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How Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor, represented a client in settlement agreement negotiations and secured the client £30,000 tax-free ex-gratia compensation and a reference.


Sam (not her real name) had worked as the head of a department for a large construction firm for five years and took a period of maternity leave in June 2015, intending to take a year’s maternity leave and return in June 2016. In Sam’s absence one of her team members, Mark (not his real name), was appointed to provide maternity cover for her position.

In December 2015 Sam decided that she’d like to return to work early and emailed the Human Resources department at her employer to ask whether she could do so. There was a meeting with Human Resources in January 2016 and at this meeting an early return to work was discussed, as was the possibility of Sam returning to work on a flexible working pattern.

In early February 2016 Sam spoke to Anna (not her real name), a colleague of hers. Anna informed Sam that she had heard that Sam was returning to work but not as the head of her department. Sam found this a shock. The next day a member of the Human Resources team emailed Sam to inform her that she was being offered the chance to return to work but not as the head of the department, and was offered a new role in a new team. Sam emailed back to inform Human Resources that she didn’t believe the post she was being offered was suitable as it involved an effective demotion and a reduction in her responsibilities.

Sam then spoke to her line manager in mid-February 2016 in a telephone conversation. In this telephone conversation Sam was informed that her line manager would prefer Mark to undertake the position he had been covering from Sam on a permanent basis and confirmed that Sam would not be returning to her previous position as head of department. A meeting was then held between Sam and her line manager in which Sam was informed that she would not be returning to her position as head of department and that Mark would take over her job.

What we did

When Sam contacted the employment team in our Richmond office she was anxious and stressed. Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, handled Sam’s matter.

Chris explained to Sam that her employer’s actions constituted pregnancy and maternity discrimination and a breach of Regulation 18(3) of the Maternity and Paternity Leave Regulations 1999. He also informed Sam that she may have a potential claim for constructive dismissal (as well as automatic unfair dismissal) and that she should send a formal grievance letter to her employers to set out her complaints.

Chris helped Sam draft a formal grievance letter setting out her complaints and also drafted a ‘without prejudice’ letter to the company setting out what her potential claims against the organisation were and that Sam required the payment of her notice in lieu, a reference, and a tax-free £30,000 sum to settle her claims.

The result

Sam’s employer agreed to settle her claims and pay her a sum in respect of her notice, a £30,000 tax-free ex-gratia payment, and provide prospective employers with an agreed reference in the future. Sam’s employer also agreed to cover the entirety of her legal fees and to make an agreed announcement as to why Sam had left the organisation.


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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4.77 Average

205 Reviews

Gary P

All good advice, prompt and efficient

Posted 3 weeks ago


Excellent advice and customer service.

Posted 1 month ago

Aneet G

I would definitely recommend Redmans. Very impressed with service provided. They were extremely proactive in handling my case which made things easier for me. Provided sound advice and resolution. Special credit for this goes to Chris who dealt with my case with great determination and consideration.

Posted 2 months ago

Fern M

Very efficient and friendly

Posted 2 months ago

Neville S

A professional and friendly service, which I would highly recommend.

Posted 2 months ago

Daniel T

Extremely helpful and made a bad situation much more manageable. Where other solicitors seemed disinterested in my situation Redmans immediately made me feel like it was a team effort to achieve a more favourable outcome

Posted 2 months ago

Paul T

Excellent, quick and informative. Chris was a real star and gave me confidence during the uncertainty if a redundancy settlement.

Posted 2 months ago

Marina E

Felt in very capable hands was listened to and given excellent advice. Would not hesitate to recomend and use again if needed.

Posted 2 months ago

Rosa B

Fabulous service all round.

Posted 2 months ago


Redmans were quick to respond to my enquiry and dealt with my case professionally and personably. I received sound advice and was put at ease by Chris Hadrill, Partner.

Posted 2 months ago

Alkhas K

Excellent service.

Posted 2 months ago

Mathias G

Contacted them regarding my end of employment agreement. Chris Hadrill dealt with it and was done and handed back to employer same day more than happy with there service.

Posted 3 months ago

Mark W

Most professional from start to finish offering very a personal service. Most impressive and quick when dealing with the matters in hand.

Posted 4 months ago


Posted 4 months ago


I am very glad I came across Redmans Solicitors. Fantastic service!

Posted 4 months ago


Fantastic communication, always happy to answer queries, highly recommended.

Posted 4 months ago

Wavenie B

They were very straight to the point, friendly and understanding people. I felt they had my best interest. They were easy to get hold of, replies were almost instant. 5/5 for customer service

Posted 4 months ago

Christina P

Caroline was fantastic to work with - extremely knowledgeable, supportive, thorough and honest. I definitely recommend Redmans!

Posted 4 months ago


Very well done and fast support. Professional and reliable. Highly recommended!

Posted 4 months ago

Helene L

They were very knowledgable in the respected area in terms of change in law/regulations that is crucial for the clients who are seeking for legal arvice.

Posted 4 months ago

Sara R

Very helpful and wonderful advice

Posted 4 months ago