Call us on 01622 690691

Settlement Agreements

Brachers can provide advice on “without prejudice” discussions/protected conversations including strategy and responses.

What is a Settlement Agreement?

Settlement Agreements are legally binding agreements between an employer and employee. The purpose of a Settlement Agreement is to provide a formal means by which an individual agrees that they will not bring specified claims against their employer.

Why do I need legal advice?

Settlement Agreements are not legally enforceable unless they meet certain requirements, one being that the employee has received independent legal advice on the terms. Employees have to receive the advice before signing the agreement to ensure they understand the terms of the agreement and the effect this has on bringing a claim against the employer.

What rights am I waiving by signing the Settlement Agreement?

You would be waiving the rights set out in the agreement; these can include:

  • Statutory rights; for example, your right not to be unfairly dismissed, your right to a statutory redundancy payment, maternity and paternity rights as well as the right not to be discriminated against;
  • Contractual rights as set out in your employment contract, such as your notice period, salary and other benefits including bonuses, pension and shares; and
  • Other rights; for example rights to holiday pay and in some cases rights in respect of injuries or ill health you have suffered.

Do I have to sign the Settlement Agreement?

No. An employee has a choice whether to enter into a settlement agreement or not.

I am not happy with the deal offered. Can I negotiate?

Yes. To comply with the legal requirements, you do need to get advice on the terms of the agreement. However, if you feel that what has been offered is not acceptable to you then you can seek to negotiate a different arrangement.


An employer normally pays a contribution towards an employee’s legal fees for obtaining advice on the terms of the agreement. Contributions are normally around £350 – £500 plus VAT.

What happens next?

Once you have been provided with a draft agreement, you will need to seek advice on the terms. If you decide to sign the agreement once you have been advised about the content, then your solicitor will normally be asked to provide a certificate confirming advice has been given.

If a settlement agreement is offered we have extensive experience of providing the required advice, particularly in relation to senior individuals, including Directors.

We are able to explain the implications of settlement agreement terms including those relating to employee benefits entitlements, including share options and retention plan entitlements. If you feel the offer is not in your best interests, Brachers can negotiate with your employer on your behalf and draft changes to the documentation to protect your interests.

Documents we will need to see to be able to advise include:

  • the draft settlement agreement;
  • your employment contract (if you have one); and
  • background documents including documents relating to any benefits.
Fact Sheets

Settlement Agreements: What are the benefits?

What are the various benefits that individuals can take from entering into a settlement agreement over traditional exit negotiations? Read more


View more fact sheets

News & Events

Working to bring health and wellbeing in the workplace to the top of the agenda in 2017

Leading law firm and HR specialists join forces to help bring health and wellbeing in the workplace to the top of the agenda in 2017 Read more


Leading South East law firms launch collaborative employment law service

A group of South East law firms are thrilled to announce the launch of a new legal services initiative, Collaborative Employment Law (‘CEL’), on 12 September. Read more


Brachers named ‘Law Firm of the Year’ in national legal awards

Award win shows Brachers is celebrated nationally for its commitment locally. Read more


Changes to payments for work travel – Are you affected?

A decision last week indicated that where individuals do not have a fixed place of work and travel to customers or clients, their travel time counts as part of their working day. Read more


Brachers shortlisted for national legal award because of dedication to Kent market

Brachers has been shortlisted for the coveted Law Firm of the Year prize at this year’s national Halsbury’s Legal Awards. Award nomination shows Brachers is celebrated nationally for its commitment locally. Read more


Maidstone-based Watson Nevill solicitors joins Brachers

Brachers announces it has acquired Maidstone-based solicitors Watson Nevill, introducing new members across the commercial property and family teams. Read more

View more news & events

Meet the Team

Louise Brenlund | Associate

T: 01622 776405 | Email Louise

Abigail Brightwell | Associate

T: 01622 655281 | Email Abigail

Catherine Daw | Partner

T: 01622 655291 | Email Catherine

Antonio Fletcher | Senior Associate

T: 01622 776516 | Email Antonio

Michelle Perry | HR Director

T: 01622 776455 | Email Michelle

Rachael Russell | Associate

T: 01622 680417 | Email Rachael

Colin Smith | Partner

T: 01622 776451 | Email Colin

Signe Sparne | Trainee

T: 01622 776430 | Email Signe

Sarah Wimsett | Solicitor

T: 01622 776466 | Email Sarah

Joanna Worby | Managing Partner

T: 01622 680414 | Email Joanna


View Our People

Recent Experience, Expertise & Articles

What can employers do to better support employees with mental health at work?

On 26 October 2017, an independent review, “Thriving at Work”, was published by Stevenson and Farmer Read more


Keeping on top of staff sickness absences

As the winter season approaches, the level of staff absences often increases with colds and flu as generally the most commonly cited illness at work. Read more


Uber drivers’ and employment rights

Antonio Fletcher, Senior Associate in Brachers’ Employment law team appeared as a guest on KMTV’s business show, Chris & Co on Wednesday 27 September. Read more


GDPR - do you know what’s coming?

The biggest change to data protection and how businesses process personal data in 20 years is set to take place when the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into effect on 25 May 2018. Compliance with GDPR is not optional and so businesses, charities and public bodies are in a race against the clock to get ready for the changes. But are they ready for GDPR? Read more


Frequently asked questions on GDPR

What are my individual rights under GDPR? The GDPR provides you as an individual with a right to have easier access to data, a right to have greater information about your data and how it is processed, a right to restrict processing of data, a right to object to data use, a right to data portability between different services, a right to know when your personal data is hacked, a right to be forgotten and erased if you no longer want your data to be processed. Read more


Redundancy claim

This redundancy claim involved acting for a professional services business which purchased the business and assets of a competitor. Read more

View more client stories
View more publications
View more blogs
View more articles

Key Contact

Catherine Daw


T: 01622 655291

Email Catherine

Related services

Employment & HR

Employment team Twitter

Keep up to date with the latest legal developments