We are required by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority to provide transparent information relating to the charging of fees for certain services. This includes any claims for debt recovery. We will always provide you with a quote or an estimate in writing, once we have considered all necessary information regarding the proposed work. Please note that the information contained below will not apply should have entered into a different charging arrangement with us.
The civil litigation team comprises the following employees at Levins:
- Jon Heath
- Harriet Gibbons
- Jamie Kelly
We will endeavour to agree pricing with our clients based on the volume of the debt and the needs of our individual client. We may offer a fixed fee pricing structure or bespoke funding arrangement where appropriate. However, the majority of our work is conducted on an hourly rate, calculated by way of time spent basis. Our standard hourly rates charged by the employment team are as follows:
|Job title||Hourly rate|
|Partner (Solicitor)||£250.00 plus VAT|
|Solicitor||£195.00 plus VAT|
|Paralegal/ Trainee||£118.00 plus VAT|
We are happy to accept instructions from both individuals and business (‘creditors’) seeking to recover unpaid debts from those owing the debt (‘debtors’). We are able to deal with a variety of claims from simple, undisputed debt to complex, contested debts.
Key stages in a claim process
- Initial meeting with a solicitor to discuss your case, take detailed instructions and provide a letter of advice upon review of all documentation. Consideration of any Legal Expenses Insurance policy documentation.
- Undertaking searches and necessary investigations
- Sending pre-action correspondence to the debtor / drafting Letter of Claim
- Dealing with any response from debtor / any settlement negotiations
- Should the matter remain in dispute, preparing all necessary court paperwork to issue the claim at court
- Dealing with all stages of the litigation process, including compliance with court orders
- Dealing with disclosure and witness statements
- Consideration of enforcement action once judgement is obtained
- Providing you with continued advice throughout the claim process
Timescales and fees
The level of legal fees with depend upon the nature and complexity of matters. A realistic costs estimate be provided to you upon meeting a solicitor, once detailed instructions have been provided
and upon reviewing all documentary evidence in support. We offer initial consultations for a fixed fee of £300.00 plus VAT which is inclusive of drafting a Letter of Claim on your behalf. The precise number of hours it will take is contingent on the following factors:
- If the debtor is able to pay the debt
- If the debtor co-operates and responds to correspondence
- If court action/ enforcement is necessary
Straightforward, undisputed matters will often take between 3-12 weeks from date of instruction to seek recovery from your opponent. Should it be necessary to issue court proceedings to seek recovery, we estimate it can take anywhere up to 12 months to obtain a judgment. If further enforcement action is required, then the matter will take longer to resolve. An estimate of fees can be outlined as follows:
Claims up to value of £10,000 – fees are likely to be in the region of £500 – £1,000 plus VAT
Claims between £10,000 – £50,000 – fees are likely to be in the region of £1,500 – £2,500 plus VAT
Claims above £50,000 – fees are likely to be in excess of £3,000 plus VAT
Disbursements are expenses that we will incur as a result of the claim, payable to a third party. For example, the use of a barrister, where appropriate and any travel expenses. We may sometimes ask for money on account to cover the disbursements likely to be incurred. Barrister’s fees range in accordance with the relevant experience and seniority. We will always notify you of the Barrister’s proposed fee in advance of agreeing a fee with their clerk.
Where a debt is defended, further expenditure may be required on court fees and barrister fees for the following court stages including disclosure of documents, witness evidence and representation a final trial; the extent of which depends on the specific circumstances and issues involved in the dispute, but will usually range anywhere from £500.00 to £10,000.00 plus VAT. The level of court fee payable is dependent upon the level of debt owed.
Points to note
Please note that the following points should be considered before issuing a claim:
- If a debtor pays the debt pre-issue, no legal fees can be recovered from the debtor
- A claim under the value of £10,000 will be allocated to the Small Claims Track and the usual position is that no costs can be recovered from the other side even if successful
- Where a claim is issued at court, a court issue fee is payable (this is dependant on the level of debt owed)
- Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding, attracting higher costs
- Where enforcement action is required to collect the debt, additional fees will be required, some of which can be reclaimed from your opponent.