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Business debt recovery costs

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Business debt recovery costs

Debt recovery: unpaid invoices

Unpaid invoices can have a significant impact on your business, including causing cash flow problems and even damage to your reputation. That is why it is vital to ensure money owed to you is paid quickly. At Ironmonger Curtis, our debt recovery solicitors offer a fast and efficient service for all business debt recovery matters, whether you are dealing with a small or more significant unpaid amount. Contact us today for expert advice and legal services.

Our debt recovery team is supervised by Stacey Pocock, a solicitor with over 13 years’ post qualification experience. Other members of the team are Ben Ironmonger, a solicitor with over 5 years’ post qualification experience and Claire Hainsworth who qualified as a solicitor in October 2018.

For all unpaid invoice debts up to a value of £100,000 we offer a fixed fee Letter Before Action service.

If further action is required after this stage to recover your unpaid invoice debt we offer different fee structures, depending upon the total amount you are looking to recover.

Letter Before Action – for all debts up to a total value of £100,000

Our fixed fee for our Letter Before Action service is £102 (£85 plus VAT)

For our fixed fee we will:

  • Carry out an initial review of your unpaid invoices and/ or statement of account,
  • Prepare a letter of claim to the other party,
  • Consider any response and advise you on the next steps; and

We expect you to provide full details of the debt you are looking to recover, including full details as to the identity of the person or entity that you owe you money.

Our fees for debts up to £10,000

Many people will be familiar with the rule that if you sue someone and win, the other party is normally ordered to pay your legal costs. However, where the total amount being claimed is £10,000 or less, that rule does not apply. Costs, therefore, should be a significant consideration for businesses considering whether to instruct solicitors to commence debt collection services for them.

For this reason, we can offer a fixed fee litigation service for Small Claims (i.e. where the total amount being claimed is £10,000 or less), which we can agree at the outset of your unpaid invoice debt recovery matter. This enables you to make a commercial decision on the value of pursuing a debt when weighing the cost of pursuing it against your potential recovery.

Our fixed fee litigation service for Small Claims invoice debt recovery are:

Option A:

We prepare the claim form and a document or wording that sets out the factual detail of your claim, and the legal basis for it, and send these documents to you for you to send to the court, and deal with the entire court proceedings yourself.

Option B:

We handle everything from preparing the claim for and a document or wording that sets out the factual details of your claim, and the legal basis for it, right up to settlement by negotiation or the court giving its judgment at a hearing.

Value of Claim Our fees Our fees
Up to £5,000 £300 (£250 plus VAT) £1,020 (£850 plus VAT)

Expenses are payable in addition to our fixed fee.

£5,001 to £7,500 £420 (£350 plus VAT)  

£2,100 (£1,750 plus VAT)


Expenses are payable in addition to our fixed fee.

£7,501 to £10,000 £540 (£450 plus VAT)  

£2,400 (£2,000 plus VAT)


Expenses are payable in addition to our fixed fee.

Typical expenses in small claims litigation include:

  • Court issue fee ranging from £35 to £455 depending upon total amount claimed
  • Hearing fee ranging from £25 to £355 depending upon total amount claimed
  • Advocate’s fee for attending a small claims hearing ranging from £240 – £480 (£200 plus VAT to £400 plus VAT)

Anyone wishing to proceed with Option B should note that:

  • Our fixed fee assumes that the case will be straightforward, will require only one court hearing and will conclude within 4 to 6 months from the date of court proceedings being issued.
  • If your case should become more complex and, for example, there are case management hearings, adjournments, interim applications, extensive settlement negotiations or multiple parties to deal with, this will incur additional fees.
  • We will spend no more than 4 hours throughout the life span of the case writing letters or e-mails and taking telephone calls. Any additional time spent will be charged at our standard hourly rate.
  • If we obtain judgement in default, which means that the opponent fails to acknowledge that the court claim has been received, or fails to file a defence, we will reduce our fixed fee by 50%.
  • If the other side lodges a counterclaim with the defence and the amount of the counterclaim is £10,000 or less and the claim remains on the Small Claims track, our fixed fees will increase by £500 + VAT.
  • If the counterclaim exceeds £10,000 or causes the claim to be taken out of the Small Claims track by the court, our fixed fee agreement with you will cease to apply and our standard hourly rates will be applicable. In these circumstances, we will provide you with an estimate of costs.
  • If the court deems the matter suitable for its small claims mediation service and both parties agree to take part, this is included in our fixed fee at no extra charge. Should the case settle at the end of the small claims’ mediation, our full fixed fee which we have agreed with you, including any additional fee for dealing with a counterclaim, will be payable.

Our fees for dealing with matters which fall outside of our fixed fee will be assessed on a case by case basis. In these instances, we will provide an estimate of our fees, but for example you can expect that our fees for submitting an interim application to the court on your behalf to start at £500 plus VAT plus expenses.

Our fees for debts between £10,001 and up to £100,000

Our standard hourly rates will apply to all work carried out after the Letter Before Action service.

It is usual that these types of cases will be allocated to what the court calls the Fast Track and the Multi Track. There are more procedural steps to follow to prepare these types of cases for an eventual court hearing.

If your case is successful, provided court action has been started, you may be able to recover some of your legal costs from your opponent.

It is difficult to give you precise information as to what your total legal costs might be, as this depends upon the nature, overall value and complexity of your matter. A full specific case estimate can be obtained from us, upon request.

However, we have set out in the table below, guidance as to the average range of costs you can expect to pay for a reasonably straightforward debt recovery case which is allocated to the Fast Track or Multi Track:

Guidance as to the average range of legal costs
Value of the Claim Average Range of Costs Typical Expenses
£10,001 – £25,000 £5,000 – £10,000 plus VAT plus expenses Court issue fee – 5% of the value of the claim;

Hearing fee – £545

Barrister’s fee for hearing – from £1,035 + VAT

£25,001 – £50,000 £15,000 – £30,000 plus VAT plus expenses Court issue fee – 5% of the value of the claim;

Hearing fee – £1,090

Barrister’s fee for hearing – we will obtain a quotation on your behalf.

£50,001 – £100,000 £25,000 – £50,000 plus VAT plus expenses Court issue fee – 5% of the value of the claim;

Hearing fee – £1,090

Barrister’s fee for hearing – we will obtain a quotation on your behalf.

Our standard hourly rates

Partners                                              £210 per hour, plus VAT

Associates                                           £195 per hour, plus VAT

Solicitors                                             £170 per hour, plus VAT

Chartered Legal Executives               £165 per hour, plus VAT

Trainee Solicitors & Paralegals          £110 per hour, plus VAT


Our fees quoted above do not include the cost of enforcement action if the other side fails to pay (even after the case settles by negotiation or you obtain judgment).

Details of the options available to you for enforcement and out typical fees can be found by following the link to the Enforcement section of our website.

Contact our Debt Recovery Solicitors Sheffield

Our dispute resolution lawyers are highly experienced in dealing with commercial debt recovery on behalf of our business clients and have a reputation for sensible, down to earth commercial legal advice together with an exceptional success rate should court proceedings be required.

Ironmonger Curtis is a specialist commercial law firm based in Sheffield and serving clients in Rotherham, Chesterfield, Barnsley, Dronfield and further afield. If you are interested in our fixed fee debt collection service or wish to discuss how we can help with any other commercial litigation matter, call us on 0845 225 2635 or fill in our online contact form and we will get back to you shortly.


Why choose us?

  • Regulated by the SRA and law society
  • Latest Legal Management Systems
  • Guaranteed open & honest fees
  • Keep you up-to-date throughout your case

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