Lincs Law Employment Solicitors, specialist employment lawyers, solicitors and barristers in Lincoln. Free employment law advice, no obligation.

Settlement Agreements

What is a Settlement Agreement?

A Settlement Agreement (formally known as a Compromise Agreement) is a legally binding contract between you and your employer. Usually, in a Settlement Agreement the employer will offer compensation to an employee in exchange for that employee giving up their employment and agreeing not to bring any claims against the employer. There can be a number of variations and sometimes an employee may agree to take a different job or move to a different location; however there will be a bargain or exchange between the Employer and Employee in the Settlement Agreement.

Whilst a Settlement Agreement may appear to be a normal contract, due to the inequality of the relationship between an employer and an employee, there are a number of additional legal requirements which must be observed before it can become binding and be enforced (if necessary) by the parties signing it. One of those requirements is that the employee must receive independent legal advice before signing the Settlement Agreement. Often the solicitor will have to sign a declaration with the Settlement Agreement confirming they have given such advice and that the Employee fully understands the consequences of signing.

It is likely that if you sign a Settlement Agreement you will lose your job and/or be losing your right to take action against your employer. In addition, the Settlement Agreement may contain clauses which prevent you from working in a particular area or in a particular industry. The consequences of signing a Settlement Agreement are potentially life changing. Whilst this may be a positive step for you and you may be happy to sign, you must make sure you understand the terms of the Settlement Agreement. In any event, you are obliged to take legal advice before you sign the Settlement Agreement and you should make sure you take full advantage of that advice and require your solicitor to go through the contract with you thoroughly.

If you wish to discuss your Settlement Agreement, please contact Lincoln based LincsLaw Solicitors for a free, no obligation discussion.

How much do LincsLaw Solicitors charge to advise on a Settlement Agreement?

If you have been offered a Settlement Agreement (previously called a Compromise Agreement) by your employer, you must obtain independent legal advice before signing. Our Fixed Fees depend upon the Employment Solicitor you chose to instruct.

Employment Law SpecialistExperienceFixed Fee Consultation
Director, Employment Law Solicitor15 years plus post qualification experience£420 (£350 plus VAT)
Associate, Employment law Solicitor5 years plus post qualification experience£360 (£300 plus VAT)
Employment Law SolicitorUp to 5 years post qualification experience£300 (£250 plus VAT)

The convention (although it is not a requirement) is that your employer will pay our fees for advising you. The amount your employer is willing to contribute is usually set out within the Settlement Agreement itself.

The Settlement Agreement Fixed Fee includes your choice of a telephone, video or face to face appointment of unlimited duration where your Employment Solicitor will:-

  • discuss the circumstances of your situation;
  • advise you in respect of your Settlement Agreement;
  • draw to your attention any potential Employment Tribunal claims being settled; and,
  • in the event you choose not to sign the Settlement Agreement, provide an estimate of fees for any additional work. This will include a discussion of possible funding options;
  • alternatively, if you do decide to sign the Settlement Agreement, arrange for the return of your signed document to your employer; and,
  • confirm their advice in full and in writing so you have a comprehensive record of your discussions

We put no time limit on your appointment as we understand the decision to sign a Settlement Agreement is important and has potentially life changing consequences. Put simply, we are happy for your appointment to take as long as you need so that you can make an informed decision.

For most people, a Settlement Agreement is dealt with at the first appointment and no further assistance is required. However, the reason we take the time to discuss the circumstances which led to you being offered a Settlement Agreement is so we can advise as to the “deal” deal being offered. If you are not being properly compensated, we will advise you fully on the alternatives available to you.

If you need help with your Settlement Agreement, please call us on 01522 440512, use our webchat, send on email to enquiries@lincslaw.co.uk or use the contact form on this website.

What happens if I decide not to sign my Settlement Agreement?

If you instruct LincsLaw Solicitors, we will meet with you to discuss the background of your situation and to advise you on the consequences of signing your Settlement Agreement (previously called a Compromise Agreement). It is important that you understand you are under no obligation to sign the Settlement Agreement. The decision whether to sign should only be made once you have been given full legal advice and you are able to make an informed choice.

For some people, their decision about their Settlement Agreement is straightforward. For example you could have volunteered for redundancy, and are receiving a more generous payment than you would otherwise in exchange for signing the Settlement Agreement. Alternatively, you could be in dispute with your employer and have already negotiated a compensation payment you are happy with.

In both the above scenarios you can benefit from the advice of your solicitor to determine the value of the redundancy or compensation you would have received without the Settlement Agreement (and therefore you can understand clearly what benefits you are gaining by signing). Also, your solicitor can advise on any "extras" in the Settlement Agreement such as restrictive covenants or strange payment arrangements.

For some clients the situation is not straightforward. You may have been given a Settlement Agreement without warning by your employer and are struggling to come to terms with the shock of such an offer being made to you. If you have been offered a Settlement Agreement in those circumstances, you need to make sure the solicitor giving you advice fully explains all your options and enables you to make an informed decision.

What will actually happen depends on your personal circumstances. However, those employees who are advised about their Settlement Agreements by LincsLaw Solicitors Solicitors are given clear advice about their choices.

If you wish to discuss your Settlement Agreement, please contact Lincoln based LincsLaw Solicitors for a free, no obligation discussion.

Is the compensation payment my employer is offering in my Settlement Agreement a fair amount?

If you instruct LincsLaw Solicitors, we will meet with you to discuss the background of your situation and to advise you on the consequences of signing your Settlement Agreement (previously called a Compromise Agreement). As part of our discussion, we will consider the compensation being offered by your employer against your personal circumstances.

Through our years of experience we have seen the full gambit of Settlement Agreements (formally Compromise Agreements). For some clients, compensation payments have been generous and we have been able to show the client a clear advantage in signing the Settlement Agreement. For others we have had no hesitation in advising them not to sign as they were only being offered payments they already had a right to received through their statutory rights or their contract of employment. In those circumstances, there was no advantage to them in signing away their employment rights and giving up their job. Other clients have had different personal priorities, for example they may be more worried about being released from a restrictive covenant than a compensation payment.

In summary, whether the compensation payment offered to you under a Settlement Agreement is fair will depend on your employment circumstances, your personal circumstances and your personal priorities which is why we take the time to go through the full background of the situation with our clients before advising them on their Settlement Agreement.

If you wish to discuss your Settlement Agreement, please contact Lincoln based LincsLaw Solicitors for a free, no obligation discussion.

Do I have to meet with you to advise on my Settlement Agreement?

At LincsLaw Solicitors we take our responsibilities to advise you on your Settlement Agreement (formally called a Compromise Agreement) seriously. The consequences of signing a Settlement Agreement are potentially life changing. Even if you are happy about leaving your employment and/or the compensation you receiving, there are still discussions needed about the full terms of the binding contract you are signing.

In our experience, when drafting Settlement Agreements employers seek to protect themselves against all claims, competition and publicity in respect of their employees. Therefore, there are often a number of ways an employee could find themselves unwittingly in breach of the Settlement Agreement (and therefore negate the employer’s obligation to pay compensation) if they are not advised fully and properly about the terms.

We consider the best way of advising you is for us to sit down together to get the full background of your situation. We can then go through the Settlement Agreement and make sure you know exactly what you are signing. We are flexible with our appointments and can usually arrange a time and location to suit you.

If you wish to discuss your Settlement Agreement, please contact Lincoln based LincsLaw Solicitors for a free, no obligation discussion.

Where can I meet with you to advise on my Settlement Agreement?

If you would like a face to face meeting, we would be happy to meet with you at our offices at Greetwell Place, Lime Kiln Way, Lincoln LN2 4US.

For those clients who would prefer, we are happy to conduct meetings and appointments by video link or telephone.

If you would like to arrange a meeting or appointment, please call us on 01522 440512, use our online chat or fill out the contact form on this website.

Can I arrange an appointment at the weekend for you to advise on my Settlement Agreement?

LincsLaw Solicitors Solicitors is open from 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Friday and 9.30am to 12.00noon on Saturdays. We would be happy to meet with you during those hours. Saturday morning appointments are extremely popular so please book early to avoid disappointment.

If the opening times above are not convenient for you, we can usually arrange an appointment to suit your availability. If you wish to discuss your Settlement Agreement, please contact Lincoln based LincsLaw Solicitors for a free, no obligation discussion.

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