Finding the Right Employment Law Specialist for a Settlement Agreement

I’ve been offered a settlement agreement, now I need an employment law specialist. Help!

If you’ve been presented with a settlement agreement by your employer, it’s important that you take advice from an employment law specialist as soon as possible. Not only does the law require you to speak to an expert, it really is in your best interest to do so because once that document is signed by all parties, there’s no going back.

So, with that said, what should you be checking before you choose your employment law specialist? We reckon there are four things you should investigate to be able to pick the best expert employment solicitor for your situation.

Do they actually specialise in employment law?

You may think this sounds obvious, but many law firms will only be able to give broad advice on the subject, because they cover many areas of law. You need an expert employment solicitor. Someone who specialises in employment law and who keeps fully up to date with all the changes that are constantly going on. A specialist in employment law will know about the latest cases on the subject to ensure they are best placed to give you the advice you need.


How long have they specialised in employment law?

Some law firms, and this really is only some, will let their inexperienced employment solicitors cut their teeth on settlement agreements. It’s human nature. The longer-standing partners may prefer to work on bigger, more complex cases etc. But YOUR situation is important to you and how you move your life forward after you leave your job. You need the best advice you can get before you sign any agreement. You must, therefore, ensure you’re getting advice from someone with plenty of experience in the subject. So ask!


How much will they charge?

There are a few ifs, buts, and maybes for this question…

It is common for employers to pay a contribution towards the advice an employee gets with regard to a settlement agreement. If you’re actually happy with what’s being proposed and are simply looking for advice on how the clauses are worded etc., then the employment law specialist you’re speaking to may well agree to fix their cost… and that might be set at the level your employer will cover.

However, even if your claim is more complex, they will be able to ask your employer to increase their contribution and if they won’t you will be able to decide what legal costs you are prepared to pay. There are options, depending on your case and you should ask.


Do you have to meet them face to face?

You will find that a firm that specialises in employment law is much more prepared to go through things over the phone. This is simply because they are providing advice on a subject they are very familiar with. You need convenience, as well as good service, and they do, too. If you’ve found an employment law specialist you click with, but you can’t actually get to their office, there is no reason why they still can’t give you the advice you need over the phone.

A final word…

Don’t be afraid to ask all these questions. The situation you are in may well impact your future career so look after yourself. Ask anything you need to ask. And make sure you get the best employment law specialist for your circumstances to advise you.


What do you need from me now?

Being prepared for the consultation is really important. Your solicitor will want to see the settlement agreement itself, of course, but what about the cover letter, the sheet setting out the breakdown of payments, your employment contract or other relevant documents? By asking your solicitor early you can make sure you’re prepared and you get the most out of the session with your solicitor.


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