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@Catherine Barton Photography

When businesses fall out they often lock horns in litigation, which can be costly for all involved and take up a lot of time. The purpose of the Small Business Commissioner (the SBC) is to try to change that. The legislation to establish the organisation is currently going through the process of approval by the House of Commons. Progress of the Enterprise Bill which establishes the SBC can be followed on the Parliament website here:

It is currently awaiting Second Reading in the House of Commons but no date has been set. No doubt officials at BIS may have a better idea when it is likely to make it to Royal Assent. We will keep you updated as to its progress. The idea is that the SBC will direct businesses to mediation for disputes, to avoid costly litigation, and will adjudicate on late payment of debts.

In the meantime, the All Parliamentary Party Group on ADR will meet on 8 February. This will be an introductory session aimed at giving the members an overview of the various types of ADR most commonly used in the UK.

If you do need a mediator for any dispute please bear ProMediate in mind. We have a panel of civil and commercial mediators and we are registered as a mediation provider by the Civil Mediation Council.