London:020 7247 7190 Manchester:0161 850 4095 Preston: 01772 369 450 Birmingham: 0121 728 6518

Client care letter – Settlement Agreement Advice

Dear Sir/Madam

Client care letter – Settlement Agreement Advice for Employees

This letter contains important information about my firm, and how we will work together and forms the basis of our contractual relationship. Any queries should please be raised before sending me any further instructions. 

  • Professional status and regulation

I am an employment law solicitor and qualified in 1993. My firm is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (“SRA”) (reference 563689). The SRA can be contacted via their website

  • Key dates

If you are thinking of bringing an employment tribunal claim, you must normally start the ACAS procedure not later than 3 months after dismissal or other act complained of.  If there is an urgent deadline for acceptance please notify me in writing of that.

  • Settlement Agreements

An employee must have independent legal advice on a Settlement Agreement. Once signed, the agreement will prevent you from bringing legal action.

I will advise you on the agreement on a ‘fixed fee’ basis. This will be the amount which your employer has agreed to indemnify for you in the Agreement (normally between £250 and £1000 plus vat depending on complexity). A condition of this is that you will give me clear and reasonable instructions and follow my advice.

Provided your employer pays my fee, you will not have to pay my invoice.

The fee covers:

  • Advice on the Settlement Agreement terms
  • Reasonable negotiations based on an initial advice (normally setting out ‘Heads of Terms’ and any counterproposal in a letter to your employer and follow on telephone calls

Please note that the ‘fixed fee’ does not cover other work such as:

  • Enforcement of the agreement against your employer
  • Chasing your employer for responses
  • Advice and assistance on associated grievances/detailed evidence
  • Actual or potential litigation
  • Scope of work/Tax/Calculations of any payments

I am advising you on the Settlement Agreement.

Unless requested, I will not be advising you on any calculations of payments. If you want to challenge your employer’s calculations please raise this at our meeting (for example, payment in lieu of notice/bonus payments etc.) I will then write to your employer for details.

I am not qualified to provide tax advice but by way of general guidance, tax is not payable on the first £30,000 of any ‘compensation’ or ‘ex gratia’ payment. Payment of certain disbursements and contributions by your employer to your pension can be tax free but you should check this with your accountant. This applies to any other methods of tax efficient payments.  

  • Benefits of Settlement Agreements

Settlements offer many advantages over legal action. The main ones are:

  • Tax efficiency (see above)
  • Avoiding legal costs (you will pay your own costs even if you succeed at a tribunal)
  • Quicker payment
  • Protection for your career and reputation
  • ‘Closure’
  • Avoiding ‘litigation risk’ and stress
  • Calculation of future losses- this depends upon how long you will be unemployed for. If you find a job quickly, then the value of your claim could be very low

If you have a potential tribunal claim, you need to assess it in light of the advantages of settlement and the risks of litigation. I can given you a general indication (only) within the fixed fee but if you are contemplating an actual case which would include a review of detailed evidence and law this would be under my normal terms and conditions.  

  • Data Protection & your documents

My firm is registered with the Information Commissioner (Reg no. PZ283123X). Data on your file will be processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. If you want any documents back, please make sure you request these when the agreement is signed.

  • Insurance & limitations on liability

My firm carries professional indemnity insurance to the maximum sum of £2 million.  It is unlikely that your claim will have a value above this upper level. By instructing my firm, you agree that the amount payable to you, in total, on any claim or linked series of claims, will not exceed the sum of £2 million. If you do not consider this amount to be adequate and require a higher limit of insurance, we may be able to purchase additional cover from our insurers, but this will be at an additional cost payable by you. You must notify me in writing if you want to discuss this.  

If a higher amount of insurance cover is required, I can refer you to larger firms or you can contact the Law Society ‘find a solicitor’ service.

Details of our compulsory professional indemnity insurance are available on written request.

  • Money Laundering

I do not normally need ‘know your client’ documentation with settlement agreements as your employer will pay you direct and costs are paid by your employer but in the unlikely event that I do I will let you know and request a copy of both:

  • Your passport or driving licence; and
  • A recent utility bill or letter from your bank/HMRC
  • Contact details

Our mainline is 020 7247 7190 and opening hours are 8:45 to 5.45pm. My mobile number is 07527 261 926 and can be used during opening hours. If you urgently need to contact me outside of these hours, please send me a text.

  • Clear and prompt instructions/documents

It is very important that I have any relevant information. This is normally, the Settlement Agreement and any relevant contractual documents or other key documents giving rise to any relevant background you might wish to discuss. If there has been a grievance or disciplinary type process, these would also be relevant.

  • Funding, legal costs & payments on account

If you do not want to accept the Settlement Offer, for example, if you wish to pursue a claim, my normal hourly rate is £300 plus vat and £30 plus vat for letters and calls. I operate on a ‘payment account’ basis. Please request my terms.

  • Client money held by my firm

Any money held on your behalf (other than money paid to discharge an invoice sent to you) will be deposited in our Nat West client account and we will account to you for any interest on it where the amount of interest is more than £20.00. However, before taking any money on your behalf I would need relevant anti money laundering evidence.

  • File storage

At the end of your case, if you want your papers returned, please let me know within seven days. After seven days your file will be held as a scanned copy only; this will be held for 2 years and then destroyed.    

  • Concerns, my invoices & the Legal Ombudsman

I am committed to providing high quality legal advice and client care. If you are unhappy about any aspect of the service you have received or about the bill, please contact me by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by post heading your note ‘complaint’, setting out the following:

  • The date when the problem occurred
  • Key facts, in ‘bullet point’ format
  • How you would like to resolve matters

I will then acknowledge your complaint in writing, normally (except where I am abroad) within 4 working days. If I can resolve the complaint with you direct I will record the outcome in writing.

If this is not possible and, if appropriate, your complaint will then be referred to an independent complaints handler for investigation. They will consider your heads of complaint, along with the available evidence to provide an objective view. They will do this within fourteen days. In all but exceptional circumstances I will act upon the advice given by the independent complaints handler, and will write to you confirming the final position on your complaint.

If you are still not satisfied, the next step is for you to contact the Legal Ombudsman by the following methods:

Telephone: 0300 555 0333

Overseas: +44 12 245 3050

Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In writing: PO Box 15870, Birmingham, B30 9EB

www.legalombudsman.org.uk

Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from me about your complaint or within a year of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or your becoming aware of it).

  • Termination & Payment of the Fixed Fee

If either party to this agreement wishes to end, this must be done in writing on reasonable notice. The circumstances in which termination might occur are explained on the SRA website. If you terminate the agreement without reasonable cause, the fixed fee (see above) will be payable by yourself.

  • Acceptance

Further instruction of me will be treated as acceptance of these terms. 

I look forward to working with you.

Yours sincerely

Gordon Turner