Litigation Culture on the Rise in North West England

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Litigation culture is on the rise in the North West, a recent survey has shown, with around half of all companies questioned stating that they have had to use solicitors to resolve business disputes at least once in the past three years. 68% of companies who responded said that the amount of disputes they had faced had risen in the past 3 years.

This survey reinforces what our members have often said in the past, there is a need for better advice and information on Health and Safety regulations.

Litigation culture is on the rise in North West England, a recent survey has shown, with around half of all companies questioned stating that they have had to use solicitors to resolve business disputes at least once in the past three years. Fully 68% of companies who responded said that the number of disputes they had faced had risen in the past three years.

The independent research, commissioned by Manchester based JMW Solicitors, looked at the various legal issues faced by companies in Greater Manchester and Cheshire via telephone questionnaires with Managing Directors or other Senior Management of nearly 60 companies in August of this year.

The study also revealed that almost 60% of companies did not anticipate that the dispute was going to arise. Of these, two-thirds ended up having to instruct solicitors to deal with the matter.

Family Business

Family owned businesses appear to be more at risk from fraud than non-family run businesses in certain areas. The survey showed that family businesses need to ensure adequate systems are in place in place to protect them against fraud by third parties, shareholders and customers, although they are far less vulnerable to fraud perpetrated by employees.

Red Tape

The area of ‘red tape’ which most concerns businesses is Health and Safety regulations. Over 75% of respondents said that they found this the most complex, and hence concerning to their business.

John Risk, Assistant Policy Director at Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, adds, “This survey reinforces what our members have often said in the past, there is a need for better advice and information on Health and Safety regulations.”

Tony Winterburn, Head of Commercial Services at JMW, comments, “The findings which have come out of this survey make very interesting reading. We knew that disputes were on the rise in this region and this survey has confirmed the scale of the increase. We anticipate that the findings will help us meet the changing needs of both our commercial and private clients.”

Winterburn joined JMW in January 2006 as a Commercial Litigation Partner and is based at the firm’s Manchester and Altrincham offices. Formerly a Partner at international law firm DLA Piper, where he spent 18 years, Winterburn is a recognised leader in his specialist field (Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession) of commercial litigation.

For further information, or to receive a full copy of the report, please contact Tony Winterburn on 0845 402 0001

Editors Notes

JMW Solicitors offer a broad range of legal services to both private and commercial clients. Their client base has grown year on year and includes some of the UK's most successful companies.

In the summer of 2006 JMW Solicitors moved into new state of the art offices at No 1 Byrom Place, Manchester. The new building, based in the prestigious Spinningfields area, comprises 8 storeys and some 30,000 sq.ft of useable office space.

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