Debt Recovery

Every business has its bad debtors which is not only frustrating but can be a real cause of cash-flow problems. Many businesses do not have the time to chase those debts but we can shoulder that burden.

You may already benefit from Legal Expenses Insurance that my cover some or all of the costs that will need to be incurred. We will check this with you at our initial appointment and advise you further should that appear to be the case. If you do not benefit from such insurance then we will advise you on alternative methods of funding your claim.

Our business debt recovery service provides an efficient and cost-effective means of recovering your unpaid commercial invoices. Our fixed fees will enable you to know exactly what it will cost to instruct our solicitors.

Stage 1

You provide us with details of the debt and how it arose, to include copies of any invoices and contact details for the debtor. Having taken your instructions we then send a letter of claim to the debtor requesting payment within a period of up to 30 days (or sooner if you wish, providing the debtor is not an individual/sole trader). We charge a fixed fee of £25 + VAT for this service.

Stage 2

If agreement is not reached with the debtor, if you wish to take further action, we will prepare a Claim Form and Particulars of Claim and will issue proceedings to recover your debt. Our fees are fixed but depend on the value of your claim and the Court will also charge an issue fee.

Stage 3

If the debtor fails to respond or admits their liability, we will apply to the Court for a judgment order on your behalf. This is an order from the Court requiring the debtor to pay you the sum claimed. Again, our costs for this service are fixed, depending on the value of the debt.

Stage 4

If, despite obtaining a Court Order, the debtor still does not pay, we will advise you as to your options for enforcement and will apply to the Court to enforce its Order. Our fee is fixed depending on the enforcement option that you choose.

*Please see our fixed debt recovery fees sheet below for a summary of the costs involved in each stage.

Defended claims

If the debtor chooses to defend your claim we will happy to act on your behalf and will advise you on the possible costs involved and the best way of proceeding with the case.

Equally, if you are being chased for a debt which you think you should not have to pay then please contact us. We can draft a Defence and (if appropriate) a Counterclaim and act on your behalf in respect of the Court proceedings. Please feel free to contact us to discuss the likely costs.

Pre-Action Protocol for debt claims

The Pre-Action Protocol for debt claims applies to all debt claims brought by businesses after the 1 October 2017 against individuals (including Sole Traders) and formalises the process that should be complied with before issuing proceedings to recover a debt against an individual.

A debtor must be sent a letter of claim containing comprehensive and specific information concerning the debt. They should then respond within 30 days in a prescribed ‘reply form’ and can request copies of any relevant documents. If they indicate that they are taking debt advice then the debtor must be given a reasonable time to do so.

If no reply is received within 30 days of the letter of claim being sent or if the debt remains unpaid 30 days after receipt of the ‘reply form’, Court proceedings may be commenced.

The parties are encouraged to consider options for settling the debt without the need for proceedings to be issued

We will ensure that the Protocol is complied with throughout the course of your claim.

Fixed debt recovery fees

1. Drafting a letter threatening Court proceedings £25.00 + VAT

2. Preparing Claim Form and Particulars of Claim to issue proceedings

Amount of debt Our fixed fee
(excl VAT)
Court Issue Fee Total
(excl VAT)
Up to £300.00 £65.00 £25.00 £100.00
£300.01 – £500.00 £75.00 £35.00 £125.00
£500.01 – £1,000.00 £125.00 £60.00 £195.00
£1,000.01 – £1,500.00 £140.00 £70.00 £220.00
£1,500.01 – £3,000.00 £140.00 £105.00 £255.00
£3,000.01 – £5,000.00 £140.00 £185.00 £345.00
£5,000.01 – £10,000.00 £200.00 £410.00 £655.00
£10,000.01 – £200,000.00 £210.00 5% of the amount of the debt Dependent on value of debt
Greater than £200,000.00 £250.00 £10,000.00 £10,250.00

3. If the Defendant fails to respond or admits their liability, we will apply to the Court for a judgment order on your behalf

 Amount of debt (including VAT)    Our fixed fee (excl VAT)
Up To £5,000.00 £25.00
Greater than £5,000.00 £35.00

4. If, despite obtaining a Court Order, the debtor still does not pay, we will apply to the Court to enforce the Court order, through one of the following methods

Method of enforcement Our fixed fee
(excl VAT)
Court Fee  Total
(excl VAT)
Requesting that debtor attend Court to be questioned on their financial means £100 £55 or £110 (if bailiff serves) £155 – £210
Third party debt order £100 £110 £210
Warrant of control £100 £110 £210
Charging order £350 £110 £460

Defended Claims

If the debtor chooses to defend your Claim we will happy to act on your behalf and will advise you on the possible costs involved and the best way of proceeding with the case.

Equally, if you are being chased for a debt which you think you should not have to pay then please contact us. We can draft a Defence and (if appropriate) a Counterclaim and act on your behalf in respect of the Court proceedings. Please feel free to contact us to discuss the likely costs.

In contested cases, our costs are calculated on the basis of how long we spend dealing with your matter which, by its very nature, is difficult to predict at the outset. Costs will vary from matter to matter depending on the nature and complexity of a dispute, the extent of the instructions you give to us and the work that you wish for us to carry out and the speed with which we are able to bring about a resolution of the dispute. Factors outside of our control will often have a material impact on the work that we carry out, especially in terms of the work that needs to be carried out and the speed with which we can bring your case to a conclusion.

We aim to take initial instructions and based on the information provided we will provide an estimate of likely costs in addition to any disbursements that we anticipate you will need to incur.

Once work has commenced we will bill you on a periodic basis so that you are kept up to date on the costs incurred and will inform you as soon as possible should our overall estimate as to the likely costs need to be revised.

For our hourly rates please see the Our Fees page.

Factors that affect time taken and complexity may include,

  • The stage at which we are instructed – if we are instructed some way into a dispute then it will be necessary to carefully consider the documentation relating to past progress before providing you with advice;
  • The nature of a dispute;
  • The number of parties involved in a dispute;
  • Whether expert evidence is required and, if so, the extent of the expert evidence required;
  • The number of witnesses who will have to give evidence;
  • The approach taken by the other party/parties involved in your dispute;
  • Whether Court proceedings are necessary;
  • Whether any applications are made during the course of the proceedings;
  • The willingness of either side to take part in ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’;
  • Whether Counsel will be required to carry out any of the work necessary to conclude the claim;
  • The extent of the communication you require with ourselves during the course of the case.

Costs and expenses which are not included in the Solicitors Fees may include,

  • Translators’ fees;
  • Interpreters’ fees;
  • Counsel’s fees;
  • Court fees;
  • Credit agency search fees;
  • Process handlers fees;
  • Fees associated with any significant administrative work such as photocopying fees or courier’s fees;
  • Witness conduct fees.

We offer a comprehensive service to our clients which will include the following key stages of a Claim, should they prove to be necessary:

  • Taking initial instructions, reviewing documentation and advising you;
  • Preparing a Claim or response to a Claim;
  • Reviewing and advising on the Claim or response from the other party;
  • Exploring settlement possibilities throughout the Claim;
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss/counter schedule;
  • Preparing for any hearings prior to the trial;
  • Exchanging documents with the other party;
  • Taking witness statements, drafting and then agreeing them with witnesses;
  • Preparing bundles of documents and case summaries for hearings;
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s evidence;
  • Preparing and attending final hearing, including instructing Counsel.

These stages are listed by way of example and, if some of those stages are not included, the fee will be reduced. You may wish for us to simply advise you on some stages of the Claim and to handle the majority of it yourself. This can be arranged depending on your individual needs.

Your matter will be allocated to a fee earner with the suitable professional experience to conduct your matter and the fee earner will be supervised during the matter. To see our fee earners expertise please see the Our Team page.

If you would like any further information or clarification please do not hesitate to give our Litigation team a call on 01736 362362 or email us at [email protected]