Our Fees Explained: Debt Recovery and Credit Control

We aim to deliver a professional service which achieves your aims whilst being transparent about our pricing structure. Our focus is on providing excellent value for money whilst providing a personal touch to our service.

Types of Claim

There are a number of prospective claims which you could have and the extent of the fees which are payable will be dependent on the complexity, value and type of claim you pursue. Individual fee quotes will be provided on a case by case basis.

The extent to which legal fees are recoverable will depend on a number of factors including:

  • The value of your claim;
  • Whether your claim is against a consumer or a business
  • Whether any contract provides that you can recover your legal fees
Funding Options

There are a number of ways to fund Debt Recovery matters and we will aim to provide a funding package for you which is suitable for particular circumstances. We are not obliged to offer any particular method of funding and some methods of funding may only be available in cases where we assess that the case is suitable for both you and us.

Typically, the funding options we can consider are:

Annual / Monthly Retainer

For businesses with regular credit control matters, we can offer an outsourced credit control package based on a fixed monthly fee whereby we chase payment of outstanding invoices on your behalf within the fixed monthly charge.

Private Retainer

You will pay us for our charges based on an hourly rate set in our retainer. We will provide you with an estimate of fees from time to time but our charges will be based on the amount of time we spend on your matter.

Our standard hourly rates are dependent on the qualification and experience of the fee earner dealing with the matter.

Grade of Fee Earner Hourly Rate
Grade A

Any Solicitor or Legal Executive with over 8 years PQE. Grade A will include any Director

£225 per hour plus VAT
Grade B

Any Solicitor or Legal Executive with more than 4 year’s PQE but less than 8 year’s PQE. Any other fee earner with more than 4 years experience.

£200 per hour plus VAT
Grade C

Any Solicitor or Legal Executive with less than 4 years PQE. Any other fee earner with more than 1 year but less than 4 years experience. Trainee Solicitors shall be regarded as Grade C if they have more than 2 years experience prior to commencement of the training contract.

£175 per hour plus VAT
Grade D

Any Trainee Solicitor or other fee earner with less than 1 year’s experience.

£135 per hour plus VAT

For commercial clients with whom we have regular business dealings we may agree to reduce the above rates. An estimate of our charges on a Private Retainer are detailed below.

 

Conditional Fee Agreement (‘CFA’)

A CFA, or more commonly known as a No Win No Fee Agreement, is where our fees are contingent upon your case being successful. Ordinarily if your case fails then we will not charge you for time. You will still remain responsible to pay any disbursements, being any costs we pay to a third party.

If we are successful in the claim, then you are responsible to pay our basic charges plus in addition a success fee. A success fee is a percentage uplift which we charge to reflect the fact that we have taken the risk of not being paid at all.

By way of example, if our normal hourly rate is £200 per hour and we charge a  success fee of 50% then in essence the hourly rate we charge you on a successful case would be £300 per hour.

The success fee element is not ordinarily recoverable from the other side.

In some circumstances we may offer you a no win, lower fee arrangement which would be a hybrid of a CFA and a private retainer whereby you would pay us a reduced hourly rate if the case is not successful.

Damages Based Agreement (DBA’)

A DBA is a form of No Win No Fee Agreement. A DBA provides that we will charge you a fixed percentage of your damages. There will be no charge for our professional fees if the claim fails. You will remain responsible for disbursements albeit you may be able to obtain insurance to insure this risk.

The amount we charge is not relevant to the time we spend on your case but will always be proportionate to the value of the outcome.

If we are willing to offer you a DBA then our charge will be a fixed percentage of your damages which will be explained to you at the time.

Fixed Fee

We may agree to charge you a fixed fee for a particular matter, or part of a matter. Our charge will not be relevant to the time we spend on the matter albeit an estimate of the likely time we spend on a matter will be used as the basis for setting the fee.

We may set a number of fixed fees relevant to a matter to fix a fee for a particular matter in the transaction or dispute. By way of example, we may agree a fixed fee to review your prospects of success and provide an advice on this.

Legal Expenses Insurance (‘LEI’)

If you have the benefit of pre-existing legal expenses insurance then this LEI may indemnify all or part of your legal fees. It is your duty to notify us if you believe that you may have LEI and we will not conduct an exhaustive search for LEI.

LEI can typically be found on household insurance, business insurance, motor insurance or credit cards. If you instruct us to make enquiries with an LEI provider then we reserve the right to charge a fee based on our hourly rate for doing so.

If your legal fees are covered by virtue of an LEI provider then we will enter into a private retainer with you and the insurer may, subject to approval, indemnify our legal fees.

Estimate of Fees

We have provided two examples of fees below based on different styles of funding.

Credit Control

We will provide you with a quotation based on the number of invoices you raise per month and the procedure you want us to adopt in chasing those invoices. We would ordinarily agree to a 3 month Trial period to assess the suitability of the fee structure before entering into a longer term retainer.

Standard Fees

We will create a fee structure depending on the type of debt you would like us to recover and the extent to which you are able or willing to pay for our services in advance. In some cases we would be willing to offer a ‘no recovery, no fee’ service however the percentage of our fees may be higher than if you had paid a fixed fee for certain services.

Disbursements

Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as court fees. We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process.

Typical disbursements may include Court fees or Expert fees. The amount of these fees often depend on the value of your claim and the complexity of the issues.

Key stages

The fees set out above cover all of the work in relation to the following key stages of a claim:

  • Taking your initial instructions, reviewing the papers and advising you on merits and likely remedies (this is likely to be revisited throughout the matter and subject to change)
  • Sending a Letter before action and allowing an appropriate period for the Defendant to respond.
  • In some cases, we may recommend issuing a statutory demand or threatening to wind up a business.
  • Reviewing and advising on the claim or response from other party
  • Exploring settlement and negotiating settlement throughout the process
  • Preparing or considering a schedule of loss
  • Preparing for (and attending) applicable Court hearings
  • Exchanging documents with the other party and agreeing a bundle of documents
  • Taking witness statements, drafting statements and agreeing their content with witnesses
  • Preparing bundle of documents
  • Reviewing and advising on the other party’s witness statements
  • Agreeing a list of issues, a chronology and/or case summary.
  • Preparation and attendance at a Final Hearing, including instructions to Counsel

The stages set out above are an indication and if some of stages above are not required, the fee will be reduced. You may wish to handle the claim yourself and only have our advice in relation to some of the stages. This can also be arranged on your individual needs.

How long will my matter take?

The time that it takes from taking your initial instructions to the final resolution of your matter depends largely on the stage at which your case is resolved. We will endeavour to resolve your dispute at the earliest possible stage. In some cases, debts will be paid within 7 – 10 days of the letter before action. If your case is contested and your claim proceeds to a Final Trial, your case is likely to take 12 to 18 months, and sometimes longer in complex cases. This is just an estimate and we will of course be able to give you a more accurate timescale once we have more information and as the matter progresses.

WHAT TO DO NEXT

If you would like to enquire about any of our services, call us now on 0113 200 9787 or email us at enquiries@oakwoodsolicitors.co.uk.

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