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Coronavirus (COVID-19): The Pursuit of Debt and Commercial Mediation

15 April, 2020

In the current climate of the coronavirus pandemic, it can feel like many aspects of commercial life have been placed on hold. The temptation for business owners may be to postpone pursuing a debt until the situation becomes clearer.

However, delaying financial recovery is only likely to make a creditor’s position worse.

If you are owed a commercial debt, recovery will become more difficult with the passage of time, particularly as many businesses’ financial positions weaken. The financial position of your business is more important than your debtors and you should, therefore, consider all available and immediate steps to secure repayment.

“Some peace of mind is certainly preferable over the uncertainty of delaying action. You need to be at the front of the queue for payment and not at the back.”

We would encourage all businesses to continue to open regular lines of communication and engagement with their debtors, where possible.

In these challenging times, financial disputes will increase and therefore, communication and decisive early action will be required.

Commercial mediation during coronavirus

Commercial mediation involves an independent professional mediator assisting you and the other party in trying to reach a settlement. It is already the preferred route for many clients, owing to speed and cost-effectiveness. This is also more relevant now than ever as business mediation can take place by telephone or remote mediations using technology to facilitate discussions between parties in different locations all linked through the mediators’ coordination.

Negotiating and securing an agreement, which works for all those involved, is likely to produce the best outcome achievable.

How commercial mediation works

Commercial mediation is a confidential, without prejudice process where the mediators seek to facilitate and agree an outcome between parties which remains the parties agreed solution and not imposed by the courts.

A signed agreement can be drafted and signed by the parties to create a binding agreement there and then which brings to a final conclusion a potentially expensive disruptive and uncertain outcome so the parties can move on to more productive use of their time.

Don’t delay financial recovery

We are still here to assist clients with financial recovery and dispute resolution, so do not hesitate to contact us. A formal letter from us could result in a swift resolution.

*The information set out in this article is correct at the date of publication (15 April, 2020). The effect of coronavirus on businesses is a fast-changing area and so it is important to obtain legal advice to ensure you are properly protected.

Contact us

If you have any questions regarding the impact of the Coronavirus upon your business or are seeking up-to-date legal advice on debt recovery, contact Nikki Gates on 01202 294 566 or email NikkiGates@steeleraymond.co.uk.   

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