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Debt Recovery

Rutherfords has a specialised Debt Recovery Department which has a wealth of experience in dealing with the recovery of your debt.

Areas of Specialism:

- Tracing Bad Debtors
- Dealing with Individual Debtors, Sole Traders, Limited Companies
- Pre-action Advice
- Issuing and Pursuing Claims
- Defended Claims/Counter Claims and Litigation
- Enforcement
- Obtaining High Court Writs
- Instructing High Court Enforcement Officers
- Obtaining Charging Orders, Third Party Debt Orders, Attachment of Earnings Orders
- Possession Proceedings
- Insolvency Proceedings

Fixed Costs for Debt Recovery Work - Uncontested Matter

In relation to all uncontested debt matters up to and including entry of the County Court Judgment, our charges will be made in accordance with the schedule of costs detailed below:

Stage 1 – Send a Solicitors Letter before Action (LBA)

The LBA sets out the basis of the debt and demands payment from the debtor. It includes the threat of court action as well as advising the debtor of the additional costs that will be added and recoverable if court action is necessary. There is a fixed fee of £100.00 plus VAT for this letter.

Thereafter if further action has to be taken before court proceedings are issued i.e. further correspondence, dealing with contact made by the debtor, dealing with negotiation etc an additional charge of £15.00 plus VAT will be made for each further action required based on an hourly rate of £150 plus VAT per hour.

Stage 2 – Court Action

We charge a fixed fee for this stage as set out in the table below. The court fee is payable by you when the claim is commenced. In a successful claim the court fee and most of Rutherfords’ costs are recovered from the debtor, together with interest claimed at 8%.

Debt Amount Rutherfords' Fixed Fee (plus VAT)

Court Fee (as at Dec 2018) (no VAT)

Total payment by you to Rutherfords to issue claim (plus VAT)
£25 - £300 £100 £35 £135
£301 - £500 £140 £50 £190
£501 - £1,000 £180 £70 £250
£1,001 - £1,500 £230 £80 £310
£1,501 - £3,000 £250 £115 £365
£3,001 - £5,000 £280 £205 £485
£5,001 - £10,000 £280 £455 £735
£10,001 - £200,000 £400 5% value of claim £400 plus Court Fee

£200,001 and above

£500 £10,000 £500 plus Court Fee

Stage 3 – Securing a County Court Judgement

If the debtor admits the debt, makes an offer of payment or fails to respond to the court proceedings, a County Court Judgement can be secured and a fixed fee of £50.00 plus VAT will be made to secure the Judgement.

After Judgment has been secured your instructions will be taken with regard to the enforcement of this Judgment and at that stage we will discuss our costs further with you.

Stage 4 – Issuing Enforcement Proceedings to Recover the Judgement Debt

There are various enforcement options available most common of which is the instruction of a County Court Bailiff or the instruction of a High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) for debts over £600.00. In the first instance a fixed fee of £150.00 plus VAT will be made to instruct either the County Court Bailiff or the High Court Enforcement Officer.


Fixed Costs for Debt Recovery Work - Contested Matter

If at any stage the matter becomes contested then you will be charged on a time/ costs basis for all work undertaken on your file.


Our Debt Recovery Team

There are five members of the Debt Recovery Team who may work on your matter as detailed below:

Stephen Wengraf is a Partner and Head of Litigation with a current hourly rate of £240 plus VAT
Tanya Summers is a Solicitor with a current hourly rate of £170 plus VAT
Louise Tyler is a Chartered Legal Executive with a current hourly rate of £170 plus VAT
Lauren Henderson is a Trainee Solicitor with a current hourly rate of £150 plus VAT
Hayden Mellowship is a Trainee Solicitor with a current hourly rate of £150 plus VAT

Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Steve Wengraf, Partner and Head of the Debt Recovery Department.

Preferential Rates

Please note that preferential rates are available upon request for multiple instructions. Please contact the Debt Recovery Department for more details about these rates.

Timescales

Where the matter can be resolved without the issue of proceedings, the claim letter will be sent within a few days of having your full instructions. It then usually take around two to six weeks to receipt of payment from the other side,

If it is necessary to issue a claim then matters will usually take 10 weeks on the basis that the opponent pays promptly upon receipt of Judgment in Default.

If enforcement action is needed then the matter will take longer to resolve.

• Before the issue of Court proceeding there are guidelines called the Pre Action Protocols which set out a process that the pre litigation process should follow. In general terms the defendant has 14 - 30 days (depending on the circumstances) to acknowledge a claim and then up to 3 months to substantively respond to a claim. At all stages both claimant and defendant must respond to requests and both must act reasonably.

• If the case is not possible of resolution. Court proceeding may have to be issued which will almost always be in the County Court. If proceedings are issued and defended these are then allocated to a track by the Court which is appropriate to the complexity and value of the case.
- Generally a claim for losses under £10,000 (under £1,000 for personal injury case) are Small Claims and should get from issue of proceedings to a Trial in 6 – 9 months.
- Claims of £10,000 to £25,000 (£1,000 to £25,000 for personal injury claims) are dealt with as Fast Track Claims and should get from issue of proceedings to Trial in about 12 months.
- Complex cases and ones involving damages which exceed £25,000 are Multi Track Claims which are likely to reach Trial in 12 – 24 months).

The above figures are guidance only. At all stages we will endeavour to give as precise as possible time estimates as the matter progresses.

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