London:020 7247 7190 Manchester:0161 883 1255 Preston: 01772 369 450 Birmingham: 0121 663 1191

Same Day Settlement Agreement Solicitor in London/Manchester/Birmingham

Last Updated: October 25, 2023. Originally Published: June 29, 2016

I’m a specialist Settlement Agreement Solicitor with over 30 years’ experience. I offer a ‘fixed fee’ service which is the amount your employer has agreed to contribute. Your employer pays me direct at the end.

You can read my standard Settlement Agreement terms here.

I’ve advised thousands of employees on Settlement Agreements and can get to the point quickly and focus on what you hope to achieve… getting the Agreement signed or making reasonable requests for changes. Importantly, I do this in a way which won’t upset your employer or make things more stressful.

This note should help you understand the basics.

I advise on Settlement Agreement by phone but can meet or visit sites where groups of employees are concerned.

What do I need from you?

All I need is:

  • A copy of the Settlement Agreement
  • Your mobile number
  • The HR manager’s name and email
  • Your contract of employment (if relevant)
  • A brief summary of any claims you want to discuss

I don’t need a copy of your passport/driving licence because I don’t hold any client money.

It’s always best to try me first on my mobile 07527 261926 or the mainline 0207 247 7190.

What is a Settlement Agreement?

Settlement Agreements are just a contract to bring employment to an end amicably. Once you have signed the Agreement you can’t bring a claim to the Employment Tribunal, so employees must have independent advice from a solicitor. The terms can look complicated but they’re mainly common sense: for an enhanced payment you give up the right to bring legal claims and steps are set down for an orderly departure with a plan for references and confidentiality going forward.

The big issues

Most offers are attractive because you get paid without any risk or costs but if you may have a claim, to help me negotiate, I’ll need to look at the value of it in real terms. But do think of the ‘bigger picture’ and whether you want the hassle of a legal case in your life!
Things to think about are:

  • Where do you want to be next in your career/life?
  • What will you actually take home under the agreement/by way of a dispute?
  • If you want to discuss potential claims what facts do you have?
  • What claims do you have? eg: unfair dismissal, discrimination… whistleblowing (if so, what are the key facts and dates?)
  • How can you prove what happened? (what evidence do you have?)
  • How long will it take you to find another job? If you can do this fairly quickly there really is no point in a legal claim because compensation will be low

Remember most legal claims need 2 years’ continuous employment (not discrimination or whistleblowing) and events need to be recent.

Advantages of a Settlement Agreement

A Settlement Agreement is normally preferable to a dispute. Here are some of the advantages:

  • No legal fees - if you use a lawyer at tribunal these must be deducted from any outcome by anything up to 33%
  • Tax efficiency - compensation payments (non-contractual) can be paid tax free up to £30,000
  • Reputation - with an agreed reference you can apply for jobs confidently. Settlements can also include protection from negative comments by either party and an agreed announcement
  • Looking for work - a dispute may get in the way of a new job opportunities
  • Litigation risk - there’s a risk you might lose all or part of your claim at tribunal, for example on a point of evidence or law
  • Stress - tribunals are famously stressful …it can take over a year to get to a tribunal hearing!

What’s in a Settlement Agreement?

Settlement Agreements normally have clauses covering the following:

Notice- your employer must give you notice to end the contract. The amount is either confirmed in your contract or fixed by law (no less than 1 week’s pay for each year worked to a maximum of 12) Notice can either be worked, served on ‘garden leave’ or paid in lieu (go straightaway, paid ‘up front’)

Termination payment- the amount of any compensation payment, tax efficiency and the date for payment. Sometimes this is referred to as ‘ex gratia’

Employee warranties- promises made by the employee such as being a ‘good leaver’ and that you don’t have a job to go

Confidentiality/Client Protection- the employer may want to protect its business interests. These have to be reasonable and normally no more than 6 months after leaving and are often already in the employee’s contract of employment

Benefits - healthcare, pension contributions, car allowance etc. Sometimes these can be continued for a period of the end date.

Handover and practical steps- returning property, passwords, deleting employer work from home computers

Tax indemnity- your employer won’t guarantee the tax free status of any payment so if HMRC take a different view, you’ll have to pay the outstanding tax

Do I have to accept the Settlement Agreement?

You don’t have to sign the document but the key issue to consider is the net benefit of not signing compared with bringing a legal claim.

Call on 07527 261 926 or 0207 247 7190 or complete my online contact form.

Is the amount I’ve been offered fair?

Your agreement will probably refer to the basic entitlements at tribunal. These are:

Basic Award/Redundancy payment

This is calculated by reference to a week’s pay which is fixed at an upper amount. As of April 23, it is £643 for each year worked under the age of 41 and £962 for each year worked over age 41.

This award is capped at 20 weeks’ pay. The Basic Award is not taxable and is often included in the compensation payment.

If you are being paid a Redundancy payment this is the same amount as the Basic Award so you wouldn’t get this twice.


Notice is either set out in your contract of employment or statutory minimum of 1 week’s pay for each year worked up to a maximum of 12 weeks. Tax and NI have to be deducted as HMRC treat this as pay.

Compensation/Unfair Dismissal

This is mainly made of lost earnings, capped at 1 year’s pay, upper limit £105,707. To negotiate on this you will need good evidence of any difficulties you will face finding a job in a similar role (eg: emails from recruiters, the Press or medical evidence). Give some thought to the role you work in. A secretary for example could probably find a job in 1 month but someone in a rare position might face bigger hurdles, as would someone who has been made very ill by the employer.

Discrimination and ‘whistleblowing’ cases

In these cases, there is no upper limit on compensation for lost earnings and you can also claim compensation for ‘injury to feelings.’

In respect of claims presented on or after 6 April 2023, the “Vento bands” are: 

    • a lower band of £1,100 to £11,200 (less serious cases)
    • a middle band of £11,200 to £33,700 (cases that do not merit an award in the upper band)
    • and an upper band of £33,700 to £56,200 (extremely serious cases),

NB only the most exceptional cases capable of exceeding £56,200.

If you are thinking of asserting ‘injury to feelings’ please make sure I have relevant information. This will be medical evidence or information suggesting your employer has acted in a particularly bad way towards you. Examples include fictitious disciplinary procedures, collusion or a sustained discriminatory campaign over many months and serious stress.

Pension contributions

Payments made direct into pension schemes are separate from the £30,000 tax free exemption and not normally subject to tax though there are limits to the annual and lifetime allowances for contributions which you need to check with the pension provider. Where compensation is over £30,000 employees sometimes ask for some of it to be allocated as a tax efficient employer pension contribution.

What happens if an agreement isn’t reached?

You may want to bring a claim. This must be done promptly and no later than 3 months of the termination date beginning with the ACAS process followed by a tribunal claim. These dates are strict so always take legal advice.

Contact Gordon - Settlement Agreement Solicitor in London

To contact a specialist Settlement Agreement Solicitor please complete my online contact form, call my mobile 07527 261 926 or the following landlines:

London: 02072477190            |           Manchester: 0161 883 1255

Birmingham: 0121 663 1191

Very professional service in reviewing a settlement agreement quickly and efficiently. - Gary S.




Gordon was a great help! Very speedy response and excellent service provided.

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London 020 7247 7190
Manchester 0161 883 1255
Birmingham 0121 663 1191

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