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redmans-blog-q&aChris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans, answers the question:

“What are the requirements for a valid settlement agreement?”

For a settlement agreement to be valid, certain conditions have to be complied with:

  1. The agreement must be in writing;
  2. The agreement must relate to a “particular complaint” or “particular proceedings” (for example, reference to an unfair dismissal claim (or other forms of claim) or a particular Employment Tribunal claim number);
  3. The employee who is entering into the settlement agreement must have received legal advice from a relevant independent adviser on the terms and effect of the proposed settlement agreement and the effect of the settlement agreement on the employee’s ability to pursue their rights before an employment tribunal;
  4. The independent adviser who is advising the employee must be covered by a contract of insurance, or professional indemnity insurance, covering the risk of a claim against them by the employee in respect of that advice;
  5. The settlement agreement must identify the relevant independent adviser; and
  6. The settlement agreement must state that the conditions regulating settlement agreements under the relevant statutory provisions (whichever apply in the circumstances) have been satisfied

Further, if the independent adviser is a solicitor then they should hold a current practicing certificate.

If one or more of the above-listed criteria are not met then the settlement agreement will not be statutorily binding and, therefore, not a valid settlement agreement.

When you discuss your settlement agreement with your adviser (whether this is a solicitor, barrister, or otherwise suitably-qualified person) you should ask them the following questions:

  1. What are the “proceedings” that are being settled under the settlement agreement? Sometimes this will be obvious, but your legal adviser should advise you on the potential claims that you have in the circumstances and, therefore, what you are settling
  2. Is your legal adviser independent on the other party or parties to the settlement agreement? This should normally be the case, as your legal adviser should carry out a conflict check prior to agreeing to advise you on your matter, but it’s worth asking anyway
  3. If your legal adviser is a solicitor, what qualifications does he hold, is he an expert in the field of employment law, and what experience does he have with settlement agreements?
  4. What is the effect of the settlement agreement on your ability to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal or any other courts?
  5. Is your legal adviser covered by a contract of insurance or, specifically, professional indemnity insurance? All solicitors should be covered by a contract of  professional indemnity insurance but it is always worth checking.
  6. Does the settlement agreement state that the conditions regulating settlement agreements under the relevant statutory provisions are satisfied?

Chris Hadrill, a specialist employment solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented: “If you want to enter into a settlement agreement to settle your employment tribunal claims then you must ensure that you get appropriate and proper legal advice, otherwise you may find that your settlement agreement is not valid or enforceable.”

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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Super helpful and efficient, trustworthy service

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efficient, responsive and effective

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Very good service

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Anonymous

I had an employment issue which required legal advice. Chris was very supportive and knowledgeable, resulting in an optimum resolution in my favour. Would definitely recommend.

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Timely professional advice!

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Very good service

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Anonymous

I was in contact with Chris and then worked with Caroline on an employment matter. I was very pleased with the service and professionalism throughout, and came away with satisfied with the outcome. Would happily recommend.

Posted 2 weeks ago

Nikki

Received advice re employment law. Chris was very helpful and advised accordingly. Would happily recommend them and if ever I need help again, will not think twice before using them.

Posted 3 weeks ago

Samantha K

Absolutely brilliant thank you. Caroline Lewis is a legend

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

The legal advice was clear and helpful.

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Davinder P

Good Service

Posted 2 months ago

Adrian V

I was using Redmans services for a Settlement Agreement. Very quick and professional service. The outcome was favourable and I was very pleased with the amendments and results. Pretty glad to recommend them for any type of legal advice.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Very responsive, efficient, clear and supportive. Thank you! Highly recommend.

Posted 2 months ago

Tiago S

Chris was always prompt to help me with legal matters that are beyond my comprehension and very helpful leasing with my former employer. I would recommend Redmans Solicitors to everyone who needs help.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Fast and professional advice tailored to what was needed. Thanks for your help Chris Hadrill and team.

Posted 2 months ago

Peter S

Really pleased with the outcome and the advice I had from Chris and Sacha.

Posted 2 months ago

Harika A

Redmans solicitor's helped me with my settlement agreement, Chris has been very helpful throughout the process.He was very prompt in his responses and made my settlement look simple.Special thanks to Caroline for her efficient communication, thorough explaination of contract terminology and negotiations.I highly reccommend Redmans solicitors for anyone seeking employment related legal help.

Posted 2 months ago