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Offer of £500 for solicitor to advise on settlement agreement was wholly unrealistic

Makbool Javaid
legal challenges

The EAT’s comments in Solomon v University of Hertfordshire need to be heeded by employers and advisers when determining how much will be offered to an employee to pay for independent advice on the terms of a settlement agreement. In awarding costs an ET found S acted unreasonably in failing to take advice on and accept a £50,000 settlement offer, with an additional offer to pay £500 for her to take independent advice. In upholding an appeal, the EAT noted the claim involved 38 different allegations over a period 3½ years. The EAT commented that the advice S could expect to receive for this sum would only relate to the terms and effect of the proposed settlement and its effect on her ability to pursue her rights thereafter. Any advice as to the merits of S’s claim and the likely award of compensation would require reading and consideration on a quite different scale and the offer of £500 was wholly unrealistic where it was for a solicitor “to advise on the merits of a settlement”. 

The updates are kindly provided by Simons Muirhead & Burton Law firm

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