Our charges and service information – Undisputed Debt Recovery
Undisputed Debt Recovery – Services and Costs:
We provide bespoke debt recovery services, often in the context of an existing client relationship where the debt recovery is ancillary to a larger transaction or series of transactions or where unusual facts or sensitive considerations apply.
The Fixed Fees set out below apply only in cases where the debt arises from an unpaid invoice which:
• is based on a clear written contract between you and the debtor; and
• has not been disputed,
and where our services will be limited to preparing and sending a letter seeking payment of the debt, plus any interest, compensation and costs to which you may be entitled which together make up the value of your claim.
If the debtor does not reply to the letter seeking payment of the debt, or disputes your claim, and you instruct us to consider whether court proceedings are appropriate and / or to commence court proceedings to recover the debt, then we will charge for any further work you instruct us to do on the basis of the hourly rates set out below (and see also ‘Key stages and Timescales’ below). In that event, as we are required to do under our professional rules, we will provide with you with the best information we can about the likely further overall costs which would be involved in recovering the debt which will be based on the hourly rates set out below. In the event that you instruct us to commence court proceedings, court fees will be payable in the amounts set out below.
Anyone wishing to instruct us should note that:
- our Fixed Fee and the VAT element of our Fixed Fee may not be reclaimable from or recoverable from your debtor
- our Fixed Fees assume that it will not be necessary for us to spend time attending meetings to discuss your claim
- our Fixed Fees also assume that the debtor is resident or based in England or Wales
The costs set out above do not apply to any matter where the claim, including any interest, compensation and costs to which you may be entitled, exceeds £100,000. If you wish to instruct us in relation to a claim for a higher amount we will be happy to discuss the likely cost implications with you.
The costs set out above also do not apply to any matters where the debtor disputes your claim at any point, or if court proceedings are necessary. In those cases, our hourly rates set out below apply, subject to our provision of further estimates of the likely costs, and court fees (where court proceedings are commenced).
Debt recovery work is carried out by the following personnel and at the hourly charging rates set out below:
*Fee earners: senior associate, associate, solicitor, legal executive, trainee solicitor, legal assistant.
Services included in the above Fixed Fees
- Taking your instructions and reviewing the contract giving rise to the obligation to pay the debt
- Our time in undertaking appropriate searches but not the cost of those searches which will be charged as a disbursement in addition to our Fixed Fee – see information about disbursements below
- Preparing and sending our letter requiring payment, to an address within England & Wales
- Receiving payment of the debt and sending that on to you
Key stages and Timescales
We will aim to prepare our letter within 7 days of receiving all necessary documentation from you.
Subject to our advice, the letter will usually require payment of the amount claimed within 30 days from the date our letter is sent out to the debtor. We will then account to you for any payment received, less our fees unless paid in advance, or alternatively report to if you no payment has been received during that period.
As we are required to do under our professional rules we will provide with you with the best information we can about the likely overall cost when you first instruct us at the outset of your matter and update you at appropriate stages as the matter progresses. When an unforeseen complexity arises or where the way in which you ask us to proceed means additional work, we will discuss the likely impact on the overall cost and timescale with you.
Disbursements are expenses payable to third parties which we incur on your behalf in the course of your matter.
We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process but we will generally require a payment on account of our costs and anticipated disbursements.
Examples of disbursements which may be incurred include:
- Court fees
- Process server’s fees (for the personal service of our letter where your contract demands it)
- Bank transfers and charges
There may be other disbursements, depending on the circumstances, and we normally make a charge for photocopying and a file set up fee of £30 plus VAT.
Our fees attract VAT which is charged at the standard rate (currently 20%) in addition to the fees set out above.
Court fees are not subject to VAT but most other disbursements do attract VAT.
Experience and qualifications
Our commercial litigation team is led by Partners Robert Paydon and Marie-Louise King, both of whom have significant experience in dealing with disputes and debt recovery. They are supported by a wider team of legal personnel.