Thank you for looking at our debt recovery service.
We offer debt recovery services for all levels of debt however arising. Whatever the value of your debt we have a team of staff with the appropriate experience to look after you.
We understand that recovery of the amount due to you in a timely and cost effective way will be hugely important and that engaging in litigation can be stressful and time consuming for you. Our team will do all they can to help you with the process and provide guidance on each stage. Our service is bespoke and tailored to meet your needs. In order to provide this kind of service, we acknowledge that we will not be the cheapest firm of lawyers and we do not provide a fixed price service. We will give a range of prices indicating what our likely fee will be.
All the figures given below are correct as of February 2019.
There will be plenty of firms of lawyers who will offer low fixed price debt recovery services. However, we prefer to offer a more rounded service to our clients rather than an off the shelf computerised process. Here are some of the things that we believe make us distinctive when it comes to debt recovery work:
- Andrew Herridge, the partner in charge of the team has specialised in litigation work for 30 years. All members of the team are litigation specialists with experience of all levels of Court including the Supreme Court and European Court of Human Rights
- The team are all experienced in resolving claims through mediation and Andrew Herridge is an accredited mediator.
- We do not pay any referral fees to professional contacts who introduce clients to us. Our business is generated from returning clients or from recommendations from financial advisers, accountants and estate agents etc.
- Sometimes, our clients are resident in foreign time zones. If any work requires us to be available in the evenings or weekends, we will be.
- We are happy to attend meetings away from the office as required, whatever the reason, and can include the cost of this in our estimate if required.
- While tricky problems do rear their heads in debt recovery work from time to time, we will almost always be able to deal with anything of that nature in the house. Because of our experience, we can often add value.
- We genuinely pride ourselves on finding solutions. We do not operate a process driven attitude to litigation and will use all our imagination to find an answer to any problem generated as the work progresses.
Our fees are charged by reference to the time spent on a matter and the hourly rate of the fee earner involved. It is difficult to give a precise indication of costs. The figures set out below are illustrations of the range of costs which may be incurred for straightforward claims depending on the stage at which they resolve.
Simple claims between £1,000 and £5,000 plus VAT
Medium complexity claims between £2,500 and £15,000 plus VAT
Complex claims £15,000 or more plus VAT
Fixed Costs and Disbursements
When a claim is issued a court fee is payable, details of which are set out at page five of the Civil and Family Court Fees Guide which can be found here.
Before the trial takes place a hearing fee must be paid. The level of the fee depends on the value of the case, details are contained at pages 7 and 8 of the Court Fees Guide.
If expert witness evidence is needed, we will obtain estimates from suitable experts and agree on those with you before the expert is instructed.
A barrister will usually be instructed to represent you at trial. Depending on the complexity of the case the barrister may be involved at an earlier stage to advise in relation to the merits of the claim or any specific points of law, draft the particulars of claim needed to issue the claim or advise on the evidence ahead of trial. We will agree on the selection of a barrister with you and provide some information about their likely fees. Before the barrister undertakes any work on your case we will seek to agree a fixed fee.
If your claim is allocated to the multi track we may use a costs draftsman to prepare the cost budget required by the Court. The fee for preparation of the budget is 1% of the value of the budges with a minimum of £1,000 plus VAT.
Our Fee Earners
Below is a table of our fee earners, their experience and charge out rates. Unqualified fee earners are supervised by a partner or associate.
Year of Qualification if any
£270 plus VAT
£240 plus VAT
£220 plus VAT
£135 plus VAT
Our fees are not fixed as there are many factors that affect the likely fees that will apply. Where there is likely to be any additional cost above the estimate we provide you with at the outset, we will make sure you are informed of this at the earliest opportunity and a clear estimate of those extra costs will be provided. The fees do not include participation in mediation or a round table meeting, if that is the appropriate way to deal with the claim we will provide a separate estimate for those costs.
Factors that may lead to an increase in cost include:
- A counterclaim brought by the defendant to the claim
- Any amendment to the claim
- Interim applications made by either party to the dispute
- Claims brought against more than one defendant
- Claims where the defendant is a litigant in person
- Claims involving a defendant not based in England and Wales
- The addition of a third party to the claim
- The need to obtain expert evidence to support a claim or defend a counterclaim
- Complex legal issues or claims involving a large number of documents
- The number of witnesses involved
- Re-allocation of a fast track claim to the multitrack
- The length of the trial
The timescale from initial instruction to conclusion will depend on a number of factors. Claims are not concluded until a settlement is agreed, default judgment is obtained, the matter decided by the Court at trial or the claim is withdrawn. If liability for the debt is accepted and the claim is resolved without court intervention, the case is likely to take 2-12 weeks. If the claim proceeds to trial the case can take between 1 and 2 years. These are estimates and will vary from case to case and do not include any enforcement measures to recover the sum due.
With every claim there are key milestones which may vary according to individual circumstances. On a claim to recover a debt the important steps are as follows:
- Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on the legal merits and likely value of the claim. This initial assessment will be kept under review as the claim progresses and you will be advised of any change.
- Pre-action correspondence. The Court rules require the parties to engage in pre-action correspondence in accordance with the Pre-action Protocol Practice Direction. This is to encourage the early exchange of evidence in order to narrow the issues and seek a resolution.
- Pre-action settlement. The parties are obliged to explore the possibility of settlement before court proceedings are issued. This can include making a written offer of settlement or mediation. Consideration of settlement continues throughout a claim.
- Preparing and issuing the claim. Depending on the complexity of the case it may be appropriate to involve a barrister at this stage.
- Considering the defence received or applying for default judgment if there is no defence.
- Allocation of the claim to track. In fast track claims this will involve attendance at a case management conference. Multitrack claims will require the preparation of a costs budget and attendance at a costs and case management conference.
- Preparation of lists of documents, exchange of documentary evidence with the defendant and consideration of the evidence received.
- Preparation of witness statements, exchange of witness evidence with the defendant and consideration of the evidence received. It may be appropriate to involve a barrister at this stage to provide advice on the evidence ahead of trial.
- For multitrack cases attendance at a pre-trial review.
- Preparation for trial to include the trial bundle, a chronology, statement of issues and cast list if needed. Providing instructions to the barrister who will represent you at trial and prepare the skeleton argument.
- Attendance at trial