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Chris Hadrill, partner in the employment department at Redmans, examines how parties to a settlement agreement may enforce the terms of a settlement agreement if they believe that there has been a breach of the agreement

Broad principles relating to enforcement

Generally, when one party has breached a settlement agreement, the other party may:

  • Seek to enforce its terms.
  • Seek damages by bringing a breach of contract claim.

If you believe that there has been a breach of your settlement agreement you should therefore consider whether you wish to seek to enforce the terms of the agreement, or whether you wish to seek damages against the other party. In respect of both types of action you will have to consider a number of factors, including, in particular, which forum you can bring the relevant claim in.

Employment Tribunal jurisdiction to enforce a settlement agreement

An Employment Tribunal only has legal jurisdiction to consider certain contractual claims which arise out of, or are outstanding at, termination of employment. An Employment Tribunal can therefore only seek to enforce settlement agreements where the settlement agreement has been entered into either prior to the employment terminating or at the same time as the employment terminated.

If the settlement agreement was entered into post-termination then the Employment Tribunal cannot enforce the agreement; a claim for enforcement must be brought in the civil courts.

How to enforce a settlement agreement

Enforcing a settlement agreement will generally involve a consideration of the following:

  1. Has there been a breach of the settlement agreement?
  2. Is it worth litigating to enforce the settlement agreement?
  3. If so, which forum should you bring the claim in?
  4. Issue the claim in the relevant forum

Has there been a breach of the settlement agreement?

If you wish to enforce your settlement agreement then you should first determine what clauses in the settlement agreement the other party has failed to implement, as the first hurdle you will have to clear is being able to persuade the court or tribunal that, on the balance of probabilities, a relevant term of the settlement agreement has been breached.

Is it worth litigating to enforce the settlement agreement?

Once you have determined which clauses have been breached, and which you therefore wish to enforce, you should consider the importance of the breach, and the cost/benefit of further litigation to enforce the agreement.

Which forum should you bring the claim in?

Should you wish to proceed to enforce the settlement agreement then you should consider which forum you wish to try and enforce the agreement in: will it be the Employment Tribunal or civil courts? (see above).

Issue the claim in the relevant forum

Once you have identified which forum to issue the claim in you must then, should you wish to enforce the settlement agreement, bring a claim in the relevant forum.

Top 5 tips for enforcing settlement agreements

  1. Check the settlement agreement and determine whether there has been a breach of the agreement
  2. Check which forum you should bring a claim to enforce the terms of the agreement in
  3. Make a decision as to whether, objectively, it is worth litigating to enforce the settlement agreement or whether your objectives can be met by other means
  4. Obtain legal advice on your situation
  5. Look to issue a claim in the relevant tribunal, if and when necessary

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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143 Reviews

Liz P

An excellent professional service was provided by Chris Hadrill and Mel Chin. Efficient and trustworthy - would highly recommend this company.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Redmans Solicitors were great. They were able to advice me quickly and efficiently! I would recommend them, as a good solicitors to use.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Extremely efficient. Mel made a difficult situation bearable and gave good clear guidance thoughout.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Anonymous

Thanks Chris and Sacha I was reassured throughout the process and a happy outcome

Posted 2 weeks ago

Edward F

Good and clear employment advice

Posted 2 weeks ago

Richard O

Chris at Redmans is my go-to legal expert when it comes to employee-related matters. His depth of knowledge, experience and considered approach to problems and their solutions is highly valuable. I cannot recommend Redmans highly enough.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Rory Y

They provide me with timely and clear advice!

Posted 3 weeks ago

Steven C

Redmans handled my settlement with my employer quickly, decisively and to a standard that I was very happy with. I would in similar circumstances contract them again

Posted 3 weeks ago

Deepthi K

Transparent. Clear communication. Prompt reply’s. Saves lot of time. Very satisfied.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Anonymous

Chris and Sacha did a fantastic job and negotiated a significant better settlement agreement

Posted 3 weeks ago

Dino D

I did get a very swift and god service from Redmans

Posted 3 weeks ago

Stephanie H

Clear, prompt, effective support from Chris which has been very much appreciated. Thank you again.

Posted 1 month ago

Anonymous

I would highly recommend Redmans Solicitors, the team were very friendly and my case was dealt with professionally and efficiently. Thank you!

Posted 2 months ago

Shane M

Very professional, welcome advice at a crucial time. Always available and reasonable cost.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

My case was relatively straight-forward. But even so, working with Redmans was easy, quick, professional & clear. Many thanks

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

The team were very helpful and answered all my questions regarding my redundancy. Initially I had a call with one of the representatives who escalated my request to a suitable employment solicitor. We arranged a call to discuss the settlement and she helped answer all my questions. We then mainly contacted through email which helped resolve the settlement quickly and convently. Thanks for all the help.

Posted 2 months ago

Djaouida T

You have good communication.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Fast and professional. A highly recommended company for employment related issues.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very professional service.

Posted 2 months ago

Brittany

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.

Posted 10 months ago

Jake L

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

Posted 11 months ago