By Simon Turner, Partner, Armstrong Watson

ACCORDING to new research, 96% of small and medium sized businesses in the UK regularly experience commercial disputes, with just under half reporting that such issues put their business’s future at risk (source: Escalate Dispute Resolution 2019).

However, despite this serious impact, only 23% of respondents have taken legal action to try to resolve their disputes. It’s not surprising, as traditionally, pursuing a commercial dispute tends to be a costly, lengthy and risky undertaking, with lawyers typically billing you based on the amount of time they spend working for you and, 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.

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 a challenging contractual negotiation or difficult debtor of more than £50,000, on which initial negotiations and settlement procedures have been exhausted and who could neither afford, nor 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 Simon Turner on 0808 144 5575 or email