Debt Recovery up to £100,000 Pricing

In our experience there are some clients who have an individual and personal dispute or financial claim that they wish to pursue. Some may regard this as debt collection, but in all likelihood, it relates to a relationship with a tradesman, supplier, neighbour or associate, which needs to be investigated on its own facts.

By contrast, some businesses are seeking a Solicitor to carry out a credit control type of function, sending out letters chasing for unpaid invoices and threatening proceedings before subsequently going ahead and issuing the proceedings. While we do accept instructions from existing clients who need that service, they are usually asking for no more than 5-10 invoices to be chased each month. We are not presently undertaking bulk credit control, for example, where hundreds or thousands of chasing letters are required to be sent. Provided that we have established with our client in advance how their business works, and we have a good understanding of their usual practices and procedures, we would typically send out initial letters chasing for payment at a charge per letter of £95.00 plus VAT. That service includes notifying the client if we receive a reply. Where, in those cases it becomes necessary to issue proceedings, our clients are advised that there is a court fee to pay. This depends on the amount of the claim and is up to £455 for a claim up to £10,000 and above that it is 5% of the value of the claim. This is payable to the Court at the outset and, therefore, we must ask our clients to provide us with the fee in advance. Although the fee is added to the claim being pursued, it will only be recovered if the claim is successful, and the opponent has the ability to pay. After the initial letter has been issued to an opponent, any further work carried out by Thomson & Bancks will be at the charge out rate of £190.00 per hour plus VAT and will be in addition to the relevant court fee.

If a claim becomes defended (because the opponent believes they have a lawful reason not to pay) further fees are payable to the Court before a final hearing takes place and these depend upon the value of the claim being pursued.

The Court will allocate defended proceedings to either the Small Claims track, the Fast track, the Intermediate track or the Multi-track.  We appreciate that this can be confusing for some clients, but essentially the Small Claims track is intended for claims of up to £10,000.00, where the parties are heavily restricted in recovering the cost of using legal representation. For this reason, we will sometimes coach clients from the side lines and explain how they can pursue their own claim without using solicitors as this may be more cost effective than using our services. For claims that are allocated to the fast track (usually those between £10,000.00 and £25,000.00) and the intermediate track (usually those between £25,000.00 and £100,000.00) there are limitations on what legal costs might be claimed against an opponent (known as Fixed Recoverable Costs) and we will explain to you how those restrictions could prevent you from recovering some or all of the fees that you incur with Thomson & Bancks. In the multi-track, legal costs will usually be awarded to a successful party on the standard basis. Only costs that are reasonable and necessary are likely to be recovered. For example, if you spend additional time reviewing or changing your decisions during the course of the case, your opponent will object to being ordered to pay those legal costs because they were not strictly a necessary step in the proceedings. You will, however, be responsible to Thomson & Bancks for our professional charges, irrespective of what can be recovered from your opponent. We do not generally undertake work on a conditional fee or “no win, no fee” basis. Where defended matters are proceeding in court, they may be conducted by a Senior Solicitor at a charge out rate of £250.00 per hour plus VAT. Where some tasks can be delegated to junior staff, the work will be charged out at the rate appropriate to experience and qualifications of the individual, but not less than £100.00 per hour plus VAT.

As we are not pursuing litigation for large numbers of clients at the same time, we do not offer to conduct every case at a fixed fee. We will, however, unbundle our services and can agree with clients that we will take agreed steps up to a certain value and then report progress. We are happy to agree not to exceed a certain budget without the prior authority of a client. If we are seeking to negotiate with an opponent at the outset of our instructions, this may incur two- or three-hours work, which at a charging rate of £250.00 per hour plus VAT is equivalent to £750.00 plus VAT. Before we go ahead and issue any proceedings, we will advise you of the anticipated cost of our time and draw to your attention any information which may influence your prospects of success.

Where the opponent has no excuse for not paying and attempts no defence to proceedings, we will apply for a judgment in default and typically instruct the Sheriff to enforce the judgment by seizing goods. Other methods of enforcing judgments are available, and we will advise you as to their use and cost in the context of what is known about the defendant and the prospects of recovering the money. It would be unusual to be able to carry out work on a matter and get to judgment without spending three hours on the matter at a cost of about £600.00 plus VAT and the court fees. In defended cases, the ultimate cost of the case will depend upon the nature of the dispute, the number of witnesses involved and the technicalities of gathering and using evidence. Ten to twenty hours of Solicitor’s time may be required to bring the case to trial (equating to £2,500.00 to £5,000.00 plus VAT) with a further commitment of two to six hours on the day of a hearing at a cost of £500.00 – £1,500.00 plus VAT, mileage and car parking. These examples are given as a guide and are not a minimum or a maximum payment. In some cases, it will be necessary to use a Barrister, either to advise on the complexities of a difficult case, or to conduct a hearing as an advocate. Fees of a Barrister will vary from between £950.00 plus VAT and £9,500.00 plus VAT for conducting a hearing. Again, we can only suggest these figures as an indication of typical expenses incurred and not as a minimum or a maximum. We would not incur such fees without the consent of our client and consideration of the merits of the case.

The information given here does not extend to those occasions when a party wishes to appeal to a higher court. We would much prefer to discuss with you your personal requirements and for us to attempt to match our services to your needs. Due to the very great differences that we find between the needs and expectations of our clients and the detail of their cases, we cannot give a scale of charges and fixed fees beyond explaining how we remain prepared to unbundle our services and to charge for each part of the work and deliver interim bills to our clients to ensure that they are aware of and have authorised the costs as the case proceeds.

Our standard Client Care Letter and Client Care Contract will give you an understanding of our process and how we work. View our Departmental Annex for information on our staffs hourly rates.

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