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If you’ve been offered a settlement agreement by your employer then you will need to obtain specialist legal advice from an independent legal adviser (for example, a solicitor) – if you’re not told to do this or you don’t seek advice then any settlement agreement that you sign will not be binding or valid. You’re therefore faced with a problem: how do I know which solicitor to instruct to advise me?

In this article Chris Hadrill examines what you may wish to consider when seeking to instruct a solicitor to advise you on your settlement agreement

  1. Decide what your objectives from the negotiations are
  2. Speak to your friends – can they recommend any solicitors to advise on the settlement agreement?
  3. Make sure you instruct a specialist employment solicitor
  4. Speak to the solicitor to check whether you’re happy with them
  5. Check the reviews for the solicitor online
  6. Check what fees the solicitor will charge for advising on the settlement agreement
  7. Ask what experience the firm of solicitors has with negotiating settlement agreements
  8. Check how quickly the solicitors will be able to complete the advice on the settlement agreement for you

Decide what your objectives from the negotiations are

Before you speak to a solicitor, make sure that you have an idea as to what you’re seeking to achieve from the settlement agreement negotiations: are you solely seeking to increase the financial terms of the agreement or do you have other objectives (such as, for example, improving your reference or strengthening the confidentiality terms in the agreement).

Speak to your friends – can they recommend any solicitors to advise on the settlement agreement?

Speak to your friends who have either gone through a settlement agreement process in the past or have instructed a specialist employment solicitor for another reason – if they have any experience with employment lawyers then they’ll probably be able to recommend a lawyer to assist you, and you’ll have the benefit of knowing that a friend of yours trusts (or doesn’t trust) a particular solicitor. This experience can be invaluable in selecting a solicitor.

Make sure you instruct a specialist employment solicitor

You wouldn’t ask an electrician to do your plumbing, and you don’t want a probate lawyer advising you on your settlement agreement – a specialist employment solicitor will have the knowledge and experience to be able to instantly identify the strengths and weaknesses of your particular situation, and to create a suitable negotiation strategy.

Speak to the solicitor to check whether you’re happy with them

Take the solicitor for a test ride – see if you can speak to the solicitor you’re thinking about instructing on the telephone; most solicitors will be happy to have a 10 to 20 minute chat on the telephone with you to explore your matter, ask questions about your particular situation, and answer any questions that you have. You should be able to get a good feel during this telephone call as to whether you’d be happy to instruct the solicitor to work on your matter.

Check the reviews for the solicitor online

A new and quite important factor – online reviews will give you an idea as to whether other people who have instructed the firm were happy (or not) with the services they received, and can be useful in conjunction with obtaining personal recommendations from friends (see above).

Check what fees the solicitor will charge for advising on the settlement agreement

Your employer will normally cover a particular financial contribution in respect of the fees for the advice on your settlement agreement (this fee contribution is normally in the range of £250 plus VAT to £750 plus VAT, but can be more depending on the circumstances). Speak to the solicitor you’re thinking of instructing and see whether they think the fee contribution offered by your employer will cover the fees for the advice in your matter – it is often the case that the solicitor will be able to limit their fees to the contribution your employer is willing to offer, which should give you peace of mind.

Ask what experience the firm of solicitors has with negotiating settlement agreements

This is a critical issue – you want to instruct a team of specialists to help you with your matter to get the best possible result for you. Scout out who works for the firm, what work the firm does, what experience each solicitor has, and make a conclusion as to whether the firm you’re seeking to instruct has the necessary experience and expertise to assist with your matter.

Check how quickly the solicitors will be able to complete the advice on the settlement agreement for you

The employer will sometimes set strict deadlines for the completion of the settlement agreement, so make sure that the solicitors you’re thinking of instructing can do the work in the time period specified.

About

Redmans Employment Team deal with employment matters for both employers and employees, including drafting employment contracts and policies, advising employers and employees on compromise agreements, handling day-to-day HR issues, advising on restructures, and handling Employment Tribunal cases for both employers and employees Call 020 3397 3603 to speak to one of the members of our employment team or email us on enquiries@redmans.co.uk. Redmans have offices in Richmond, Chiswick, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kingston, Wimbledon, Ealing, Kings Cross and Marylebone (meetings strictly by appointment only).

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Testimonials

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Anonymous

I requested Redmans services on a redundancy case. Both Chris and Rana were great, thoughtful, very professional and responded quickly. They were very clear throughout the entire process, regarding the process and my options and I couldn't feel I had better legal advice for my case. Overall excellent service and I would certainly recommend and use their services again.

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Anonymous

Responsive, patient, thorough and personable - an excellent service.

Posted 5 days ago

Anonymous

The team at Redmans, Chris Hadrill and Sacha Barrett were always very helpful and had expert knowledge to assist me during my employment law matter, I would not hesitate to recommend them to all!

Posted 5 days ago

Arun T

Chris was punctual, attentive and accurate. He answered my questions with clarity and avoided dubiosity. I would recommend him to anyone seeking legal advice within his remit.

Posted 6 days ago

Yulian Z

Great service

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Anonymous

Excellent, professional service and a speedy resolution. Many thanks

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Taral P

Sacha and Chris were both very helpful in closing out my matter. Sacha was very clear in helping me understanding the documents I needed reviewing, providing a professional service throughout.

Posted 6 days ago

Anonymous

Really pleased with the swift and professional service from Redmans. They provided very clear advice and helped conclude my matter with the minimum of stress or delay.

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Matthew L

Redmans were very quick to respond to my initial enquiry, and provided me with a very effective and efficient service, generating a most satisfactory outcome. I would definitely use them again if the need arose.

Posted 6 days ago

Anonymous

First rate service. Warm and friendly whilst exceptionally efficient at the same time. I would highly recommend them.

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Anonymous

Professional and helpful. Thorough and supportive.

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Richard A

Excellent service, prompt replies, great advice

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Very professional services

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Margaret

Redmans Solicitors took a lot of the worry away and were very thoughtful and meticulous in their dealings with my case , thank you very mush , great service and a great job

Posted 1 month ago

Mark B

Prompt efficient service. Hourly, and part thereof, billing got a bit stressful at times - as opposed to flat fee - made me think twice about sending an email or making a quick call when I had a query because it would have eaten up minutes from my budget. But happy with the legal service I received overall and would recommend.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

Chris Hadrill has provided a truly wonderful service and was willing to lend his support and expertise at a time when other solicitors, only wanted to discuss their fees! A clear thinking and down to earth professional, Chris can be trusted to listen carefully to your matter, cut through the fog, and advise you on the best (and most realistic) way forward, saving you time, money and heartache. It will be helpful if you first get your ducks in a row in terms of documents / evidence etc. and then contact Chris, (that’s what we did) as this will help your matter to be dealt with faster. The more organised and together you are the more successful you will be. You'll be fine with Chris, I highly recommend him. Good luck!

Posted 1 month ago

Richard v

Excellent Service

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Anonymous

Very happy from service received. Highly recommend

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Colin W

Very professional and thorough. Sachs who dealt with the bulk of my case was excellent Thank you. .

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Anonymous

I was generally impressed with the fast turn around, efficiency, responsiveness, and consideration of circumstances. I needed a couple of areas of advice quickly and with Redmans help was able to get to a conclusion quickly and with minimum stress. They were friendly and professional throughout - I'd use them again.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

The guidance and assistance I recently received when using Redman's was fantastic. Caroline & Chris were both very informative and understanding walking me through each step. Thank you.

Posted 2 months ago