The impact of Covid has been far reaching and affected just about everyone. With businesses being forced to change the way they work during the periods of lockdown, and the subsequent changes they had to make including restructuring their workforce there has been an increase in the number of people being made redundant.

Howells Solicitors, a law firm based here in Wales were recently appointed to represent the employees of a software company in Cardiff. In this case study, they detail how they helped, and the benefits of companies in similar situations appointing one impartial third-party law firm rather than multiple employment law solicitors dealing with individual cases.

The Issue: Redundancy Settlements

A software company was undertaking a redundancy process at its base in Cardiff. The company was offering terms of settlement on a voluntary basis to expedite the procedure. 56 employees had expressed their interest.

Howells Solicitors employment law department was approached by the software company’ solicitors, to act on behalf of the employees and provide advice on the terms and effect of the proposed 56 settlement agreements. The Welsh law firm were asked whether they could accommodate advising each employee individually on site over the course of a number of days.

Meeting the Employees and Taking the First Steps

In advance of meeting their clients, Howells reviewed a draft template settlement agreement proposed by the employer to make sure that they were happy that it was reasonable and balanced.

Once the Company had finalised the template agreement, employment solicitors, Gemma Bailey (Head of Employment) and Nayo Kirkpatrick attended its premises and delivered a group presentation to all affected employees explaining the generic terms contained within the agreement. In advance of the presentation, the company helped the employees provide the necessary paperwork needed for Howells’ regulatory and compliance purposes to ensure they had all the details required   

At the presentation, the law firm provided their clients with an individual advice letter confirming the terms of the agreement as explained in the presentation and informing them that they could raise any queries that they might have at their individual meetings with their solicitor.

The National Wales: Nayo KirkpatrickNayo Kirkpatrick

Privileged and Confidential Individual Advice for Employees

Although Howells became involved at the company’s request, all the advice to the employees was privileged and confidential to each of them individually. The law firms Employment Law specialists spent multiple days on site at the company premises advising all 56 employees in confidential one-to-one meetings on the terms and effect of their own specific settlement agreements, making sure that they were all properly understood and appropriate for each of the individual’s circumstances.

A Successful Outcome for All Parties

Howells were able to ensure that each and every one of their 56 clients understood what the terms of their settlement agreement meant, were happy with the rights and obligations and were receiving what they understood. 

The legal fees incurred were covered by the company and Howells were able to provide a discount to the contributions they would have paid their employees’ advisers in light of the bulk instruction and streamlining duplication.

Howells Solicitors’ employment department is recommended in the Legal 500 with reference to the department being headed by the ‘extremely empathetic and knowledgeable' Gemma Bailey. Nayo Kirkpatrick is also listed as a key lawyer.