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Matt Howard is a partner at accountancy firm Price Bailey in Norwich. He has been working with Escalate for over two years, and now shares his inside knowledge on how the process is helping Price Bailey’s clients to resolve their commercial disputes.


Why did Price Bailey become an Escalate partner? 

Primarily because we work hard to put our clients first. It was something that developed from the conversations we were having with our clients: many of the SMEs we work with kept telling us that they were being forced to write off bad debts and commercial disputes. The reasons for the write offs tended to be the same: lawyers are too expensive, the process takes too long, clients already have enough to do, and there’s too much risk.

There wasn’t a clear solution to these problems – until Escalate came along. From that point, becoming an Escalate partner was a no-brainer – it was a ‘win’ for our clients, who now have a hassle-free and cashflow-friendly way to manage their debts and resolve commercial disputes, and a ‘win’ for us, as we’re now able to provide an even better service. 


What has been the reaction from clients? 

The response has been very positive. Even the most successful businesses have the occasional bump in the road. They now know that they can come to us when they get to one of these obstacles, and we can very quickly assess the merits of their case. Clients particularly appreciate that Escalate helps rather than hinders their cashflow – they don’t have to pay upfront, the fees are fixed, there are no costs to pay if the case doesn’t succeed. That makes a considerable difference to a business because cash is so important to their survival and growth. 


What Escalate cases are you working on at the moment? 

We’ve got a number of interesting cases in the pipeline at present, so I can’t say too much about them. They cover a variety of different issues – bad debts, contractual disputes, negligence, infringement of intellectual property – and range from claims below £10,000 to those where several million pounds are at stake. 


How have you found working with the other Escalate partners? 

We’ve developed a good relationship with the team from Ashtons Legal. Working together, we have a very strong on the ground presence in East Anglia and we’re already starting to make a difference for the region’s business community. We’re excited about the possibilities for the future. 


What’s the plan for the next few months? 

Together with Ashtons Legal, we’ve recently launched major initiatives with Barclays and the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce. This means we can help even more SMEs in the region to get the access to justice that they deserve. We hope that the work we’re doing together in East Anglia will provide a template for other Escalate partners to follow elsewhere in the UK. 


What advice do you give to clients with regards to resolving a commercial dispute or bad debt? 

Don’t write off your disputes! Escalate is already helping businesses like yours unlock over £50 million in cash by resolving their commercial disputes. Get in touch with us or one of the other Escalate partners and let us see how best we can help you. 


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