Business to Business Debt – Disputed, with enforcement action



How much does this service cost?

No debt recovery matter is ever the same and so our fees will reflect the particular requirements of your matter.  The figures quoted below are a guide only as the cost of your matter will depend upon many factors such as: the evidence needed, the complexity of the dispute, the nature of the defence(s) raised, whether any counterclaims are raised and level of involvement the client wishes to have.  That’s why we’ll always give you an individual cost estimate at the start of the transaction, taking into account the actual details of your matter.  We will always advise you immediately about any complication; and would fully discuss the potential consequences of that before any additional charges are incurred.

Our charges apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice or other outstanding debt which is disputed and where enforcement action is needed.

Our charges will be calculated primarily by reference to the time spent on the matter, although other factors may be taken into account.  We can offer fixed fee pricing quotes on a case-by-case basis and are happy to provides quotes on that basis.  Our hourly rates vary depending on the experience of the fee earner but, typically, will be in the following ranges:

  • Trainee solicitors and paralegals:  £120-175+VAT per hour
  • Solicitors:  £195-£250+VAT per hour
  • Associate Solicitor: £250-£295+VAT per hour
  • Senior Associate:  £295-£325+VAT per hour
  • Partners:  £325-£395+VAT per hour

The cost can vary based on the complexity of the matter, the importance and urgency of the matter to you, and the skill, effort, specialist knowledge and responsibility involved in dealing with it on your behalf.  The time spent will be charged in units of one-tenth of an hour.

Cases are dealt with by legal staff with the most appropriate experience for the value and complexity of the case.  Typically, lower value, or less complex, cases are dealt with by legal staff with up to 5 years’ experience and higher value, or more complex, cases are dealt with by legal staff with 5 years or more experience.  These cases are generally supervised by a Partner or Senior Associate with at least 10 years’ experience.  The specific legal staff involved in your case will be confirmed at the time of instructing Ellisons.

Debt recovery cases for disputed debts with enforcement action will typically involve the following costs:

  • Demand Letter – £500-£750+VAT
  • Letter Before Claim – £1,500-£2,000+VAT
  • Issuing proceedings – £1,500-£5,000+VAT
  • Initial Disclosure – £3,000-£15,000+VAT depending upon the volume of material
  • Advising on Defence and disclosure in response – £5,000-£15,000+VAT depending upon the volume of material
  • Directions Questionnaires and Directions – £1,500-£4,000+VAT
  • Costs Budgetting – £2,500-£7,500+VAT plus the costs of expert Costs Draftsmen which could typically be £4,000-£8,000+VAT
  • Costs and Case Management Conference – £3,500-£10,000+VAT plus Counsel’s fee for attending the hearing of between £2,000-£5,000+VAT and Costs Draftsman attendance (if needed) of £1,000-£4,000+VAT
  • Extended Disclosure – £5,000-£25,000+VAT depending upon the nature and volume of material
  • Advising on Defendant’s extended disclosure – £5,000-£25,000+VAT depending upon the nature and volume of material
  • Witness statement evidence – £5,000-£15,000+VAT depending on number of witnesses and length of evidence required
  • Advising on Defendant’s evidence – £5,000-£15,000+VAT depending on number of witnesses and length of evidence
  • Trial preparation – £10,000-£17,500+VAT which typically includes briefing Counsel, attendance at a PTR hearing if needed and preparing Court hearing bundles
  • Trial – £5,0000-£15,000+VAT depending upon the length of trial plus Counsel’s fee for the hearing being generally £5,000-£15,000+VAT

The above are the key stages in this type of case.  The timescales vary on each case but generally a party is required to give a debtor time for responding to a Letter Before Claim of between 14 days and 3 months, depending upon the complexity of the case.  If the case is then disputed there can be several months of correspondence before Court proceedings are issued to narrow the issues and try to resolve the claim.  If the claim cannot be resolved pre-action and Court proceedings are issued to obtain a judgment, with the proceedings being defended the timescale to obtain judgment can typically range from between 6 months to 2 years depending upon whether the case proceeds all the way to trial or settles before that point.

If your claim is successful and you obtain Judgment, you can enforce that Judgment against the Defendant in various ways.  Our typical enforcement costs are set out below:

  • Advising on enforcement options and strategy:  £1,000-£3,000+VAT
  • Applying for an Interim Charging Order: £2,500-£5,000+VAT
  • Applying for a Final Charging Order: £2,000-£3,500+VAT plus Counsel’s fee for the hearing, which would typically be between £1,500+VAT and £4,000+VAT
  • Applying for an Interim Third Party Debt Order: £2,500-£5,000+VAT
  • Applying for a Final Third Party Debt Order: £2,000-£3,500+VAT plus Counsel’s fee for the hearing, which would typically be between £1,500+VAT and £4,000+VAT

VAT will be charged at an additional 20%.

Other enforcement options are available and please contact us for further advice on the best options available for your specific case.


In addition to our costs, you will need to pay certain disbursement costs, including Court fees, Counsel’s fees, Costs Draftsmen’s fees and experts’ fees where needed.  Again, these vary on a case-by-case basis and we have set out some typical disbursement costs in the examples above.  Court fees for issuing the Court proceedings and additional Court fees are published online and updated from time to time here

As part of our fee we will:

  • Provide you with an experienced solicitor to work on your matter
  • Take your instructions and review documentation
  • Draft and issue claim
  • Prepare reply to a defence if necessary
  • Prepare all relevant documents in accordance with the Court’s directions which are given on a case by case basis
  • Arrange representation for the Court hearing
  • Enter settlement negotiations if instructed to

Get in touch

If you have any enquiries please fill out this contact form and one of our lawyers will be in touch.

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