Risk free commercial dispute service for SMEs


Leading South West law firm Stephens Scown LLP has launched a new service to take the risk out of commercial disputes for SMEs.

Stephens Scown has joined forces with Escalate, a ground-breaking commercial dispute resolution process. It is particularly suitable for commercial disputes including contract disputes, bad debts and negligence.

Escalate is a unique, multi-award winning service that helps SMEs to achieve a prompt settlement to a wide range of commercial disputes, with fixed fees payable only on a successful outcome and no upfront costs. It is already helping businesses to recover more than £80 million that is currently locked up in commercial disputes.

Catherine Mathews, a Partner and the Head of Stephens Scown’s dispute resolution team in Exeter, said:

“The Escalate model has proven to make a real difference to clients - it’s innovative and game-changing. Client service is a key focus for us and we look forward to seeing how our clients can benefit from this new service.

“The traditional dispute resolution process has always been heavily stacked against SMEs, but by removing financial risk and ensuring that the claimant remains the main beneficiary on settlement, we hope to make a real difference to SMEs who are faced with a dispute.”

Chris Clay, Managing Director of Escalate, said:

“We’re pleased to be working with Stephens Scown to help give more businesses access to justice through the Escalate dispute resolution process.

“The South West SME community is extremely important to both firms, and this partnership will help continue our mission to support businesses with their cashflow, reducing the £40 billion that’s written off each year in commercial disputes.”

The Escalate process has won five prestigious national awards: ‘Innovation of the Year’ at the British Accountancy Awards 2017, ‘Best Collaboration Initiative’ at the Lawyer Awards 2018, ‘Excellence in Business Development’ at the Law Society Excellence Awards 2018, ‘Legal Services Innovation Award’ at The British Legal Awards 2018 and 'Innovation of the Year' at the Modern Law Awards. In 2019, Escalate was recognised as one of the top 10 new innovative businesses in the UK at the Lloyds Bank National Business Awards.

Stephens Scown is the first large law firm in the UK to become employee owned, and has appeared in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For list for the last six years. It employs over 300 people, including over 50 partners at its offices in Truro, St Austell and Exeter.