HORNE ENGALL & FREEMAN LLP – Price transparency – Employment Settlement Agreements

 

In compliance with the Solicitors Regulation Authority requirements, we confirm that our fees as set out below are considered by us to be fair and reasonable, having regard to the circumstances of the matter.

Once the details of the matter of the settlement agreement are better known we can assess if any additional factors, such as urgency, the complexity and importance of the matter, and the skill required for its conduct, are likely to affect these fees.

It is a legal requirement that independent legal advice before an employee signs a settlement agreement.

A settlement agreement is a legal contract between an employer and employee where an employee waives their rights to pursue legal claims against the employer in exchange for a compensation payment.

Experience

Our team has over 30 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to settlement agreements and redundancy agreements in relation to employment.

We have four members of the team who may work on your matter. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Nicholas Jamison, Partner and Head of dispute resolution.

Hourly rates

Our charges for the time we spend on a matter are calculated using the following hourly rates which are assessed in 6 minute units:

Qualification Hourly rate charged
Partners £275 + VAT
Solicitors/Legal executives £220 + VAT
Trainees and paralegals £150 + VAT
Litigation assistants £150 + VAT

These prices are all plus VAT at the current rate of 20%.

VAT and disbursements are explained in more detail below.

Average fee ranges

At the beginning of the matter, we will provide an estimate of our likely charges however as there are so many variables in a matter such as this it may become necessary to revise our estimate. Any estimate revision will be fully discussed with you before any additional work is undertaken.

Below is an example of our fees for advising on settlement agreements. Please note that often Employers will contribute a sum towards legal fees incurred by employees taking advise on legal settlement agreements and this sum is usually set out in the agreement.  This is not guaranteed to cover all legal expenses so you may also need to pay.

Review and Advice for an Employee – this is a fixed fee of £500 + VAT and covers the below

  1. A settlement agreement with no restrictive covenants that require negotiation or advice
  2. No advice is required on share options
  3. The financial package offered to the employee is agreed and not disputed
  4. There are no more than 2 versions of the settlement agreement reviewed / signed.

If the matter does not fall within the above parameters, then the matter will be charged applying our normal hourly rates. We would estimate £750 + VAT to £2000 + VAT at the current rate of 20%.

Standard Reaffirmation for employee

This involves a second signing of the settlement agreement. The majority do not require this, but the ones that do usually include a period of employment after the agreement has been signed. Our fees for this service are £150 + VAT at 20%.

Drafting for Employer

Work of this nature is charged using our normal hourly rates. An estimate of £800 – £1200 + VAT (at 20%) is a starting point depending on complexity.

We can also offer advice on the conduct of negotiations and subsequent amendments to a settlement agreement. These are also charged on the same basis and the level of support for the individual case.

Additional factors

The above are average prices based on recent instructions and assume a straightforward transaction without unforeseen complexity or issues. The actual cost will depend on the details of your particular transaction and whether any additional matters must be taken into account. Additional matters which can increase costs include, but are not limited to:

  • The other side acting in person.
  • The costs being disputed by the other side.
  • There being more witnesses or documents than normal.
  • Preliminary issues which may need to be determined by the tribunal.

Items to note

The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from the other party.

The costs include the work involved with:

  1. Taking your initial instructions and reviewing the relevant documents and advising on relevant legal principles.
  2. An explanation of the terms and conditions of the settlement agreement.
  3. Negotiating alternative or improved terms where appropriate.
  4. Sign a legal advisor’s certificate.

We will ask you to pay money on account at the beginning of the matter and again at particular stages of the case unless the work is done under a fixed fee.

The costs quoted above do not include enforcement action or any appeals.

Timescale

Matters usually take a few weeks to resolve, but this will vary depending on the complexity of the matter.