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Business debts only: Debt recovery up to the value of £100,000
Debts not challenged by the debtor (uncontested debts)
- Where we are instructed to recover the debt and the debtor does not respond to our request to pay it, court proceedings will be required to obtain ‘Judgment in Default’ and thereafter to enforce that Judgment on your behalf. This assumes the debt is not challenged at any stage by the debtor (an ‘uncontested debt’). We charge on average £2,500 (plus VAT) for this work.
- Our fees are likely to be significantly less if the debtor responds to our request for payment and a satisfactory result is achieved without the need for court proceedings.
Debts challenged by the debtor (contested debts)
- We charge on average between £5,000 and £7,000 (plus VAT) should the debtor challenge the debt (a ‘contested debt’), but it is settled without the need for court proceedings or formal mediation.
- Should the debtor refuse to settle the debt and formal mediation or court proceedings become necessary, on average we charge between £10,000 and £25,000 (plus VAT).
- The estimates provided above are only average prices based on recent instructions. The actual cost to you will depend on a number of factors, which we will discuss with you if you decide to instruct us.
- The charge is based on our average hourly charging rate of £225 per hour (plus VAT). The actual hourly rate will vary depending on which person within our team is working on your case.
Third party expenses (‘disbursements’)
- There may be other costs payable in addition to those outlined above. These are fees and charges we will need to pay on your behalf as part of the process.
- The charges which are commonly incurred in these situations include the following;
- Process Server fees. If we issue a Statutory Demand in relation to an uncontested debt, we will engage a person known as a ‘process server’ to serve the demand upon the debtor. The cost of this service is on average £120 (plus VAT).
- Court fees. If you instruct us to issue a claim in court, there will be a court fee payable at the outset. This fee ranges from £35 up to 5% of the value of the debt (if the debt is in excess of £10,000). There may be additional fees payable should your claim proceed to trial.
- Barrister’s fees. If we need to instruct a barrister to advise you during the course of your case and/or represent you in court, his/her fees will depend on what it is they are being instructed to carry out on your behalf. Their fees can range from £750 (plus VAT) for a specific piece of advice to £25,000 (plus VAT) to represent you at a lengthy trial before a judge.
- Enforcement process fees. The most common fees incurred in the enforcement process are:
- £66 in order to transfer a judgment to the High Court for enforcement.
- Obviously, our fees do not include any external costs and charges that may be incurred as part of the process (such as damages, fines, penalties or other liabilities). You will also be responsible for these items.
Recovering your costs
- For debts over £10,000 the normal rule is that winner pays loser’s costs. So if you are successful the other party is likely to be ordered to pay around 65% of your legal costs paid out.
- For debts under £10,000 however you will not be able to recover your legal costs. You therefore need to bear in mind how much you spend on legal costs compared to the amount of money owed to make it worthwhile.
For more information on our Dispute Resolution Team, visit our people pages and filter the 'Team' by 'Dispute Resolution'.
What the work involves
- We understand the commercial imperative involved in dealing with unpaid debts. The work we will carry out will involve:
- Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation regarding the debt
- Liaising with your debtor and others in an effort to resolve matters
- If necessary:
- Filing documentation at court
- Applying for judgment in default
- Requesting funds from the defendant
- Representation at any hearing
- Consequent work to ensure the debt is duly paid, including advice on any enforcement action required
- How long matters take will depend on a number of factors but in simple cases, the matter should be concluded within 3 – 4 months. If enforcement action is required this will lengthen the process.
Please click here if you would like further information or are thinking of instructing us.
We also undertake:
- Debt recovery of higher sums
- Debt recovery on behalf of individuals
For full details of the services provided by our Dispute Resolution Team, please click here.