Civil Litigation for businesses

Expert advice for business disputes

We are specialists with a broad range of skills and experience across the full spectrum of business and personal disputes. Our approach is always to take account of your individual needs and apply our technical expertise, collective experience and commercial realism to guide you through the most pressing legal challenges and achieve the best possible outcome to your dispute.

Our approach is focused on gaining an understanding of you as much as your dispute so that we can give advice that is tailored to you and your circumstances. Wherever possible we seek to minimise the stress and disruption to you that being involved in a dispute inevitably entails.

We conduct litigation in the Courts and Tribunals and also utilise the full range of alternative dispute resolution forums including arbitration, adjudication, mediation, and negotiation.

  • Contract and Commercial Disputes
  • Company, Shareholder and Partnership Disputes
  • Construction Disputes
  • Commercial, Debt and Asset Recoveries
  • Insolvency
  • Property Disputes
  • Commercial Landlord & Tenant
  • Intellectual Property Disputes
  • Professional Negligence
  • Regulatory and Data Protection

Debt Recovery

Businesses with insufficient working capital will often delay paying their creditors until absolutely necessary. As a creditor in this situation, you effectively provide the working capital to a business that continually pays late invoices. We will devise a tailored, cost-effective strategy to recover outstanding debts owed to your business.

Our services in this area include:

  • Settlement agreements
  • Statutory demands
  • County Court and High Court proceedings
  • Winding Up petitions
  • Bankruptcy petitions

Legal Fees (Fixed Fee)

The below table sets out the fees and costs associated with a claim issued at the ‘Court Money Claims Centre’. These costs apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed and enforcement action is not needed. If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs/fees if necessary, which could be on a fixed fee (e.g. if a one-off letter is required) or an hourly rate basis, if more extensive work is needed.

Debt recovery fees
Debt valueCourt feeOur fee (+ VAT)Total
Up to £5,000£35 – £205£600 – £1,500£120 – £300

£5,001 – £10,000£410 – £455£750 – £2,000£150 – £400
£10,001 – £50,0004.5% (if filed online) – 5% (if filed in paper) of the value of the claim.£1,500 – £3,000£300 – £600

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

  • Claims for sums of less than £10,000 are highly likely to be allocated to the small claims track, where only nominal fixed costs are recoverable from the other party
  • The VAT element of your fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor if you are VAT registered
  • VAT is a government tax that we are required to charge and will usually be added at 20% to our fees and disbursements (except where we indicate the disbursements are outside the scope of VAT)
  • Interests and costs may take the debt into a higher banding, with higher court fees
  • The costs quoted above are not for matters where enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt
  • The standard Debt Recovery Process does not include tailored Particulars of Claim, defended actions or complex letters before claim
  • A standard letter of claim / letter before action costs £150 (+ 20% of VAT £30)

Our fee includes:

  • Taking your instructions and reviewing documents
  • Undertaking appropriate searches
  • Sending a letter before action
  • Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing a claim
  • Where no Acknowledgement of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgment in default
  • Where Judgment in default is received, writing to the other side to request payment
  • If payment is not received within 21 days, providing you with advice on the next steps and likely costs

Matters usually take between 2-15 weeks from instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending whether or not it is necessary to issue a claim. This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of Judgment in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.

Legal Fees (Hourly Rate)

These costs apply where the other party disputes your claim and further work is required.

Our charges will be calculated by reference to the time actually spent by the fee earner on your matter.  VAT is added to charges and applied at the rate when the work is done, currently 20%. Our hourly rates are reviewed on 1st April each year and are currently set at the following rates:

Legal Fees
TITLE/ JOB ROLE/ EXPERIENCEVAT (20%)
Solicitors and Chartered Legal Executives with over 4 years’ relevant experience
(Grade A)£300 per hour plus VAT£60
Solicitors and Chartered Legal Executives with over 4 years’ relevant experience
(Grade B)£250 per hur plus VAT£50
Other Solicitors, Legal Executives and fee earners of equivalent experience
(Grade C)£220 per hour plus VAT£44
Trainee Solicitors, Paralegals and Clerks
(Grade D)£155 per hour plus VAT£31

On average, this type of work takes between 4-50 hours to complete. This means that on average costs are between £880 – £15,000 (+20% VAT of £176 – £3,000).

The exact number of hours it will take depends on the circumstances in your case, such as:

  • The amount of supporting evidence that we need to consider
  • Whether the debt is paid on receipt of initial correspondence from us
  • The response received (whether the debt is defended or not)
  • The level of disclosure that is to be provided
  • The amount of expert evidence (if any) which is required
  • The amount of days that any final hearing is listed for
  • The conduct of the other party
What services are included?

The work will involve

  • Discussing your circumstances and confirming whether this is the most appropriate action for you to make and what other options may be available to you
  • Giving you advice about the requirements of the ‘Civil Procedure Rules’ and whether you meet the criteria
  • Considering the supportive evidence you have provided which we anticipate will take about 2.5 hours (depending on the number of documents, whether anything is missing and how long it will take to obtain
    the missing documents)
  • Where necessary, helping you to obtain further evidence such as experts reports or obtaining witness evidence
  • Preparing your claim and submitting it on your behalf, which we anticipate will take between 3-10 hours
  • Attendance at court. We will give you clear advice (and discuss the possibility of us attending with you) at the appropriate time or arrange representation for you by a barrister. This could be between 5 – 50 hours
    of work.
  • Giving you advice about the outcome of the claim and any further steps you need to take
  • Advising of any enforcement options available following a successful outcome
The costs quoted above do not include
  • Enforcement costs
  • Any additional Applications that may be required
  • The costs of other parties which you are ordered to pay
  • Where the court dismisses your claim, any advice and assistance relating to appeal
How long will my claim take?

We cannot guarantee how long the court will take to process any claim that you make.

We will normally be able to submit this type of application within 8-20 weeks of you instructing us but we will let you know at the earliest opportunity if it is likely to take longer than this. There are ‘Pre-Action Protocols’ which have to be followed before proceedings can be issued to ensure that there are no penalties in respect of the recovery of costs and these can take time. Also, if mediation is requested by the responding party, then this should be entered into as there are penalties of up to 30% reductions to legal costs for unreasonable refusal to mediate.

Please note that the anticipated number of hours and fees are estimates based on the facts above. All applications are likely to vary and of course we can give you a more accurate estimate once we have more information about your specific case.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. Potential disbursements you may incur are as follows:

  • Court fees;
  • Counsel’s fees;
  • Expert fees;
  • Mediator’s costs;
  • If we attend a court hearing, meeting or mediation there will be additional disbursements in respect of our mileage/travel expenses.
Defended Small Claims (up to £10,000)
Disbursements
DisbursementsOur ChangesVAT (20%)
Handling standard defended small claims which does not include a counterclaim, nor preparation of witness statement and instructing Counsel and may differ depending on complexity so we will agree in advance with you.£175 (+20% VAT of £35)£750.00£150
Court Hearing fee where the debt value is up to £300.00£25.00
Court Hearing fee where the debt value is up to £500.00£55.00
Court Hearing fee where the debt value is up to £1,000.00£80.00
Court Hearing fee where the debt value is up to £1,500.00£115.00
Court Hearing fee where the debt value is up to £3,000.00£170.00
Court Hearing fee where the debt value is up to £10,000.00£335.00
Drafting standard Consent Order£100.00£150.00£30
Adjourned hearings£350.00£450.00£90
CounterclaimsCourt fee will depend on value of counterclaim but is the same scale as above for issue fees.Hourly rate of £155.00 -£300.00 plus VAT will apply and an estimate of costs will be agreed with you in advance.£31 – £60
Setting aside Judgement application£750£1,000.00£200

For the above we will be charging you on our hourly rates. We will estimate our fees to deal with each action at each stage. Depending on the complexity of the matter and the work required we will review and try to estimate the charges for that specific action. We will inform you and get your agreement before any work is undertaken.

Please note VAT is a government tax that we are required to charge, and will usually be added at 20% to our fees and disbursements, except where we indicate the disbursements are outside the scope of VAT.

What are the costs for Enforcement of Judgment

Enforcement of Judgement
DisbursementsOur ChargesVAT (20%)
Issuing warrant of execution to Bailiff£77.00£50.00£10.00
High Court Enforcement Officers£66.00£150.00£30.00
Re-issue warrant of Execution£33.00£50.00£10.00
Charging order on property dealt with on paper£110.00 and land registry fee of £23.00£250.00£50.00
Charging order hearing if objections filed, agents fee to attend hearing£175.00 (plus 20% VAT of £35.00)£200.00£40.00
Third party debt order to first hearing£110.00 agents fee for attendance£230.00£46.00
Order to obtain information through the court£55.00 agents fee for service£120.00£24.00
Attachment of Earnings£110.00£200.00£40.00

If you would like to contact one of our Civil Litigation team directly, please see their details below or click on the Contact us button.

Jeremy Paterson – [email protected] – Solicitor qualified in 2007

Lisa Milner – [email protected] – Solicitor qualified in 2013

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