Streathers are highly experienced in debt recovery. We have assisted a range of individual, sole trader and commercial creditors, and have expertise in relation to invoice debt recovery, loan recovery and other commercial debt recovery services.
The cost of our services will often depend on the nature of the debt and the debtor, and whether the debtor disputes your claim for payment.
This note covers:
- Our services and fees for undisputed debt recovery work
- Our services and fees for disputed debt claims
- Who in our team can assist you
- General points to be aware of debt recovery claims
We offer the following services when you are a business and your claim relates to a debt which is not disputed, no Court proceedings or enforcement action (for example, instructing a bailiff to recover the debt) are required and the debt is equal to or less than £100,000.
- Taking your instructions and review of documentation
- Undertaking appropriate searches (such as company and credit searches regarding the debtor, and instructing tracing searches if necessary)
- Preparing and sending an appropriate letter before action setting out your claim to the debtor
We offer flexibility on how you can pay for our debt recovery service.
We can agree a fixed fee or we can charge on an hourly rate basis for our costs. The costs of any third party services, such as specialist counsel and process servers, would be charged in addition to our fees.
The following fixed fees apply to the undisputed amounts:
|Debt Value||Fixed Fee (excluding VAT and disbursements)|
|Up to £5,000||£250.00|
|£5,001 – £10,000||£500.00|
|£10,001 – £25,000||£750.00|
|£25,001 – £50,000||£1,000.00|
|£50,001 and over||To be agreed|
Our team’s hourly rates range from £175 plus VAT to £425 plus VAT as set out for each fee earner (see below).
How long will this take?
In an undisputed debt instruction, matters usually take between 2 – 8 weeks from receipt of your instructions to receipt of payment from the debtor. This may vary substantially if it is difficult to trace the debtor, or we need to take more detailed instructions from you in complex cases.
What will happen if the debt is disputed?
In that case, your debt recovery claim will become disputed, and, in that eventuality, service and price information is set out in the next section.
Disputed Debt Claims
If the debtor raises defences to try to avoid paying the debt in response to the letter before action we write, we will discuss with you the further work required and, if necessary, provide you with information about our costs of contested debt recovery proceedings.
You will need additional services at that stage, including:
- Advice on funding litigation proceedings at Court, the risk of being ordered to pay the debtor’s costs if your claim fails and the availability of insurance and third party funding
- Drafting proceedings, possibly with the assistance of specialist counsel
- Issuing a claim in Court
- Managing and running a Court claim to trial
- Attending trial and representing you in Court
- Enforcement work to recover sums made at any order resulting from trial
The process of contested litigation will incur additional costs:
- We will charge on the basis of our hourly rates (see below), plus disbursements such as counsel, process servers and the Court’s fees
- The Court’s fee to issue a claim, which for a claim exceeding £10,000 will be 5% of the value of the claim up to a maximum of £10,000. The Court also charges hearing fees if there is a trial
- The costs of specialist counsel, if appropriate. These vary and we would agree those with you before proceeding with an instruction
- Instructing process servers to find and serve Court documents on debtors if necessary
- The costs of enforcement agents to recover sums under order as a result of a trial or other hearing
We will always seek to ensure our fees are proportionate to the debt you seek to recover
How long do disputed debt claims take?
If Court action is required, then the matter will take longer to resolve, the timeframe is largely dependent on the Court’s timetable and availability but may take between 6 and 12 months.
Who will handle my case?
We have highly-skilled and qualified staff. They include:
- Holly McIlroy, Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution, Baker Street, current hourly rate: £325 plus VAT
- Milton Silverman, Partner, current hourly charge out rate: £425 plus VAT
- Gregory Ostroff, Senior Associate, current hourly rate: £300 plus VAT
- Joseph Tendler, Associate, current hourly rate: £275 plus VAT
- Trainee Solicitors and Paralegals, current hourly rate: £175 plus VAT
Points to be aware of in respect of recovering your legal costs
- If your debt is for a figure below £10,000 then recovery of your legal costs is limited to Court fees and fixed solicitors fees of £72 – £195
- If you are successful in your claim for a value over £10,000 then you may be entitled to recover a proportion of your legal costs from the debtor
- You cannot reclaim any VAT element of our fees from your debtor
Streathers Solicitors LLP