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Negotiating a settlement agreement

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Hi all, I’ve managed to get myself into a bit of a mess negotiating a settlement agreement with my employer.


I’ll try to summarise a long running and complex situation as briefly as possible below:


  1. I have been with my current employer for 4 years.
  2. My employer ordered me to relocate and I refused.
  3. My employer threatened me with disciplinary action for breach of contract (termination) if I refused to relocate or resign.
  4. I hired a solicitor on a no win no fee basis to threaten unfair dismissal and negotiate a settlement package.
  5. The solicitor’s fee was 25% of any settlement which I believe is about average.
  6. After two months of negotiations my employer completely unexpectedly reversed their decision and said I could continue to work in my current location.
  7. Whilst at first glance this looks like a good result, the solicitors’ terms state they will charge 25% of three months’ salary if I remain in employment.
  8. I knew this when I signed up but did not consider it an issue since my employer had already threatened me with dismissal and had made it clear I could not continue to work from my current location. By changing their mind, they have completely changed the dynamics of the situation.
  9. I asked for an ex-gratis payment to cover the lawyers fee and my employer refused.
  10. My solicitor has told me if I refuse the settlement and resign, I will still be liable for 25% of three months’ salary because they have negotiated a settlement and I have refused it.
  11. So now I am in the situation of having to pay a month’s salary to keep my job or paying a month’s salary if I leave. This seems unreasonable to me.


So now to the current situation:


  • I have reason to believe that my employer has refused an ex gratis payment as they are unaware of the solicitor’s negotiation fee and think I am just being greedy asking for more money.
  • They have already agreed to pay the solicitors contract review fee as part of the settlement which is separate to the negotiation fee.
  • The solicitor would take 25% of any ex-gratis payment as part of their fee and any remaining amount would go towards the 25% of three months’ salary.
  • I feel that the solicitor does not want to push for an ex-gratis payment as they are more interested in protecting their fee than representing my interests.
  • They do not want to reveal their charging structure to my employer as they fear my employer will use it against them as a negotiating tactic and try to reduce the percentage.
  • I am thinking of initiating a protected/without prejudice conversation with my employer to explain that I am not simply digging for more money but will struggle to pay the lawyers negotiation fee which they are most likely unaware of.


Is this a good idea?


Is it normal that the employee picks up the negotiation fee in these situations or should I push back on this?

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25 minutes ago, mantis shrimp said:

push back as hard as you can, if only for no other reason than that if you don't you will certainly get nothing. 


Yes I agree but the solicitor doesn't want to and says I'm wasting my time.  So how do I force the issue? Go direct to the employer or insist the solicitor asks again against their advice?

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Hello, I am just back from vacation, sorry for delay.


I am unclear what the settlement with your employer is - isn't it simply keeping you in your current job in your current location? What else is on offer?


That is essentially what you asked for?


It seems fair the solicitor gets paid. I'm not at all sure why your employer would pick up the tab for that?


If you can give  more context, there may be an angle I am not seeing.

  • Thanks 1

Never assume anyone on the internet is who they say they are. Only rely on advice from insured professionals you have paid for!

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