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  • Overview

    Employment and workplace disputes can often be highly charged and emotional because ultimately, people are involved and there is a lot at stake - principles as well as money. There are rarely winners in these disputes.

    Collaborative Employment Law (CEL) is a new mediation service offered by a group of employment lawyers who are committed to working together to resolve employment and workplace disputes.

    Members of CEL will have undergone internal workplace mediation training and hold an ACAS Certificate of Internal Workplace Mediation or equivalent in order to offer CEL to their clients and participate in CEL.

    The purpose of CEL is to:

    1. Resolve employment and workplace disputes in a non-confrontational way
    2. Deal with the resolution of employment and workplace disputes in a constructive, pro-active way
    3. Encourage participants to think creatively and constructively to resolve their dispute
    4. Work to achieve a resolution of the employment and workplace dispute
    5. Ensure a quick and cost effective outcome.

    The advantage of CEL is that it aims to avoid an employment or workplace dispute becoming adversarial and possibly spiralling down into deadlock with ensuing litigation. It allows the participants an opportunity to voice their respective concerns and interests.

    From the start of the process, both parties can be clear about what they hope to achieve.

    For it to work both parties must appoint CEL lawyers who will work with their respective clients to facilitate an open, honest and constructive exploration of ways in which the parties can reach a resolution of their differences.

    CEL offers the parties an opportunity, through this facilitated process, to speak directly to each other about the dispute in a non-confrontational way, in a dignified and neutral environment with the specific aim of seeking an early resolution to the dispute.

    There is no lengthy or aggressive correspondence or communication between the parties and in most cases, the matter should be resolved after one meeting. 

    CEL also allows the parties to be more creative and come up with their own solutions, which a court or employment tribunal would never have statutory power to deliver for example to agree for training, outplacement support or coaching to be provided or to receive a face to face apology.

    The CEL process is quick, confidential and all discussions and communications will be conducted on a without prejudice basis.

    What are the benefits of CEL?

    • It avoids workplace disputes escalating and becoming adversarial
    • It avoids litigation
    • It is a creative way of negotiating workplace issues allowing for more flexible solutions
    • It is quicker and less disruptive than conventional legal processes
    • It is more time efficient than an employment tribunal or other case, with multiple hearings
    • It is cheaper than incurring legal costs in an employment tribunal or court case
    • It is collaborative rather than confrontational
    • It is confidential
    • There is no need for a third party mediator and incurring the costs of their involvement.


    How does the process work?

    1. Both the employer and the employee need to agree to use the CEL process and nominate CEL member lawyers to assist them to facilitate in the process
    2. The CEL lawyers will arrange a time, date and venue to hold the CEL meeting which, subject to participants’ availability, will be arranged within 14 days from the date the parties elect CEL
    3. The CEL lawyers, in advance of the CEL meeting, will together have up to an hour long pre fact-finding meeting with each of the parties
    4. Seven days in advance of the CEL meeting, the CEL lawyers will provide disclosure to one another of any documentation that the parties agree are relevant to the dispute. The intention of the CEL process is to limit the use of and extensive reference to documentation and to promote dialogue
    5. At the start of the CEL meeting, the participants will provide an opening statement (delivered uninterrupted) setting out their position and the resolution they are seeking to achieve (the Statement) limited to no more than 30 mins each. It is important that the Statement is not produced and delivered in writing in advance of the meeting, so that the parties do not feel intimidated and pull out of the process before the meeting. CEL ensures that there can be no “game playing” in advance of the CEL meeting
    6. The CEL lawyers will assist the parties to agree how they will conduct the remainder of the CEL meeting
    7. The participants will have separate rooms that they can adjourn to, where they can discuss each other’s Statements, consider and deliberate on their respective interests and the proposals they wish to put forward. Where possible the parties are encouraged to conduct the meeting in one room
    8. The participants with the assistance of their CEL lawyers will then enter into facilitated discussions aimed at seeking a resolution to the dispute, by addressing the issues common to both parties and seeking consensus on those issues with a view to reaching agreement on all areas.

    Why opt for CEL?

    1. Provides a respectful, confidential and private forum for dispute resolution
    2. Allows parties in dispute to explore and understand their differences, so that they can find a solution
    3. Quicker, less expensive and less emotionally and commercially disruptive for both sides than traditional judicial forums
    4. Avoids the engagement of a third party mediator that may get in the way of bringing both parties together in a consensus.

    For more information, please view our Collaborative Employment brochure.


  • Latest Updates

    The Taylor review of Modern Working Practices

    This summer has seen the release of the eagerly anticipated independent review into modern employment practices following a swathe of high profile challenges to employment status in tribunals up and down the country.

    When a gift is a gift and not a bribe

    When a gift is a gift and not a bribe.  Elizabeth Maxwell considers the law on giving and receiving gifts in the workplace.

    Four Kent law firms team up to launch new initiative to avoid costly employment tribunals

    Nick Hobden speaks to Kent Business about a new process, called Collaborative Employment Law.

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At every stage in instructing TS&P (and I have used them for Residential Conveyancing, Family Law and Employment Law) I have always been very impressed with the quality of the people I have dealt with. Keep doing what they are doing and they will keep my business as well as be warmly recommended by me.


Clear, high quality communication and guidance.


Clearly understood the issues, explained to me what I was not really familiar with and confirmed that my understanding of certain aspects was indeed correct.


Clear concise advice and the negotiated removal of a number of unpleasant clauses to my benefit.


I have used TSP’s Workplace Law updates for number of years in my leadership roles with NCG, Royal British Legion Industries and now with Franksson David Consultancy Services.  In terms of up to the minute content, simple to understand language and ease of use they are by far the best quality updates I have come across as a HR practitioner.  I would strongly recommend them as an essential read to any HR professional.

David Jessop

Provided high quality advice!


I was able to meet and discuss my situation very soon after contacting TSP, Susanna was easy to contact and turned round review and responses to my employer swiftly, and the matter was dealt with within a relatively short timescale, minimising stress to me.


All the advice given was structured toward the type of business that we are.


Very prompt and responsive both during and after business hours, to successfully progress the case to agreement within a short time period and to schedule


Thank you to Nick Hobden, for the support and advice offered to me during a rather difficult period in my life.


I appreciate the responsiveness of Susanna with regards to my last minute request for help, and believe the advice given was very sound. I also recognise and appreciate the professionalism I have seen at all stages of our engagement


I came away understanding the background to the advice given, and I am happy that this takes into account my best interests


As one of the largest Multi-Academy Trusts often requiring immediate and reliable legal counsel, we have been so impressed with the services provided by TSP. Having confidence in the advice provided is the most important aspect of a solicitor/client relationship. The very nature of our business means that we seek legal support on a varied number of issues and the team at TSP have always been well equipped to manage that demand.  I cannot recommend them enough.  

Mark Burnett, The Kemnal Academies Trust

I appreciate the responsiveness of Susanna with regards to my last minute request for help, and believe the advice given was very sound. I also recognise and appreciate the professionalism I have seen at all stages of our engagement.


I came away understanding the background to the advice given, and I am happy that this takes into account my best interests


Quick response, talked me through the process as this situation was new to me. Discussed options throughout and gave good advice


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