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Settlement Agreements for employees and executives

Leaving an organisation with a Settlement Agreement requires more than a handshake.

It’s important to make sure that you are protected, your rights are respected and the financials stack up in a reasonable settlement agreement. It’s critical you know what you are signing.

At Menzies Law, we are experts in negotiating and advising on settlement agreements and exit packages. If your employer has asked you to agree a settlement agreement, or you wish to try to negotiate one for yourself, let our expert employment lawyers help.   You can be assured of robust, frank and independent advice on your options, an explanation of your rights and guidance through what you might be able to demand in your particular situation.

Our experience matters

We’re different to most other solicitors’ firms that advise employees on settlement agreements.  We are all senior specialists who spend much of our time advising large employers.  We know how employers think and operate, and how to most effectively negotiate with them on your behalf.  We know the bargaining angles and how to most effectively help you get what you want.

Naturally we’ve advised on a huge number of settlements in our careers. We work quickly to deliver an agreement tailored to your exact needs, situation and organisation. Our advisers have had excellent success ensuring that executives and employees get the fairest deal available.

Unless you’ve accepted a settlement agreement before, you’re likely to have a host of questions.  We hope to answer the frequently asked ones here – as well as in the paragraphs below.

Premium service

As you would expect, given our very specialist work, we offer employee clients a genuinely comprehensive, fully compliant service for settlement agreement advice compared to many other law firms.

Non-specialist firms will often just provide you with the ‘basics’ – explaining to you merely what the terms of a settlement agreement mean.  Larger firms often advise only very senior individuals, with a hefty price tag. If you choose us you get far more.  You can expect;

  • what the terms of the offered settlement agreement mean and how they will effect you
  • any aspects of the agreement that appear too harsh or too restrictive upon you
  • any other aspects of the agreement that we recommend you should push back on or ask to negotiate on
  • your range of options and the potential scope of movement in terms of negotiating a better deal for you

Beyond the above, we often going on to provide assistance and/or representation in negotiating changes to the settlement agreement terms for clients.

Our Costs

This premium service is reflected in our pricing.  From June 1 2024 Our minimum fee is £650 + VAT.  That provides you with up to 2 hours’ initial assistance from one of our solicitors, which can often be enough to cover all the work – if there are no substantial changes that you wish to go back and ask your employer for.   If that 2 hours is not sufficient to complete the work to your requirements, we will be happy to continue helping you at our hourly rates for this type of work (these vary depending on who is advising you).

 

If your settlement agreement is a ‘double’ agreement (i.e. it requires you to sign a second agreement at a later date) then our minimum fee is £850 + VAT, reflecting the greater amount of work required.

We will provide you with a guide to the likely total fees for our advice and assistance, which will depend on how much we do for you, how complex the settlement agreement is and how much you wish us to help you negotiate.

Employer’s contribution towards fees

It is standard for your employer to offer a substantial contribution towards the cost of you obtaining legal advice on the terms of any settlement agreement deal, as a tax-free benefit.  Currently, the normal amount that employers tend to offer is £500-600 + VAT.  Helpfully, the Employment Appeal Tribunal issued a judgment in 2019 confirming that £500 + VAT is the reasonable minimum that an employer should offer.  However that amount is increasingly out-of-date as it does not reflect current advice rates.

We have a very strong track record in persuading employers to increase their contribution to cover all of your costs in taking settlement agreement advice from us.  We suggest you should see your employer’s proposal on this aspect as simply a starting point, which we can help to increase.

No settlement agreement offered yet?

If you wish to negotiate a departure from an organisation but have not yet had those discussions with your employer – or are in a dispute – then you have come to the right place. Speak to us about your options and how we can help move things forward.

 

Exits for Senior Executives

When the time comes to leave an organisation – perhaps one you’ve played an integral role in shaping or growing – it can be challenging making sure your interests are protected. Additionally, senior exits come with a range of specific clauses, for example around restrictive covenants or share options.

When you find yourself faced with a request to leave an organisation, or you want feel an exit is the only option, it can often feel that your employer holds all the cards. They may employ experienced HR professionals, backed up by an intimidating law firm.  That’s why you need the best advice and support available.

We’ve spent years working for individuals at the top of their organisations and careers.  Equally, with our work in industry advising large employers, we can predict the tactics and approaches you’re likely to face from your employer.  When you involve us in negotiating an exit, your employer will sit up and listen.  Our reputation is well known by HR teams and other law firms across the UK.  Bringing us in on your side will make it clear that you expect to achieve a decent exit deal and won’t be pushed around.

You’ll not only find our advice clear, direct and supportive, our extensive experience of contract law, pay & reward, employment tribunal claims ensures you get the very best advice and the best deal possible.  Although we do not advise on pensions, shares or similar benefits we can refer you to professionals who can assist.

How we help you

The advice and support of our expert senior employment lawyers will:

  • Help you create an exit plan, with emphasis on a dignified exit for yourself
  • Interpret and explain all the terms of your employment contract and their implications
  • Provide you with realistic expectations and benchmarks as to what you could reasonably achieve in an exit negotiation
  • Allow you to position yourself as strongly as possible in your negotiations
  • Assist you in achieving the best financial outcome
  • Help you negotiate and understand any settlement agreement
  • Also advise you on any restrictions there may be on your future activities from your employment contract and any settlement agreement

 

Our recent work has included:

  • Improving CEO’s exit package by 5 times the original financial offer (Country CEO of Global Tech business).
  • Negotiating the lifting of restrictive covenants on behalf of a recruitment director following an acrimonious dispute with his employer (International Search & Selection organisation).
  • Negotiating the exit of a senior executive following long term bullying by the MD. Achieved significant financial package including a substantial injury to feelings award (high profile hotel group).
  • Acting for an HR Director who was constructively dismissed. Achieved significant compensation for sexual harassment and PTSD as part of her complex exit negotiations.

When you involve us in negotiating an exit, your employer will sit up and listen.  Our reputation is well known by HR teams and other law firms across the UK.  Bringing us in on your side will make it clear that you expect to achieve a decent exit deal and won’t be pushed around.  Get in touch to get us on your side.

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