Settlement Agreements

It is a statutory requirement for Settlement (previously known as Compromise) Agreements that the employee has independent advice from a relevant legal adviser prior to signing the Agreement.  The reason for this is that when you sign a Settlement Agreement you are giving up your legal rights in connection with your employment and the termination of your employment.  Because the Agreement is not binding without the employee receiving this advice, it is customary for employers to bear part, if not all, of the employee’s legal costs in connection with obtaining the necessary advice.

Sometimes the terms of the Settlement Agreement are fair or even generous and you just need to be sure the Agreement is properly drafted and to understand its effect.  In other cases, the offer might be completely unreasonable or partially acceptable, but in need of some amendment.  It may be that your financial entitlements have not been fully honoured or you may wish to negotiate over other terms such as a reference, shares or stock options, bonuses or commissions.

If you are asked to sign a Settlement Agreement it can be a distressing experience or it may come as a welcome relief.  It may even give you a golden opportunity you’ve been hoping for.  Whatever the circumstances, it is likely to be a life-changing decision and as with any major decision in your life, you will want know that the advice you are receiving is the very best possible advice.

Choosing the right Adviser

Any Solicitor (and some other lawyers) can act as a relevant legal adviser, so how do you choose the right adviser for you? Our advice is:

  • Only use a Solicitor that genuinely specializes in employment law
  • Check that the Firm handles all aspects of employment law and not just the signing of Settlement Agreements
  • Avoid at all costs Firms who tell you to drop off your Agreement and pick it up later without actually having a consultation with a Solicitor
  • Be wary of Firms or Companies that offer to charge only what your employer is offering to pay, regardless of the sum or what work is to be done
  • Be wary of specialist Settlement Agreement companies where your matter is handled by a claims handler and someone completely different gives you statutory advice at the end of the process
  • Be wary of Firms or Companies that guarantee to get you more money or you do not pay
  • Make sure that the charging policy of your chosen adviser is clear from the outset
  • Try to identify on your first enquiry exactly who will be advising you on your Settlement Agreements and whether they will be handling the whole matter for you.  This should enable you to check the level of expertise of your adviser and the service you can expect.

Our Service to You

With Bulfin & Co’s designated Settlement Agreement service, you can be sure that you are being advised by specialist employment lawyers who deal with nothing but employment law and who are experienced in advising on Settlement Agreements.

We handle Settlement Agreements on a daily basis so we believe we can really call ourselves experts and we can give you the benefit of our knowledge and experience to get the best possible outcome for you.  We may even have already advised employees working for your company but we will treat your circumstances individually and with total confidence.

When you book your appointment you will be told who will be advising you and if negotiations are required that same person will either undertake them for you, or guide you through the process if you prefer to deal with your employer direct.  We do not pass your matter outside the Firm if it involves more than straightforward advice and we never rubber stamp.

Our charging policy on Settlement Agreements is clear and will be explained to you from the outset and you will remain completely in control of costs. We aim to turn round all Settlement Agreements quickly and efficiently, but without ever compromising on service.

See our Settlement Agreement FAQ’s for more information.

Your Settlement Agreement appointment

Settlement Agreement appointments are available at either of our offices or can be conducted over the telephone.  Call us for an appointment on 0208 866 0044.

When you come for your appointment we will need to see your Settlement Agreement, your contract of employment, if available, and any relevant correspondence or other documentation from your employer.  If you have booked a telephone consultation you will need to email these to us ahead of the appointment.

Please also bring along your passport or driving license plus a recent (three months or less) utility bill or bank statement showing your name and address.