As a business, it’s important to be paid what you are owed by both customers and clients in a timely manner. Late payments, and people trying to avoid paying for goods and services, can be detrimental to your business and have long-lasting repercussions.
Our debt recovery is generally subordinate to work in other areas of specialism such as insolvency, litigation and dispute resolution, commercial and commercial property however the firm retains a number of specialists in court procedure and we are happy to carry out debt recovery work for our clients where there is a need.
We do not generally offer a bespoke packaged service on a fixed fee basis but charge our current hourly rates which range between £185 to £300 plus VAT.
In all cases we will provide you an estimate of the likely cost of proceedings in advance together with a review of the balance of risk involved.
The work involved in simple debt collection is a letter before action followed by the engagement of proceedings which are usually either through the county court or in some cases by way of a statutory demand.
We will always discuss with you the options available.
In the general run of cases a county court action will be indicated and on the basis it is a simple debt judgment can normally be obtained within 6 to 7 weeks of instruction.
Whilst there is no hard and fast rule and the size of the debt should not make a huge difference to the level of costs in our experience debts less than £15,000 can be recovered for less than £750 plus VAT in costs and the appropriate disbursement (see below) including one attempt at enforcement.
Again for debts above £15,000 generally the costs will be higher on average simply because there is more at stake and people are more willing to use court procedures to either delay matters or contest them but where there is no real contention pursuing a matter to judgment with one attempt at recovery is unlikely to cost much more than £3,000 to £4,000+ VAT and disbursements (see below) depending on whether the matter is pursued in the county court or the high court together with one attempt at enforcement.
The fees involved in issuing a statutory demand and proceeding to a petition will generally be higher whether the debtor is an individual or a company.
In the case of an individual for a debt less than £15,000 on average the cost works out at about £3,000 to £4,000 plus VAT with a claim over £15,000 – £5,000 to £7,000 for the standard run of case.
In all cases we will need to discuss with you the potential for recovering some or all of the cost from the debtor and the extent to which this is possible will depend on the type of action pursued. In all cases we will discuss this possibility with you.
In respect of companies the cost of recovery through court process is generally higher because of the need to address technical issues over the company’s legal standing in any contract.
Generally therefore recovery for debts under £15,000 pursued through a petition against a company might cost £3,500 to £5,000 whereas debts over £15,000 against a company to include statutory demand and petition would normally cost in the region £8,000 to £10,000 all figures in this paragraph excluding VAT.
In all cases we reserve the right to charge according to the complexity/specialism and speed with which the work is expected to be done and that may lead to an enhancement of our normally hourly rate but we would always discuss this with you if we were intending to charge an uplift of our normal hourly rate.
The disbursements are court issue fees, fees on entry of judgment and enforcement fees which are subject to change most years but are available here.
Although the timetable would depend on the type of work that is recommended for the debt collection.
- An hourly rate range of £180 – £285 plus VAT
- Fixed fee arrangements are available
Contact Dermott Thomas for more information.