Thank you for looking at our Debt Recovery services. Debts can arise in all walks of life and we regularly advise and assist businesses and individuals alike.
We can assist you with recovering both disputed and undisputed debts. This page covers our pricing for undisputed debt recovery – please get in touch to find out more about our fee structure for pursuing disputed debts.
We can offer you clear, practical advice and will discuss all the options available to establish the most appropriate way of dealing with debtors.
We appreciate that the fees involved in debt recovery are important to you.
For the initial steps relating to the recovery of undisputed debts we typically charge on a fixed fee basis, so that from the outset you know what the fees will be.
If during the debt recovery process the matter becomes disputed or enforcement action is required (eg. where you need to appoint a bailiff), we will discuss the change in fees with you and agree a way forward.
Our typical fixed fee for taking instructions for recovery of an undisputed unpaid invoice, reviewing the relevant paperwork, calculating any interest and additional compensation payable (if applicable), and sending a Letter of Claim to the debtor in accordance with the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims (if applicable) would be £200 + VAT.
If, having complied with the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims (if applicable), we are instructed to issue court proceedings to recover an undisputed unpaid invoice, our typical fixed fee for preparing and issuing a Claim Form for service by the court and, if no Defence is received, arranging for a judgment to be entered against the debtor, would be £400 + VAT, in addition to which a Court fee would normally be payable on issuing the Claim Form. The amount of the Court fee depends on the amount of the claim and how the proceedings are issued. The current court fees payable on issuing proceedings can be found on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fees-in-the-civil-and-family-courts-main-fees-ex50
Although fixed fees referred to above are the amounts which we typically charge, the fee quoted in any particular case may vary depending on factors such as (a) the amount of the debt; (b) the number of outstanding invoices; (c) any complexity in calculating the sum due; and (d) any difficulty locating or making contact with the debtor. There may also be savings if you instruct us in relation to a number of debts against a number of different debtors at the same time. These are matters which we will be able to discuss with you at the outset and when reviewing the initial paperwork.
If court proceedings are issued, and if you are successful in obtaining a judgment against the debtor in default of a Defence, you are normally entitled to include as part of the judgment (a) the court fee paid on issuing the proceedings, and (b) a fixed amount of between £75 and £135 towards your legal fees, depending on the amount of the debt.
Although debt recovery is often straightforward, unfortunately this is not always the case.
Sometimes an invoice will be disputed by the debtor. Occasionally, when faced with a demand for payment, a debtor will seek to make a counterclaim against you. The debtor may want to enter into negotiations about the amount of the debt, or how it is to be paid (eg. by instalments). Or the debtor may be unable or unwilling to pay the debt at all, and it may be necessary to take enforcement action.
If we are to be involved in such matters there will be additional costs involved. We will however make sure that you are informed of this at the earliest opportunity, and we will provide an estimate or quote for any additional work. We will also be able to advise you on the commercial viability of any particular course of action.
The timescale for recovery of a debt varies from as little as a few days if the debtor pays promptly on receipt of a Letter of Claim, to many months if there is a dispute which has to be resolved through the court process, or if there are protracted difficulties with regard to enforcement.
There is a Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims which applies whenever a business (including a sole trader) is claiming payment of a debt from an individual or a sole trader. The Protocol specifies certain time limits to be observed and steps to be taken before issuing court proceedings. For example, the debtor must be given 30 days to respond to a Letter of Claim, and proceedings must not be issued within 30 days of receipt of the debtor’s completed Reply Form in response to the Letter of Claim.
The key milestones in an undisputed debt recovery claim will typically include the following:
- Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
- Issuing a Letter of Claim requesting payment from the debtor
- Receiving payment from the debtor, or failing that complying with the requirements of the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims (if applicable)
- Drafting a Claim Form and arranging for it to be issued at court and served on the debtor
- Applying to the court to enter a Judgment in Default if the debtor fails to respond to court proceedings
- Receiving payment of the judgment, or failing that instigating the most effective means of enforcing the judgment taking into account the amount of the debt and the debtor’s circumstances
The supervising partner responsible for debt recovery work at Peter Peter & Wright is Toby Rowland based at our Bude office, who has 25 years experience in litigation work: