On the 6th December 2018 the SRA introduced pricing transparency rules for certain areas of law, where law firms now have to publish some of their prices online. One of those areas is debt recovery services where the claim value does not exceed £100,000.
Firstly, we wish to remain competitive on price whilst still providing a service that meets your particular needs as a client. We recognise that debt recovery work and the way in which it is priced depends heavily on a number of key factors such as (to name but a few) the volume of instructions you send to us, the age of the debt, the type of debt, how many attempts have been made to collect the debt already, the contract which underpins the contractual relationship you have with your debtor and whether your debtor has any assets. Therefore, we strongly suggest that if you are interested in our services you speak to us to see what bespoke service we can offer your business rather than relying solely on the information below, which only sets out the cheapest and most expensive prices we charge. It should be noted that this is all we are under an obligation to publish.
Specifically, we are placed under a professional obligation, to tell you the following at this stage:-
- We must tell you about our people who will be providing you with these services.
- We must tell you the range of prices for certain things and how long it will take to complete each of these steps. We must provide details of the prices we will charge you for:-
- the work we do before we issue legal proceedings,
- the work we do when we prepare for and issue legal proceedings on your behalf,
- the work we do when we prepare for and enter default Judgment on your behalf.
Please note that due to the difficulties in costing certain parts of our services the SRA do not currently place us under any professional obligation to publish on our website the cost of any defended matters or any enforcement methods we may use to recover each Judgment debt. However, notwithstanding this, once we understand your specific requirements we will be able to confirm our hourly rates for all defended work and also our fixed prices for most enforcement methods you may wish to use.
3. We must tell you the likely disbursements that will be incurred during the above stages.
If you choose DWF Recoveries who will represent you
Firstly, our management team has well over 50 years of collective experience in delivering high quality work in all matters relating to debt recovery. The team is currently listed within the Legal 500 and it is noted for its excellence within its field of expertise. For further information please visit www.legal500.com or go to the online profiles of David Scottow and Kevin Feehan for further details.
In terms of who would specifically act on your behalf, please note that if you instruct us to represent you it would very much be dependent upon the task to be performed and the type of debt we will be trying to recover. Our aim is to always complete each task to the highest possible standard but for a competitive price so we have a wide spectrum of talent at our disposal to achieve this overall aim. We are currently a team of approximately 40 fee-earners and therefore any simple tasks would be undertaken by paralegals and the most complex of tasks by qualified Solicitors. As a minimum requirement all fee-earning staff have 5 G.C.S.E grades A to C or equivalent experience/competency. All of our people are also fully trained and supervised.
Our fees and possible timescales
In terms of our fees, as explained above, we are only required to identify our range of charges before we issue proceedings and up to the point when a default Judgment is entered against your debtor. We are also under an obligations to provide you with timescales setting out how long each particular step might take. As explained above, these charges will depend on a number of variables including the volume of instructions you send to us. The more instructions we receive the lower our prices will be for the services we provide, which is why it is important to talk to you to discuss your specific requirements.
Pre-issue costs – Depending upon a number of variables, some of which have been set out above, our range of prices for our pre-issue services (sending letters, making telephone calls, dealing with queries, sending text messages, arranging doorstep visits etc) ranges from as little as £1 plus VAT (20p) for a single initial demand letter (if we receive a large volume of instructions from you on a monthly basis) to 50% plus VAT of any amounts we collect on our client's behalf (if we receive a single instruction which is particularly difficult to collect). This higher charge is one where we would be paid commission on a no-recovery, no-fee basis.
In terms of likely timeframes it is again dependent upon the circumstances of your case. Our pre-issue packages range from as little as 3 days to as long as 4 months if the debtor is an individual who requests time to set out their position.
Issuing costs - Depending upon a number of variables, some of which have been set out above, our range of prices for our issuing services (drafting a claim form and drafting particulars of claim) ranges from as little as the costs that the Court will award if you are successful (if we receive a large volume of instructions from you on a monthly basis – these are known as recoverable Part 45 fixed costs). These charges currently range from only £50 plus VAT (£10) to £100 plus VAT (£20) (depending on the claim value) to charges based on our hourly rates which currently range from £75 plus VAT (£15) per hour (used if the matter requires a bespoke approach but the claim is quite simple) to £400 plus VAT (£80) per hour (used if the matter requires a detailed, bespoke approach because the work is particularly complex and needs to be dealt with by an experienced Solicitor with specific expertise).
In terms of likely timeframes it is again dependent upon the circumstances of your case. We estimate that from the point when we are in a position to issue proceedings up to the point when we are ready to enter Judgment in default we would expect the likely timeframes to range from as little as 16 days if there is no additional information to collect before issuing up to 40 days if the case is particularly complex and it takes three weeks to draft the paperwork.
Default Judgment/Judgment on admission costs - Depending upon a number of variables, some of which have been set out above, our range of prices for entering Judgment in default (where no defence has been filed) ranges from charging no more than the costs that the Court will award you if you are successful (if we receive a large volume of instructions from you on a monthly basis – these are known as recoverable Part 45 fixed costs) which currently range from £22 plus VAT (£4.40) to £70 plus VAT (£14) depending on the claim value to charges based on hourly rates, which currently range from £75 plus VAT (£15) per hour (used if the matter requires a bespoke approach but the claim is quite simple) to £400 plus VAT (£80) per hour (used if the matter requires a detailed, bespoke approach because the work is particularly complex and needs to be dealt with by an experienced Solicitor with specific expertise).
In terms of likely timeframes it is again dependent upon the circumstances of your case We estimate that from the point when we are in a position to enter Judgment in default up to the point when we obtain Judgment in default the likely timeframes will range from as little as 2 days to 14 days in most circumstances. This will depend on how quickly we apply for default Judgment and how quickly the Court are in a position to process the application.
In terms of disbursements the most likely disbursements you will incur on a matter are Court fees for issuing your claim and possibly an Advocate or Barrister's fee for representing you at a hearing. The Court issue fee is roughly 5% of the debt value but will be less than this if the debt value is less than £10,000.00. Court fees do not attract a charge for VAT whereas all other disbursements are likely to. If any other disbursements are incurred we will of course advise you of these charges in advance and many disbursements will be charged at fixed prices once we have discussed your specific requirements.
We trust the above is informative but we still cannot stress enough that speaking to us to discuss our services and bespoke pricing in greater detail is the best step you can take. We are more than happy to speak to you free of charge so we can understand what your specific debt recovery requirements are and see how we can provide a package of services that properly meets your debt recovery needs. Please dial 01132616000 and ask to speak to either a Director, a manager or a Team Senior within the Recoveries team. We look forward to hearing from you.