Settlement Agreements Information

A settlement agreement is a decision agreed upon by two competing or aggrieved parties either before court proceedings begin or during the proceedings but before a ruling has been made. The agreement is usually legally binding and is arrived at after intense negotiations and deliberations among those involved. What role do settlement agreement solicitors play in the process?

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Why would someone need a settlement agreement?

For employment purposes, a settlement agreement may be required in the case of retrenchment, where an employee is fired, where an employee sues their employer for violation of terms of engagement and in the case that the employer's negligence has resulted in physical or psychological pain to the employee. Settlements can also be reached by companies when a conflict has ensued or even between a company and the government. Settlement agreements can also be between an individual and company whose products and services have caused harm to the individual and among individuals who are in conflict.

Who can help with a settlement agreement?

There are different professionals who can assist with settlement agreements. Settlement agreement solicitors are usually involved in order to ensure the documents used have been drafted in accordance with the law and to ensure that the interests of their clients are well represented. The are tasked with development of the agreement document and its review when need arises.

Investigators are utilised in order to ensure that all information necessary in making the most viable decision is brought to light. Investigators can help uncover information that the other party in the negotiation is not willing to reveal during the deliberations. Besides this, subject matter experts may also be utilised. Subject matter experts are individuals who have extensive knowledge and skills on the subject of deliberations. They explain any technical terms and ensure everyone understands what is being discussed in order to enhance proper decision making.

What are the benefits of a settlement agreement?

Settlement agreements can save the parties involved from the lengthy and tiresome judicial process. This subsequently saves money and resources that could be put into other uses. The agreement also allows both parties to come up with a solution that works for both. This is usually hard to achieve through a court process where one party is declared a winner and the other loses.

It is also a good way of maintaining confidentiality even in the face of disagreements by keeping the process out of the public domain. Court proceedings open up the individuals or organisations involved to scrutiny by the community which may work against them in future. For businesses, this is important in retaining the confidentiality of your trade secrets and competitive advantage.

How does a settlement agreement work?

During the negotiations, terms and conditions of the agreement are discussed and agreed upon. The settlement amount, if any, the mode of payment, the nature of the payment and non financial terms are then laid down in a settlement agreement document. Both parties and their witnesses must sign this document for it to be legally binding. Any violation of the terms laid out may render the document null and void upon which the aggrieved party can seek legal reprieve.