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ELP Arbuthnott McClanachan’s employment law solicitors are specialists in Settlement Agreements.
Many people will never have heard of a Settlement Agreement, but they are one of the most important legal contracts relating to employment law. Our Employment Law Practice, with offices in West and East Edinburgh, deals with Settlement Agreements on a daily basis. Until 2013 Settlement Agreements were called Compromise Agreements. Many employers still refer to Compromise Agreements, and while they are extinct going forward the typical content of a Settlement Agreement is almost identical to that of the old Compromise Agreement.
It is crucial that employees and employers receive proper informed advice in relation to Settlement Agreements because their effect is so fundamental. For example, an employee who signs a Settlement Agreement without proper advice can find that they can no longer pursue a valuable claim which would have been preferable to the deal that they have been offered. The employee can also find that they have signed up to restrictions in a Settlement Agreement which are far wider that the employer should be able to insist on. Employees can often find that had they taken advice from an employment law specialist they would have known to negotiate on the amount and/or terms of the employer’s offer rather than simply accept the offer made.
From the employer’s perspective, while there are many templates of Settlement Agreements available, some offer more protection than others. We believe it is important that every Settlement Agreement is tailored to meet the needs of the individual case. These will be different depending on the kinds of claims that the employee may have, the kind of job that the employee had, and whether or not there are more complicated matters to consider such as confidentiality, future competition and protection of the business, and sums owed by the employee to the employer. Most importantly, if the Settlement Agreement is not properly drafted then it may not achieve what it is meant to, namely a clean break between the parties with no ongoing dispute.
Settlement Agreements are most commonly used to record a legal agreement between an employer and employee on the terms relating to the termination of the employment or the settlement of a claim. This can follow upon a dispute in the workplace, a redundancy situation, an employment tribunal claim, or a simple personality clash or difference in opinion on the future. Settlement Agreements will tend to narrate that the employer will offer the employee certain sums of money (which can include salary, benefits, notice pay, redundancy pay, compensation for loss of employment, and ex gratia or non-contractual payments), and other no monetary benefits such as an employment reference, in exchange for the employee agreeing not to pursue the employer for employment related claims. The kinds of employment law claims which employees will be asked to waive in Settlement Agreements will include unfair dismissal, wrongful dismissal, redundancy pay, discrimination and breach of contract. Employees will not normally be asked to waive future claims unrelated to their employment, claims in respect of accrued pension rights, and claims for latent personal injuries the basis for which the employee is not aware of at the time of signing.
While the provisions of a Settlement Agreement can be relatively standard, there are aspects of Settlement Agreements which must be considered very carefully. The tax position can often in reality be less favourable to the employee than was anticipated. Some restrictive covenant clauses can have the effect of preventing the employee from working in their industry for a significant period. Some repayment clauses can create an obligation on the employee to repay the Settlement Agreement monies when this would not be appropriate. Some clauses can be drafted so widely in favour of an employer that they are actually unenforceable and therefore harmful rather than helpful.
ELP Arbuthnott McClanachan advise employees and employers in relation to all aspects of Settlement Agreements. We recommend to our clients that they contact us at the earliest possible stage. Our experienced employment lawyers can advise on when a Settlement Agreement would be recommended, and how the possibility of a Settlement Agreement can be raised by an employee or employer without prejudicing the client’s position. This can include holding a “without prejudice” discussion. Because our Employment Law Practice acts for employees and employers and represents them in Employment Tribunal claims, we are able to advise on what would be a fair and reasonable settlement figure, and we can negotiate effectively on behalf of our clients to achieve the best possible result. Of course, it can be the case that our client has already arrived at a deal that they are happy with before we become involved, and we can simply assist with the finalisation of the paperwork if that is required.
You can meet with one of our employment law solicitors in relation to a Settlement Agreement in either of our Edinburgh offices in the West and East of Edinburgh. Our clients can also instruct us remotely if they cannot travel to our offices. We are fully aware that the conclusion of Settlement Agreements can be very urgent for both employees and employers, and we will be happy to prioritise matters where required.
I use ELP to manage conveyancing on investment properties and some of these purchases can be complex and tedious and take time to resolve. Throughout this process the staff are approachable and friendly and the service is always efficient and effective. I continue to recommend ELP to family and friends.
We have used ELP Solicitors everytime we have bought and sold property (three times now!). From the very early stages of initial meetings and photographs right through to completion we always felt that they were handling our affairs with care and attention. Lisbeth-Ann was great at making all aspects of the Conveyancing process clear and easy for us to understand. They were quick to answer any questions or concerns we had and we felt that they always had our interests at heart. We would highly recommend them for their professional service and friendly approachable manner.
Bob, thank you for guiding us through what turned out to be a relatively stress-free experience – much credit goes to you & your team.
We have been using the services of ELP, especially their employment law advice service for employers, for more than 3 years. The reason we chose ELP is previous firms of lawyers we used were very aloof and did not offer practical guidance. We have a great relationship with them and trust Duncan’s advice implicitly. The reason for this is he knows our business and understands our style of management. This is invaluable when you are dealing with staff issues. The advice given is straight forward and to the point. ELP have also helped us develop our staff handbook and other procedures that are relevant to our company over the years.
I’ve turned to ELP for advice and support on a range of legal matters and have found them to be friendly, fast and efficient. A lot of people are intimidated by solicitors but ELP go out of their way to make legal support easy and accessible.
Legal advice in Scotland at its best!
I cannot praise ELP highly enough for the excellent advice and service that they have given to me over the last three years. I arrived with a complex legal problem. With patience, good humour and fantastic attention to legal detail, Barbara Watson unravelled this complex set of facts, keeping me informed of progress every step of the way, and arrived at a solution that kept everyone happy. And all of this at a very reasonable fee.
I highly recommend this firm – I will certainly be using them for all of my legal needs in Scotland.
Bob, a huge thank you for all your help and advice through my house buying journey! You made it much easier than I had feared and I am extremely grateful.
We are a firm of Consulting Engineers with 30 staff. Over the years we have used the services of Duncan McFadzean of ELP on a number of occasions. As well as advising us on updating our Conditions of Employment to keep us up to date with the ever changing legislation we have also used his services in connection with redundancy and disciplinary matters. The advice we have been given has always been excellent. It is a great comfort to us to have this level of professional support readily available at the end of the phone.
A highly efficient service from the team at ELP. Took the stress out of buying our property.
I own a cleaning business in Edinburgh and use ELP for advice on matters such as staff contracts, client contracts, and any dispute situations. I am very impressed by the advice which I receive. They are always able to help me with large and small pieces of work, and the approach they take is clear and aimed at achieving quick solutions. My first language is Polish, so while I am also fluent in English I appreciate the fact that ELP will always make arrangements to meet with me to talk matters through face to face when required. I would definitely recommend ELP to business owners and individuals who need legal advice.
We are a medium sized law firm which does not have a department specialising in employment law matters. We have used ELP in relation to any employment law input we require as a firm. We have also referred a number of our clients to ELP for advice on such matters as we value the expert knowledge and quality service that Duncan McFadzean and his team provide. It is of paramount importance to us that both our own and our clients’ affairs are dealt with in a confidential and sensitive manner, and we know that we can rely on ELP for this. We would not hesitate to recommend ELP to either employers or employees who need advice in the employment law field.
I am a disabled person, and was dismissed from my work. It was claimed that I did not perform the work to the required speed, and I felt that this was disability discrimination. I asked ELP to represent me in the Employment Tribunal process. I was correctly and informatively advised by ELP, and achieved the best option in resolution.
I recently used E.L.P. when I sold a bungalow and purchased a flat. I was very impressed with the level of service and would have no hesitation in commending the company to future clients. Communications were efficient at all times and matters responded to very quickly. The financial transactions were all done within an hour of the completion time and my bank account credited.
It was a pleasure to do business with E.L.P.
ELP expertly guided us through the maze of disciplinary, grievance and procedural issues of employment law, so that we felt fully prepared with realistic expectations of the outcome. We would highly recommend the services of ELP.
It is always an absolute pleasure dealing with Lisbeth-Ann. She is always friendly and attentive whilst being professional and thorough. I would not hesitate to recommend her.
We found the service from ELP to be excellent and very efficient. From the first interview to talk thorough what we needed in the will to the actual signing was only 10 days. The whole process was explained clearly and we were encouraged to confront the very difficult and emotive issues that are involved in drawing up a will to ensure that all eventualities were covered and our wishes respected.
We deal with digital distribution of music. We wanted to use a law firm who were good at what they do but who also had a modern and friendly approach that would suit our kind of business. We have used ELP to frame our employment contracts and employment policies, which are well drafted and tailored to suit and protect our business. We are also able to call them when anything legal comes up in the business that we need some guidance on, whether it be staffing issues or anything else. This is probably the best part of the service we receive – ELP are always happy to help, and we can speak to them as business advisers as well as employment lawyers. We would definitely recommend ELP to any business needing employment law or just general advice.
I would like to express my gratitude towards you for the professional, courteous, efficient, and helpful manner in which you conducted yourself within the business of dealing with myself and the sale of my property. You are a credit to yourself and the people that you represent.
We are a small Edinburgh based Holiday accommodation letting and management agency. When we recently realized that we needed to formalize employment contracts for our staff. We asked advice from colleagues friends and family and ELP were recommended to us . We have found them to be very helpful and friendly and would gladly recommend them to any one requiring help and advice regarding employment law.
My wife and I used ELP to update our wills which was done in a highly efficient, friendly and prompt manner. I would recommend highly ELP to anyone wanting to do the same thing.
Barbara has been absolutely fantastic in drawing up our wills. She was the perfect combination of understanding our requirements alongside challenging our thinking to ensure we now have much more robust plans in place for our estate. It has given us both peace of mind knowing things are in order and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her services and that of ELP.
Catherine, thanks for making everything so easy and stress free! Thank you!
The combination of services offered was ideal when we established our new office in Scotland. ELP provided us with concise employment contracts and excellent support during the lease negotiation for our office. Professionalism combined with a transparent service and price model – a brilliant solution for us.
We are a firm of Chartered Surveyors operating in Edinburgh and the surrounding areas and on two occasions during the course of the last year required help in relation to Employment Legislation.
In the first instance, we were looking to employ a Chartered Surveyor from a company which had gone into voluntary liquidation and sought advice from ELP prior to proceeding due to concerns in relation to matters such as restrictive covenants. That advice was well explained on a sound basis, delivered timeously and enabled us to proceed with the employment of that person.
Following his employment we took the opportunity of reviewing our Contracts of Employment and to that end, ELP provided an excellent service in that regard. In what appears to be a constantly changing working environment, ELP provided us in the first instance with a standard Contract of Employment which we jointly reviewed taking into account the nature of our business and business practices and produced a document to the satisfaction of both employer and employees. The service provided by ELP was first class in terms of efficiency, consideration of options and attention to detail.
We propose to continue our relationship with ELP in the years to come in relation to employment issues as it has become quite clear that such services from a competent organisation are invaluable in the present working environment.
This was our first time buying a property, and we were extremely nervous, but Lisbeth-Ann and the team held our hands and stepped us through each stage of the process; from advising how much to offer, to helping with a mortgage problem, to ensuring the smooth exchange of contracts and keys. We always felt like we were welcome to call at any time, and when Lisbeth-Ann took a short holiday part way through the process, her colleague Barbara picked our case up seamlessly and with no hassle. We would certainly recommend ELP’s services to anyone thinking of buying a property for the first time, and will happily use them again in the future.
I just wanted to thank you for your professional service you provided me during what is a very difficult time for me. Your experience, diligence and knowledge have resulted in a larger settlement of which I am very grateful . I also appreciated your patience and understanding of my situation. I would have no hesitation in recommending your services to others.
I cannot thank ELP Arbuthnott McClanachan’s dedicated solicitors enough for the advice, support and speedy resolution they secured for me when I was informed of my impending redundancy. At that difficult time, their advice gave me strength, their expertise gave me belief and their professionalism secured a satisfactory outcome for me and my family.
Dear Bob, just a little note to say a big “thank you” for all your hard work on what has been a very tricky purchase. I have really appreciated the regular communication and responsiveness.
Many thanks for all your help in finalising John’s affairs, we would have been lost without you. Again many thanks.
Bob, just a small card to say a huge THANK YOU for all your help over the past few months. It’s an over-used cliché, but we really couldn’t have done it without you!
To Catherine and her staff, a big thank you from us both for all your help and advice and very efficient, caring, prompt attention!
Late in life I found myself out of work and needing to negotiate hard with my former employers to get my rightful desserts. Duncan and the ELP team guided me every step of the way and worked hard on my behalf to a happy and successful conclusion.
Tiphereth is a medium sized Edinburgh charity, operating in the voluntary sector, offering care and work opportunities to adults with learning disabilities. We use ELP for legal advice and support in human resource issues, and for assistance in drafting letters, policies and contracts. The arrangement makes sense for us financially and is good value for money. ELP have been consistently helpful to our organisation over several years, offering clear legal advice on a wide spectrum of issues, and often doing so at very short notice.
We are a two partner law firm who do not specialise in Employment law. We have referred a number of our clients to Duncan McFadzean at ELP and those clients have always expressed their satisfaction at the work which ELP have done for them. We have also used ELP for any advice and guidance which we ourselves have required as a firm and have always found that advice to be accurate and tailored to our particular needs. ELP’s advice can be timely, cost effective and pragmatic. We have no hesitation in recommending them.
I was more than happy with the advice and representation which I received from ELP in relation to an employment tribunal dispute with my employers. From start to finish, ELP kept me up to date with any developments regarding my case during what was a stressful 6 months out of work. They also achieved a good result for me in advance of the Tribunal hearing. I would definitely recommend the firm to anyone in similar circumstances.
We used ELP for both buying and selling based on personal recommendation. They are up to date with the current state of the market and gave us good advice on what to offer so we were very happy with what we paid for our new flat. When it came to selling the photographers they used for the Home Report were excellent and very painstaking. The schedule they produced was upbeat and attractive. ELP staff gave us regular feedback on the progress of the sale and were always contactable. They offered a highly professional service while at the same time they were friendly and treated us as individuals. A very personal service.
We used ELP in 2004 to manage the purchase of our first property. More than a decade later, we were happy to use ELP Arbuthnott McClanachan again. Laura and her team provide a thoughtful, personal service that made managing the trickier parts of the conveyancing process much less stressful than they would have been otherwise. We have recommended ELP Arbuthnott McClanachan to several friends and colleagues who have been buying and selling property in Edinburgh and would not hesitate to do so again.
We provide an expert employment law service for one-off matters or ongoing support.
Employment Law, Dispute Resolution & Debt Recovery, Commercial Leases, and Business Purchases.