In December 2018 the Solicitors regulation Authority (SRA) published their new Transparency Rules, with the aim of making sure that consumers have the information they need to make an informed choice of legal service provider, including understanding what the costs may be. The rules require all regulated law firms to publish information on the prices they charge in relation to certain services, such as Debt Recovery.
Please note that no two debt recovery matters are the same and as such our fees will need to reflect the particular requirements of your specific situation. Therefore, CTT Law offer a free 30-minute consultation to discuss your specific legal issue.
Following this initial consultation, if you wish to instruct CTT Law to act on your behalf, we will write to you to provide a cost estimate and seek formal instruction. In the meantime, please review the following as it provides a general overview of what to expect in regard to our fees.
Our charges are calculated by reference to the time spent by our fee earners in respect of any work which they do on your behalf. This will include the preparation for, attendance at and follow up meetings, reading and working on documents, correspondence, including emails and time spent from the office when this is necessary.
For more information, please see our Terms of Business using the link provided below.
|Grade of fee earner
|Hourly rate (£ excluding VAT)
|Directors / Solicitors with 8 years + PQE in area of practice
|Solicitors / Legal Executives with 4 years + PQE in area of practice
|Fee earners with less than 4 years PQE in area of practice
|Junior Fee earners / Trainee Solicitors
|Legal Assistants / Paralegals
Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim 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 cost.
- The costs quoted above are not for matters where enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt.
Money on account of costs
It is CTT Law’s usual practice to request money on account of costs. This means paying money up front which enables us to start work on your case. This money is deposited in our client account and will be retained to cover the work we do for you.
It is important to note that the money deposited in our client account is unlikely to cover the total cost of your matter. If the work conducted on your file exceeds the initial money paid upfront, we may request that further money be placed on account as the matter progresses. Please note that you will be billed before any deductions are made to the balance of your funds and your fee earner will provide regular cost updates to keep you well informed.
Various other expenses (disbursements) may arise in respect of a matter including court fees, counsel’s fees, expert’s fees, and so on… We have no obligation to make such payments on your behalf unless you have provided us with funds for that purpose.
Disbursements are any costs or expenses paid or to be paid to a third party on behalf of the client or trust. We have no obligation to make such payments on your behalf unless you have provided us with funds for that purpose. Disbursements include expenses such as Court fees, the fees associated with obtaining expert reports in support of your claim and Barristers fees if specific advice or representation at a hearing becomes necessary.
A Barristers fee is determined by their level of experience and therefore the fees are difficult to determine before instruction. In our experience, if a Barrister is required to attend a hearing on your behalf, the fee will range from £1,500 to £4,000 plus VAT per day, if a case runs over and additional days are required further fees will be incurred and will range from £750 to £2,000 plus VAT for each additional day required beyond the initial time estimate for a hearing.
Please note that VAT is also payable on certain expenses. If VAT is to be added, it will be applied at the rate which applies when the work is conducted. The Legal services we provide to you are subject to VAT. Our VAT registration number is 322 7048 26.
If you are a company, business or individual who is registered for VAT, you are responsible for any VAT on your legal costs. This is a not refundable from the person or body at fault and as such we will submit to you a VAT account payment. You will be able to recover VAT payable in your VAT return.
To ensure that you remain in control of the costs, it is recommended that a cap be set by the Client at the outset of the claim. This figure will limit the amount of work your Solicitor can perform before they are required to return to you to seek further instruction as they will be unable to undertake additional work without your approval once they hit your predetermined limit. At this point you will be able to evaluate your matter and decide how you would like to proceed.
Whether or not a matter proceeds to completion, we will charge you for work done and expenses incurred unless otherwise agreed. You have the right to challenge or complain about any bill we send you and apply for an assessment of the bill under part III of the Solicitors Act 1974. We may charge interest on part or all of the any bill that is unpaid.
We shall deliver bills to you at regular intervals for work carried out during the conduct of this matter. We shall also provide you with regular updated estimates of future costs. This should enable you to budget for costs as the matter progresses. If you have any query about a bill, you should contact us straightaway.
Debt Recovery Process
Stage 1: Letter Before Action
Before legal proceedings can be considered, we must comply with the Pre-Action Protocol. We are required to issue a Letter Before Action (LBA) to a debtor setting out in very clear terms: –
- The amount of the debt;
- whether interest or other charges are continuing;
- If the debt arises from an oral agreement, you must state who made the agreement and what was said, when and where it was agreed;
- If the debt arises from a written agreements you must state the date of the agreement, the parties involved and make the debtor aware that they can request a copy of the written agreement;
- If the debt has been assigned you must provide details of the original debt and creditor;
- If regular instalments are being offered or paid, you must provide an explanation as to this is not acceptable;
- You must provide details of how the debt can be paid and how to proceed if the debtor wishes to discuss payment options; and
- Provide an address so the debtor is aware of where the reply should be sent.
Stage 2: Legal Action
If we do not receive an acceptable reply to the Letter Before Action, the next step will be to consider taking legal action by issuing court proceedings at the County Court. At this point the debtor will receive a court form from the court demanding them to pay the debt together with interest and costs within 14 days. If it is a commercial debt, the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 will also apply. This will result in the addition of a fixed sum compensation between £40 – £100 per invoice being added to the value of the claim.
Bankruptcy – An alternative to the above, if the debtor is an individual you can apply for bankruptcy proceedings to make the debtor bankrupt. This will affect the individual’s ability to obtain credit or become a company director.
Insolvency – A further alternative to the above is to commence insolvency proceedings such as winding up petitions where the debtor is a business.
Stage 3: Judgment
A County Court Judgment (CCJ) is a Court Order that confirms that the debtor is liable to pay your debt and enables you to take enforcement action against the debtor to recover the debt owed to you. The CCJ is also placed on record against the debtor, which will affect their credit worthiness and their ability to obtain credit.
Stage 4: Enforcement
Once a County Court Judgment has been obtained, the debt can be enforced. There are a number of ways to enforce a debt such as an attachment of earnings orders or charging orders. However, the most common method is to instruct a Bailiff or High Court Enforcement Officer to visit the debtor’s address and collect the debt or seize goods to the value of the debt.
We will always advise you on the best method of enforcement depending on each individual circumstance.
Matters usually take 6 to 26 weeks from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on whether or not it is necessary to issue a claim. This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of Judgement in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.