If you’re being offered a compromise agreement then you should be informed that you have to obtain independent legal advice from a relevant legal adviser (normally a solicitor). One of the first questions you’ll undoubtedly have (behind “how much am I being offered?”) is “how much will the legal advice for the compromise agreement cost?”. This is understandable – you want to know what your liability for costs is if you negotiate and enter into the compromise agreement. In this post we’ll explore the issue by asking (and answering) the following questions:
- Who pays for the legal advice for the compromise agreement?
- What does advice for a compromise agreement normally cost?
- What potential complicating factors are there that could increase the cost?
- Is it ok to get and compare quotes for advice from a range of solicitors?
Who pays for the legal advice for the compromise agreement?
The employer will normally offer a contribution towards the cost of you obtaining compromise agreement advice from a relevant legal adviser. The figure that is offered as a contribution will normally range from between £250 and £500 – with £600 being the top of the range. You should take a look at your compromise agreement to determine how much you’re being offered as a contribution towards the cost (it normally comes under the heading “Legal Costs”). However, you may often also be asked to pay for some of the costs incurred in offering you legal advice – especially so if the compromise agreement is particularly complex or there are complicating factual and legal issues. Your relevant legal adviser should discuss such issues with you in your first conversation.
What does advice for a compromise agreement normally cost?
This is a very wide question and really depends, as above, on what complicating factors there are in your compromise agreement. The solicitor may sometimes – if the situation surrounding the agreement is “uncontentious” and the agreement is a simple one – be able to work within the cost contribution specified by your employer. However, if there are potential complicating factors then the solicitor may have to charge more.[spacer size=”20″]
What potential complicating factors are there that could increase the cost?
Potential complicating factors include:
- A complex agreement
- The particular factual background to the compromise agreement
- Protracted periods of negotiation
- The type of claims that the client may have (including an unfair dismissal claim, discrimination, whistleblowing etc.)
As you can see from the above there are a range of factors which could increase costs. It’s important that you explain the background and nature of your compromise agreement to your relevant legal adviser in detail when you first speak to them. Once you’ve done so the legal adviser should be able to specify a cost estimate for you.[spacer size=”20″]
Is it ok to get and compare quotes for advice from a range of solicitors?
It’s more than ok – it’s recommended. If you don’t shop around then you won’t get the best price!