Escalate case studies

Escalate has worked on all types of cases – from bad debt and breach of contract, to negligence, IP infringement, and construction disputes. There’s no restriction on the type of case we can take on, and so far we’ve helped to unlock over £50 million that was previously written off.

These are just a small selection of case studies that the Escalate team has worked on.

Type: Breach of contract

Sector: Business services

Amount: £325,000

The problem

An entrepreneur sold their business services company, with the purchase price to be paid in stages. However, the final instalment of £250,000 was unexpectedly not received.

The entrepreneur approached the parent company for an explanation, and was advised there had been a breach of contract. They engaged a legal professional to explore the claim – spending £20,000 in legal fees in the process – but no progress was made.

How Escalate helped

The case followed the normal Escalate mediation process for the full three-month period before moving to the litigation stage. Aware that there was no legal merit to justify withholding payment, the defendant tried to delay the process (threatening to counter-claim, requesting to switch the case from a regional court to London, and asking for an extension of time) to frustrate the claimant and increase ongoing costs so they would drop their claim.

As the claimant bore no financial risk through the Escalate process, these attempts to dissuade them from pursuing their case had no impact – in fact, they served only to increase the defendant’s own costs.

The outcome

Escalate continued to push for a full settlement. We secured £325,000 for the client as the defendant was forced to concede once its costs became unsustainable. The total cost to the defendant – including its legal fees – in its pursuit to delay the claim amounted to around £450,000.


Type: Intellectual property infringement

Sector: Software

Amount: £350,000

The problem

A software company entered into a joint venture with a large property management consultancy to allow its application to be commercially exploited in return for a share of the revenue flow from it. However, the software company did not receive any revenue.

The software company engaged its incumbent lawyers to gather the necessary information to determine the amount it was owed, but the property management consultancy refused to engage.

How Escalate helped

There was no initial movement from the defendant during the Escalate mediation process, other than an attempt to encourage the claimant to walk away with a £40,000 settlement offer. The software house rejected this and, as the defendant was still unwilling to provide the information needed to assess the full revenue potential, Escalate issued at court for full disclosure. Unlike in a traditional dispute, the cost of this action was covered by Escalate, so the client did not incur any upfront disbursements.

The outcome

After we issued for full disclosure, the defendant admitted to owing £350,000 to the software company and settled the case.


Type: Construction dispute

Sector: Sports & leisure

Amount: £450,000

The problem

A sports club had sold part of its land to a developer in return for the construction of a new clubhouse on the organisation’s remaining land. As construction costs over-ran, the developer refused to finish the work until additional funds were provided by the sports club. This resulted in a stand-off that saw lawyers instructed by both sides.

The case got stuck for over 12 months in a legal process until the club exhausted its £50,000 fighting fund. Their club’s lawyer was uncomfortable in offering a conditional agreement and was not prepared to cover disbursements such as court fees. It was also unlikely that the case would have been able to get ‘after the event’ insurance for the adverse costs at a commercially viable level.

How Escalate helped

Escalate dragged the case away from the lawyers and moved the discussions on from the respective legal merits, with negotiations held directly between the Escalate corporate recovery professional and the developer. The fact that, via Escalate, the club was able to demonstrate that the case was funded to the High Court meant that the developer needed to agree to a deal or risk a significant gamble through the court system.

The outcome

We agreed a heads of terms settlement with the developer in just six weeks. Execution was not straightforward as it required new contracts to be drafted. The client was given a choice of lawyers to undertake this work, but chose to use the Escalate team instead. As a result, the issue was settled and the clubhouse was built.


Type: Defective product

Sector: Manufacturing

Amount: £3 million

A flooring company had purchased products from a well-known supplier of cementitious materials. The product was defective, which resulted in the customers’ floors failing after a short period. The company was faced with significant claims from many of its clients, and wanted to recover the value of those claims and its other losses from the supplier.

The problem

The client did not have the financial resources to be able to pursue such a significant claim against a large multi-national company – and the defendant knew this. It attempted to delay the process and force the claimant to incur further costs so it had no option but to drop the claim or settle it quickly.

How Escalate helped

Once engaged, we quickly moved to issue and serve proceedings. The supplier has continued to delay, but is now receiving a very simple message – the more you delay, the more it will cost you. The claimant, meanwhile, has no financial risk as its costs have been agreed with Escalate up front.

Outcome

The case is now booked to go to court imminently (early 2019), with the claimant’s costs paid for by Escalate all the way through to a potential High Court settlement.