Legal fees for debt recovery
Hunt & Coombs Solicitors offer a fixed price service for debt recovery claims. These costs only apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice or invoices which are not disputed. Our fixed fees are divided into 3 categories:
1. Send a letter before action:
This includes taking instructions, opening a file, sending you a letter of advice, preparing the letter before action, receiving any response and seeking further instructions from you. Our legal fees are:
£300.00 + VAT
2. Issue a claim form:
This includes receiving your instructions to proceed then preparing the claim form (to include particulars of claim; interest calculations; letters to the court; letters to you), confirming to you once proceedings are issued and advising date for response, seeking instructions to enter judgment. The fixed fee includes up to three letters chasing the court for a response. Our legal fees are:
£400.00 + VAT
3. Request judgment if the debtor does not respond to the claim:
This includes preparation of the request for judgment with updated interest calculation, letter to court advising you once judgment has been sent, advising you once judgement has been entered, seeking your instructions on enforcement action. The fixed fee includes two letters chasing the court for a response. Our legal fees are:
£200.00 + VAT
If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs which are likely to be on an hourly rate.
Our hourly rates are £120.00 to £255.00 + VAT per hour
What is not included in the fees:
Court fee: for claims up to £10,000.00 this fee is between £35.00 and £455.00; for claims over £10,000.00 the fee is 5% of the claim, including interest up to a maximum of £10,000.
If a debtor responds to a letter of claim disputing any part of it the matter can no longer be dealt with as a fixed fee but will have to be dealt with on a time spent basis at the rate.
Our hourly rates are £120 to £255 + VAT per hour
Similarly, once the claim is issued, if a defence or admission is filed the matter will have to be dealt with on a time spent basis as above.
There are occasions when a court does not respond promptly to paperwork sent to it. A certain number of chasing letters are included within the fixed price but on the rare occasion that is not sufficient, extra letters or phone calls will have to be charged on a time spent basis as above.
Once judgment has been entered enforcement action may be necessary. This is dealt with on a case by case basis and an appropriate enforcement method suggested. It may be possible to deal with this as a fixed fee but it may have to be charged on a time spent basis as above.
A letter before action gives a business debtor 7 days in which to respond and an individual 30 days to respond. Consumers have to be provided with additional documentation with the letter of claim including a response sheet and an income and expenditure questionnaire.
The courts have to deal with a large volume of paperwork and it may take up to six weeks for a claim to be issued. Thereafter a debtor has 14 days in which to respond to a claim. When judgment is requested it can take a further six weeks for this to be processed by the court.
For a debt owed by a business, judgment should be obtained within 15 weeks of the date of the letter before action and for a debt owed by a consumer, 18 weeks.
The team’s experience:
The team has a wealth of experience, over 35 years, in delivering a high quality debt recovery service. There are two permanent members of the team who are often assisted by a trainee who will spend 6 months with the team as part of their training contract. Regardless of who works on your matter, all work is supervised by Lesley Milne who is the Team Leader of the commercial litigation team.