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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

4.76 Average

172 Reviews

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.

Posted 5 days ago

David M

Very professional and first-rate advice. I would use again. With thanks,

Posted 5 days ago

Anonymous

Got the job done swiftly without going too much in to detail.

Posted 5 days ago

Derek W

Redmans dealt with my case very efficiently and I was happy with the outcome.

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Timely professional advice!

Posted 1 week ago

Anonymous

Very good service

Posted 1 week ago

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 1 week 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 2 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.

Posted 2 months ago

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

Anonymous

Good and quick service

Posted 2 months ago

Ricky D

Very satisfying to be assured of such attention and professionalism.

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Excellent service - thankyou

Posted 2 months ago

Anonymous

Efficient, timely and friendly support and advice

Posted 2 months ago