Debt Recovery Legal Fees and Costs
Unpaid Invoices of up to £50,000
These costs apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice up to the value of £50,000, which is not disputed, and enforcement action is not needed. This applies to business debts only and not private debts. If the debt exceeds £50,000 or does not fit within the standard structure, an estimate can be given for the necessary work.
Within the standard debt recovery structure, the first stage of work involves registering the debt on our system, drafting the initial letter before action to the debtor and calculating the level of compensation due. The cost of this is £30 plus VAT.
If a response is not received within the given time frame, we move onto the second stage of work which involves drafting a more strongly worded letter to the debtor. The cost of this is £20 plus VAT.
If the above pre-action letters do not resolve matters, we would then advise on the next steps and the likely costs. Should you wish us to do so, we can issue proceedings on your behalf. The costs for issuing an undisputed debt are as follows:
|Debt value||Court fee||Our fee (fixed costs)||Total|
|Up to £5,000||£25 to £185||£50 to £80||£75 to £265|
|£5,001 – £10,000||£410||£100||£510|
|£10,001 – £50,000||4.5% value of the claim||£100||£ TBC|
The above fees are subject to change in line with advice from HM Courts and Tribunals Service.
We are able to collect instalment payments from a debtor on your behalf, we charge an administration fee of 15% of the instalment amount plus VAT, subject to a minimum fee of £5 plus VAT, for each instalment that is collected.
Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:
- Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding, with a higher cost; and
- The costs quoted above are not for matters where the debt is defended or where enforcement action, such as instruction of the Court bailiff, is needed to collect your debt.
The above quoted fees do not include:
- Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgment in default; or
- When Judgment in default is received, write to the other side to request payment.
If at any point we enter into correspondence with the debtor or are instructed to carry out work outside of the standard debt recovery structure as detailed above, our charges will be based upon the time spent on the matter. The current charging rate for a band D fee earner who is normally a trainee solicitor or paralegal is £130 per hour plus VAT.
If proceedings are not needed, matters usually take 3 to 4 weeks, depending upon the conduct of the debtor. If a claim is issued and proceeds without being defended, this matter will take a further 6 weeks or so to judgment. If the claim is defended, we would give you details of the likely timescale and cost when it is clearer what issues are involved.
Defended Debts of Over £10,000 and Claims of Over £50,000 but not Exceeding £100,000
For details of Court issue fees payable, please see the table above. If a claim is defended, trial fees are also payable by the Claimant. For a fast track claim, the trial fee is currently £545. For a multi track claim, the trial fee is currently £1,090.
Typically, a defended fast track claim can cost £8,000 to £10,000 plus VAT and disbursements such as Counsel’s fees. Counsel’s fees for representing you at the trial are likely to be £1,500 plus VAT.
Typically, a defended multi track claim can cost £20,000 to £30,000 plus VAT and disbursements. Counsel’s fees for representing you at trial are likely to be £4,000 plus VAT for preparation and the first day of the trial and £1,250 plus VAT for each additional day.
In our experience, pre-action work including trying to negotiate a settlement and preparing to issue proceedings can take up to 3 to 4 months. Defended cases are usually concluded within 12 to 18 months of the date of issue of proceedings.
The above estimated fees do not include:
- Claims that include issues other than debt recovery, such as an application for an injunction;
- Making or defending a counterclaim;
- Dealing with detailed assessment of costs after judgment or acceptance of an offer; or
- Enforcement action.
If work needs to be completed that is not covered by the above estimates, a separate quotation will be given as appropriate.