• Bell Lax pioneered no win no fee arrangements for commercial disputes. If you lose, we lose, therefore we always fight for you.

  • Bell Lax pioneered no win no fee arrangements for commercial disputes. If you lose, we lose, therefore we always fight for you.


Debt Recovery

Successful debt recovery methods range from the traditional letter before action and issuing court proceedings, to immediate insolvency proceedings for high value corporate debts.

If litigation is required, we can help you pursue your case through the courts. Successful litigation produces a court judgment but this is often just the first step. The hard work often starts when converting the judgment into cash. Many solicitors advise that instructing bailiffs or enforcement officers is the natural progression but we can advise on alternatives, such as:

  • Statutory Demands
  • Winding up Companies
  • Individual Bankruptcy
  • Information Orders
  • Attachment of Earnings
  • Third Party Debt Orders
  • Charging Orders

Our effective action and support will assist you to translate the judgment into cash.

Undisputed Debts

If your clients or customers do not pay your invoices and do not provide you with any reason for non-payment (other than that they simply don’t have the funds to pay), we would consider your invoice to be an undisputed debt and could carry out the following debt recovery procedure:

  1. You send us the details of the debtor, including all invoices and correspondence with the debtor.
  2. We will send a Letter before Action. We will specify in our letter that if payment is not received within 14 days, we will issue court proceedings. Our fees for the Letter before Action are £50 plus VAT (£60).   
  3. After 14 days, and unless you have notified us that the debt has been paid or you do not want us to take any further steps, we will draft and issue court proceedings, provided you have paid into our client account the appropriate court fee which ranges from £35 to £10,000 depending on the amount you are claiming. Our fees for drafting the Claim Form and Particulars of Claim and forwarding these to Court for issuing will be £120 plus VAT (£144).
  4. If the debtor fails to file a Defence, we can draft an Application for Judgment in Default for £50 plus VAT (£60).

If you would like to instruct us to carry out the above procedure in respect of one or more debts,  we could open a general debt recovery file on your behalf. We would also need to send to you a letter setting out the basis upon which we propose acting for you, and you would need to provide us with £500 plus VAT (£600) on account in respect of future debt recovery work and our time setting up the debt recovery process.

Disputed Debts

If the debtor does file a Defence you will need to decide whether you wish to instruct us to continue to pursue the claim, potentially to trial. We will advise you of our estimate of costs to litigate the dispute at that stage. If, for example, your claim is for less than £10,000, it may be more cost effective for you to represent yourself, as it is likely that your claim would be allocated to the small claims track.

Whilst there is nothing to prevent you from being represented by a solicitor in a small claim, the court rules, which Parliament has set, will usually prevent you from recovering your legal costs from your opponent if you win a claim which has been allocated to the small claims track.

If your claim is between £10,000 and £100,000 our average cost will be between £5,000 and £15,000 plus VAT.  Costs are incurred at our hourly rates as set out below:

Grade A - Directors or Solicitors with over 8 years' experience £261 plus VAT

Grade B - Solicitors with over 4 years' experience £218 plus VAT

Grade C - Solicitors with under 4 years' experience £178 plus VAT

Grade D - Trainee Solicitors or paralegal £126 plus VAT

Our fees include:

  • Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
  • Undertaking appropriate searches
  • Sending a letter before action
  • Considering any response received from the debtor
  • Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing a claim if appropriate
  • Where no Acknowledgement of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgment in default
  • When Judgment in default is received, write to the other side to demand payment
  • If payment is not received within 14 days or a Defence to the claim is filed, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs

Matters usually take 6-8 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 following a letter before action or upon receipt of judgment in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.

It is difficult for us to be able to provide a timescale on these matters, but the average defended debt claim can take over 9 months. If you are successful in your claim and obtain judgment, the debtor will usually have 14 days to pay you the sum ordered by the Court. If the debtor fails to make payment, we can advise you at that stage of the enforcement options available to you and the likely costs of each option.

(Where applicable, VAT is charged at 20%)

Call us today to resolve your debt issues on 0121 355 0011 or email us at disputes@belllax.com.  You can also complete the online form to the left of the page, and we can respond quickly to your request.

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