The entire content of Nicholas Lakeland’s article rang true for me as an employment solicitor who advises on up to 8-10 compromise agreements a week.
They are increasingly common and I repeatedly find myself having to explain to clients that I have a duty to provide independent legal advice as to the terms of the agreement they are signing, and that I cannot simply sign on the dotted line to move matters forward for both parties.
I too have seen a trend for larger employers to encourage/force exiting employees to take legal advice with firms they have an ‘alliance’ with, and some employers have admitted that they have certain firms on retainer.
I have also come across employers that refuse to pay my fees because I was not the ‘allocated’ solicitor. It is disappointing that a contribution towards legal fees detailed within a compromise agreement can encourage employers to remove the freedom of choice from their employees when instructing an ‘independent’ solicitor.
Elizabeth McGlone, Neves Solicitors, Luton