- For Business
- Alternative Dispute Resolution
- Banking Services and Secured Lending
- Commercial Contracts
- Commercial Dispute Resolution
- Commercial Property
- Construction Disputes
- Corporate Advice and Transactions
- Debt Recovery
- Employment Law
- Intellectual Property and IT
- Professional Negligence
- Professional Practices
- Property Litigation
- For Individuals
- For Public Sector
Commercial Debt Recovery
Our Commercial Debt Recovery team has extensive experience in acting on the recovery of debts, issuing court proceedings and enforcing judgments in business to business disputes.
Such disputes are usually based on unpaid invoices. Other issues are dealt with by our Dispute Resolution team.
Prior to court proceedings being issued, we will send a communication to the debtor requesting payment of your debt. The correspondence will need to include copies of outstanding invoices and any other relevant documents.
Under the pre-action debt protocol it is necessary to request payment, or a response from your debtor, within either 7 or 30 days (if an individual) before further action can be taken.
We will pursue your debtor by letter, email and telephone in order to claim the monies due to you. We charge at 10% plus VAT of the sum recovered. If no monies are recovered, there is no charge *
* Please note that there is a fixed fee of £50 plus VAT for all debts below £1,000.
County Court Proceedings
Once you have decided to issue court proceedings we will prepare and file the required papers with the Court, and they will then be served on your opponent.
Typically, it takes around 5 days for the Court to issue proceedings, and your debtor will then have around 17 days from service to indicate whether it intends to defend the claim. If the debtor fails to serve its Acknowledgment of Service stating this information we will apply to the Court for judgment.
If it does indicate that it will defend the claim, the debtor has a further 14 days to file its Defence setting out its reasons.
The Cost of Issuing Court Proceedings
Charges for court proceedings involve the court fee (paid to the Court to issue a claim), and our fee for acting on your behalf:
Court fees for debts up to £10,000 are fixed on a sliding scale dependent on the size of your debt.
|Court issued fee
|Up to £300
|£301 to £500
|£501 to £1,000
|£1,001 to £1,500
|£1,501 to £3,000
|£3,000 to £,5000
|£5,001 to £10,000
Debts for sums over £10,000 incur a Court fee of 5% of the value of the overall claim, up to £250,000 or higher when a flat rate of £10,000 is charged.
Berry Smith Fees
|Court issued fee
|Up to £,3000
|£250 plus VAT
|£3,001 to £6,000
|£350 plus VAT
|£6,001 to £10,000
|£450 plus VAT
|Fee quote will be provided
These costs apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed. 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.
All of the above fees would be included in your claim together with interest and compensation under the Late Payment legislation (where applicable), and in successful cases are likely to be recoverable from your debtor.
Clients wishing to proceed with county court proceedings should note that:
The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor. Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding, with a higher Court fee. The costs quoted above reach the point of obtaining judgment in default against your debtor and do not include costs of enforcement which are outlined below..
Cost of Enforcement Action
There are a variety of enforcement steps that can be taken and we will consult with you on the suitability of various options once judgment has been obtained:
County Court Bailiffs (for Judgment debts below £600) – Court fee of £100 together with our fees of £100 plus VAT.
High Court Enforcement Officers (for Judgment debts above £600) – Court fee of £66 together with our fees of £100 plus VAT. There is also the potential of a HCEO abortive fee of £75 plus VAT if no recovery made.
Application for Attachment of Earnings Order 55 – Court fee of £100.00 together with our fees of £150.00 plus VAT
Application for a Third Party Debt Order (if you now your debtor’s bank account details) – Court fee of £100.00 together with our fees of £200 plus VAT
Application for a Charging Order over your debtor’s property (if you debtor owns a property) – Cost: £750 including Court fee and Land Registry fees.
Our costs for preparing and serving a Statutory Demand are available on request, or will be provided to you as an option when considering enforcement proceedings.
Defended Cases – Small Claims Track
If your claim is defended by the opponent, it will then fall outside our debt recovery system.
We provide a fixed fee service for dealing with defended claims in claims allocated to the Small Claims Track. A claim will only be allocated to a track if and when a defence is filed by your debtor.
The Small Claims limit in the County Court is currently £10,000. Therefore all cases up to this value will usually be allocated to the Small Claims track.
Features of this track include a streamlined process with the ability to recover only limited court fees and fixed costs and expenses if your case is successful.
Many clients still require advice, assistance and representation to help them prepare and present their case even if these costs are not recoverable from the opponent.
We therefore have a fixed price product (providing certainty of costs) specifically for Small Claims proceedings.
£800.00 plus VAT and disbursements.
We would advise you throughout your case and we would remain on the Court record carrying out the following steps for you:
Filing Directions Questionnaire Considering and advising on Defence and Counterclaim filed by opponent
Defended Cases – £10,000+
If your claim is defended by the opponent, it will then fall outside our debt recovery system.
For defended cases in excess of £10,000, the case will be allocated to the Fast Track or Multi-Track in the Court. For these disputes you will be referred to our Dispute Resolution team, which has wide experience of acting for clients in disputes. Our charges are based on the time taken on the case, with costs estimates given throughout.
What is included?
- Taking your instructions and initial review of documentation
- Undertaking a search with Companies House as to current status of debtor
- Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim
- Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter judgment in default
- When judgment in default in received, a letter to the opponent to request payment
- If payment is not received within a set timescale, advice on the next steps and costs of enforcement before further work is undertaken
How long will it take?
It usually takes approximately 4-5 weeks from the date county court proceedings are issued to obtain judgment in default.
Once a judgment is obtained, you will be provided with the enforcement options available at additional cost.
Department: Dispute Resolution
If you would like a no obligation discussion, please feel free to contact us either by phone on 02920 345511 or emailing us below.
Our approachable team of dedicated professionals have extensive legal and practical experience. So if you have a legal problem, we can help you out.
What our clients say
Able to explain things
The exceptional Chris Beames has huge experience, is empathetic and able to explain things in a way that is clear and intelligible.
A B –
Christina is very approachable and responds very quickly to my queries. In the end, I got what I wanted
Gek L –
Couldn’t have done it without you
We are now happily settling into our new home and obviously couldn’t have done it without you, so thanks so much for all your work and help!
Keiran M –
Brilliant experience, Georgia and Sharon have been so helpful throughout, responsive to questions and kept me updated. The purchase wasn’t as straightforward as we thought but I was provided with all the advice I needed. Thank you very much!
Sophia L –
They are truly professional
Chris and Sharon have the patience to explain and communicate clearly with any questions. They will pick my calls or return my calls at any point in time and answer my questions. They are truly professionals and I will always use Berry smith LLP.
Alexander D R –
Whole process seemed seamless
Christina was a pleasure to work with – very efficient and the whole process seemed seamless and more importantly painless. I have no hesitation in recommending Christina and Berry Smith for conveyancing work.
Ravi N –
Outstanding from start to finish
Gemma was outstanding from start to finish. No question was too silly and every response was prompt. The estate agent we used even commented to us their happiness with how quickly they got responses from Gemma during this process. She did an excellent job of making it as painless as possible
Dai L –
Would definitely recommend
Christina was brilliant, very friendly and professional and moved very quickly for us. Would definitely recommend to friends and family. Thank you Christina for all of your help.
Bianca W –
Thoughtful balanced and clear
Georgia is extremely good at keeping me informed and her explanations are thoughtful balanced and clear.
Kate M-B –
Experts in the field.
They are very responsive, experts in the field and very good to deal with. They are commercial minded as well and make the transaction very smooth.
S D – Business Client
Professional, friendly legal team.
Professional, friendly legal team. Good responsiveness and sound advice throughout the process
S B – Client
Really great people.
Excellent professional advice, really great people.
M J – Business Client
All round an excellent experience.
Excellent advice – flexible and responsive with timings and availability to reach a tight deadline – reassuring in tone and delivery. All round an excellent experience.
N J – Business Client
They never fail.
Our main reasons are the easy relationship with partners and the never-failing promptness of their response to our queries. Personal contact at all times. The considerable reliance we came to place on their general legal advice. The firm’s approach and method of working was at all times conscientious and professional
J J – Client
Never had a bad experience with them.
Always use Berry Smith for all Legal work, have done for over 15 years & will continue to do so. Never had a bad experience with them.
S P – Business Client
Very easy to understand.
I found the lawyer dealing with my case was able to assess the content of the dispute quickly and then gave easy to understand options together with risks associated with each option.
S P – Business Client
Much better than any other solicitors
Excellent service by a friendly and proactive team. From the start the guidelines clarity of the process and the team communicated well regarding updates. A much better than any other solicitors I have dealt with and a thoroughly professional team to deal with.
M J – Client
Whilst the contact was totally professional, I enjoyed the friendly, “down-to-earth” approach, we could talk on a human-to-human level without the technical speak that you sometimes meet with legal representatives. I also considered that there was a business like, practical attitude
S N – Business Client
Very easy to work with.
Impressed with speed of responses and overall experience. Although a relative straightforward matter, processes completed quickly and efficiently. Easy to work with.
C M – Client
Professional, great communication and very supportive
Really professional, great communication and very supportive. Email and telephone calls were always replied/returned promptly. Very knowledgeable and guidance was always readily available. I have already recommended Berry Smith to a number of friends.
S Z – Client
Friendly, polite and extremely prompt
Everyone I’ve dealt with during the process has been friendly, polite and extremely prompt, and managed to complete the conveyancing on a purchase and sale just before the end of the stamp duty holiday- couldn’t be happier!
E H – Client
Clear, concise, professional
The lady that dealt with my case, was clear, concise, professional and kept me informed at every stage. She was excellent.
A C – Client
Customer care and attention was very thorough
Customer care and attention was very thorough; there was a strong sense that the firm was determined to achieve the best outcome for its clients.
P M B – Client
All meetings were friendly and professional.
I felt communicated with and always in the loop. Any questions I had were answered promptly. All meetings were friendly and professional.
R P – Business Client
Very responsive, knowledgeable and facilitative
It was such a relief to have representation through what is otherwise a very isolating process of undergoing a MBO. Communication was great, very responsive, knowledgeable and facilitative.
C P – Business Client
Advice given was clear and concise
The advice given was clear and concise, the response to the initial contact was prompt and this has been reflected in all the work carried out. I am transferring some property between two SIPP’s and l was very pleased to find the new SIPP had appointed Berry Smith to act on my behalf.
E A – Client
High levels of experience
High levels of experience and technical ability were employed to deliver a comprehensive solution.
P F – Business Client
First class service
A first-class service. Good advice, prompt responses to all enquiries and very good value.
S W – Client
Thanks for all your support.
Thank you so much for all the help, understanding and support to reach this point, it’s been very much appreciated
A M – Business Client
Felt at ease during the process.
Very clear advice, felt at ease during process. I would be happy to use again when I require legal advice.
N R – Client
Professional & Responsive
Professional service, dealing with a single point of contact who is helpful and responsive. Also, having the weight of the Berry smith brand behind us, adds credibility to our business.
A M – AM – Business Client
We felt that you had an immediate understanding of our requirements. Your response was illustrated in a way whereby we were not clouded by “Legal” jargon. Your team are very approachable.
L C – Client
I couldn’t fault the care and attention.
I couldn’t fault the care and attention given by Berry Smith Lawyers. Their attention to detail and professionalism resulted in a successful outcome to my claim, despite a few setbacks along the way.” I hope I won’t need their help again but wouldn’t hesitate to contact them should the need arise.”
A B – Client
Service provided was excellent.
First solicitor I have ever had any confidence in! I loved how easy my claim was and the service provided was excellent!
T M – Client