The Institution of Lighting Professionals (ILP) has become the first major membership body to offer the award-winning Escalate dispute resolution process as part of its member benefits package.

All of the ILP’s Membership now have access to the ground-breaking commercial dispute resolution process, which was recently named ‘Innovation of the Year’ at the British Accountancy Awards.

Escalate helps businesses 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.

Escalate is a two-stage dispute resolution process. Firstly, it focuses 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.

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.

Chantal O’Sullivan, Membership Services Manager of the ILP, said: “Escalate has the potential to be a game-changer for our members.

“By removing financial risk, providing transparency on process and pricing, and ensuring that the claimant remains the main beneficiary on settlement, Escalate gives our members an opportunity to resolve their disputes in a way that helps rather than hinders their cash flow. Escalate provides businesses with an innovative means of securing the resources they need to survive and grow, and I have no doubt that our members will benefit from using it.”

Chris Clay, Managing Director of Escalate, said: ” We are delighted to be partnering with the ILP and its members with Escalate.

“We’re seeing considerable demand from businesses across the country for the Escalate process, which is not surprising given that the traditional dispute resolution model is broken and heavily stacked against claimants.

“Recent research from the Federation of Small Businesses suggests there were at least 3.4 million commercial disputes involving SMEs between 2010 and 2015. This represents a significant cost and cash flow constraint to businesses, and can sometimes be the reason why they fail.

“Pursuing a commercial dispute has tended to be a costly, lengthy and risky undertaking. Escalate has changed that by providing a smarter way for businesses to resolve commercial disputes.

“Escalate is already helping to unlock over £15 million in cash for businesses involved in a variety of disputes, and we’re confident that we’ll help ILP members boost their cashflow too.”

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