Our Services

Solicitors in Westminster, London

Debt Recovery - Our Fees

Our Commercial Disputes Team has extensive experience in dealing with debt for and on behalf of businesses, estates and individuals. 

The Debt Recovery Team

We make every effort to ensure that your work is handled by the most appropriate person based on their expertise and experience. The full details of each member of the team are available through the following links:


Examples of our likely costs

Our fees depend on the complexity of the claim and the experience of our solicitor dealing with the claim. An example of our fees for pre-action debt recovery (the preliminary steps prior to commencing court or insolvency proceedings), issue of court proceedings and a contested court hearing are as follows:

Step 1

Letters before Action demanding payment

Company Debtor - £450 plus VAT

Individual/sole trader debtor - £350 plus VAT

Letters before action sent to companies usually require the debtor to pay within 14 days; letters to individuals allow for 30 days for payment.

These costs apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed and enforcement action is not needed. Where 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 (such as where a one-off letter is required), or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.

Where the debt is disputed or remains unpaid, you may need to move to Step 2.

Step 2

Court proceedings

Should the debtor fail to pay following Step 1, you may have to commence court proceedings to recover payment. A court fee will be payable on commencement of your claim. Those fees together with an example of the fees we will charge for commencing the claim as set out in the table below.

Debt value

Court fee

Our fee (incl. VAT)

Up to £5,000

Up to £205


£5,001 - £10,000

Up to £455


£10,001 - £200,000

5% value of the claim


When court proceedings are issued, you should note that:

  • The VAT element of our fee may not be recoverable from your debtor if you are VAT registered;
  • Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding, with a higher court fee and legal fees;
  • The fees quoted above are not for matters where enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt.

Our fees include:

  • Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation;
  • Undertaking appropriate searches;
  • Sending a letter before action;
  • Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim;
  • Where no Acknowledgement of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgment in default;
  • When Judgment in default in received, write to the other side to request payment; and
  • If payment is not received within 28 days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs (see below).

Matters usually take between 12 and 48 weeks from receipt of your instructions to receipt of payment from the debtor, depending on whether it is necessary to issue a claim. This is on the basis that the debtor pays promptly on receipt of Judgment in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will inevitable take longer to resolve.

Step 3

Should the debtor fail to pay following commencement of court proceedings and the claim proceeds to trial, our fees will vary depending on the complexity of the case, the extent of documentary evidence involved (disclosure), the number of factual witnesses giving evidence, whether expert evidence is required, the number of interlocutory hearings (if any) and the length of any trial. An example of the fees we might charge in three different scenarios out set in the table below.

Claim value



Court fees

Range of our fees

Up to £50,000

No more than 250

No more than 2 factual
witnesses; no expert

Trial only: £1,090

£7,500 -£10,000

- £100,000

251 – 1000 documents

3 – 5 factual witnesses;
1expert witness

Trial and 1
hearing: £1,345

£10,000 - £25,000

£100,000 -

1000+ documents

5+ witness of fact,
2+ expert witness

Trial and 2
hearings: £1,600

£25,000 - £100,000


We are obliged to charge VAT (at the standard rate – currently 20%) on our costs and on those disbursements that are subject to VAT at the applicable rate. All cost estimates provided are exclusive of VAT.

  • Stephen Dean
      • Stephen Dean
      • Managing Partner and Head of Dispute Resolution
      • 0207 960 7117
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  • Clifford Woodroffe
      • 0207 960 7116
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  • Niamh McKay
      • 0207 960 7144
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  • Michael Anderson
      • 0207 2225381
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  • Elizabeth Cooper
      • 020 7222 5381
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