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Welcome to settlement agreement solicitor, the dedicated website of specialist employment solicitor, Sarah King of Excello Law Ltd.
Sarah King is part of a large employment law team who specialise in settlement agreements.
She is a solicitor with 15 years’ experience of advising on settlement agreements (formerly called compromise agreements) and tribunals.
A settlement agreement (formerly compromise agreement) is a contract offered to you by your employer under which it is normal that you exit the business in exchange for an agreed package and not take them to tribunal.
A settlement agreement used to be called a compromise agreement so you may have heard of this phrase instead.
It is a requirement that you have legal advice on the agreement from a solicitor in order for it to be valid. Certain trade union representatives can also give legal advice.
I can provide that advice to you as your settlement agreement solicitor.
Your employer makes a contribution to the legal fees enabling you to take this advice. So contact me your settlement agreement solicitor, or use this website to find out more.
There are many other settlement agreement lawyers out there.
How do you know which settlement agreement solicitor would be best placed to help?
☑ an expert in employment law;
☑ have experience of advising on these settlement agreements;
☑ have a proven track record for adding value and getting a better deal agreed for you from the contract.
I tick all these boxes. Any solicitor can explain the contract to you term by term but it is important that the final package agreed represents a fair deal to you in the circumstances.
If you sign you cannot bring an employment tribunal claim against your employer so you need to ensure that the contract offered is the best option. To provide you with advice on a contract such as a settlement agreement, I use my experience in employment law, tribunals and negotiating for my clients to get the best package.
“I really really appreciate how reliable, available, and efficient you have been through this process, especially at a time of the year when you were also an annual leave.
It has been a difficult situation for me and a great relief to know you were working on my case and by my side, with my best interest in mind at all times, also making sure the legal fees wouldn’t impact me too much financially.
I am satisfied with the outcome and very grateful for your great work ... I feel very lucky to have found you.”
As it is a legal requirement that you take legal advice from a lawyer or settlement agreement solicitor such as me, it is normal (almost exclusively) for your employer to pay a contribution towards legal fees (normally around £500 plus VAT) for getting advice from a settlement agreement solicitor.
Like most solicitors I charge by the hour, so the employer’s contribution will normally cover reviewing the agreement with you and requesting any minor amendments which typically costs around £350-£500 plus VAT.
More complex matters can take longer and cost more particularly those which require me to review additional documents such as share options schemes, contracts etc. If there are a number of amendments to be made and negotiations on the amount you are to receive or the tax treatment of payments, then costs will exceed this and can exceed the employer’s contribution. In these cases, I will ask for the employer to increase their contribution to try and cover this shortfall when I ask for the other amendments. .
It is standard for settlement agreements to contract to pay £500 plus VAT as your contribution to legal advice. In 99% of cases I have been able to get a better deal for my client. This could be an agreed reference, an enhanced financial sum, a longer period before employment end, avoiding issues later of underpaid tax, a release from your contractual restrictions preventing you from working for a competitor or just better wording in the contract to protect you.
I guarantee that if you sign the same settlement agreement which is not changed from your first appointment then you will not be charged more than the employer’s agreed contribution to your legal fees.*
*subject to the usual £500 plus VAT contribution being provided in the first instance by your employer.
You can therefore negotiate the contract with confidence that if none of the changes requested are agreed and you sign the same settlement agreement you will not face a large legal bill. You can be assured that the additional gains you have benefited from will not then all be spent on legal fees as this is part of my guarantee but getting that extra £2000 or £5000 may cost you an extra £250 plus VAT for example. It is rare unless the matter is very complex and negotiations protracted for the legal fees to exceed £2,000 plus VAT regardless of who pays them and this is even in the cases where I have secured employees’ an additional £20,000 so there is a lot of benefit to be had from negotiations. Don’t worry all this will be explained to you at the outset and it is your choice as to whether to negotiate and the risk is all mine as if you do not get any benefit you pay nothing! So you have nothing to lose – get in contact today.
"Mr J was employed by a large organisation who gave him a settlement agreement with his six months’ notice pay. We managed to resolve the tax treatment of this payment which was incorrect in the settlement agreement and would have left him open to a claw back under the tax indemnity and secure an additional £12,000 for him as compensation as well as an additional six months use of the Company car.
In this case the employee paid no personal contribution to the settlement agreement and the employer paid our fees direct."
Here is a list of questions I am often asked about settlement agreements, click on each question to find out more. Anything else you've like to know? Get in touch with me, your settlement agreement solicitor.