These costs apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed by a debtor. If the debtor disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary, which could be on a fixed fee, or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.
Kerem is an experienced litigator and advocate having attended in excess of 300 Court hearings since 2015. He is the firm’s litigation and recovery specialist.
Kerem acts for businesses and individuals in relation to litigation and recovery work.
Contact Kerem: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are typically four stages to legal proceedings for a money claim regarding an undisputed invoice:
- A Letter Before Action – this involves drafting a letter addressed to the debtor which seeks the recovery of the debt. The letter is required as part of the requirements of Pre-Action Protocol under the Civil Procedure Rules. The contents of the letter must comply with the relevant Protocol.
- Issuing a Claim – A claim involves commencing legal proceedings at Court by first drafting a claim and then filing the claim with the Court so that the Court can issue and serve the claim on the debtor.
- Obtaining a Judgment – this means a Court judgment is entered against the debtor following either an admission by the debtor that the amount claimed is correct and due to you, or alternatively a default judgment which can be requested against the debtor if the debtor fails to acknowledge the claim or defend it on time.
- Enforcement – Following the entering of a judgment, usually the debtor will be given a period of time to pay the debt in full. If the debt payment is not made in full, or at all, by the Court specified period of time, then the creditor can usually enforce the outstanding debt by a method of enforcement as listed below under the section headed “Enforcement”.
Letters Before Action
Our fixed fee charges for preparing a Letter Before Action are as follows:
A Pre-Action Protocol letter £250.00 plus VAT
Standard Chaser Letter following the sending of the Pre-Action Protocol Letter £50.00 plus VAT per letter
Any work in dealing with any replies to the above-mentioned letters £ Charged according to the time spent by the Fee Earner – at a rate of £200.00 plus VAT per hour. This would normally involve advising you of the contents of the letter, entering in to negotiations on your behalf and sending communications with the debtor.
Timescale: From the date of sending the Letter Before Action the debtor is usually allowed 14 to 30 days to respond.
Issuing a Claim
If the debt is not recovered during the pre-action protocol stage, then a claim will need to be made with the Court. We charge a fixed-fee for drafting and filing a claim.
Our fixed fees are calculated by reference to the size of your debt.
*A Court Issued Claim is when we send the claim to the Court for issuing via post, as opposed to using the Money Claim Online Portal. For more information on Money Claim Online you can visit: www.moneyclaim.gov.uk. Further, the maximum amount that can be claimed via Money Claim Online is limited to £99,999.99.
Timescale: Usually it takes up to 10 working days for the Court to issue a received claim and serve it on the debtor. If the claim is issued via Money Claim Online, then the claim will be issued quicker than the 10 working days.
After the claim is issued and deemed to be served on the Debtor, the Debtor will have 14 days to either i) admit the debt (in whole or part) ii) defend the claim or iii) acknowledge the claim and in doing this will extend the time for defending the claim or admitting the debt by a further additional 14 days (total of 28 days from the date of serving of the claim on the debtor).
If the debtor fails to file an acknowledgement to the claim or to file a defence on time, or makes any admission of the amount claimed, then a judgment can be entered against the debtor. Usually this involves requesting the Court to enter judgment against the debtor for the debt claimed plus any interest that is legally due to you. Upon the entering of the Judgment, we will charge the following further fixed fees for requesting judgment:
- £50.00 plus VAT for debts under £1,000.
- £100.00 plus Vat for debts from £1000.01 to £5,000
- £200.00 plus VAT for debts above £5,000.00 to £100,000.
If the debt remains unpaid after the entering of the judgment then you will need to consider a method of enforcement to recover the debt.
Timescale: It takes around 10 working days for the Court to issue a judgment following a request for judgment.
Our fixed fees for enforcement are set out below.
*You can now refer to Guidance Note EX321 from the Ministry of Justice for an explanation as to what these applications are and what they mean (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/726313/ex321-eng.pdf).
**A Statutory Demand is a written demand warning the debtor that if they do not pay the debt within a period of 21 days from being properly served with the demand, then you may initiate bankruptcy if the debtor is a person, or winding up proceedings if the debtor is a company. A Statutory Demand based on a Judgment can be a powerful, quick and effective way of recovering a debt because the debt is less likely to be challengeable as the debt will be based on the judgment of a Court.
Other costs and fees
In addition to the fees and costs mentioned above under the headings Letter Before Action, Issuing a claim, Judgment and Enforcement other additional fees and costs may be incurred such as the costs of attendance at a Court hearing to determine any of the above mentioned enforcement applications and, or, to instruct a process server to serve documents on the debtor.
Attendance at a hearing either by a Solicitor or Counsel will be in the range of £200.00 to £1000.00 plus VAT.
Land Registry fees will be needed for charging orders. Copies of the debtor’s title to a property will normally cost £3.00 for each title or plan and £50.00 for the registration of the charge on title.
A Process Server may be needed to serve Court documents and or a Statutory Demand. Their fees will normally charge around £100 to £200 plus VAT to attempt service of documents on the debtor and to produce a certificate of service thereafter to confirm service of the document(s).
Further information on timescales above
The processes above are not completely within our control. With regards to any work involving the Court, we are based on the Court’s busy diary and efficiency in dealing with claims and applications. Timings will vary from time to time, from Court to Court (if the claim is allocated to a local County Court) and the availability of Judges and the Court’s administrative resources. Therefore, the timescales above are provided as estimates based on our experience with the Court.
If at any stage a debt is disputed (in whole, or in part) whether before judgment or after, or the method of enforcement is disputed, then we will on an hourly basis of £200.00 plus VAT per hour. We will discuss such costs with you at the before incurring such costs and provide you with a costs budget for the anticipated work as well as an estimate of the length of time the claim will take.
Contact Kerem: email@example.com