Five things to ask your solicitor about your settlement agreement
It pays to make sure you’ve got the right solicitor to advise you on a settlement agreement. After all, signing a settlement agreement is a big decision. Once its completed there’s no going back. So make sure you get the best advice from an experienced specialist employment solicitor.
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Here are five questions you might want to ask a solicitor in your first telephone call.
Do you specialise in employment law?
If you walk into your local high street solicitor to get advice you might find you end up with someone who doesn’t know much if anything about employment law. You might find they normally do personal injury or commercial company disputes, which isn’t really what you need.
It’s a really good idea to go to find a solicitor that only does employment law, or at least spends most of the time Employment law is a specialist area.
How long have you specialised in employment law?
Some law firms will allocate a very inexperienced solicitor in the team to advise employees with settlement agreements. Make sure the solicitor is sufficiently experienced.
How much will you charge?
It is usual for employers to contribute towards an employee getting legal advice on a settlement agreement.
If you are happy with the deal and just need advice on the agreement wording and its meaning, tell this to your solicitor early on and ask how much it will cost for this advice. Some solicitors might agree to fix their costs at the level your employer is prepared to contribute.
If you need advice on a potential claim, your solicitor may be willing to fix his costs for reviewing the papers and advising on this. Ask!
Can we go over the settlement agreement on the phone, Skype or face-to-face?
At the end of the day this is all about convenience and service.
Many employees are happy to go over the agreement on the phone. It’s quick and efficient. These firms are often specialist in settlement agreements. Some solicitors facilitate video calls via Skype.
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, 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.