Settlement Agreement Solicitors Based in the UK

  • Signed and returned the same day
  • Your legal fees paid by your employer
  • We negotiate an average 25-50% on initial offer

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If you have been given or offered a settlement agreement, finding the right solicitor and getting the correct advice is crucial. 

Same-Day Sign Off

Our solicitors can review agreements the same day they’re received. The entire process can be completed within seven days, depending on how your employer responds.

Legal Costs Promise

Pay nothing for settlement agreement advice, a review and a signature. Additional fees would be made clear to you if we negotiate on your behalf.

Negotiation Services

If you wish to negotiate your compensation then we can help. On average, we obtain an increase of between 25 and 50% over and above the opening offer.

Same day settlement agreement solicitors

Same day settlement agreement solicitors

If no negotiation is necessary, our solicitors can review settlement agreements on the same day they're received.

For over 10 years, our solicitors have been helping employees who have been offered settlement agreements either due to disputes or redundancies.

We understand that you want to move on with your life as soon as possible. That's why we're here to help process your settlement agreement as fast as possible so you can do just that.

We successfully deal with settlement agreements for clients across the UK, every single day of the week.

Settlement agreement solicitor fees

Settlement agreement solicitor fees

Most clients come to us concerned they'll end up with a huge legal bill to pay.

Our fees are covered by your employer. Unless you want us to negotiate further on your behalf, there is no fee for you to to pay for our advice or having your settlement agreement signed and processed. Your employer will cover those legal costs.

Our senior solicitors can help you to negotiate the terms and the amount of compensation if needed. However, we'd only negotiate an agreement on your behalf if we felt confident we could achieve a positive result for you.

Help with negotiation

Negotiating a settlement agreement

On average, DPH Legal’s settlement agreement solicitors can achieve an additional 25% to 50% increase in compensation based on your employers initial offer.

Although our settlement agreement process is fast, its completion will be subject to your employer’s responsiveness. 

We'll ensure that your settlement agreement will not negatively impact your future and we look forward to helping you achieve an outcome that allows you to move on positively with your life.

Complete your agreement in 6 easy steps

1: Start

Start by clicking "Start process", calling us or requesting a callback from us.

2: Upload / Send

If you have an agreement, you can upload it or attach it and send it via email.

3: We'll Advise

We'll look over your agreement and provide you with legal advice on the same day.

4: You Sign

Once you're happy with your employers terms, simply sign and return it to us.

5: We Liase

We'll speak with your employer on your behalf to seek closure that same day.

6: Complete

Receive your completed agreement and be able to get on with your life.

DPH Legal have many independent, verified client reviews on 3 trusted review portals

Thomas

I used DPH Legal for a very complex employment law problem. Before contacting DPH Legal I had shopped around but didn't feel comfortable with other firms who didn't seem interested and were pretty unresponsive.

From the start, Sarah was supportive and helpful and clearly knew her stuff. This put me at ease right away. Even though my issues were complicated Sarah explained things in simple terms and seemed completely unfazed by the very aggressive approach taken by the other party. I was glad to have her on my side and this really took the stress out of the situation. Sarah was polite and responsive and a real safe pair of hands.

Overall, very happy with the service and outcome.


Testimonial from Review Solicitors - 24.11.2021

William C

It was with some shock that after 22 years of service and high performance, I found myself facing the prospect of redundancy via a settlement agreement. 

I contacted DPH Legal and my case was taken by John McConkey. He talked me through every stage of the process in plain English and proved to be invaluable with his help, guidance and advice.

During what was a very traumatic time for me, John was able to get me to assess the situation without emotion getting in the way, which proved vital. Perhaps most importantly, he was able to negotiate a final settlement that was substantially more than the initial offer.

For this I will always be grateful and I consider John a credit to his profession. Needless to say, I would not hesitate to recommend this company to anyone.

Testimonial take from Trust Pilot - 11.012.2018

Ian C Panting

I can't thank Farideh enough, for all her valid advice and support in obtaining a successful 'Settlement Agreement' for me, from my company. Farideh was very informative and always available to explain and act on the necessary advice and guidance I needed in this case.

Her documentation issued to the company was very detailed and showed that Farideh had taken time to look into the issues I faced regarding my dispute and claim against my company, which eventually provided a favourable outcome.

My thanks to Farideh professionalism and efficiency, in achieving this efficient and favourable outcome.

Testimonial from Review Solicitors - 31.01.2022

What is a settlement agreement?

A settlement agreement is a legally binding document that's voluntarily signed by two parties, an employer and an employee. A settlement agreement was formerly called a compromise agreement up until July 2013.

When an employer wishes to end an employment contract, they'll typically offer a settlement agreement. This is so that there is a clear, amicable break between the two parties with no opportunity for the employee to make a future claim against the employer at a employment tribunal.

Signing the settlement agreement effectively waives the employee’s rights to make such a claim in exchange for financial compensation commonly referred to as a severance payment.

In order for the settlement agreement to be legally valid, it must be signed by a qualified employment solicitor.

If an employee has been offered a settlement agreement, it is recommended to have it checked over by a solicitor for its legal implications. They will ensure whether the employer’s offer is fair, if an increased compensation payout could be negotiated or if there are any signs of discrimination.


Negotiating your settlement agreement

Individuals will require legal advice for the purposes of negotiating a settlement agreement. 

The legal advisor's responsibility is to advise you whether or not the sums of money set out within the agreement are sufficient or alternatively, whether you should consider negotiating.

This will depend on a number of factors including your length of service and the merit in any legal claims which may have arisen from the termination of your employment or the offer of the settlement agreement.

The settlement agreement will have been provided to you as a template document and it can be negotiated by your solicitor.

Templates

The solicitor whom you instruct for advice on your settlement agreement will be familiar with the templates which apply.

The template will include various standard terms including a waiver requiring you to waive your right to all claims arising from your employment or its termination. 

The template will also typically contain provisions related to payments to be made to you including notice pay, holiday pay and often a tax-free settlement sum.

The template settlement agreement will also include a tax indemnity which details the tax implications for you of the payments to be made under the agreement.

Tax implications

Your solicitor should advise you on the tax implications of the payments to be made to you. If there is an emolument i.e. a contractual payment namely notice pay or salary or bonus payments, then the tax implications for those payments are that they will ordinarily be paid through the payroll. 

In other words, less deductions for tax and National Insurance. If there is an ex gratia payment, i.e., a termination payment up to the value of £30,000 then on the face of it, the tax implications for that payment are that it may be made to you tax-free. 

It is necessary for you to consider whether or not the sums of money to be paid to you, having factored in the tax implications of your settlement agreement, are sufficient to encourage you to waive your rights to pursue a claim in the Employment Tribunal. 


Employment tribunal

Your legal adviser will advise you whether or not you should accept the sums of money offered in your settlement agreement or alternatively, consider whether or not to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal

There are a number of claims which may be brought in the Employment Tribunal, but the most common of these for those individuals who have been employed for in excess of two years is an unfair dismissal claim against your employer.

Unfair dismissal

Unfair dismissal is a claim that may be brought against your employer in the event that you have accrued in excess of two continuous years’ service. 

This claim is a statutory claim whereby you argue that your dismissal was outside of the bounds of reasonable responses or unfair. 

In the event that it is deemed your dismissal has been unfair, an Employment Tribunal may award you damages equal to the sums of money that you have lost arising from that dismissal subject to a limit of twelve months’ salary or the statutory limit. 

Although there is a statutory limit which applies to claims of unfair dismissal, there is no statutory limit which applies to claims of discrimination.

Discrimination

There are many different forms of discrimination which can arise from your employment or its termination and the subsequent offer of a settlement agreement. 

These include sex, race, religion or belief, age and/or disability discrimination. In all of these cases, it is possible to recover a sum which is not subject to any limit for your loss of salary together with an additional sum for injury to feelings. 

Discrimination can arise from acts or omissions which occur during your employment or alternatively, the termination of your employment may be discriminatory. For example, if you were terminated for the reason of your under performance or alternatively, if your termination for redundancy was discriminatory.

Redundancy

Individuals who are made redundant by their employers are often offered the opportunity to accept voluntary redundancy. In this case with many employers, it becomes standard practice to offer voluntary redundancy to individuals who are subject to a settlement agreement. 

Often with a voluntary redundancy, an individual will be offered a sum which is in excess of the statutory minimum payments to encourage them to accept the settlement agreement on offer. 

In the event individuals are not happy with the process being followed pursuant to their redundancy or not happy with any matter arising in relation to their employment, an individual is entitled to issue a formal grievance. 

Grievances

Employees who have concerns about any matter arising in relation to their employment or its termination are permitted to raise a formal grievance. 

The ACAS code of practice governing workplace disputes explains that when an employee raises a formal complaint in writing, this triggers a process for all employers to follow.  

The process includes meeting with the individual, investigating their grievance concerns and writing to them with a formal response. 

Individuals have the right to appeal against the grievance decision in the event that they are unhappy with it.  Where individuals remain unhappy due to a flawed grievance process or a failure to properly address their formal complaint, constructive dismissal is an option for those individuals. 

Constructive dismissal

Constructive dismissal is a type of unfair dismissal. In this case, an employee is not formally dismissed by their employer, but rather they resign due to the poor behaviours of their employer. 

Typically, individuals will raise a formal grievance prior to resigning, but a constructive unfair dismissal claim is a type of unfair dismissal and as such, the compensation that can be awarded relates both to the individual’s actual loss of salary as well as a basic award equivalent to statutory redundancy pay. 

There are calculations which can be applied to determine what a likely unfair dismissal award may be. 

How much could I get from my settlement agreement?

Often, individuals are concerned about what they are being offered in their settlement agreement and what they may get through a Tribunal. 

Individuals are also concerned about what is a good, fair offer as compensation for any potential claim which may have arisen. 

It is straightforward to calculate a basic award in unfair dismissal terms or statutory redundancy. This relates to the individual’s length of service and their age and is subject to statutory maximum weekly payments. 

It is important to seek legal advice to calculate how much you may get or what is a good or a bad offer pursuant to a settlement agreement. 

This may vary depending on the type of dismissal. For example, if you are being dismissed for performance reasons, the sums of money which are on offer may be different from those if you are being subject to a voluntary redundancy situation.

Constructive dismissal

Constructive dismissal is a type of unfair dismissal. In this case, an employee is not formally dismissed by their employer, but rather they resign due to the poor behaviours of their employer. 

Typically, individuals will raise a formal grievance prior to resigning, but a constructive unfair dismissal claim is a type of unfair dismissal and as such, the compensation that can be awarded relates both to the individual’s actual loss of salary as well as a basic award equivalent to statutory redundancy pay. 

There are calculations which can be applied to determine what a likely unfair dismissal award may be. 

Voluntary redundancy

A voluntary redundancy is a situation where an individual is offered a sum of money to accept voluntary redundancy. 

The reason why this sum of money could sometimes exceed the bare minimum statutory redundancy on offer is that employers want individuals to accept voluntary redundancy so that they understand there will be no challenge through the Employment Tribunal. 

A voluntary redundancy often contains an ex gratia payment which can be a sum in excess of any contractual payment entitlements up to a maximum of £30,000 may be paid in this way tax free. 

Settlement agreements are often used for voluntary redundancy situations to avoid the need to go through a formal redundancy process. Individuals who are employed by numerous employers may have gone through several settlement agreement processes and may also be familiar with the previous term used to describe them, namely, compromise agreements.

Compromise agreement

Compromise agreement is the former term used to describe a settlement agreement. 

These documents are used where individuals are being asked by their employer to waive their entitlement to pursue claims in the Employment Tribunal. 

These are used as a means to agree an amicable exit of an individual’s employment and to ensure that all circumstances surrounding that exit are dealt with, for example confidentiality undertakings and references to be provided to prospective employers. 

Settlement agreements, formally known as compromise agreements, are used in all sorts of situations, for example, commonly in relation to redundancies as well as conduct dismissals but also where there is a performance review.

Performance review

Where individuals are being subject to a performance improvement plan (PIP) or a performance review, it is commonplace for employers to consider offering a settlement agreement. 

The reason for this is that performance improvement plans, or performance reviews are long winded processes and often take some time to conclude. 

One option for employers and employees to avoid the need to go through a painful performance review process is to consider the early resolution of this via a settlement agreement. 

Quite often, employers will threaten performance review processes and alongside this, consider protected conversations about an early exit via a settlement agreement. 

Protected conversations

A protected conversation is a conversation which takes place during which both parties agree that the conversation should remain off the record. 

These processes can take place during a performance process or other types of process during which an employee may be under threat of dismissal. 

A protected conversation allows an employer and an employee to speak freely about the ways in which the situation may be managed as an alternative to a formal dismissal process. 

Protected conversations can include the offer of termination payments with a view to agreeing an early exit for the individual as well as all circumstances surrounding a settlement agreement including confidentiality undertaking and agreed forms of wording for a reference.

Getting an agreed reference

It is commonplace for a settlement agreement to include wording to be agreed in relation to a reference to be provided to prospective employers and/or agents. 

This provides an employee with some comfort about what their employer may say about them to prospective employers, even though a dispute has occurred. 

It is important for individuals to notify their legal representative if they are keen to ensure that an agreed form of wording for a reference is included within their settlement agreement. 

These are often included within a schedule to the agreement, and these provide some security for individuals who will then know what their employer is likely to say about them if asked by a prospective employer. 

Reference clauses can be included within their agreement together with remaining clauses dealing with financial payments including payments in respect of holiday pay and the employee’s notice period. 

Notice period

The notice period is what is set out generally within an employee’s contract of employment. 

An employee is entitled to a statutory minimum notice period which is one weeks’ notice per year they have been employed up to a maximum of twelve weeks’ notice. 

The contractual notice period i.e., the period set out in the contract of employment, may exceed the statutory minimum sum. 

There may also be a provision within the contract of employment or settlement agreement which allows the notice period to be paid to the individual so that they are not required to work this. 

Alternatively, individuals may be required to remain on notice but not required to attend work and this is known as a garden leave clause. 

Garden leave

Garden leave provisions are often contained within more senior contracts of employment for directors or other senior personnel. 

The reason for these clauses is that it allows an employer to ensure that an individual remains away from work but remains effectively employed by the company and is on leave during their notice period. 

This provides the employer with additional security in relation to the individual’s activities during this period because there are more onerous obligations owed by individuals who remain on garden leave rather than those who have been paid in lieu of notice. 

Quite often those individuals during garden leave are required to sign a settlement agreement providing a waiver of claims arising from their employment or its termination. 

Waiver of claims

All settlement agreements include a waiver of claims. These claims include most commonly wrongful dismissal which is a failure to provide notice and unfair dismissal which is an unreasonable termination of employment. 

All forms of discrimination are also waived in accordance with a settlement agreement as well as some of the less common claims including whistleblowing.

Whistleblowing

Whistleblowing is a claim whereby an individual claims that they have raised a protected disclosure about wrongdoing of the company and subsequently suffered a detriment.  

In this case, individuals may have raised issues related to criminal acts or other unlawful acts and their employer may then have treated them less favourably, including but not limited to dismissing them. 

Quite often when individuals raise whistleblowing allegations, employers are keen to resolve those amicably and therefore, they enter a legally binding agreement/contract.

A legally binding contact or agreement

A settlement agreement is a legally binding agreement/contract between an individual and their employer. 

These agreements include confirmation of all the circumstances surrounding the employee’s termination of employment including the payments to be made to him or her, together with a waiver in relation to any potential claims arising at the Employment Tribunal. 

They include numerous different clauses including clauses related to termination payments to be made and payments in lieu of notice (PILON).

Payment in lieu of notice (PILON)

A PILON is a payment in lieu of notice provision. These provisions often are included within employment contracts and can be reflected within a settlement agreement. 

If there is a payment in lieu of notice provision within a contract of employment and this is effected by the employer, then the sums of money paid under the payment in lieu of notice provision are subject to deductions for tax and National Insurance. 

A payment in lieu of notice provision may be paid in numerous circumstances including redundancies as well as performance improvement processes (PIPs).

Performance improvement plans (PIPs)

Performance improvement plans are processes that an employer is required to follow where an individual has been underperforming. 

These are the most long-winded forms of dismissal and often result in employers offering individuals settlement agreements as an alternative to concluding the process. 

Performance improvement plans often take upwards of six months to reach their conclusion and it is expected that there are a series of warnings including a verbal warning, written warning and final written warning prior to a dismissal being effected. 

Any failure in relation to a performance improvement plan to follow a due process will give rise to a claim. 

Without prejudice

Without prejudice is another form of wording to describe a protected conversation. This means off the record and a conversation which without prejudice may be had concerning a settlement agreement alongside a performance improvement plan or a redundancy process. 

Without prejudice conversations may be had in various different situations arising in relation to employment including but not limited to redundancy processes or TUPE.

TUPE - transfer of undertaking (Protection of employment)

TUPE is the Transfer of Undertakings (protection of employment) Regulations 2006. 

This applies in a situation where one business purchases another or where there is outsourcing of one service by one entity to another. 

In this situation employees have the right to transfer with their terms and conditions protected and the right not to be unfairly dismissed as a result of a TUPE transfer. There are specific provisions related to pensions pursuant to TUPE transfer.

Pensions

Pensions are an important consideration when individuals are signing a settlement agreement. 

If individuals have a final salary scheme or a money purchase scheme, they should explain full details in relation to these to their legal adviser and their legal adviser providing advice on the terms of the settlement agreement, need to advise them accordingly. 

It is important that individuals receive their due benefits in accordance with their pension. 

It is also important to note that settlement agreements cannot require individuals to waive their right to accrued pension rights i.e., the monies paid into pension schemes whilst they have been employed are protected. 

In addition to provisions related to pension schemes, there are also provisions quite often related to restrictive covenants.

Restrictive covenants

Restrictive covenants are clauses which are also known as post termination covenants, and these protect a business from an employee who is intending to compete with the business after the employment is terminated. 

These provisions are only enforceable so long as they are deemed to be reasonable. 

It is common for employers to include reference to post termination restrictions or restrictive covenants within a settlement agreement with a view to ensuring that there is a better chance that these will be enforced should there be a breach through the courts. 

In the event of a breach, an employer is entitled to pursue a claim in the High Court for an injunction which prevents the individual from breaching the provision i.e., competing with that company and/or damages and/or an account of profits i.e., monies arising from any breach which has occurred. 

In addition to post termination covenants, a settlement agreement contains numerous provisions related to the waiver of claims arising from one’s employment or its termination including a number of different types of discrimination claims including racial and/or sexual harassment.

Sexual harassment

Sexual harassment is a claim where an individual argues that they have been subject to less favourable treatment from a colleague for reason linked to their sex. 

Sexual harassment claims can give rise to significant sums of money for injury to feelings if they are successful through the Employment Tribunal. 

Settlement agreements will require individuals to waive any type of discrimination claim including age, sex, sexuality and/or disability and these claims include claims related to harassment. 

Harassment on any one of the prohibited grounds, be it sexual harassment, racial harassment or any other type of harassment related to a prohibited ground amounts to direct discrimination. 

Discrimination claims to the Employment Tribunal give rise to a claim for unlimited damages for loss of salary, together with a sum for the individual’s injury to feelings.