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Acas Early Conciliation Service

Specialist Employment Law Solicitors explain the ACAS Early Conciliation Service for employees

What is Acas Early Conciliation?

If you want to bring a claim against your employer, you must notify Acas of your potential claim before issuing your case in the Employment Tribunal.

Acas will offer you “Early Conciliation”, so that they can talk to you and your employer or former employer about your dispute. This gives you a chance of coming to an agreement without having to go to an Employment Tribunal.

What are the benefits of using Acas Early Conciliation?

The Acas Early Conciliation service is free and confidential and is not part of the Employment Tribunal service.

If a Settlement is reached it is quicker and less expensive.

It is voluntary and you can agree outcomes that you would not be able to get at the Employment Tribunal such as a reference.

What are the drawbacks of using Acas Early Conciliation?

Settlements are finalised using an agreement called a COT3. Unlike Settlement Agreements, there is no legal requirement for this agreement to be signed off by your own independent Employment Law solicitor.

We would recommend that you insist that there is a financial contribution made by your employer or former employer to advise you on a fair compensation sum and the terms of the agreement. The usual financial contribution is between £350 and £500 (+ VAT).

If you have submitted your case for Acas Conciliation, we will assess your claims to ensure that they are all made and that you do not settle for less than your claims are worth.

Our fees

Unfair dismissal

In a straightforward case we would expect to assess your case and provide a written advice within three hours. We provide this service at our lawyers’ fee rate, which varies from £220 – £295 plus VAT.

All other claims

Discrimination, whistleblowing and cases which include multiple claims are likely to require more than three to five hours of work at our lawyers’ fee rate, which varies from £220 – £295 plus VAT. We will agree with you in advance how many hours we should spend.

Securing the best outcome


If you require us to undertake negotiations on your behalf then we can provide further assistance. We will provide an hourly quote at our usual rates depending on the experience and seniority of the lawyer. We can also assist you by providing advice for you to negotiate yourself. The aim being to secure a COT3 or a Settlement Agreement on the best possible terms.

Employment Tribunal Claims

We will provide detailed advice on costs so that you can fund this privately and will always ensure that the costs are proportionate to what you are likely to receive. We will also check whether you have the benefit of Legal Expense Insurance.

If you cannot afford our legal fees but have strong prospects of success, your employer is solvent, and your case is of sufficient value, we can offer you a Damages Based Agreement. These will require you to pay disbursements (e.g. GP notes, medical reports, travel expenses). You will only pay us if we win or settle, at an agreed percentage of your compensation.

If you need help with Acas Conciliation contact our Employment Law Team on 01273 609911, or email

Martin Searle Solicitors, 9 Marlborough Place, Brighton, BN1 1UB
T: 01273 609 991

Martin Searle Solicitors is the trading name of ms solicitors ltd, which is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority, and is registered in England under company number 05067303.

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