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Charles Russell Speechlys

Business Debt Recovery

As an SRA authorised firm we are now required to publish price information in relation to certain typical services described in this page. While we are able to provide indicative figures these do not reflect the complexity or nuances of an individual case and the bespoke service that we provide.

Please always contact us to discuss fees in relation to particular work.

The total cost of the service or, where not practicable, the average cost or range of costs;

The range of costs will vary depending on the complexity of the matter and which of our offices (London, Guildford or Cheltenham) is best placed to handle the dispute. Factors that could make the matter more complex are:

  • The extent to which the debt is disputed.
  • The extent to which it is necessary to issue and pursue proceedings.
  • The level of disclosure and evidence required, including the volume of documents and the number of witnesses.
  • Whether a trial will be necessary.
  • The extent to which enforcement is necessary.

Because of this, we cannot give you a reliable estimate of the costs of us acting for you. However indicative costs would be as follows assuming the debt is recoverable under English law in the courts of England and Wales:

Undisputed debt claim of up to £10,000

  • £1,000 to £2,500 to take initial instructions, review a limited number of documents, issue a letter before claim, following which payment is made.
  • £2,000 to £4,000 to include the above, instruct junior counsel, issue and serve a claim form or statutory demand, following which payment is made.

Undisputed debt claim of up to £100,000

  • £1,500 to £3,500 to take initial instructions, review a limited number of documents, issue a letter before claim, following which payment is made.
  • £3,000 to £5,500 to include the above, instruct junior counsel, issue and serve a claim form or statutory demand, following which payment is made.

Disputed debt claim of up to £100,000

  • £30,000 to £55,000 to include all of the steps for an undisputed debt claim, together with taking the claim through to trial but excluding any enforcement steps and detailed assessment of costs.

Of course, if one of our cases does have unexpected complications we always inform our clients of that immediately, and would discuss the potential consequences, and likely impact on our fees, before they are incurred.

The basis for charges, including any hourly rates or fixed fees;

Our hourly rates range, depending on who is involved in working on the matter, from £80 to £575 plus VAT.

The experience and qualifications of anyone carrying out the work, and of their supervisors;

All matters are partner/solicitor led and supervised, and we resource matters appropriately, making use of solicitor apprentice, paralegal, legal executive, trainee solicitor, associate, senior associate and legal director support where appropriate. Details of the team can be found on our website here.

A description of, and the cost of, any likely disbursements, and where the actual cost of a disbursement is not known, the average cost or range of costs;

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. Court fees and counsel’s fees are the most likely disbursements for this type of matter. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Court fees depend on the level of the unpaid debt. The fee will range from £35 (where the debt does not exceed £300) to £5,000 (where the debt is £100,000).

It is not possible to provide a reliable estimate of counsel’s fees since this will depend on the complexity of the matter, the experience of the advocate required, and whether or not the matter reaches trial. An indicative range of costs, based on instructing a junior counsel, would be as follows:

Undisputed debt claim of up to £10,000

£750 to £1,500.

Undisputed debt claim of up to £100,000

£1,500 to £2,500

Disputed debt claim of up to £100,000

£15,000 to £20,000

Whether any fees or disbursements attract VAT and if so the amount of VAT they attract;

All fees and most disbursements attract VAT at the rate from time to time in force. Currently 20%.

Details of what services are included in the price displayed, including the key stages of the matter and likely timescales for each stage, and details of any services that might reasonably be expected to be included in the price displayed but are not; 

The key stages and work involved will depend on whether the debt is disputed or not.

Undisputed debt

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing documentation.
  • Undertaking appropriate searches.
  • Sending a letter before action.
  • Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, instructing junior counsel, drafting and issuing claim or statutory demand

Disputed debt claim

  • The above steps for an undisputed debt claim.
  • Reviewing and advising on any defence from the other party.
  • Preparing for and attending a case management conference.
  • Undertaking disclosure of documents.
  • Taking witness statements.
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements.
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology.
  • Preparation for and attendance at trial, including instructions to counsel, but excluding any enforcement steps and detailed assessment of costs.

It is not possible to provide a reliable estimate of the time it will take to complete the above steps. A matter may range from a few weeks for an undisputed debt claim to over a year for a disputed debt claim. Timing will depend on, among other things, the complexity of the matter, the approach taken by the debtor towards the claim and, should it be necessary to issue and pursue proceedings, the court’s availability and approach towards case management.

Any conditional fee or damages-based agreements, the circumstances in which clients may have to make any payments themselves for your services (including from any damages).

At the beginning of the matter, we will discuss with you funding options which you may wish to consider in order to pursue your claim. These options can include conditional fee or damages-based agreement. The precise basis upon which you may have to make payment will depend on the terms of the agreement. For a conditional fee agreement this will likely include payment of our hourly rates together with a percentage uplift (also known as a success fee) which will arise in defined circumstances agreed with you. For damages-based agreements, payment of our fees may be structured as a percentage of the damages recovered from the opponent, which will be agreed with you.

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