Settlement Agreements,Confidentiality & Restrictive Covenants
Legal services for employees
Why Taylor Law?
A settlement agreement is a legally binding document signed by both employer and employee agreeing to settle any claims you may have as an employee in respect of your employment or the termination of your employment.
Terms containing confidentiality provisions and restrictive covenants are used both in settlement agreements and elsewhere, such as in employment contracts, to protect the employer and their business interests.
At Taylor Law we can advise you in respect of settlement agreements and the confidentiality and restrictive covenants they contain to ensure that you fully understand the implications of what you are signing.
The most common use of a settlement agreement is to end a period of employment. You will be offered a sum of money in return for waiving your right to make any claim against your employer.
Entering into a settlement agreement can be advantageous. It is usually a far quicker way of dealing with an issue than, for example, waiting for a notice period to expire or going through a dispute resolution process. You may also receive a more generous payment that you might otherwise have done.
The agreement will deal fully with all outstanding issues, such as payment of in lieu of holiday or bonuses. Other matters, such as the provision of a reference, can also be included.
Your employer will require you to agree to confidentiality in respect of the agreement itself, the employment and your employer’s business.
Entering into a settlement agreement is a waiver of certain rights and, by law, you must take independent legal advice before signing. An employer will usually contribute towards the cost of this.
At Taylor Law, we have wide experience of settlement agreements. We understand what can reasonably be included and will ensure that your rights and interests are adequately protected.
Confidentiality and restrictive covenants
There is a risk of harm to a business where the information and practices that it uses are disclosed to a competitor. For this reason, confidentiality clauses and restrictive covenants are used to prevent employees and ex-employees from revealing any information about an organisation.
Data which will be covered by a confidentiality clause include customer lists, marketing and business plans, manufacturing processes and management information.
Following the ending of employment, an employer will not only want to protect their sensitive information but will also want to prevent you from actions such as persuading clients or customers to go with you, setting up a rival business nearby or working for a competitor. We will advise you on the terms of any restrictive covenant you are being asked to enter into, to ensure that you understand the extent of it and that it is fairly drafted and not overly wide.
Our Employment Fees and Costs
Our employment solicitors are:
Scott Taylor (Solicitor with at least 8 years’ experience)
Ben Tighe (Solicitor with at least 8 years’ experience)
Max Hornigold (Solicitor)
Angela Giannotti (Solicitor - London)
Chris Bennett (Junior Executive - London)
Our hourly charges are as follows:
Private (Leeds and Middlesbrough) :
Partners/Solicitors with at least 8 years’ experience - 265.00
Solicitors with at least 4 years’ experience - 230.00
Solicitors, Legal Executives, Senior Executives - 200.00
Trainee Solicitors - 140.00
Junior Executives/Assistants - 140.00
Private (London) :
Partners/Solicitors with at least 8 years’ experience - 450.00
Solicitors with at least 4 years’ experience - 325.00
Solicitors, Legal Executives, Senior Executives - 250.00
Trainee Solicitors - 150.00
Junior Executives/Assistants - 150.00
Lesser complexity case
This would tend to be a case where unfair dismissal is the sole claim and the matter is limited to a one-day hearing.
It would be in the region of £15000-£18,000 plus VAT and disbursements (if we instruct counsel).
Medium complexity case
This would be a case where there are additional claims to unfair dismissal, such as discrimination. This would also apply where the case for unfair dismissal requires a Preliminary Hearing or where the case is listed for a Final Hearing of two or three days’ duration.
This would be in the region of £20,500- £23000 plus VAT, plus counsel fees of approximately £1,500 for the first day of the Final Hearing and £1,000 for the refreshers for the second and subsequent days of the Final Hearing. .
Higher complexity case
This would be a case where the unfair dismissal claim involves multiple discrimination complaints or complex matters such as whistleblowing/making of protected disclosures and where the case is listed for a Final Hearing of two or more days’ duration.
From £20,000 to £25000 plus VAT, plus counsel fees of £1,500 for the first day of the Final Hearing and £1,000 for the second and subsequent days of the Final Hearing.
The following factors can have an impact on the complexity of a case:
- Defending claims that are brought by litigants in person
- Complex preliminary issues such as whether the claimant is disabled (if this is not agreed by the parties)
- The number of witnesses and documents
- If it is an automatic unfair dismissal claim. For example if the reason for dismissal is because of a protected disclosure or an employee’s pregnancy or maternity leave
The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:
- Taking initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising on merits and likely compensation
- Entering into pre-claim conciliation
- Preparing a claim or response
- Reviewing and advising on a claim or response from other party
- Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
- Preparing a schedule of loss
- Preparing for and attending a Preliminary Hearing
- Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
- Taking witness statements, drafting statements, and agreeing their content with witnesses
- Preparing bundle of documents
- Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
- Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or cast list
- Preparation for the Final Hearing or instructions to Counsel
The stages are not fixed and guaranteed, and we will adjust our costs accordingly when some stages are not required.
How long will my matter take?
The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. If a settlement is reached during pre-claim conciliation, your case is likely to take 2-4 weeks. If your claim proceeds to a Final Hearing, your case is likely to take 9-18 months. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.
Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf. Disbursements incur a VAT charge of 20%.
At Taylor Law our employment team have in-depth experience of advising on settlement agreements as well as confidentiality clauses and restrictive covenants. We will explain the terms of any document to you clearly and answer any questions you may have.
For an initial discussion, ring us on 0113 532 8100 (Leeds), 01642 221 108 (Middlesbrough) or 0203 780 7646 (London) or fill in our Contact Form.
“Thank you for all your help and advice, it really made a difference. Feedback, help and guidance. Thank you to all the team – first class”.