by Mike Kienlen, Partner and Chairman, Armstrong Watson

PURSUING a commercial dispute tends to be a costly, lengthy and risky undertaking.

It’s not difficult to see why: your lawyers will typically bill you based on the amount of time they spend working for you. Given that the average litigation case for a small or medium-sized business is around 18 months, it’s not uncommon for these bills to spiral to the level of the damages that you’re claiming.

Even if you can find a lawyer to act for you on a ‘no win no fee’ basis, you’ll still have to pay up front for disbursements such as court fees. And, of course, you could be liable for all or some of the defendant’s costs as well as your own if you lose the case.

It’s hardly surprising, then, that many businesses decide against pursuing a claim and reluctantly write-off what they are owed.

However, there is another way! Armstrong Watson has partnered with Escalate, an award-winning, accountancy-led commercial dispute resolution service, which includes - where necessary - risk free litigation for the client.

It offers a smarter way to resolve commercial disputes that prioritises your cash flow by focusing on a quick settlement, removing up-front costs and minimising risk. It’s aimed at companies and individuals who have got an outstanding debtor (of greater than £50,000) on which either initial debt collection procedures have been exhausted, have previously written off the debt or could neither afford or risk lengthy and time consuming Court action and potential costs awards in the event of their claim being unsuccessful.

Escalate takes a completely fresh approach. Once an initial review has been completed, Escalate utilises a two-stage process: a period of intensive negotiation with corporate recovery experts targeting a settlement in under three months, and then, if necessary, litigation using specialist legal teams that are funded all the way to the High Court.

To find out if your commercial dispute could benefit from the Escalate process please contact Mike Kienlen on 0113 2211 300.

*Armstrong Watson is a Partner firm of Escalate Dispute Resolution, selected and licensed to operate in the North of England.