Our highly skilled team has a wide range of commercial and practical knowledge enabling us to provide a bespoke service, sympathetic to the needs of your business.
We specialise in volume referrals using our bespoke case management system and have outstanding MI and data analysis capabilities.
Our debt recovery solicitors are recognised as leaders in asset & motor finance recoveries and collections. Our motor finance team provide expert advice in niche areas.
We work closely with clients in the debt purchase space and have successfully brought a number of global substitution applications for litigated accounts that have been purchased.
The team have also been instrumental in bringing an unprecedented application to secure the set aside of a large volume of county court judgments.
We provide an end to end service to our clients from regulatory advice through to collection, litigation and recovery services, with full compliance and audit support.
How can our litigation solicitors help?
Our team is able to offer tailored services to meet the needs of our client:
Collection of Secured & Unsecured Commercial and Personal Finance Debt
LA’s Litigation & Recoveries Team is recognised as one of the leading recoveries teams in the UK. LA’s litigators are recognised in Chambers and Legal 500. We are able to specialise in bulk recoveries (both debt and asset recovery) from pre-legal negotiations to complex defended litigation.
Our clients and their customers are central to everything we do. Every one of our clients has its own unique requirements and we tailor our way of working to meet those needs, from how we greet clients’ customers on the phone to how we supply a client with its management information. The work is undertaken by sub-teams within the Litigation & Recoveries Team, with our clients having a dedicated sub-team dealing with their work.
We consider that our team should be an extension of yours and we make sure that we work with you in a supportive and collaborative way. We like our clients to think of us as a quasi in-house legal team. Our debt recovery solicitors are always available, whether for one off pieces of telephone or e-mail advice, or if clients have a sudden increase in volume instructions. We can work on the move and we can move quickly to make sure that your legal service and business support is consistent and entirely dependable. We also strive to use our initiative to innovate and seek process improvements in all that we do.
Our clients include a wide range of commercial enterprises, finance houses, professional service firms, insolvency practitioners and local authorities.
We are closely aligned to industry, are leading lawyers in industry associations and are a commercially astute and technically able practice.
Our fees are highly competitive and wherever possible, we work to agreed fixed fees.
Our clients include a wide range of financiers who finance by hire purchase, leasing, loan or otherwise. These include general finance houses (bank owned or independent), manufacturer owned including captive leasing companies, motor finance houses, banks and specialist lenders. We are closely aligned to industry, are leading lawyers in the industry associations and are a commercially astute and technically able practice. In the motor and asset finance sector we act for a number of substantial financial institutions.
Our return of goods team has vast experience in working for clients in the motor finance industry. Each person has experience in pre-litigation and post judgment and enforcement work. This ensures that the team has depth and breadth and ensures that we have capacity to deal with sudden influxes of work from difference areas.
We have recently dealt with the migration of over nearly 1,000 cases from the exiting Panel member of a large motor finance captive and prior to that we have accepted similar portfolio transfers. We are the preferred supplier for many clients.
We are able to offer fixed fees.
Title Disputes & Quality Disputes
Our defended team are also experienced in dealing with claims brought against our clients in relation to satisfactory quality or title disputes.
We will advise you on the merits of the claim and potential costs for each matter.
Our defended team are able to deal with obtaining possession of property through the Courts and on a voluntary basis where possible. We act for a wide range of lenders including high street banks and LPA Receivers in achieving recovery of secured lending relating to both residential and commercial premises.
We are often able to deal with undefended possession proceedings on a fixed fee basis.
We have close relationships with commercially minded and technically compliant agents who are able to assist in achieving physical possession and dealing with post possession requirements.
The Litigation & Recoveries Team specialises in niche litigation, often with a Consumer Credit focus. The team is one of the leading teams in the UK, acting for and retaining ‘blue chip’ companies who might normally source their legal requirements with City firms or very large regional practices.
LA is an Associate Member of the Finance & Leasing Association and is actively involved in the Litigation Committee, the Regulatory Reform Workshops and the Vulnerability Roundtable.
We act for commercial enterprises, spanning across all industry sectors.
Our sub-teams within the Litigation & Recoveries Team will review files on receipt. The next step will usually be to issue a letter before claim (Debt PAP compliant where applicable), before issuing proceedings and obtaining judgment.
Enforcement options are reviewed and appropriate case flows exist for all enforcement options.
Your customer will know from their correspondence, which team member is dealing with the case and will have their name, e-mail address and direct dial telephone number.
We are able to offer fixed fees.
Defended & Complex Litigation
Although recovery work can be straightforward, our experience is that there are many occasions when clients need detailed technical input, even for an apparently simple claim. Our defended team works alongside the undefended team in our open plan office using the same case management system, and is capable of handling any complex issue that might arise. This does not mean that costs increase on a straightforward claim, we see technical input as part of the service.
If a claim becomes defended, it will be referred to the defended team which will review the merits of any defence and liaise with clients in relation to strategy.
The defended team are also experienced in defending claims brought against our clients.
There are various methods for enforcing a money judgment. You can use different enforcement methods either simultaneously or consecutively.
Execution against goods by warrant of control:
Execution against goods requires the issue of a court document (a warrant of control), which permits a County Court Bailiff to seize and sell goods owned by the Defendant (subject to some exemptions or where they do not belong to the Defendant), and raise funds to satisfy the judgment debt.
Third party debt order: By third party debt orders, sums owed to the Defendant that are in the hands of a third party (such as a bank) are frozen and seized for the benefit of your application.
Charging orders: A charging order is a way of securing your judgment debt by imposing a charge over the Defendant’s beneficial interest in land, securities or certain other assets.
Once a charging order has been obtained, you have the option to apply separately to the Court for an order for sale of the property. Alternatively, you could simply await its sale in due course.
Attachment of earnings: An attachment of earnings order provides that a proportion of the Defendant’s earnings are deducted by their employer and paid to you (via the centralised attachments service) in instalments, until the judgment debt is satisfied.
You may also wish to consider bankruptcy or winding up action and we can advise you on whether it is appropriate to do so.
The fees for enforcement will depend on the enforcement action taken. Fixed fees can be agreed.
We are experts in processing volume accounts which have been sold to debt purchasers.
We specialise in niche applications for substituting our clients as Claimant’s in bulk proceedings, providing a highly efficient and commercial solution for clients.
We have successfully made applications for other orders effecting multiple claims, using a similar application process.
LA is a member of MSI Legal & Accounting Network Worldwide, a leading global multidisciplinary network of over 250 independent legal and accounting firms in 100 countries throughout the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe, Middle East and Africa (www.msi-network.com). Through this, clients have access to legal expertise in multiple jurisdictions.
What is the process?
At the outset, we will explore your business needs and will work with you to understand your collections strategy.
Cases can be placed individually, online, by data file or by data integration.
We will discuss your reporting requirements and case progress will be reported as agreed.
Lester Aldridge’s Litigation & Recoveries team is one of the leading legal debt collection teams in the UK, specialising in bulk debt and asset recovery.
Our services are tailored to individual clients through the use of the latest technology using our bespoke case management system. We understand our clients’ businesses and processes and manage collections in a way that fits our clients’ individual debt profiles.
Our reporting capabilities are endless and our leading members are able to provide supporting services such as bespoke training and secondment support.
The following applies to businesses with a potential debt recovery requirement of up to the value of £100,000.
The general timescale
- A Letter Before Claim will usually be issued at the outset, giving the debtor 7 days to make payment. If the debtor is a sole trader/consumer, they will be given 30 days to respond in line with the pre-action protocol for debt claims.
- In the event that payment is not made and terms for settlement are not agreed, instructions will be sought to issue court proceedings. Debtors have 14 days to respond to the claim, or if an acknowledge of service is filed, a total of 28 days to file details of their defence. Otherwise we can seek judgment by default and enforce it
- If the claim is defended and it is for under £10,000, it is likely to be allocated to the Small Claims and will probably be heard in about 3 months
- If a claim for more than £10,000 is defended, more complex court proceedings are likely to follow and it could be some months before the matter comes to trial
- The timescale for enforcement will very much depend on the case itself, how the court deals with the case and the enforcement method that is chosen for the individual judgment.
- Where there is no arguable defence to a claim it is sometimes appropriate to consider bankruptcy or winding-up proceedings. We will advise our clients if we think this is a more appropriate action than regular court proceedings.
- In the case of an individual, it is usually necessary to serve a statutory demand on the debtor after which he or she has 18 days to pay the debt or set aside the statutory demand. If he or she fails to do so, we can then issue a bankruptcy petition which is usually heard within about 6-12 weeks.
- In the case of a company we will serve a formal demand requiring payment of the debt within a time frame agreed with our client. If payment if not made within that time we will issue a winding-up petition which is usually heard within about 6-12 weeks.
Claims can be funded in different ways and funding options will be considered carefully with clients.
You may hold legal expenses insurance. Even if you do not have such insurance, you may be able to minimise your risk by obtaining further insurance against adverse costs orders which might be made in court proceedings. This is sometimes called “After The Event” or “ATE” legal expenses insurance.
We may require money on account from clients before undertaking work.
Our ordinary rates are:
|Status of lawyer||LA’s ordinary rate £ (+ VAT)|
|Solicitors and legal executives with over 8 years’ experience||£230|
|Solicitors and legal executives with over 4 years’ experience||£190|
|Other solicitors or legal executives and fee earners of equivalent experience||£160|
|Trainee solicitors, paralegals and other fee earners||£90|
Wherever possible, work is undertaken on agreed fixed fees and example costings for business to business debt collection are set out below.
Instruction charges may be dependent on the volume of referrals and work required. Where possible, the instruction charge will be fixed or calculated on a % basis and the fee will be agreed with our client at the outset.
Court Fees on issue of Claim Form
(Recoverable if successful)
|Sum claimed no more than||Court Fees|
|Up to £300.00||£35.00|
|£300.00 not over £500.00||£50.00|
|£500.00 not over £1,000||£70.00|
|£1,000 not over £1,500||£80.00|
|£1,500 not over £3,000||£115.00|
|£3,000 not over £5,000||£205.00|
|£5,000 not over £10,000||£455.00|
|£10,000 not over £200,000||5% of the value of the claim|
Solicitors Fixed Costs on the Claim Form
(Recoverable if successful)
|£25.00 – £500.00||£50.00|
|£501.00 – £1,000.00||£70.00|
|£1,001.00 – £5,000.00||£80.00|
Solicitors Fixed Costs on Judgment
(Recoverable if successful)
|Sum from £25.00 to £5,000.00||Sum exceeding £5,000.00|
|Judgment entered in default action in default of defence||£22.00||£30.00|
|Judgment entered on defendant’s admission and claimant’s acceptance as to mode of payment||£40.00||£55.00|
|Judgment entered following admission and proposals rejected||£55.00||£70.00|
|Judgment following acknowledgement of service||£25.00||£35.00|
(Recoverable from debtor unless otherwise stated)
|Charge per case enforcement||£20.00 (not recoverable)|
|Court Disbursement – fee Order to attend court for questioning||£55.00|
|Agents Service Fee (where required)||£95.00|
|Court disbursement – fee Attachment of Earnings Application||£110.00|
|Court disbursement – fee Warrant of Control||£110.00 + £2.25 fixed costs|
|High Court Writ (HCEO)||£66.00 Court disbursement & £51.75 fixed costs|
|HCEO fee abortive visit||£75.00 (not recoverable)|
Other enforcement – Charging Order
|Court Disbursement – fee Charging Order||£110.00|
|Fees for requesting office copies||£20.00 (inc fee £4.00)|
|LR Notice/Restriction fee||£20.00/40.00|
|Advocate attendance fee (where required)||£70.00|
|Our charges||£250.00-350.00 (of which £110.00 recoverable)|
|Our charges for preparing Statutory Demand||£200.00-500.00|
|Service of Statutory Demand||£75.00-95.00|
|Our charges for preparation of Petition||£500.00-1000.00|
|Agents Fee for issue of Petition (if required)||£20.00|
|Court Disbursement – Petition Fee/OR deposit||£1270.00|
|Hearing attendance||£70.00 (minimum)|
|Adhoc/disputed insolvency matters||Hourly rates|
|Our charges for preparation of petition||£500.00 – 1000.00|
|Court Disbursement – Petition Fee/OR deposit||£1880.00|
|Gazette fee||£82 + £2.30|
|Hearing attendance||£50.00 (minimum)|
|Adhoc/disputed insolvency matters||Hourly rates|
|Fast Track/Multi Track/Counterclaims||Hourly rates|
|Application to Set Aside Judgment||£250-500.00|
|Agents Fees/Other Court Disbursements||As advised|
***VAT applies to all fees and some disbursements***
Ann Lloyd – Ann is a Partner, qualifying as a solicitor in 2004. In 2016 Ann was named in the Credit 100 most influential people in the industry.
Carla Hillman – Carla is a Director qualifying as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Legal Executives in 2015.
Danielle Montezuma – Danielle is a Partner, having qualified as a solicitor in 2009.
Tim Brodie – Tim is an Associate Solicitor having qualified in 1999.
Helen Whittam – Helen is a Solicitor having qualified in 2009.
Elin Thomas – Helen is a Solicitor having qualified in 2018.
Hilary Basnett – Hilary is a Team Leader and senior paralegal and has worked in the industry for over 20 years.
Jessica Marshall – Jess is a Team leader and paralegal and has worked in the industry for over 7 years.
Emma Bowditch – Emma is a paralegal has worked in the industry for over 2 years.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, we are. We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. We are also accredited by Lexcel and strive to the standards of ISO27001.
Our reporting capabilities are extensive and requirements will be discussed with you at the outset.