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Solicitor for settlement agreement

(10 Posts)
VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Wed 22-Feb-17 19:14:04

My friend is expecting to be offered a settlement shortly following a bullying and harassment grievance she submitted being upheld.

The company had refused to correspond directly with her on this as she doesn't have a Union rep (one of the bullies was the rep) and has no legal representative.

They have finally agreed that any offer of settlement will be posted to her. Of course, this will need to be signed off by a solicitor if it is acceptable.

Are there any companies who will do this remotely for a fixed, preferably small, fee?

We can't find anything for under £500 through companies in the South West. She has been on unpaid sick leave for 8 months now, so although her employer will pay £250 towards the legal cost, she is struggling to find the £250 she needs to pay.

daisychain01 Wed 22-Feb-17 19:33:23

Do you know if your friend is likely to accept what they offer, or could she need advice?

Ideally, the solicitor should rubber stamp it to say it is fair and reasonable, but the costs start to rack up if they need to go through it with a fine tooth comb.

If all your friend needs is the solicitor to have a quick look and sign it off as reviewed by an employment solicitor, she may be able to get a fixed fee. Try Irwin Mitchell, they are reasonable.

Also can your friend play hardball and say to them that ACAS recommend the company pays the legal costs as its in everyone's best interests for it to be a "clean break". That's stingey of them not to pay her costs!

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Wed 22-Feb-17 19:39:43

We're hoping they'll come up with something halfway decent, but the last round of this in December was frankly offensive.

They were trying to pay her off before the results of the grievance had been published, but the "offer" was no more than she was entitled to (month pay in lieu of notice, holiday pay owed) with a gag order. She refused that. They kicked off because she hadn't obtained legal advice. She told them to come back with an offer worth taking to a lawyer.

Now the grievance is upheld it will be interesting to see whether they are more generous. hmm

She's going to make her own decision really. ACAS have been very unhelpful really, they can't commit to much so she's going it alone really.

unfortunateevents Wed 22-Feb-17 19:41:35

Maybe someone more knowledgeable can comment on whether £250 is a low amount for the company to offer?

I recently accepted VR in London (I live in Home Counties) and the company offered £350. A local solicitor looked over the agreement for me for that amount but I told her at the outset that it was all very amicable and I did not anticipate anything untoward in the agreement so it was a pretty easy job. I agree with Daisychain that the solicitor in this case is probably anticipating more work, even if your friend is mostly in agreement with whatever settlement they come up with. I, for instance, was not going to another job, am unsure if I will ever work again (trying to become a SAHM just as my children leave home!) and knew that my company only give very generic references so we didn't have any discussion about an agreed reference.

unfortunateevents Wed 22-Feb-17 19:42:56

She's going to make her own decision really. ACAS have been very unhelpful really, they can't commit to much so she's going it alone really - but she is going to get some legal advice isn't she? That will be a condition of the agreement to prevent future claims from her.

VivienneWestwoodsKnickers Wed 22-Feb-17 19:48:55

She has to have legal advice in the sense of a signature on the document, but in reality if it's a respectable amount and has a gag order, she'll take it.

thenewaveragebear1983 Wed 22-Feb-17 19:55:48

I have recently done this through my union but they use a solicitor called thompsons based in Plymouth who charge 350+ vat.

EqaLawyer Thu 23-Feb-17 16:06:52

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

arrrrghhwinehelpswithteens Thu 23-Feb-17 16:12:54

If her Union rep is part of the problem she could ask for a different rep to be assigned to her. May be a little late now of course but there you go.

I'm in the middle of this at the moment, my Union rep has been absolutely amazing and helpful all the way so I sympathise with your friend.

flowers and I hope she gets the settlement she deserves

Allthebestnamesareused Fri 24-Feb-17 15:59:06

If the quotes she is receiving are all in the region of £500 I would suggest that she notify that to the employer and ask whether they are prepared to pay the £500 + VAT as the amount the are suggesting is not allowing her to take independent advice on the settlement.

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