Settlement Agreements, Confidentiality & Restrictive Covenants
Legal services for employers
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Navigating Settlement Agreements: Protecting Your Business and Understanding Confidentiality and Restrictive Covenants
A settlement agreement is a legally binding document signed by both an employer and an employee, aimed at resolving any potential claims arising from the employment or termination of employment. Confidentiality provisions and restrictive covenants play a crucial role in safeguarding the employer’s business interests, both within settlement agreements and employment contracts.
Settlement Agreements: A Swift and Advantageous Solution
The primary purpose of a settlement agreement is to conclude an employment period amicably. In exchange for a payment, the employee waives their right to make any future claims against the employer. Employers find settlement agreements advantageous, as they provide a quicker resolution compared to waiting for notice periods to expire or engaging in dispute resolution processes. These agreements address all outstanding issues comprehensively, such as payment in lieu of holidays or bonuses, and may include provisions for providing references.
At Taylor Law, we are experienced in both drafting and advising on settlement agreements for various employers. We understand what can reasonably be included and ensure that your rights and interests are adequately protected throughout the process.
Confidentiality and Restrictive Covenants: Safeguarding Your Business
Protecting sensitive business information is crucial for both employers and employees. Confidentiality clauses and restrictive covenants are essential tools to prevent employees, past and present, from disclosing any confidential information about the organization. This includes customer lists, marketing and business plans, manufacturing processes, and management information.
At Taylor Law, we emphasize the importance of including confidentiality clauses and restrictive covenants not only in settlement agreements but also in employment contracts. This ensures that your business remains protected throughout an employee’s tenure with your organization. Following the termination of employment, it becomes crucial to prevent former employees from engaging in activities that could harm your business, such as poaching clients, setting up rival businesses, or working for competitors.
Effectiveness of Post-Termination Restrictive Covenants
Post-termination restrictive covenants serve as a crucial safeguard against potential harm to your business. However, it is essential to draft them carefully to avoid being unenforceable in court. Taylor Law emphasizes the need for proper contract drafting from the outset to ensure the effectiveness of these restrictions.
Factors to consider when drafting post-termination restrictions include the geographical area of the restriction, the activities that are restricted, and the type of interest being protected. These restrictions often fall into four categories:
Restriction from solicitation
Restriction from competition
Restriction from dealing
Restriction from poaching
Settlement agreements provide a practical and efficient way to resolve employment-related issues while protecting your business interests. At Taylor Law, we take pride in our expertise in handling settlement agreements and offering tailored advice to safeguard your rights and interests.
Confidentiality and restrictive covenants are integral to settlement agreements, ensuring the confidentiality of sensitive information and preventing actions that could harm your business. Proper drafting of these clauses is essential, and our team is dedicated to ensuring their effectiveness.
For more information and answers to frequently asked questions, we invite you to contact our team for personalized assistance with settlement agreements, confidentiality, and restrictive covenants. At Taylor Law, we are here to support you throughout every step of the process and protect your business’s interests.
Visit our frequently asked questions for more information.
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)
Chris Bennett (Junior Executive - London)
Our hourly charges are as follows:
Private (Leeds and Middlesbrough) :
Partners/Solicitors with at least 8 years’ experience - 295.00
Solicitors with at least 4 years’ experience - 252.00
Solicitors, Legal Executives, Senior Executives - 205.00
Trainee Solicitors - 145.00
Junior Executives/Assistants - 145.00
Private (London) :
Partners/Solicitors with at least 8 years’ experience - 325.00
Solicitors with at least 4 years’ experience - 268.00
Solicitors, Legal Executives, Senior Executives - 215.00
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 drawing up robust settlement agreements with effective confidentiality clauses and restrictive covenants to ensure that your rights and interests as an employer or an individual are adequately protected.
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.
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