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Archive for February 28, 2018

Escalate case study one : contract dispute client (£107,000)

Background

We recently engaged a contract dispute case in which the client was owed £107,000. The dispute was a few years old and originally the client thought it was delayed/bad debt so they instructed their local solicitor to deal with the dispute. This was unsuccessful and resulted in the defendants counter claiming for £300,000 in attempt to scare the client.

The client tried to negotiate with the defendants and they were prepared to accept a 50% discount to get the matter resolved, but the defendant was unprepared and instead stated ‘take us to court then if you can’. At no point during the last few years has the claimant made any attempt to pursue the counter claim indicating that it was nothing more than a scare tactic.

The client then engaged a well known law firm in Birmingham to help them recover their £107,000 and this was taken on with the client being charged circa £25,000 in fees before the law firm advised that there was nothing more they could do for them and did not litigate because ‘the costs vs returns didn’t stack up’. So the client was left with no recovery, 2 years of lost time and fees incurred equal to 25% of the original claim.

How did Escalate help?

The client heard about Escalate and made contact with the team and we have subsequently engaged the case and are now pursuing. On the basis the client is happy for a 50% recovery (we are looking for 100% plus historic costs if possible), we are hopeful that we will be able to negotiate this through in path A, however we are very certain that if we can’t then the moment it drops into Path B then mediation/settlement will happen.

Why Escalate?

If you have a unresolved dispute, Escalate can help you to avoid wasting your time and money pursuing disputes with unsuccessful outcome.

Click here for more information or email escalate@bermans.co.uk to contact a member of the team.

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Escalate case study two: sports club construction dispute (£450,000+)

Background

A sports club sold off part of its land to a developer in return for the construction of a new club house on the remaining club’s land.

Construction costs over-ran, the developer walked off-site and would not return until additional funds were provided by the sports club to support the club house build. This resulted in a ‘stand-off’ that then saw lawyers instructed from both sides to try and resolve.

The case got stuck in a 12 month plus legal process that didn’t progress, other than to highlight the original weaknesses in the contract drafting which meant both sides had some form of potential argument to keep the lawyers going ‘backwards and forwards’.

The case had gained over £50,000 in legal costs before it stalled due to the sports club running out of money to pursue further. Their incumbent lawyer (national firm) was not comfortable in offering a conditional agreement but certainly were not prepared to cover disbursements. It was also unlikely that the case would have been able to get insurance for the adverse costs (After The Event Insurance) below £100,000 which would have made it prohibitive.

How did Escalate help?

The sports club heard about Escalate through their local accountant and transferred the case to us. Within 6 weeks a heads of term agreement was reached.

Through Escalate we were able to demonstrate that the case was now funded and insured to high court meaning the developer needed to do a deal or risk a significant cash gamble under the court.

Why Escalate?

If you have a unresolved dispute, Escalate can help you to avoid wasting your time and money pursuing disputes with unsuccessful outcome.

Click here for more information or email escalate@bermans.co.uk to contact a member of the team.

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Escalate case study three: marketing company share sale (£220,000)

Background

An entrepreneur sold her marketing company to a UK business with an American parent with the sum to be paid in three stages over a two year period. The final instalment of £220,000 was due in October 2016 but was never received. The previous 2 instalments had been received and there was no prior indication that there would be a problem with the final one.

Upon failure to receive the final payment, approaches were made to the American parent for justification and none were given accept a generic line of ‘breach of contract’.

The entrepreneur engaged legal support in the UK and also appointed lawyers in New York to explore ‘breach of contract’ and non-payment. Approximately £20,000 was spent in legal costs trying to understand the problem and recover the money, but nothing further than an extended previous position which now said ‘multiple breaches of contract’ but none were evidenced despite requests.

The entrepreneur had taken the view of not ‘throwing good money after bad’ and had decided to write off their final payment and sought advice from their accountant in relation to the tax treatment.

How did Escalate help?

The clients accountant informed them of Escalate and the case was engaged. Within 6 months the entrepreneur secured a recovery of £290,000.

Why Escalate?

If you have a unresolved dispute, Escalate can help you to avoid wasting your time and money pursuing disputes with unsuccessful outcome.

Click here for more information or email escalate@bermans.co.uk to contact a member of the team.

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