Claims & Disputes
Virtually all businesses will need to resolve a dispute of some nature from time to time.
They may be perceived as a minor irritation but in more serious cases they can severely disrupt cash flow, and affect the reputation of your company within the wider business community.
Our dedicated team provides experienced advice on the options available whether that is – mediation, negotiation, arbitration or litigation. We then help you investigate the best course of action to resolve the dispute in the most time efficient and cost effective way.
We cover a wide range of areas such as:-
- Landlord and Tenant
- Enforcement of a Court Judgement
- Contractual disputes
- Service Level Agreements
- Professional Negligence
- Debt Recovery
- Alternative Dispute Resolution, as well as many other areas
These costs apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed and enforcement action is not needed. If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary, which could be on a fixed fee (e.g. if a one off letter is required), or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.
Where we are require to issue a claim on your behalf there will usually be a court fee that is payable on top of our fees. The applicable court fee is calculated based upon the value of the sum that is being claimed. The table below details what the current applicable court fees are. As this is a payment that is required to be made by us on your behalf, you would need to ensure that the applicable funds are forwarded to us in advance.
On top of the applicable court fee, we would also look to charge for the services that we carry out in dealing with your claim. For straight forwarded debt recovery matters our fees would be as follows (please note that if a matter was to become defended this may require further work at which point we will give you further details regarding our anticipated fees from the outset):
Pre-action (prior to issuing the claim) – up to £500
Issuing the relevant Letter Before Action and entering into discussions with the debtor up to the point of where a formal court claim is required. It will also include undertaking appropriate searches, processing payments and advising you accordingly.
Issuing the claim – up to £1,000
Preparing the relevant claim form and particulars of claim and making arrangements to file it at court and serve upon the defendant. Once the claim has been issued the defendant would usually be given a period of 14 days to file a Defence or Acknowledgement of service. If they have not complied with this we will look to request Default Judgement at no extra cost thus bringing the claim to an early end.
Case directions – up to £2,000
Once a claim has been issued the court will allocate the claim to a track usually based on the value and complexity; Small Claims (under £10,000), Fast Track (£10,000 – £25,000) (or Multi Track (over £25,000). The court will also set out further directions and deadlines in regards to what the parties need to do in order prepare the case for trial. This could include filing of Directions Questionnaire, preparation of witness statements and court bundles as well as preparation of disclosure. This again depends on the track which the case is allocated to, the Multi Track requiring usually entailing far more directions than the Small Claims route.
Hearing – up to £1,000
Unless the case has been allocated to the Multi Track, hearings will usually not exceed 1 day. We would be required to appoint and brief a suitable counsel to attend the hearing on your behalf. If that is the case their fees will be quoted to you separately.
Enforcement – up to £1,500
Once you have secured judgement in your favour we can advise accordingly as to the most suitable method of enforcement which may involve appointing a High Court Bailiff or issuing a charging order application. We can advise upon the precise costs at that relevant juncture as some clearly require more work than others and consequently the fees would vary.
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.
Matters usually take 6-10 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.
We can offer you a professional assessment of your rights and remedies, enabling you to make a considered decision of all the options that are open to you.
You can rest assured that our advice will help you resolve matters quickly and allow you to get on the task of running your business.
We have a wide range of expertise in dealing with a huge variety of disputes and claims. Whatever your situation, no matter how unique it may feel to you, there is every chance we have encountered similar and our hugely experienced professionals can advise the best action for you.
Please contact us to arrange an initial discussion on 01242 583434.