Key Message for Debt Recovery
Commercial debt recovery is an art not a science. Knowing how best to attack a particular debt recovery target is what we here at NDP excel at, using in particular our litigation and insolvency expertise. That gives us a competitive edge over many firms of debt collectors which often translates into our recovering your debt, when others don’t.
As part of our ongoing commitment to price transparency, we set out below our debt recovery charges as required by our governing body, the Solicitors Regulation Authority (‘SRA’).
This page sets out our costs for our commercial debt recovery work for claims up to the value of £100,000 against debtors located within England and Wales. Costs for debt claims above this value are available on request.
Please Note: Charges for our other work, including director disqualification, insolvency claims and restructuring work are not shown here, and will be discussed and agreed on a case by case basis.
The costs below apply where the claim is for unpaid invoices which are not disputed by the debtor.
If the other party disputes your claim prior to issue of proceedings, we will discuss any further work required and provide relevant costs information.
These costs can be agreed on a fixed fee,hourly rate or other funding arrangement basis, such as a Conditional Fee Agreement (‘CFA’), depending on the circumstances of your case.
We set out our pricing structure below, in relation to the following types of process:
- Issuing Letters of Claim/Letters Before Action (‘LBA’).
- Facilitating the issue of High Court and County Court debt recovery proceedings.
- Drafting and serving Statutory Demands and letters of final demand against limited companies and individuals/sole traders. As specialist Insolvency Solicitors, we know best when to use Statutory Demands.
- Issuing and prosecuting Bankruptcy and Winding-Up Petitions.
- Advice on enforcement procedures, to include:
- Charging Orders over property.
- Arranging attendance for you at meetings of creditors.
- Instructing the High Court Enforcement Officer (‘HCEO’) to try and seize goods to satisfy debts.
- Negotiating settlements and attending settlement meetings to most efficiently recover your debts.
STAGE 1: Pre-Action
- Company £50 plus VAT
- Individual £50 plus VAT
- Fully compliant Pre-Action Protocol compliant letter
- Company £300 plus VAT
- Individual £300 plus VAT
Bulk Debt Instructions
Bespoke pricing arrangements are available for bulk debt instructions. We will gladly discuss such matters with you. We have significant experience of such collections for Insolvency Practitioners and Finance Houses.
Our LBA normally requires the debtor to pay within 7 or 14 days. We commit to issue that letter within 24 hours once all the required information is given to us. If you wish your LBA to also be sent by email, we will do that.
Pre-Action Protocol Compliant Letters
The debtor has a minimum of 30 days to respond and this can be extended to up to 120 days in difficult or complex cases. We can produce such letters within 48 to 72 hours depending on (for example) the level of complexity involved in the claim and the volume of accompanying documents.
STAGE 2: Issuing Legal Proceedings
We arrange for the issue of all debt recovery claims up to £100,000 via Money Claim Online (‘MCOL’), the online Court service for claimants and defendants.
The table below shows the MCOL court fees and our fixed, solicitors’ costs, both of which are recoverable if the debtor then goes on to pay the claim without dispute. These costs include us completing and submitting the claim form and the Particulars of Claim.
|Amount claimed||MCOL Court fee||NDP fee (plus VAT)||Recoverable fees|
|Up to £300||£25||£120||£75|
|£300 to £500||£35||£100||£85|
|£501 to £1,000||£60||£145||£130|
|£1,001 to £1,500||£70||£160||£150|
|£1,501 to £3,000||£105||£175||£185|
|£3,001 to £5,000||£185||£190||£265|
|£5,001 to £10,000||£410||£220||£510|
|£10,001 to £25,000||4.5% of the value of the claim||£280||4.5% of the value of the claim plus £100|
|£25,001 to £50,000||4.5% of the value of the claim||£350||4.5% of the value of the claim plus £100|
|£50,001 to £75,000||4.5% of the value of the claim||£500||4.5% of the value of the claim plus £100|
|£75,001 to £100,000||4.5% of the value||£600||4.5% of the value of claim plus £100|
Additional Costs We May Charge
For claims exceeding £10,000 and/or where a bespoke Particulars of Claim is required, we may charge an additional fee that we will negotiate and agree with you in advance of your incurring that fee.
- A Defendant has 14 days from receipt of the Claim Form and/or Particulars of Claim in which to respond, by filing an Acknowledgment of Service or a Defence.
- If the Defendant does not respond in time you can request Judgment for the claimed debt in default. If an Acknowledgment of Service is filed within 14 days of service of the Claim Form, the Defendant then has a further 14 days to file a Defence to the claim.
- If the Defendant then fails to file a Defence, Judgment can be entered in default.
STAGE 3: Requesting Judgement
If the debtor does not respond to your claim in time, you can request that the Court order them to pay and enters Judgment against them. We will charge the following costs for this request. These costs are recoverable from the debtor should they then pay.
Solicitors’ Costs to Request Judgement
|Claim amount||Our fee||Recoverable costs|
|£25 to £5,000||£75 plus VAT||£22 to £55|
|£5,000 plus||£100 plus VAT||£30 to £70|
When a request for Judgment is submitted to MCOL, it is normally processed within 48 hours.
STAGE 4: Enforcement of Judgement Against Debtors
If you successfully obtain Judgment against the debtor, you can instruct the HCEO to try and enforce the Judgment and recover payment.
|Our fee to instruct HCEO||Court fee for Judgment to be transferred to High Court||Total|
|£100 plus VAT||£66||£166 plus VAT for Solicitors’ costs|
If the debtor is unable to pay the Judgment and the HCEO cannot enforce (e.g. because the debtor has no assets), you will still be required to pay the HCEO an abortive fee of £75 plus VAT.
If it is necessary to correspond or otherwise liaise with the HCEO regarding the instruction, additional charges may apply which will be based on the hourly rate of the Solicitor conducting your matter.
Once the HCEO has been instructed, they will apply on your behalf to transfer the Judgment to the High Court. This can take 4 to 8 weeks subject to the Court’s availability. The HCEO will then send a notice of enforcement to the debtor giving them 7 days to pay. If the debtor fails to pay, an enforcement officer will be sent to attend their premises to try and make a recovery.
Using the services of the HCEO can often be ineffective, because the debtor has no obvious assets to seize to pay the debt.
Should you consider the Statutory Demand route?
Statutory Demand Against Companies or Individuals
A Statutory Demand is not a Court process but is a formal demand for payment which your debtor must take seriously. Such a Statutory Demand often precedes insolvency-based proceedings, such as a Winding-Up Petition against a company or bankruptcy proceedings against an individual/sole trader.
A Word of Caution
A Statutory Demand should only be used in circumstances where the underlying debt is not genuinely disputed, for example, if the debt is admitted or if there is a Judgment for it.
We can and do regularly advise on such matters.
|Solicitors’ costs for preparation of a fully bespoke Statutory Demand||Process Server’s fee (cost depends on location of debtor)|
|£500 plus VAT||£100 to £150|
Statutory Demands are normally served within 48 hours against companies and partnerships. They can take longer to serve against individuals as it can be harder to locate individuals, so as to serve them. However, we have excellent relationships with trusted Process Servers who are very good at locating debtors.
WINDING-UP Petition Against Companies
Provided the debt is not subject to a genuine dispute or cannot be extinguished by a valid cross claim or set-off by the debtor, it may be appropriate to present a Winding-Up Petition against the company owing the debt.
Winding-Up Petitions are often used where the debt is based on a Court Judgment which has not been set aside, appealed or based on an expired Statutory Demand. Sometimes, the very threat of presentation of a Winding-Up Petition is enough to get the debtor to pay up.
|Solicitors’ costs for drafting Winding-Up Petition and arranging for issuing and service||Disbursements (mandatory third party costs)|
|£850 plus VAT||Court fee £280|
|Official Receiver’s deposit* £1,600|
|Process Server’s fee £150|
*If the debtor pays the debt and the Winding-Up Petition is withdrawn or dismissed, the Insolvency Service will provide a refund of £1,550 for this fee after a period of time.
BANKRUPTCY PETITION Against Individuals
If you benefit from a Court Judgment that has not been set aside or appealed, or if a Statutory Demand has been validly served and not set aside, a Bankruptcy Petition can be presented against an individual or sole trader debtor.
|Solicitors’ costs for drafting and issuing Bankruptcy Petition||Disbursements (mandatory costs)|
|£80 plus VAT||Court fee £280|
|Official Receiver’s deposit £990|
|Process Server’s fee £150|
In the event that a bankruptcy order is not made at the hearing (for example the debt is paid or the Bankruptcy Petition withdrawn), you will receive back £940 of the original deposit paid.