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Commercial debt recovery solicitors

Debt recovery - intro

Unpaid debts hold up your business, affecting cash flow, creating uncertainty and potentially preventing payment of your staff or creditors, harming your reputation. It’s crucial for any business to ensure that those you trade with do so on your terms. For debt recovery advice that’s tailored to your business, call our team on  0161 696 6170.

Our debt recovery lawyers are fast, efficient, can act on a bulk recovery basis and get the results you need. We are invoice debt recovery specialists, with a full, dedicated team handling undisputed invoice debt cases on a fixed-fee basis to deliver exceptional value for money. We also offer loan recovery services where required. Our commercial debt recovery team hope to send a same-day letter before action if your debt recovery instructions are sent to us before 4pm on a working day. If you require a bulk debt collection service please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Our team of debt recovery lawyers are supported by commercial litigation specialists, who handle disputed or complex claims professionally and efficiently and will also advise more thoroughly on business debt collection, commercial debts, loan recovery services and prospects of recovery.

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What is debt recovery?

This is the process by which commercial unpaid invoices and debts are recovered through a formal court process. Our debt recovery solicitors can guide you through this process and help you with whatever you need.

How can our debt recovery solicitors help you?

If you require the help of commercial debt recovery solicitors, why not contact our skilled team for a free initial telephone consultation and arrange your free debt recovery health check. We have a wealth of knowledge and access to specialist resources, that means you get the best help and advice you need. Stephensons’ dedicated debt department advises clients ranging from asset based finance companies to large corporate, SME’s and owner managed businesses to private individuals.

Our services include:

  • Pre-legal collection, recovering debts without the need for legal action.
  • Court proceedings
  • Negotiating payment arrangements
  • Insolvency proceedings
  • Debt recovery for businesses, private individuals, and financiers
  • International debt recovery
  • Bulk debt recovery

Click here to fill in our debt recovery instruction form to start the debt recovery process.

Debt recovery - what does it cost?

When hiring an experienced team of debt recovery solicitors to help recover your debts the legal fees can vary depending on a number of different factors. This includes the type of claim you are making, what services you require, and the time spent on your claim, amongst other factors.

These costs apply where your claim relates to an unpaid invoice or invoices which are not disputed and enforcement action is not needed. 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 might be on a fixed fee or an hourly rate. The fixed fees set out below do not include giving you any advice about your claim.

Stage 1: Pre action

Letter before action

Is it a company debt or individual/sole trader?

Company - letter before action: £25 plus VAT

Individual/sole trader - letter of claim: £65 plus VAT

International - letter before action: £65 plus VAT

Letters before action sent to companies usually require the commercial debtor to pay within 14 days, but letters to individuals provide for a 30 day period in accordance with guidelines laid down by the court and the time limit for payment in international letters before action may vary.

Pre action debt recovery and assistance

We can assist you in corresponding with your debtor to resolve disputes and recover your debt without the need for legal action. We offer fixed fees at each stage of this process, which might involve a second letter demanding payment or lengthy negotiations to reach a Settlement Agreement or repayment plan.

Fixed fees for pre action assistance

Second letter of demand: £35 plus VAT

Review and advice on response received from debtor: £75 plus VAT

Preparing detailed reply to debtor and final demand or offer of settlement: £105 plus VAT

Negotiating settlement/instalment plans and drafting settlement agreement: £175 plus VAT

Pre action advice on recovery

We offer a fixed fee service where our debt recovery solicitors will review your invoices and contract and advise you on the most effective method of recovery; the options available to you; pre action protocol requirements and your right to receive interest and compensation under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998.

Our fixed fee for this service is £175 plus VAT.

Stage 2: Court action

Court claims - issue claims

DebtCourt FeeStephensons' Fee
Up to £300£35£140 plus VAT
£300 - £500£50£140 plus VAT
£500 £1,000£70£160 plus VAT
£1,000 - £1,500£80£200 plus VAT
£1,500 - £3,000£115£200 plus VAT
£3,000 - £5,000£205£200 plus VAT
£5,000 - £10,000£455£400 plus VAT
£10,000 - £200,0005% of claim£700 plus VAT
Over £200,000£10,000Bespoke fees apply

Once the court has served the claim a debtor has 14 days in which to file a defence or enter an acknowledgement. After the 14 day period has expired a request can be made to the court for judgment to be entered providing the debtor has not filed an acknowledgement or a defence.

If judgment is obtained but not paid then further action will be required to enforce payment.

Timescale: It usually takes the court about 10 working days to enter judgment following receipt of a request to enter judgment.

Additional services if necessary

Price alongside service is for our legal fees, related third party costs may also be payable for specific services.

Stage 3: Enforcement

Once judgment has been obtained, enforcement action may be needed to recover the sums awarded by the court.

We will write to the debtor demanding payment of the judgment debt and where appropriate inform the debtor of the enforcement action to be taken if payment is not made.

Our fees for these initial letters are:

Letter demanding payment of judgment: £40 plus VAT

Letter to company debtor warning of intention to present winding up petition: £80 plus VAT

If you require a detailed advice on the enforcement options available to you we will provide that advice for a fixed fee of £75 plus vat. 

Enforcement proceedings

Writ of control: £85 plus VAT otherwise known as instructing a High Court Enforcement Officer to seize goods in satisfaction

Related third party costs

  • Court fee - £71
  • HCEO fee - £90 payable if the warrant is not successful

Timescale:  A writ of control may be applied for once judgment has been obtained but whether or not any recovery will be made depends on the debtor’s ability to pay and whether there are any assets which may be seized and whether a repayment agreement is entered into. A typical enforcement by writ of control may take about 8-12 weeks from instruction. If we are required to enter into correspondence about the enforcement, then the matter will no longer be treated as a fixed fee enforcement and additional charges will apply based on the applicable hourly rate set out in our retainer letter to you.

Warrant of execution: £85 plus VAT

Related third party costs

  • Court fee - £83

Timescale: A warrant of execution may be applied for once judgment has been obtained but whether or not any recovery will be made depends on the debtor’s ability to pay and whether there are any assets which may be seized and whether a repayment agreement is entered into. A typical enforcement may take about 8-12 weeks from instruction. If we are required to enter into correspondence about the enforcement, then the matter will no longer be treated as a fixed fee enforcement and additional charges will apply. These charges will be based on an hourly rate set out in our retainer letter to you.

Attachment of earnings: £250 plus VAT

This is applicable in cases where the attachment of earnings is obtained without a hearing or further applications/revisions to deal with debtors who have not been found or their employment has changed.

Related third party costs

  • Court fee - £119

Time scale: An attachment of earnings order can sometimes be obtained within about 6-8 weeks of the application for an attachment of earnings order being issued by the court.

Charging order: £600 plus VAT (excluding hearing)

Related third party costs

  • Court fee - £119
  • Agent’s fee for attendance at court if necessary - depends on location
  • Registration of charging order - £40
  • Search fee - £11

Time scale: An interim charging order can sometimes be obtained within about 2-3 weeks of application being made to court. The timescale for the final charging order will depend upon whether the debtor files an objection and if the Court lists the case for a hearing. Without any objections or a hearing it would be a further 4-6 weeks.

Third party debt order: £600 plus VAT

Related third party costs

  • Court fee - £119
  • Agents fee for hearing - depends on location

Time scale: A third party debt order can sometimes be obtained within about 8-12 weeks of the application being issued by the court.

Order that debtor attends court for questioning/oral examination: £300 plus VAT

Related third party costs

  • Court fee - £119
  • Agent fee for hearing if required - depends on location
  • Process server - up to £150 plus VAT

Time scale: The debtor will usually be required to attend court for questioning within about 8-12 weeks of the application being made.

Insolvency proceedings

Issue of statutory demand for companies and individuals: £550 plus VAT

Related third party costs

  • Process server fee - up to £250 plus VAT

Timescale: A statutory demand should only be made where the unrecovered debt is not disputed for example where there is a judgment or an admission that the debt is due. A statutory demand can be prepared on receipt of instructions and is then usually sent to a process server for personal service. Personal service generally takes about 1-2 weeks via a process server.

Bankruptcy proceedings: £2,250 plus VAT

This is applicable to cases where the matter is determined at the first hearing, there are no issues with regards to service and is only applicable in cases whereby the unrecovered debt is not disputed or if a court judgment has been obtained which has not been set aside or appealed.

Related third party costs

  • Process server - up to £250 plus VAT
  • Court fee - £302
  • Official receivers deposit - £1,500
  • Agent for hearing - depends on location
  • Search fee - £11

Time scale: A bankruptcy order can usually be obtained within about 8-12 weeks of the petition being issued by the court.

Company winding up: £2,250 plus VAT

This is applicable to cases where the matter is determined at the first hearing and is only applicable in cases whereby the unrecovered debt is not disputed or if a court judgment has been obtained which has not been set aside or appealed.

Related third party costs

  • Court fee - £302
  • Official receivers petition deposit - £2,600
  • Process server - up to £250 plus VAT
  • Agent fees for hearing- depends on location
  • Advertisement in London Gazette - £101.52

Time scale: A winding up order can usually be obtained within about 8-12 weeks of the petition being issued by the court.

What qualifications do our debt recovery team hold?

Here at Stephensons, we can provide you with the best possible commercial debt recovery solicitors, who are highly skilled when it comes to navigating your claim. You can trust that all our debt recovery work is supervised by a qualified solicitor, who has specialist knowledge and expertise. If you’d like to view our team’s credentials and see how we are qualified to help you, all information can be seen in the individual staff profiles.

Not only this, but we are happy to discuss your individual needs and tailor a debt recovery package for bulk debt recoveries. We understand

Why choose our commercial debt recovery solicitors?

At Stephensons, we have a talented team of commercial debt recovery lawyers on hand to help you with whatever help and advice you need. With experience of successfully helping clients to recover unpaid debts on a large scale and overdue loans we are qualified to guide you through the legal process and can give you any support you require.

We have built trust and respect in our field, providing a first-rate debt recovery service that many businesses rely on. So, why not see how we can help you and contact us today.

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Client testimonials

"I'd like to express my admiration of your helpful and professional communication and cooperation. You did a very good job walking me through all possible variants, preparing the letter and answering my questions... I will definitely recommend Stephensons as a trustful solicitor to deal with such matters." - View from a satisfied client

“Our client finally paid. Thank you to all those at Stephensons who helped us with this matter. We would have no hesitation in using your very efficient and professional service in the future, should we need it.” - View from a satisfied client

“Following the recommendation of Stephensons to BD Recruitment Ltd, we instructed Alistair Gregory to act on our behalf in taking legal proceedings against debtors. The matter was resolved before reaching court, but I found the actions of Stephensons to be swift and efficient, and would be confident of using them again for other legal issues.” - Chris Crawford - Managing Director, BD Recruitment Ltd (Technical & Creative Recruitment Consultancy) bdrecruitment.com 

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Debt recovery reorder

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