If you have unresolved commercial disputes that you are reluctant to pursue because of the potential cost, then Escalate may be the solution you need.  It provides a straightforward approach to finding a commercial solution with no upfront costs to your business.  It also aims to resolve disputes quickly to help improve your cashflow.

While Escalate can be used by businesses of all sizes, it is likely to add most value in the SME sector, where more disputes currently remain unresolved for financial reasons than in much larger companies.

How does it work?

Escalate has a two-stage process.  Stage one would be carried out by our regional corporate recovery partners in the scheme, Price Bailey LLP.  They will start with intensive negotiations, aimed at achieving a settlement within three months.  If this is unsuccessful, stage two involves Ashtons’ dispute resolution lawyers who will take a legal route on your behalf, if necessary funded all the way to the High Court.

What does it cost?

There are no upfront costs and no financial risk.  You will only pay if we reach a successful settlement on your behalf and this is done on a fixed-fee basis so that you have complete clarity from the outset.  If by any chance your litigation is not successful, you will not need to pay the other party’s costs.

This may sound a little similar to a traditional ‘no win, no fee’ approach but there are significant positive differences with Escalate.  Under a traditional arrangement, you would generally have to pay some up-front costs, such as court fees and barristers’ or experts’ fees and would also potentially risk having to pay your opponent’s costs if you lose, unless you purchase insurance to cover this.  The traditional process also takes up to 18 months to reach a conclusion.

Using Escalate, the focus is on achieving a rapid commercial result with no financial risk.

What types of dispute are covered by Escalate?

Any type of commercial dispute can be settled this way.  The ones we expect to see most frequently are contractual disputes, bad debts, intellectual property infringement and negligence.

Where can I find out more about Escalate?

If you would like to talk about a particular current unresolved dispute then email Tom Bailey on Tom.Bailey@ashtonslegal.co.uk who is heading the Escalate team at Ashtons or call Tom on 01603 703090.

Escalate is an award-winning scheme which is being rolled out nationally with East Anglia being one of the earliest regions to benefit with Ashtons Legal and Price Bailey as its chosen commercial partners.  If you would like more background information about the scheme nationally, click here, or to read some case studies about how Escalate has helped others, click here.


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