Peer-to-peer (P2P) business lending platform ArchOver has become the latest professional services business to sign up to Escalate, the ground-breaking commercial dispute resolution service for SMEs.
Archover, which has facilitated over £37 million of funding for UK businesses, is the first P2P lending platform to join a growing number of leading national and regional Escalate partners, including accountants PKF, Haines Watts and Price Bailey; law firms Bermans and Moore Blatch; and insurance claims mediation specialist Flaxmans.
Escalate focusses on helping 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 does so by focusing on a negotiated settlement, using licenced corporate recovery specialists with a track record of rapidly recovering assets to negotiate on behalf of the claimant, and encouraging the defendant to settle quickly in the client’s favour without the need for litigation. The process allows a maximum of three months for this negotiation.
If the defendant is unwilling to settle in this timeframe, solicitors acting on a fully conditional basis will begin preparing for litigation. As part of the service, all fees and associated costs are funded and paid on the client’s behalf all the way up to a High Court resolution, with the adverse costs risk indemnified by an insurance policy.
This contrasts with the traditional commercial dispute resolution process that typically takes 18 months; is often billed by the hour; can require the payment of disbursements, such as court fees or the costs of an expert, up front; and leaves the claimant at risk from large legal bills from its advisers and exposure to the defendant’s costs in the event of an unsuccessful outcome.
The partnership with Escalate enhances ArchOver’s ability to provide secure loans to the SME market, helping borrowers to bring in disputed payments and heightening security for lenders as a result.
Escalate’s rapid no-win no-fee dispute resolution will enable ArchOver to recover any contested assets used as security for loans over the ArchOver platform, further enhancing its market-leading secured lending services. Escalate will provide lenders with the assurance that contested debts are paid and repayments can be made on time, working in tandem with ArchOver’s built-in insurance and the company’s all-asset charge on borrower assets.
Chris Clay, one of the architects of the Escalate process, said: “Many businesses don’t pursue commercial disputes because of high upfront costs, long delays and considerable uncertainty – but there is now another way. Escalate was created from a desire to improve the traditional dispute resolution process from the SME client’s perspective.”
“Escalate’s successful launch has been supported by its network of forward-thinking partners that recognise the platform’s genuinely disruptive offer. ArchOver shares our ambitions, ethos and commitment to shaking up the market, so partnering with them was a natural next step for us.”
Ian Anderson, ArchOver COO, said: “Combining our monthly monitoring and insurance policies with Escalate’s dispute resolution will enable us to provide that extra level of assurance for our lenders, reinforcing ArchOver’s position as one of the most security-focused P2P platforms in the market.
“Within the SME market, all sorts of debt tends to be written off due to the time and money it takes to chase debtors down. With Escalate on board, we will now be able to help SMEs to recover that debt, managing their cash flow and increasing their ability to access essential funding as a result.”