Debt Recovery – costs information

If you are owed money contact us and we will determine how best to recover it for you both in terms of time and cost.

Our fee charging procedure

Generally we tend not to charge a fixed fee with work charged at our standard hourly rate which will depend on which will be between £160 to £220 per hour depending on which individual deals with your matter (see below).

We have set out below some average costings based on our experience.

  1. The first stage is to do a formal pre-action letter, costs of which are usually £200 – £250 to include taking initial instructions, drafting and sending the letter and reporting back on any response. This may be less if very straight forward or more if the matter is particularly complex or detailed.
  2. If the matter can be settled thereafter without proceedings then time is just charged on an hourly rate for correspondence/telephone calls to sort settlement arrangements/facilitate payments.
  3. If proceedings become necessary, to issue a claim and obtain judgment in an undefended matter is usually around £200 – £250 but again more complicated matters may incur higher costs than this, if the matter is complex or detailed. In some circumstances, a barrister would be involved in drafting the court papers. We obtain quotes for client approval before costs are incurred.
  4. If a claim is defended it is much more difficult to assess costs as this will depend on the nature of the defence and how much work is then required to bring the matter to a final hearing.

As a rough guide, a defended small claim (£10,000 and under) can incur costs of around £1,500 (plus VAT) if it proceeds to a hearing. Fast Track (£10,000-£25,000) somewhere around £2,000 – £2,500 (plus VAT) and defended Multi-Track (£25,000 +) can easily run into £10,000+ (plus VAT) for costs. This depends on the complexity of the issues, amount of documentation and parties involved etc. and is difficult to estimate.

Please note that in a small claim, the general rule is that each party bears its own costs and therefore even if successful, you cannot usually recover legal fees from the other side, only disbursements.

Also, the above costs only deal with the matters up to and obtaining judgment if the claim is successful.  If a judgment is obtained and the other party do not pay, enforcement action will be required and which will incur additional costs and court fees over and above those set out above.


The above costs do not take disbursements into account, which we will pay on your behalf. This can include court fees, barrister’s fees, travel costs etc.

For court fees please see:

How long will my case take?

In terms of timescales, this largely depends on the court’s management of the claims and how long we have to wait from them. A small claim can usually be expected to be heard within around 6 months of issue.  A Fast Track claim should be heard around 9 – 12 months from issue and a Multi-Track claim might take 12 – 18 months to get to hearing, again depending on a variety of factors.

Experience or qualifications of those who will carry out the work

In the main you are likely to be represented by Jonathan Eales (standard charging rate £220 per hour) or Vikki Ridgway (standard charging rate £160 per hour). Please click on their profiles for more details of their experience.