Welcome to Harrington Law. We’re specialist employment law solicitors.
We have a lengthy and proven track record of acting for employees and senior executives in relation to their settlement agreements.
Our offices are located in York and West Yorkshire, but the strength of our reputation means that we frequently represent individuals based in London, Leeds, Bradford, Manchester, Birmingham and throughout the UK.
If you’ve been offered a settlement agreement by your employer and/or are planning to leave your existing employment, then we can help.
We can advise you wherever you are in the UK. We do not need to see you in person.
Why use Harrington Law?
Our specialist employment law solicitors have in excess of 40 years combined legal experience. We’re skilled and effective negotiators and we’ll do our level best to turn around your settlement agreement within the expected deadline and required timeframe.
We work hard to understand your objectives in order to ensure that we obtain the best possible outcome and settlement for you.
What is a settlement agreement?
A settlement agreement (formally known as a compromise agreement) is a legally binding contract made between an employee and employee.
Settlement agreements are usually entered into when an individual’s employment has ended or where it is proposed that it should end.
In its simplest form, a settlement agreement will provide that the employee will receive certain payments and/or non-financial benefits in return for them agreeing to give up their right to bring various employment related claims (e.g. unfair dismissal, discrimination or breach of contract).
Should I enter into a Settlement Agreement with my employer?
There can be no one size fits all approach to settlement agreements. Our own experience of representing employees and senior executives tells us that entering into a settlement agreement can often lead to an outcome that is preferable to the alternative of having to issue proceedings in the employment tribunal. This is because settlement agreements can be concluded quickly, without the stress, cost and delay that is sometimes associated with employment tribunal litigation.
It’s important however to understand that employers may sometimes propose financial settlements that are too low and/or seek to insert onerous and commercially unrealistic clauses and restrictions into draft settlement agreements. It’s vital for this reason that you instruct a specialist employment law solicitor who is alert to these issues and whose expertise and experience can be relied upon to ensure that the terms of your own settlement agreement are fair and reasonable.
When are settlement agreements offered?
Settlement agreements may be offered or proposed in a number of situations. Employers sometimes propose them in connection with performance or disciplinary related issues or where an individual’s job or role is being made redundant.
Settlement agreements are often proposed against the background of an employment related dispute, but this is not always the case. Employers sometimes propose settlement agreements in the context of them wishing to make an enhanced termination payment to an individual employee in circumstances where the relationship between the parties remains on good terms.
Why do I have to take independent legal advice?
Settlement agreements are only legally enforceable and binding if the individual being asked to sign up to it has taken independent legal advice on the terms and effect of the proposed agreement and also on its effect on their ability to pursue claims in an employment tribunal.
Most settlement agreements contain a clause stating that the employer will agree to pay a capped contribution towards the cost of you taking legal advice in relation to a review of your settlement agreement. Typically, this capped fee will be between £250 and £500 plus VAT, but it can be more or less than this.
We’ll be able to confirm at an early stage whether the capped contribution towards legal fees will cover your legal costs or whether your costs are likely to be higher than that amount. Where legal fees are likely to exceed the level of your employer’s proposed contribution, we will often seek to persuade them to pay an increased amount. We are also sometimes able to enter into no-win no-fee agreements with clients in relation to their settlement agreements.
Our settlement agreement no-win no-fee arrangements operate via us taking a percentage-based fee based on the financial payment that we recover from your employer, either by way of negotiation or otherwise.
If a financial settlement has already been proposed at the time of you instructing us, then the percentage-based fee due to us will only attach to the additional sum that we are successful in obtaining for you. It will not attach to the amount that your employer initially proposed.
Please note that some cases will not be suitable for this form of fee arrangement. This might be because we have assessed that the offer you already have from your employer as being a good one, or alternatively because we believe that the risks are too high.
Please be assured however that if we’re unable to offer you a no-win no-fee, we will discuss alternative methods of funding.
We appreciate that negotiations surrounding the termination of your employment can be stressful. Our employment lawyers can help to relieve that pressure. They’ll also work closely with you in order to understand your situation and ensure that you obtain the best possible deal.
We are a specialist and niche firm of employment law solicitors. We’ve acted successfully for hundreds of employees and senior executives in York, Leeds, Bradford and throughout the UK. For more information about your own settlement agreement and a free initial telephone consultation, please contact Brian Harrington on 01484 240633 or Nathan Combes on 01904 238896 or alternatively contact us here.