Commercial Debt Recovery
Our Debt Recovery department has over 20 years’ experience in dealing with debt recovery matters including the enforcement of court judgments and orders once made.
Joanne Blackwood – Partner/Solicitor
Joanne Blackwood (Solicitor/Partner) runs our Litigation and Dispute Resolution department and has over 20 years’ experience in debt recovery work. Joanne is assisted by her secretary Danielle Barras. Joanne has assisted many business clients in both bringing and successfully defending business debt claims.
Our debt recovery work is not subject to fixed fees or staged fees. We charge a flat hourly rate of £185.00 which is subject to VAT. This means an overall charge of £222.00 per hour in respect of our fees.
While it is impossible to say what the overall fees would be in any particular claim, as much depends on what steps have to be taken, and at what stage the claim is determined and concluded, the fees could range from £250 & VAT in a simple debt matter that settles quickly up to £2,500 & VAT in a more complex matter or one that proceeds all the way through the court to a trial and beyond to enforcement proceedings.
Disbursements are costs related to your claim that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. The main disbursements in your claim will be the court fees incurred as your claim progresses and any third parties’ costs associated with enforcement proceedings.
An issue fee is payable when the claim is filed at court. A further fee is payable if the mater proceeds to a final hearing at court. The amount of these fees will depend on the value of the claim brought.
The current court issue and hearing fees are as follows:-
Value of claim: Issue fee payable* Hearing fee payable
For claims up to £300 £ 35.00 £ 25.00
Over £300 to £500 £ 50.00 £ 55.00
Over £500 to £1,000 £ 70.00 £ 80.00
Over £1,000 to £1,500 £ 80.00 £115.00
Over £1,500 to £3,000 £115.00 £ 170.00
Over £3,000 to £5,000 £205.00 £ 335.00
Over £5,000 to £10,000 £455.00 £ 335.00
Over £10,000 to £200,000 5% of claim value £545.00 or £1,090.00**
*Reduced issue fees apply to claims issued with the court online where the value is under £100,000.
** Depending on the value of the claim
Further court or other fees may be incurred depending on how your claim is eventually concluded. For example, if action is required to enforce a county court judgment through a County Court Bailiff or High Court Enforcement Office.
Factors likely to increase the overall costs of the claim
- There is a dispute over the sum claimed
- Enforcement action is required
If the other party disputes your claim at any stage, we will discuss any further work required with you and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary, which could be on a fixed fee basis (for example, if a one off letter is required) or, an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.
Points to note
Anyone wishing to proceed with a debt claim should note the following:-
- The VAT element of our fees cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
- Any interest and/or compensation claimed may take the debt into a higher value banding meaning a higher cost applies.
- The costs quoted do not cover matters where enforcement action is required to collect your debt.
Our fees include
- Taking your instructions and reviewing relevant documentation;
- Undertaking appropriate searches;
- Sending a letter before action to the other party and dealing with any response received;
- Receiving any payments and sending them onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing the court claim;
- Where no acknowledgment of service or defence is received, applying to the court to enter judgment in default;
- When judgment in default in received, writing to the other side to request payment;
- If payment is not received within the relevant timescale, undertaking enforcement action;
- Where the claim is disputed, dealing with the steps required to prepare your claim for a final hearing at court and thereafter dealing with any enforcement action required to obtain payment.
Matters usually take somewhere between 3 weeks to 6 months from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side. Much depends on what action, if any, is taken by the other party. The overall timescale will depend on the following:-
- whether or not the claim is disputed
- whether or not it is necessary to issue a claim at court
- whether a default judgment is obtained or your claim proceeds to a final hearing at court
- whether or not enforcement proceedings are require once judgment is given