FSB calls for overhaul of dispute resolution rules

Research from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), the UK’s biggest business organisation, has found that SMEs are losing over £11 billion a year to business disputes with 70 per cent embroiled in at least one dispute in recent years. Most disputes relate to late or non-payment of debts.

The FSB is calling for a "new approach" with "clear and simple guidelines on dispute resolution, written in plain English and free of legal jargon" to help to prevent disputes and an overhaul of the civil courts fees system.

According to James Hurley of The Times, a rise in court fees appears to be pricing companies out of taking legal action against those who owe them money, with a 19 per cent fall in county court judgments against businesses in England and Wales in the first six months of 2016.

John Walker, FSB Policy Chairman, said: “Long-winded disputes are immensely damaging for small businesses. The disruption to the everyday functions of the business can even be terminal.

“This is why it’s so important that, on the rare occasions when disputes have to be settled formally, the procedures are easy to follow and free from legal jargon.

“We welcome the initiative to reform the system of dispute resolution and hope that the Government comes to understand the vulnerability of small businesses when disputes arise.”

At Beavis Morgan, our experts draw on more than 20 years experience of providing forensic and litigation support services on such matters that include contract disputes and alternative dispute resolution, as well as professional negligence claims, family law cases, regulatory matters, personal injury. We have acted as joint experts, single joint expert and have given oral evidence in the High Court. We also offer a no obligation review of potential assignments.

Please contact Simon Hammerton to find out more about how we can help you and your business.

If you are concerned about your cashflow or you are unable to pay your debt or that of your business, our experts at our partner business BM Advisory can help. Whatever your situation, the sooner you contact us the more options you will have available to you. Your initial consultation is free of charge, and you can rest assured that it will be in total confidence.

To find out more or to discuss your specific circumstances, please contact Andy Pear or Mike Solomons.

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