With so many solicitors out there, how do you choose the right one for you?
Here are a few tips for choosing the right person to give you the legal advice you need.
1 Decide what you want to achieve
Some employees simply want to accept what their employer has offered them. Having to obtain legal advice on the settlement agreement can seem like an unwelcome necessity. If that’s you, choose a solicitor who can advise you quickly and easily. Many are able to advise by telephone and email.
Some law firms will only be prepared to advise you face to face and will require you to produce ID. However, this is not a requirement for this kind of advice and may slow you down.
If you’re not happy with what your employer is offering, you’ll need someone who has experience in negotiating the best deal.
2 Do you want to meet the solicitor face to face?
Many people like to sit down with their adviser and have a face to face discussion.
However, in this digital age, people are increasingly open to dealing with specialist lawyers in different parts of the country because it’s quicker and easier than meeting face to face with someone local.
If you want to do this, use a law firm that has the resources and technical abilities to help you without you needing to leave the comfort of your home or office.
3 Make sure you find someone who specialises in all aspects of employment law and not just settlement agreements
Your employer will want you to give up all or your rights to bring any employment related claim. It is therefore important that the adviser you choose has experience of all aspects of employment law.
You need to receive full advice on your employment situation so that you can decide whether or not the amount you’re being offered is suitable.
4 How much will they charge for giving legal advice on the settlement agreement?
If your employment is coming to an end you will want to ensure that you don’t incur any unnecessary expense.
Many law firms still charge at an hourly rate for all types of work. They may also ask you for payment in advance.
The employer usually contributes towards the cost of the employee obtaining legal advice on a settlement agreement. However, this is usually capped at a certain figure.
When looking for someone to advise you, ask in advance whether or not they will be prepared to cap their legal costs at the amount the employer is contributing. If so, there will be no costs to you personally.
5 How quickly can they complete the work?
This is one of the most important issues when dealing with any law firm. Often, the employer requires a response to their offer within a sort time scale.
Make sure your solicitor is able to complete the work within the time scale. Do they have systems in place to ensure that the matter is dealt with speedily?
Making an appointment is likely to slow things down and it is almost always quicker to deal with matters by telephone and email.
And finally . . .
If you want to understand a bit more about settlement agreements before obtaining formal legal advice, download this free guide.