses Insurance may cover the costs of your claim, advice on it and negotiations. We offer competitive rates on a privately paying basis.

      Call us on 0207 650 3875 for more information.

Shah Qureshi is hugely respected for his litigation experience and is also adept at handling claims of discrimination, dismissal and whistleblowing."

Chambers & Partners, 2018

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