Posted on the 6th October 2014

New research released today shows that more than a quarter of small and medium businesses feel bullied by big companies

However, almost a third haven’t pursued a potential legal case in the last five years because of fears about cost, time taken and the worries about losing

As the trend for SMEs seeking legal financial backing continues, two British entrepreneurs have set up a first-of-its-kind venture which will allow businesses to get funding for commercial litigation

Where previously they would not have had the means to have their day in court

British SMEs have missed out on an estimated £172,000 in damages, the equivalent of around £250 billion across the UK, in the last five years because they can’t afford their day in court.

That’s according to new research released today (by us!) which saw almost 30% of SMEs surveyed say they have felt bullied by a larger company or corporation when concerned with general business matters, however close to a third of them have not pursued legal action.

The three main reasons given for not pursuing legal action are the fact that SMEs see it as too expensive, too time consuming and also because of the uncertainty about whether they will actually win their case.

In fact, only one in five SMEs have been involved in litigation, with almost half saying they had to finance their case on an hourly rate basis, which for many small businesses can be crippling.

  • 30% of businesses have not pursued a potential legal case in the last five years
  • 15% because it’s too expensive
  • 14% because of the time it takes
  • 10% because of uncertainty over the outcome/fear of losing
  • SMEs estimate they have lost out on an average of £ 172,000 in damages in the last 5 years for not pursuing legal action
  • 28% have felt bullied by a larger company or corporation when concerned with general business matters
  • 10% would be interested in third party litigation financing to cover all the costs and risks

Sample: 501 Decision Makers in SMEs

All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner’s Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).

For full results, including breakdown by age, gender and region, please see the PDF below:

Annecto Legal SME Research

Download Annecto Legal SME Research (851.4 KiB)