Dispute Resolution Service in partnership with Escalate

Pursuing disputes has traditionally been costly and risky

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

Our new approach eliminates the financial risk and prioritises cash flow

Our Escalate dispute resolution service takes a completely fresh approach. We’ve created a new type of service that prioritises your cash flow by focussing on a quick settlement and removing upfront costs. By looking at the process from your perspective, we’re transforming how small and medium-sized businesses manage disputes:

  • No financial risk – you don’t pay out unless we reach a successful settlement
  • No initial outlay – we pay for all of the up-front costs
  • Rapid results – we aim to get your money back in just three months; if we can’t settle quickly, we have the financial backing to support you all the way to a High Court resolution
  • A fixed fee basis – complete transparency from the start
  • No restrictions on the types of cases we tackle – bad debt, contractual, negligence, IP infringement etc.
  • Not just current or future cases – we can go back to disputes that are up to three years old.

We’ve reinvented the dispute resolution process from your perspective

We created Escalate by looking at each of the steps of the traditional dispute resolution process from your perspective and finding ways of improving them.

We begin negotiating on your behalf as soon as you engage us, using experienced negotiators to encourage the defendant to settle quickly in your favour without the need for litigation. We allow up to three months for this negotiation.

If the defendant is unwilling to settle in this timeframe, we begin preparing for litigation. We’ll take care of this process for you, paying the up-front fees and associated costs all the way up to a High Court resolution.

We can help you

There are no restrictions on the size or complexity of the cases we can deal with, and we can look at cases going back three years. Get in touch if you want us to help.

All MemNet members can use Escalate – please get in touch with Chris Clay, MemNet’s dedicated Escalate contact, by clicking on the button below.  Further information about Escalate is also available below.

MemNet is not responsible for any services or agreements entered into as a result of this information.

Frequently Asked Questions about Escalate:

What is the issue ?

  • The commercial dispute market for small or medium sized organisations is broken and does not work.   The cost for resolving a dispute or pursuing a bad debt is prohibitive for most – even if you can afford to pursue it you can’t always justify the additional cash outlay.   Many businesses now don’t even turn for professional help but simply give up and write off once their own attempts have failed.
  • An example of this came from the 2018 Legal Services Board report which showed that businesses with employees of 1-50 had stopped turning to advisers for help.  The report found that 9 out 10 of these businesses would no longer turn to lawyers for help due to both cost and trust, and instead write off the problem and any cash owed.  The Legal Services Board (the regulator) stated that more than £40 billion was written off every year by this group of businesses due to commercial disputes not being sorted.
  • MemNet has many members that would fit within this group and have many future members that may also fall into this group – this is real – organisations are burying their disputes and with it significant cash.  This problem is not restricted to the smaller companies either – the bigger the client usually the bigger the quantum in dispute so just as painful if not more!
  • Escalate was created to remove the barriers that were preventing access to justice for small and medium sized organisations.  Escalate was created to repair this broken market and in doing so do create new liquidity and stronger cash flow for businesses.  Escalate is not a distressed service but a pro-active cash flow solution and tool for businesses in navigating their trading bumps in the road.

What does Escalate do ?

  • Escalate can be used to help a business resolve a dispute or recover a debt.
  • Escalate is not restricted on the size of the problem or debt.  It has supported the recovery of small debts and the settlement of million pound disputes.
  • Escalate can handle any sort of commercial dispute.   Property, IT, Construction, Contract, Intellectual Property and insurance policy – most business would not perhaps consider an insurance policy rejection to be a dispute – in reality it is nothing more than a contract dispute.
  • Escalate does three important things for the clients:
    • Removes the clients financial risk in resolving the dispute.  Client pays nothing until successfully resolved – including protection for any adverse costs should a matter not be resolved.  A client therefore has nothing to lose in using Escalate and everything to gain.
    • Escalate brings together the talents of accountants and lawyers to drive a quick settlement process.  Escalate targets money back within 3 months and if no success will look to push straight into litigation to drive a settlement. (Might be worth stating that at present Escalate is seeing many disputes move into the first stage of litigation on the basis the defendant thinks the case will disappear/give up so when we don’t and we issue proceedings they come running back to the negotiation table).
    • Escalate has a fixed and transparent fee structure.  Escalate’s fee is 30% of any damages/debt recovered (regardless of size).  Escalate covers off all upfront costs of litigation including court fees, counsel fees, expert fees along with providing protection for any adverse costs should a case fail.   Escalate ensures the client always remains the main beneficiary of any award (70%) which can’t always be guaranteed via alternative dispute resolution solutions.  (might be worth stating that the structure of the fee was done to change the behaviours of the lawyers and drive quicker recovery and therefore cash flow for the client.  E.G under the normal process a lawyer might be paid for the costs incurred so the more letters that went out and the more time spent on the clock the bigger the bill and their fee – under Escalate we don’t get paid unless there is a success and until there is a success.  Also, as Escalate covers off all of the upfront costs the team is incentivised to drive a settlement quickly to avoid spending lots upfront as that might drive more profit from the 30%.  It is a complete reverse in the reward structure – and one that benefits the client massively).

We are more than Just a Membership organisation

At MemNet, we have a vast network of some of the UK’s leading organisations, our membership count is constantly rising from our original 34 members (250 in 2016). In short, we provide an excellent service that is both wholly unique and utterly essential for growth and success. Join our varied and vibrant community today for access to reams of information, events to attend for information and great opportunities for networking.

Our Talented Team

At MemNet we have a small but highly focussed core team which is complemented by our Approved Associates.  We are proud of our team and we encourage you to get in touch with them.

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