Q: My job ended due to a disputed redundancy a few months ago and I received a settlement payment after signing a Settlement Agreement. The trouble is that it was all done a bit of a rush and I don’t really understand what the Settlement Agreement said. Apart from anything else, this is causing me a problem because I do need to know where I can and cannot work in the future. I signed the Agreement off with a solicitor at the time, but I can’t remember what they told me about it and they didn’t ever send me anything about it in writing. What can I do?
A: It is astounding that the solicitor did not put the advice he or she gave you in writing. It is a simple enough step to take and it means not only does the solicitor know for future reference what advice they gave you but also that you know what advice was given. It also means you can use their letter of advice to understand your Settlement Agreement if you ever need to look at it in the future.
If there is something in that Settlement Agreement you did not understand and you definitely did not receive a letter of advice then you should ask the solicitor to explain it all to you again and preferably put it in writing this time as well. If they try and charge you, you should complain that they did not put the advice in writing in the first place.
Alternatively you can always go to a competent solicitor with some specialism in employment who can advise you on the section of the Settlement Agreement that deals with any restrictions. When you go and see them you should take your previous employment contract with you.