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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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I was very grateful for Redmans to treat my case with respect and discretion. At the time, I was very new to London and it was meaningful to have someone on my side and win the case for me. Without any doubt, I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors to anyone who is in need of it.

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Chris is very professional and calm. Very attentive and patient, been a positive experience having Chris represent me, and would recommend him.

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Anonymous

Excellent service. It was a pleasure to work with Chris H, who is brilliant at what he does and very efficient. Their Senior Associate Rana T. is also very knowledgeable and resolves any queries speedily and efficiently. My issue could unfortunately not be resolved, but that was due to my employer and not the firm. Redmans however did all they could. I would definitely recommend them.

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Anonymous

Very pleasant and quick to deal with. Mnay thanks.

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Owen J

Very helpful, efficient service.

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Anonymous

I am very lucky that I worked with Mr. Chris Hadrill and he managed my case very progressively with an analytical approach and trustfully. Of course with a very positive result. I strongly recommend Mr. Hadrill to any one seeking for a successful result from a highly qualified solicitor.

Posted 3 months ago

Kulbir S

Amazing, quick friendly service from Chris from the start and Caroline. They made me feel at ease during a difficult time, they understood and advised accordingly and I am really happy with the outcome of my case. Will always advise anyone who needs legal advice to contact Redmans, I’m so glad that I did and can confidently say I don’t think any other firm could have handled my case any better. Well done guys, wish you all the best and please keep doing what your doing, simply the best!

Posted 3 months ago

Mark A

Excellent service - rapid and “to the point” advice given to ensure meeting the target time frame

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Chris Hadrill kept me sane during the negotiations with my employer. He was courteous professional and he cared about doing the best he could for me. I will use Redmans again if ever I need an employment solicitor. Excellent service.

Posted 3 months ago

Muhammad Z

Awesome services. Professionals at their best .

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Thanks for the advice and for negotiating a good outcome. Good to have the support at a very stressful time

Posted 3 months ago

Chloe F

My solicitor at Redmans was very helpful and efficient. Really pleased with the smooth service.

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

Chris was absolutely excellent. Clear and concise, offering sound advice.

Posted 3 months ago

Tim O

Experienced and competent advisors

Posted 3 months ago

Rachel A

Quick and expert assistance. I would highly recommend Chris for any of your legal needs.

Posted 3 months ago

Joe S

I was very happy with the service provided by Chris and the team at Redmans Solicitors. I felt very comfortable discussing all matters with Chris and am very grateful for all the help and guidance I was given throughout the whole process. I would definitely recommend Redmans Solicitors to friends and family!

Posted 3 months ago

Anonymous

I had a very good experience working with Chris Hadrill during a difficult and emotional time. This held true from the moment I spoke to him on the phone, to the end of the process. Overall, he was attentive, professional and highly supportive. He provided sound advice and clarity. It was the reviews that led me to Redmans! I was very happy to know they were all true. I highly recommend working with Redmans Solicitors. Thank-you to the entire team!

Posted 4 months ago

Anonymous

Good service

Posted 4 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent professional service. Highly recommend.

Posted 4 months ago

Rob O

Very prompt response and I could not fault the service. My solicitor listened carefully to the details of my case and I felt very confident in the advice I was offered. All emails and work done on my behalf with my former employer was of the highest standard and Redmans helped take a lot of the stress out of the situation for me.

Posted 4 months ago