info@gullands.com

01622 689700 / 01474 887688

Litigation

DEBT CLAIMS
 

Our team has well over 100 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to debt collection.  We are confident that we can provide you with excellent personal service and professional representation.

We understand the needs of business and commercial realities.  That is why, before taking any action, we encourage our clients undertake a costs versus benefit analysis.  Importantly in debt collection work you need to be clear that the debtor has the means to pay.  If not you may end up ‘throwing good money after bad’.

In order to help you control costs we offer a fixed fee service to pursue debts up to the stage of entering judgment in default in claims of up to £100,000 where the debtor does not dispute its liability to pay or the sums claimed.

We always recommend a stocktake after each stage in the process and you can instruct us to pursue one of both of the following stages of the fixed fee service we offer as follows:-
 

Stage Description of Action Timescale for Debtor’s Response Fee
1 Send Letter of Claim and report on response if any. 14 days from receipt of Letter of Claim £75 plus VAT
2 Issue of Court proceedings and entry of Judgment in Default of Acknowledgement of Service. 14 days after Court issues and serves proceedings on the Defendant debtor £250 plus VAT plus the prevailing Court issue fee

 

The Court issue fee does not attract VAT.  The amount of the fee will depend on the sum claimed including interest.  For claims of up to £9,999 the Court fees currently vary between £34 and £455.  For claims of more than £10,000 the Court fee is 5% of the value of the claim.  We will ask you to pay the fixed fee including VAT and any Court fee to us prior to undertaking each stage.

 

The total fees you incur in instructing us will depend on whether the case passes through both stages.

The total cost for Stage 1 will be £90 including VAT for all undefended claims up to a value of £100,000.

Stage 2 costs can best be illustrated by way of an example.  On a claim for £15,000 the total fees for Stages 1 and 2 including VAT and the Court fee would be £1,140 broken down as follows:-

  • Stage 1 £90 including VAT.
  • Stage 2 £300 including VAT.
  • Court issue fee £750 no VAT.

Total £1,140

We have provided links on this page to the key team members who undertake debt recovery work and their CV’s.  Their CV’s give details of their qualifications, experience in all areas of work including debt claims and where appropriate links to the CV‘s of their supervisors.

Please note our fixed fee debt service does not include the following:-

  • Claims where there is a dispute about the liability to pay or the sum claimed at any stage of the claim.
  • Enforcement of judgment which may be entered against the debtor.
  • Claims where you do not provide clear and concise information to include the full name and address of the debtor, the total sum owed, a schedule giving credit for any sums received and copies of all invoices.

Please note in cases where our fixed fee arrangements do not apply we will discuss with you any further work required and provide an estimate of the fees to complete such work which could be on a fixed fee (for example if one letter is required) or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.

Please note we are not permitted to seek payment of legal costs from the debtor in a Stage 1 case.  In a Stage 2 case, Court rules greatly restrict the amount of costs which may be claimed from a debtor in such an undisputed claim. 

Where the debtor pays the full amount claimed recoverable fees are limited to the Court fee and £100 fixed costs.  Where Judgment in Default of Acknowledgement of Service is entered additional fixed costs of £30 may be claimed.

Please note these recoverable costs are less than our fixed fee service and are deemed to include any VAT payable.

By way of an example if Judgment in Default of Acknowledgement of Service is entered in a Stage 2 case against a debtor in a claim for £15,000 the Judgment will include fixed costs of £130 and the Court issue fee of £750 giving a total of £880.  Our fixed costs for such a claim will be £1,140 including the Court fee and VAT as illustrated earlier.

Recoverability of the limited fixed costs permitted by the Court Rules depends of course, as with the debt itself, on the debtor making payment.

CONDITIONAL FEE AGREEMENTS
 

When we are first instructed in Dispute Resolution Matters we will explain to you the different ways of funding our involvement.  In appropriate cases we may recommend entering into a Conditional Fee Agreement (“CFA”) if we consider it is in your best interests to do so and if we are prepared to enter into a CFA.  Accordingly we do not offer CFA’s for all claims we undertake.  They are mostly offered by us in claims for damages for personal injuries, including clinical negligence but we may be prepared to consider them in other types of claim as well and if so we will confirm this to you at the appropriate stage.

CFA’s are popularly known as “no win no fee” agreements.  However, this is a misnomer because such agreements are likely to require the client in a successful claim to pay a success fee, the premium for any insurance policy taken out to support the CFA, and our normal basic charges for the work undertaken and disbursements incurred (expenses we incur on your behalf).

The main features of a CFA may be described as follows:-

If you win the case

Winning is when the claim is finally decided in your favour whether by an Order of the Court or an agreement to pay you or in any other way that you may derive benefit from pursuing the claim.  

If you win the claim you will be responsible for paying our basic charges, our expenses and disbursements and a success fee together with a premium for any insurance policy which may be taken out.  You are entitled to seek recovery from the other side of part or all of our basic charges and our reasonable expenses and disbursements.  You are not, under any circumstances, able to look to the other side for payment of the success fee VAT thereon nor in most cases for the premium for the insurance policy.  In the case of claims for damages for alleged clinical negligence it is possible to seek recovery of a limited element of the insurance premium.  We will explain this to you in more detail in such claims.

We will normally expect you to meet any disbursements and expenses we incur on your behalf as the matter progresses and to make payments on account to cover those costs.  In some cases we may be prepared to delay recovery of those sums from you until the end of the case rather than as it proceeds.  If so we will let you know and explain this in more detail when instructed.

The maximum success fee which may be charged is 100% of our basic charges (our normal hourly rate for undertaking the work).  The percentage success fee used in a CFA will depend upon a large number of factors which we will explain in individual cases.  In some cases we may be prepared to place a limit on the amount of success fee to be deducted from your damages by reference to the total sum recovered.

If you lose the case

Losing is when the Court dismisses your claim or you have stopped pursuing it on our advice.

If you lose you are not obliged to pay any of our basic charges or the success fee in respect of the work carried out under the CFA but you will be required to pay our expenses and disbursements.  

If you lose you may be liable to pay some or all of your opponent’s costs.  However, you may be able to take out an After The Event insurance policy to guard against the risk of an Adverse Costs Order made.  You will be responsible for payment of that premium although we may be able to secure a policy with a deferred premium and a premium which is itself insured under the policy in the event of losing the claim.  We will explain this in more detail on an individual case by case basis.

If you take out such a policy and win the claim the premium payable by you is generally not recoverable from the other party save for a limited contribution in clinical negligence claims as explained earlier.

If we enter into a CFA we will normally require any irrecoverable element of our costs, including the success fee and VAT thereon and any insurance premium to be deduced from source from any damages or compensation we recover on your behalf.