MemNet – one of the leading networking groups for membership organisations, associations and charities – has signed up as a partner of the award-winning Escalate dispute resolution process.

This means that all of MemNet’s members have access to the ground-breaking commercial dispute resolution process, which was recently named ‘Innovation of the Year’ at the British Accountancy Awards, ‘Best Collaboration Initiative’ at the Lawyer Awards and ‘highly commended’ in the Legal Week Innovation 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 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.

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.

James Jeynes, Chief Executive of MemNet and its Founder Member, said: “MemNet was established as a support network for membership bodies and associations. Providing our members with easy access to the Escalate dispute resolution platform is one of ways that we’re fulfilling an important objective of value added membership.

“In the past, many organisations have given up on commercial disputes, even though they are collectively owed millions of pounds, because of the risk, cost and time required to successfully pursue a case. That’s not right.

“Escalate has put the claimant back in control of the dispute resolution process, with a clever new approach. By removing financial risk, providing complete transparency on pricing from the start, 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. That’s why signing up to Escalate was a no brainer from our perspective.”

Chris Clay, Managing Director of Escalate, said: “Partnering with MemNet is great news for everyone involved.

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

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

“Escalate is a proven process that has won prestigious awards from both the legal and accountancy professions, and is already helping to unlock over £20 million in cash for organisations involved in a variety of disputes. I have no doubt that we’ll help MemNet members boost their their cashflow too.”

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