Exiting a top-tier position in any company can be a challenging transition, especially when the departure is involuntary. Higher level employees at larger companies are typically offered severance agreements upon exit. But, given the complexities and stakes involved, is hiring a lawyer to review or negotiate your agreement a wise choice?
The Stakes Involved in an Executive Severance Agreement
More Than Just Compensation
For many executives, the severance package isn’t just about the financial payout. It often includes clauses about stock options, deferred compensation, retirement benefits, payment of outplacement services, and more.
Given the high-stakes nature of executive roles, proposed severance packages are complex, detailed legal documents, with clauses and conditions that may be difficult for a non-lawyer to understand. Existing executives must be wary of non-competition, non-solicitation, confidentiality clauses, and other terms, which can have massive future ramifications if signed.
The Value of Legal Counsel in Navigating Your Agreement
An Advocate in Negotiations
While some aspects of severance packages are standard, there’s often a great deal of room for negotiation. A lawyer can advocate for your interests, to ensure that you are receiving the maximum amount. This is particularly key if you believe you have an underlying legal claim.
When You Might Not Need Legal Assistance
Not every executive severance agreement will require the expertise of an attorney. If the terms are straightforward, you’ve been through this process before, you believe you have no legal claims, and the severance offered is very low, navigating these waters without legal aid may be in your interests. But if not, our Firm is here. Erring on the side of caution is always advised. As an executive, the terms of your severance can have lasting ramifications on your financial well-being and career trajectory. With stakes this high, having a seasoned attorney by your side to review, advise, and negotiate will prove invaluable. Contact MSB Employment Justice today to learn more about the benefits of working with an attorney on your executive severance agreement.