Settlement agreement negotiations

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Employment Law for Individuals

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An exit or severance package offer is usually made with the condition that you enter into a settlement agreement which will require you to give up all your legal rights to pursue your employer for a claim or claims in the employment tribunal or court. This often includes any claims for contractual entitlement to bonus, shares, commission, accrued holiday and unlawful deduction of wages.

If your employer offers you a settlement agreement, you do not have to sign and accept it immediately. It is often in your best interest to take your time and review the offer. Many settlement terms are subject to negotiation and knowing what to look for may help you reach a better deal.

It is therefore important that you understand exactly what you may be entitled to before agreeing to settlement terms. Depending on your circumstances, your potential claims may be valuable and, therefore, the settlement offer should include sufficient compensation.

An employer will often seek to enforce unfavourable terms in the bonus scheme or share schemes and long-term incentive plans (LTIPs). These may include a requirement that you remain employed and not on notice at the time the bonus is paid, seeking to limit carryover or forfeiture of any unvested shares if they have not vested by the termination date. Our team will use their experience of working with many senior executives and partners to help you negotiate these seemingly unsurmountable terms and conditions and help you secure you bonus and share entitlements.

Our employment team at Penningtons Manches Cooper has a high rate of success when conducting top-level negotiations with senior HR directors, in-house counsel or your employer’s external lawyer. You will be in safe hands with our lawyers and reputation protection experts who will tirelessly negotiate a fair resolution and, importantly a fair exit package for you, helping you move on to your next opportunity.

We offer expert advice on:

  • urgent assessment of settlement offer terms and available options
  • advice on the leverage available and the most effective negotiation tactics to employ
  • countering exit tactics such as misconduct and underperformance allegations
  • implications of post-termination restrictions and strategies to reduce their impact

Recent work highlights

Favourable settlement for law firm partner

Negotiating more favourable settlement terms on behalf of a partner of a Magic Circle law firm, securing early release of restrictions, agreed announcement wording and securing a pro-rata bonus.


Fair settlement for company director

Successfully securing a negotiated settlement on behalf of a company director dismissed for misconduct.


Bonus saved for magic circle lawyer

Achieving improved settlement terms for a partner of a Magic Circle law firm that included early release of restrictions, an agreed announcement wording, and securing his bonus.

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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP