Debt Recovery Services and Prices

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 commercial litigation work, director disqualification, insolvency claims and restructuring work are not shown here, and will be discussed and agreed on a case by case basis.

  • We sometimes operate on Conditional Fee Agreements (‘CFA’) with our clients.
  • The terms of that CFA will be agreed in advance with our client.
  • That CFA may, depending on its terms, require our client to make periodic payments to us (if it is, for example, a part CFA), and if so, that will be set out in the CFA to be signed off by the client.

Undisputed Debts

The costs below apply where the claim is for unpaid invoices which are not disputed by the debtor.

Disputed Debts

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. In Defended Debt disputes, the costs will depend upon the complexity of the matter.  We will inform you of the seniority of the Solicitor that will deal with your matter.   We will also let you know in advance their hourly charge out rate and the likely costs associated with dealing with the matter on a stage by stage basis if proceedings are issued and defended.

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.

Statutory Demands

  • 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

  1. LBA
    • Company £350 plus VAT
    • Individual £300 plus VAT
  2. Fully compliant Pre-Action Protocol letter
    • Company £750 plus VAT
    • Individual £750 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.

Timescale

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 claimedMCOL Court feeNDP 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£250£185
£3,001 to £5,000£185£300£265
£5,001 to £10,000£410£400£510
£10,001 to £25,0004.5% of the value of the claim£5004.5% of the value of the claim plus £100
£25,001 to £50,0004.5% of the value of the claim£6504.5% of the value of the claim plus £100
£50,001 to £75,0004.5% of the value of the claim£7004.5% of the value of the claim plus £100
£75,001 to £100,0004.5% of the value£8004.5% of the value of the 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.

TIMESCALES

  • A Defendant has 14 days from receipt of the Claim Form and/or Particulars of Claim in which to respond, by filing an Acknowledgement of Service or a Defence.
  • If the Defendant does not respond in time you can request Judgement for the claimed debt in default. If an Acknowledgement 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, Judgement 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 Judgement 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 amountOur feeRecoverable costs
£25 to £5,000£250 plus VAT£22 to £55
£5,000 plus£300 plus VAT£30 to £70

Timescale

When a request for Judgement is submitted to MCOL, it is normally processed within 48 hours.

STAGE 4: Enforcement of Judgement Against Debtors

If you successfully obtain Judgement against the debtor, you can instruct the HCEO to try and enforce the Judgement and recover payment.

Our fee to instruct HCEO Court fee for Judgement to be transferred to High Court Total
£250 plus VAT£66£300 plus VAT for Solicitors’ costs

Additional Costs

If the debtor is unable to pay the Judgement 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.

Timescale

Once the HCEO has been instructed, they will apply on your behalf to transfer the Judgement 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.

Additional Services

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 Judgement for it.

We can and do regularly advise on such matters.

NDP’s Costs

Solicitors’ costs for preparation of a fully bespoke Statutory Demand Process Server’s fee (cost depends on location of debtor)
£600 plus VAT£100 to £150

Timescales

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 Judgement 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 VATCourt 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 VATCourt 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.

If you have any questions about any of the above costs, please contact us or call us on 0121 200 7040.