One of our specialist area is in the negotiation of termination packages and settlement agreements

Executives - Case Study 1

Through a recommendation from a previous client executive X came to us for legal advice on the termination of his employment.

At this stage, the executive had been tipped by his MD that he would be asked to leave in the near future. At our first meeting we advised on the options available to the Company, the tactics that could be used by the Executive to get the best result, the bottom line figure for the Executive’s entitlement and the Company’s likely approach. We usually have three figures in mind – the ‘bottom line’ being the basic minimum the employee would get if dismissed fairly. This takes into account contractual rights, such as notice, contractual or company redundancy pay, share options, holiday pay, wages and benefits for the time it would take for the executive to be dismissed and any other relevant employment law rights.

We were also able to advise on whether the Company could impose garden leave and/or make a payment in lieu of notice. Using our unique spreadsheet for calculating executive compensation packages, we advised the Executive on the total value of his remuneration package and on the tax consequences of the Company’s offer. This enabled us to ensure that each aspect of the Executive’s total package was taken into account. Armed with this information the Executive was thoroughly prepared for what was supposed to be an ‘unexpected’ meeting with HR. We then advised on the terms of the proposed settlement agreement and assisted with the negotiations.

Much of the negotiation concentrated on the Company’s insistence on strong restrictive covenants. These were watered down through negotiation. The resulting settlement fulfilled all of the Executive’s aims and the financial amount achieved was well over twice that originally offered by the Company. The settlement also protected the Executive’s pension entitlements under both the schemes he was a member of. In addition, the Executive had his car transferred to him and was able to take advantage of share options post termination.

The Executive has since recommended us to one or two of his former colleagues, asked us to assist in the negotiation of the terms and conditions offered by a prospective new employer and we now also act for the Executive’s new employer.