Legal Advice and Charges
In order for the settlement agreement to be legally binding the employee must seek independent advice on its terms. Generally, this advice is obtained from an employment lawyer but it can sometimes also be obtained from your union representative.
It is usual practice for the advisor to sign a form or a certificate confirming that the advice has been given. In particular, the advisor must confirm that they have a policy of insurance that covers the risk of a claim for negligent advice being made by an employee they have advised.
It is common practice for an employer to contribute towards an employee’s legal fees. However, it is not a legal requirement. The contribution normally ranges from a minimum of £250 to £1,000 plus VAT. This can, however, varies from case to case. We normally give price ranges depending on the complexity of the agreement and these are £250-500 for a basic agreement £500-750 for a more complicated matter and £750 + if more protracted negotiations are required. All prices are subject to a VAT charge.
We always try to quote a fixed fee wherever possible and at the initial meeting ( which can be either in person or by telephone) we will review the settlement agreement terms including the cost contribution and if the contribution is inadequate we will always attempt to seek an increase from your employer first. Only in the event that your employer will not increase its contribution will the additional fees be charged to you. You will always be aware of the charge rates and costs prior to an invoice being raised.