Award-winning East Anglian law firm Ashtons Legal has become the latest leading professional services business to join Escalate, the ground-breaking commercial dispute resolution process for SMEs.

Ashtons Legal has offices in Bury St Edmunds, Cambridge, Ipswich and Norwich.  The firms’ addition further strengthens Escalate’s geographic footprint in East Anglia, where it already has an on-the-ground presence via accountancy practice Price Bailey.

Escalate 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.  The Escalate process has won four 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, and ‘Legal Services Innovation Award’ at The British Legal Awards 2018.

Escalate is already helping businesses to recover more than £50 million that is currently locked up in commercial disputes.

Chris Clay, Managing Director of Escalate, said: “We’re pleased to be working with Ashtons Legal in order to give SMEs in East Anglia even greater access to the multi-award-winning Escalate dispute resolution process.

“Ashtons Legal has already been working closely with Price Bailey on a number of Escalate cases, and the team’s strong links with the local business community are helping us to forge exciting new alliances in the region.  Getting them on board as a partner makes complete sense for everyone.

“Escalate’s mission is to help the SME community so that the £40 billion that’s written off each year as bad debt is reduced.  In our view, a bad debt is just a commercial dispute that didn’t get resolved.”

Tom Bailey, Partner at Ashtons Legal, said: “We’re looking forward to working with Price Bailey and the other Escalate partners to help SMEs in East Anglia with the inevitable bumps in the road that all successful businesses encounter. 

“Joining Escalate is all about providing SMEs with greater access to justice.  By removing financial risk, providing transparency on process and pricing, and ensuring that the claimant remains the main beneficiary on settlement, Escalate gives businesses in our region an opportunity to resolve their disputes in a way that helps rather than hinders their cash flow.  I have no doubt that our clients will benefit considerably from having access to it.”

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