We at Butcher Andrews provide a robust and effective debt recovery process for our clients. The majority are business to business debts, but occasionally there are debts to be recovered from consumers, or between two private individuals.
As a firm of solicitors who take a thorough approach to all matters, including debt recovery, we adopt a bespoke approach to each new case. Most unpaid debts tend to be either (a) because the debtor cannot afford to pay or (b) because the debtor believes they should not have to pay. Very rarely, we encounter debtors who are disorganised or burying their head in the sand, but that is relatively rare.
If the debtor genuinely cannot afford to pay, there is little need to engage our services. We warn clients of that at the outset, and do not encourage our clients to incur cost that they do not need to. It is sometimes not possible to ascertain the extent of the debtor’s ability to pay without obtaining a county court judgment followed by an Order to Obtain Information, which obliges a debtor to give full details of their assets and income under oath to a court officer. This is particularly the case for individuals; although we can instruct tracing agents to investigate, the results are sometimes limited. Information about companies is more publicly available.
If the debtor believes they should not have to pay, we offer advice to our clients as to prospects of succeeding with the claim, the best forum for pursuing that debt (e.g. county court, insolvency process, adjudication, arbitration, ADR, etc), settlement strategy and the cost effectiveness of proceeding. The cost of us advising and assisting with those sorts of cases will vary depending on complexity and value claimed. Our hourly rates range from £170 to £250 plus VAT depending on the seniority of the lawyer involved.
If the debtor is disorganised or burying their head in the sand, we are happy to help, though it may be more effective for our client to first attempt to elicit payment by all available means of communication available to them first. If it seems that the only way to elicit payment is to instruct solicitors, we are more than happy to help and may be able to offer a fixed fee service ranging from £150 plus VAT (for a letter before action on a debt under £5,000) to £1,500 plus VAT (for a letter before action following by a county court claim and a judgment on a debt of £50,000 or more).
Court fees are payable in addition to our fees, which vary depending on the amount being claimed. Details are available on the HMCTS website and we can provide guidance as part of our service.
Our debt recovery is dealt with by David Richards (Partner), along with the other solicitors in the dispute resolution team, Amanda Nudds, April Lyon and Harriet Rossi. Full details the solicitors in the team can be found on the “Our People” page.