A departure at the top of an organisation can cause huge disruption and legal risk if not handled properly.

Such exits can cause share prices to plummet, seriously damage corporate and individual reputations and create panic and unrest among other employees. They can also lead to lengthy and expensive litigation, and in a regulated environment can seriously prejudice individuals’ career prospects.

All of this means that senior dismissals require careful thought at each stage, from the first discussions about a departure through to the negotiation of a settlement agreement. Our experience of advising both firms and individuals means that we are well-versed in the (often conflicting!) priorities of both sides. In this article, we discuss the perspectives on both sides of the negotiating table.

1. Initial exit discussions – employer raises the prospect of termination

2. The negotiation process to arrive at a settlement – starting with financial terms

3. Drafting the settlement agreement – respective “shopping lists” of non financial terms

Final thoughts

As can be seen from the above, departures at the senior level are far from straightforward and coming to an amicable agreement with conflicting priorities on both sides can be a challenge.

Each stage of this process requires careful thought and in order to avoid unintended consequences, we would recommend seeking advice before taking any of the steps we mention.


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