As it is a legal requirement that you take legal advice from a lawyer or settlement agreement solicitor, 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.  It is important that everyone, irrespective of means, should be able to access high-quality advice from an experienced solicitor.

Like most solicitors we charge by the hour, so the employer’s contribution will normally cover reviewing the agreement with you which typically costs around £500 plus VAT.

As such, our policy is to charge no more than your employer is prepared to pay to advise you on the terms and effect of the settlement agreement.*

Fees are usually between £400 to £750 plus VAT for a straightforward settlement agreement and we expect that this fee will be met by your employer.

If you agree to instruct us to negotiate the package or change the terms to benefit you, we will discuss and agree in advance whether there would be any additional fees payable and give you an idea of these figures. In many cases, for minor amendments, we will merely invoice your employer.

More complex matters can take longer and cost more, particularly those which require us 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, we will ask for the employer to increase their contribution to try and cover this shortfall when we ask for the other amendments.

Other more favourable terms we can negotiate for you include an agreed reference or a better reference, an enhanced financial sum, a longer period before employment ends, 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 settlement agreement to protect you.

We 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 settlement agreement 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. 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 ours as if you do not get any benefit you pay nothing! So you have nothing to lose – get in contact today.