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£500 for advising on settlement agreement

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Is an offer of £500+VAT costs enough for an employee to take full advice on settling their claim?

Not if the advisor is expected to advise on merits and quantum, as well as the terms and effect of the proposed settlement, stated the EAT in Solomon v University of Hertfordshire.

In an otherwise uninteresting appeal, the EAT made an obiter comment at the end of its judgment. The employer had offered to pay £500+VAT to the Claimant's independent advisor to allow the Claimant to seek advice on a settlement offer of £50,000.

HHJ Richardson, at paragraph 110, stated that whilst £500+VAT might be enough to cover advice on the "terms and effect" of the proposed settlement agreement (the wording from s203 of the Employment Rights Act), it was "wholly unrealistic" for a solicitor "to advise on the merits of the Claimant's claim and the likely award of compensation" for that amount, which "would require reading and consideration on a quite different scale".