Pricing information – Undisputed Business to Business Debt Recovery (debts under £100,000)

We understand that transparency and certainty about legal costs is just as important as providing pragmatic and succinct advice with excellent response times.

We pride ourselves on being open and transparent on costs from an initial enquiry to a successful conclusion.  We also regularly benchmark our costs against our local competitors.

We are required by the Solicitors Regulation Authority Transparency Rules to publish information on the cost for undisputed business to business debt recovery with a value of less than £100,000.  We have provided this generic information below, please do get in touch directly so we can discuss your case in detail.

The below indication of fees only applies where your claim:

  • relates to the recovery of unpaid invoices and does not encompass any other claim;
  • is governed by the courts of England & Wales and your debtor is based in England & Wales;
  • is not disputed;
  • does not require compliance with a specific pre-action protocol; and
  • does not require enforcement action.

We will discuss with you at the outset whether your claim falls within the remit of our debt recovery offering. If your debtor disputes your claim at any point or your debt falls outside of the above remit, we will discuss any work required and provide you with advice about costs which may be a further fixed fee or on an hourly rate basis if more extensive work is required.

Letter Before Action (sent pursuant to the Practice Direction for Pre-Action Conduct and Protocol)

  • Where your debt is owed by a limited company, the Letter Before Action can be sent pursuant to the Practice Direction for Pre-Action Conduct and Protocol. Our fee for sending the Letter Before Action to a limited company is £200 plus VAT*
  • Where your debt is owed by an individual or a sole trader, you are required to comply with the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims (the “Debt Protocol”). The Debt Protocol has additional formalities and requires further information to be supplied to your debtor. Our fee for drafting a Debt Protocol compliant Letter Before Action is £350 plus VAT*.

Our fees for the Letter Before Action include:

  • Receiving & reviewing your unpaid invoice(s)
  • Sending a Letter Before Action
  • Forwarding debtor’s response to you
  • Seeking confirmation of payment of debt from you

Our fees for the Letter Before Action do not include:

  • Detailed review of documentation & correspondence
  • Attending you in meeting or conference call to discuss background or advise on legal position
  • Sending a Letter Before Action under the Construction & Engineering Pre-Action Protocol
  • Negotiations with the debtor over payment/payment proposals
  • Carrying out third party searches (such as Land Registry searches)

Issuing County Court Proceedings

In the event of non-payment by the debtor, county court proceedings can be issued. Our fee for drafting court proceedings based solely on unpaid fees is £400 plus VAT*. In order to issue proceedings, you are also required to pay a court issue fee which is based on the amount claimed including interest. The court fee ranges from £35-£10,000 depending on the value of your claim.

Our fees for Issuing County Court Proceedings include:

  • Drafting proceedings on the basis of unpaid invoice
  • Issuing proceedings with court

Our fees for Issuing County Court Proceedings do not include:

  • Drafting proceedings with any claim over and above unpaid invoices or detailed particularisation of the claim
  • Responding to Defence, Counterclaim or Partial Admission
  • Reviewing and advising on debtor’s response to the claim

Applying for Default Judgement

If the debtor fails to respond to the claim then you are able to apply for judgement in default. Our fee for applying for judgement in default and writing to the debtor enclosing the judgement is £100 plus VAT*.

Our fees for applying for Default Judgement does not include:

  • Detailed advice on enforcement options or enforcing the judgement
  • Negotiations with the debtor regarding payment of the judgement

As set out above, provided the debt is undisputed, we will work to fixed fees down to the stage of default judgement. Fees for enforcement of a default judgement will vary depending on method used but will be in the range of £750 – £5,000 plus VAT*.

Work which falls outside our fixed fees is charged on an hourly rate basis. You will be advised of the applicable hourly rate and estimate of fees for work.

The hourly rates of the Dispute Resolution team are as follows:

Partner:  £395 to £420 plus VAT*

Legal Director: £350 plus VAT*

Senior Associate: £330 plus VAT*

Associate:  £275 to £300 plus VAT*

Solicitor:  £230 plus VAT*

Trainee and paralegal:  £125 to £150 plus VAT*

Please note that the use of titles such as “Associate” or “Senior Associate” differ amongst firms and as such our rates may not be directly comparable with some of our competitors.  Our rates are normally reviewed and benchmarked in April each year.

*The standard rate of UK VAT, which is currently 20%, is charged on all disbursements deemed as services (it is not charged on court fees) and our fees. VAT is also added on to our standard services such as travel and bulk photocopying costs.

Our team

Our undisputed debt recovery work is generally carried out by trainee solicitors under the supervision of the solicitors in the dispute resolution team.

How long will undisputed business to business debt recovery take?

Each case is different and the timescale for payment can vary depending on the legal status (i.e. individual, limited company etc) of your debtor, their response to the Letter Before Action and/or claim. If a debtor is pro-active then you may receive payment within two weeks of instructions. However, if court proceedings are required to be issued and default judgment is obtained before payment is made by the debtor, the timescale for payment could be in excess of 3 months. If the debt is disputed or enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

  • The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
  • Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding when calculating the court fee which could result in a higher fee being required to be paid.
  • The fee indications above are not for matters where enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt or where any dispute is raised in correspondence or submitted Defence.