South East Law firms team up to launch Collaborative Employment Law service

14th September 2016

A group of south east law firms were delighted to announce the launch of a new legal services initiative, Collaborative Employment Law (‘CEL’), on 12 September. The four founding law firms, Thomson Snell & Passmore, Furley Page, Brachers, and Thackray Williams, are aiming the service to their clients as an alternative to litigation. Specially trained employment lawyers at all the  participating firms will work together to resolve employment and workplace disputes in a non-adversarial way  to ensure a quick and cost effective employment related dispute resolution outcome for both employer and employee sides.

CEL lawyers are professionally trained and hold an ACAS Certificate of Internal Workplace Mediation or equivalent in order to expertly advise on resolving employment disputes in a constructive setting. CEL is different from conventional mediation as it does not involve an independent third party mediator, enabling a more efficient and collaborative negotiation between the parties and their lawyers to reach an agreed settlement. On the rare occurrence that CEL does not produce a resolution, the parties will not be required to change their lawyers in order to continue seeking a legal solution. Furthermore, the CEL process is confidential and provides an accessible service in which clients can resolve their disputes in a more efficient, less stressful and cost effective manner, than going through the courts.

Both the employer and employee must choose to use CEL and sign a participation agreement. Each side will nominate their CEL lawyer from participating firms before a meeting is arranged within 14-21 days. The parties will then prepare, with help from the collaborative lawyers, opening statements setting out the resolution they are each seeking to achieve and the CEL lawyers will help both parties to explore areas of agreement, consensus or mutual interest and build on those to try and make sure that resolution is achieved.

Andrew Masters, Partner and Head of Employment Law at Furley Page, said: “We were delighted when Thomson Snell & Passmore approached us about becoming a founding partner for this new venture. The Collaborative Employment Law approach reflects our culture as a firm and the types of solutions our clients are seeking.

“CEL is an attractive alternative for many employers and employees who do not wish to go through expensive and time-consuming litigation. We look forward to working closely with the other founding law firms to make CEL a success.”

For further information about the new Collaborative Employment Law service, contact Andrew Masters on 01227 763939 or email

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