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Pricing & Service Information

WHAT SERVICE DO WE PROVIDE OUR CLIENTS

We specialise in large scale consumer credit debt recovery litigation and will tailor our approach to suit you.

We do not act for individuals or small businesses, and we do not provide a business to business debt recovery service. We act for clients that are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

If you wish to instruct Mortimer Clarke Solicitors to act for your company in relation to debt recovery litigation, then please contact Sandra Bayne (sandra.bayne@mortimerclarke.co.uk).

In our experience, most claims which we issue are not defended. We obtain Judgment and then if payment is not made, we commence enforcement activity, according to our client instructions. There are various methods of enforcement detailed below. The small proportion of cases that are defended are managed by our dedicated defence team. Where the defended claim results in Judgment it can then be enforced via the same methods.

 

WHAT WORK IS COVERED BY OUR CHARGES

Our fees include:

  • Taking your instructions and reviewing the documentation
  • Sending a Letter before Claim
  • Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing a County court claim
  • Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgment in default
  • When Judgment in default in received, writing to the other side to request payment
  • Enforcement proceedings where the judgment has not been paid

 

Enforcement Proceedings following an unpaid judgment include:

  • Warrants of Control where a County Court Bailiff is instructed to attend the Customer’s home and, if a repayment arrangement is not made, seek to take control of property to be sold at auction in diminution of the outstanding Judgment debt.
  • Attachment of Earnings Order – an application by the Creditor to seek payment of the outstanding Judgment. The customer has the opportunity to respond to various Court Forms to fill in their financial details and the court can grant a Suspended AOE. If the Customer does not reply the Court can contact the Customer’s employer and granted and order that funds are deducted from the Customers wages and paid into court (a full AOE). If successful payments would be sent to us via the Centralised Attachment of Earnings Payment System (CAPS).
  • Charging Orders – an order to secure the customer’s outstanding Judgment balance against a property of which they are the registered proprietor.
  • Bankruptcy – Bankruptcy is the legal proceeding involving a person that is unable to repay their outstanding debts. Following Bankruptcy order, , a Trustee in Bankruptcy is appointed to gather in all of the assets of the bankrupt and seeks to sell them in order to pay the costs of the bankruptcy and share the funds amongst the unsecured creditors of the bankrupt. are measured and evaluated, and may be used to repay the balance owed.

 

All reference above to the customer refer to the Judgment debtor.

 

TIMESCALES

We will usually issue a claim 33 days after sending a Letter Before Claim.  If the other side does not respond to the court proceedings, judgment in default can be requested approximately 15 days after the claim has been served.  We will then ask the other side to make payment. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.

 

Disputed claims can take up to 12-18 months to resolve.

 

Bankruptcy proceedings usually take between 3-5 months to resolve.  The first stage is that a statutory demand has to be personally served on the individual.  If after 21 days, no payment has been received, and no application to set aside the statutory demand has been made, a bankruptcy petition can be filed at court.  The court will then set a hearing date, scheduled according to court availability.  As a rough estimate, a bankruptcy order can usually be obtained about 2-4 months after the petition is filed at court.

 

CHARGES

We can discuss what fee structure is appropriate depending on the value and complexity of your instructions, and on the volume of work you wish to instruct us on.  We would discuss this with you once you have provided us with details of any instructions.

 

Disbursements

Your instructions may attract legal disbursements. These are costs which have to be paid to a third party which we pay on your behalf – e.g. Court fees, Land Registry fees or even Counsel’s fees.

 

Court fees are set out in the EX50 publication (“Civil and Family Courts Fees”) issued by the HM Courts and Tribunals Service.  The link to this publication is:-

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/fees-in-the-civil-and-family-courts-main-fees-ex50

The current fees as at March 2020 are below:

 

Claim amount County Court Business Centre (“CCBC”) fee
Up to £300 £25
£300.01 to £500 £35
£500.01 to £1,000 £60
£1,000.01 to £1,500 £70
£1,500.01 to £3,000 £105
£3,000.01 to £5,000 £185
£5,000.01 to £10,000 £410
£10,000.01 to £100,000 4.5% of the claim

 

Enforcement Action Court fee
Warrant of Control £77
Attachment of Earnings £110
Charging Order £110
Bankruptcy Petition £280 plus deposit of £990

 

Please note with Charging Order and Bankruptcy there are other disbursements alongside the court fee, these include Land Registry fees such as searches, court representation and process server fees.  We set out an estimate of these below:

Charging Order – Official Copies £3 and Registration Fee £20

Bankruptcy – Process server costs £300+VAT and Court representation £85+VAT

 

Our Fees

Our proposed pricing model includes a fee of between 15-20% of any recoveries made before court proceedings are issued, and also for us to charge you solicitors’ fixed costs in accordance with Part 45 of the Civil Procedure Rules.

Solicitors’ fixed costs are the costs which are awarded by the Court in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules for work undertaken in Court proceedings.  The amount of such costs is usually determined by the amount of the Claim.  Our proposed pricing model provides for you to pay us these solicitors’ fixed costs, at the point at which the particular stage is reached (i.e. on issue of claim/entry of judgment/issue of enforcement action).

The prevailing scale of solicitors’ fixed costs is set out in Part 45 of the Civil Procedure Rules.  The link to these rules is:-

https://www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part45-fixed-costs

The current fees as at March 2020 are below:

 

FIXED SOLICITORS’ COSTS ON ISSUE OF CLAIM
Claim amount Fixed solicitors’ costs
£25 to £500 £50
£500 to £1,000 £70
£1,000 to £5,000 £80
Over £5,000 £100

 

FIXED SOLICITORS’ COSTS ON ENTRY OF JUDGMENT
Claim amount Fixed solicitors’ costs
£25 to £5000 £22
Over £5,000 £30

 

FIXED SOLICITORS’ COSTS ON ISSUE OF ENFORCEMENT ACTION
Enforcement Action Our fixed costs
Warrant of Control £2.25
Charging Order £110

 

There are no fixed solicitors’ cost in Part 45 of the Civil Procedure Rules for Attachment of Earnings applications or Bankruptcy proceedings.  Our proposed pricing model provides for you to pay us the following fees for these activities.

 

OUR PROPOSED FIXED FEE ON ISSUE ENFORCEMENT ACTION
Enforcement Action Our fixed fee
Attachment of Earnings £100
Bankruptcy £500

 

VAT

What VAT do we charge and when:

Disbursements – VAT is not paid by us when we issue Court claims or applications and therefore, in respect of Court fees, our invoices do not seek recovery of VAT.

Solicitors’ Fixed Costs – any award by the Court is net of VAT – it is the net figure which is added to the judgment debt. The Solicitors’ Fixed Costs element of any invoice rendered by us to a client will include an additional element relating to VAT.

Our fixed fees – any invoice rendered by us to a client will include an additional element relating to VAT on the fixed fees agreed.

Disbursements (Court representation fees) – these are disbursements because we incur these costs on your behalf. Generally speaking they are incurred in defended litigation – please see below.

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

  • The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
  • Interest may take the debt into a higher banding, with a higher cost.

 

Below are tables setting out our estimates of our charges for acting in relation to an undisputed debt which we deal with from Letter Before Action stage up until judgment and enforcement stage, without any recovery being made.   We have included the 3 main enforcement types as this comprises the vast majority of our work, and most individuals do not make payment before litigation activity.  Our estimates below only go up to £15,000 because most of the debts that we are instructed to recover are under this level.

 

Estimate 1:  Letter Before Claim, Issue, Judgment in Default, Warrant of Control application

 

Debt value Court Fee for issue Fixed solicitors’ costs on issue Fixed solicitors’ costs on judgment Court Fee for Enforcement Fixed solicitors’ costs on enforcement VAT on our costs Total
£1,000 £60 £70 £22 £77 £2.25 £0.45 £232
£5,000 £185 £80 £22 £77 £2.25 £0.45 £367
£10,000 £410 £100 £30 £77 £2.25 £0.45 £620
£15,000 £675 £100 £30 £77 £2.25 £0.45 £885

Estimate 2:  Letter Before Claim, Issue, Judgment in Default, Attachment of Earnings application

Debt value Court Fee for issue Fixed solicitors’ costs on issue Fixed solicitors’ costs on judgment Court Fee for Enforcement Our fixed costs on enforcement VAT on our costs Total
£1,000 £60 £70 £22 £110 £100 £20 £382
£5,000 £185 £80 £22 £110 £100 £20 £517
£10,000 £410 £100 £30 £110 £100 £20 £770
£15,000 £675 £100 £30 £110 £100 £20 £1035

Estimate 3:  Letter Before Claim, Issue, Judgment in Default, Charging Order application

Debt value Court Fee for issue Fixed solicitors’ costs on issue Fixed solicitors’ costs on judgment Court Fee for Enforcement Land Registry Fees Fixed solicitors’ costs on enforcement VAT on our costs Total
£1,000 £60 £70 £22 £110 £23 £110 £22 £417
£5,000 £185 £80 £22 £110 £23 £110 £22 £552
£10,000 £410 £100 £30 £110 £23 £110 £22 £805
£15,000 £675 £100 £30 £110 £23 £110 £22 £1070
DEFENDED WORK

The costs above apply where your claim is not defended.  This section covers defended claims.  We have a specialist Defended Litigation team that managed any defended claims. They have many years’ experience managing consumer credit defended litigation. The team includes paralegals, a Team Manager and a Solicitor – 4 years + PQE. Day to day management of the team is undertaken by the experienced Team Manager with support from a Solicitor. The Defended Litigation team as a whole is supervised by our Principal Solicitor.

The Defended Litigation team will attempt to obtain Summary Judgment on defended claims based on client’s instructions. They will also, where instructed, oppose applications to set aside Judgments.

If a Summary Judgment application is unsuccessful or if the Judgment is set aside following a customer’s successful application, the Defended Litigation team will seek further instructions from its clients on the next steps regarding the claim.

The amount of work undertaken and time it takes to proceed with a claim depends on a variety of aspects, including the nature of the defence and the evidence/documentation clients have.

Where there is a court hearing, the timeframe for this depends on court availability as well as directions set by the court, which in turn depends on the track the claim is allocated to. The Defended Litigation team will usually instruct advocates to attend court hearing on behalf of the client, based on the client’s instruction.  As a rough estimate, it could take 12-18 months to resolve a defended litigation claim, or even longer depending on court availability,

Costs of Defended Litigation: The costs which we charge depend on the volume and complexity of your instructions.  We may charge a fixed fee of £500 (plus VAT) for dealing with a defence all the way to a hearing, which would be broken down so that we only charge you when the defended case reaches certain stage, as set out below:

  • £150 plus VAT for considering a defence, advising on merits, responding to the defence
  • £100 plus VAT for attempting to negotiate a settlement
  • £250 plus VAT for continuing to a hearing, including helping you to prepare a witness statement and instructing an advocate but excluding any disbursements.

The usual disbursements for defended action:

For a Summary Judgment application – court fee £155, court representation £135+VAT

For a Set aside Judgment application – court representation £110+VAT

For a standard Small Claims Hearing – court representation £185+VAT.

 

 

 

 


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Debt Recovery Litigation

We specialise in consumer credit debt recovery litigation and will tailor our approach to suit you. We have a comprehensive knowledge of the regulatory framework in which financial institutions operate, and place compliance at the heart of the work that we do. We ensure that we work in accordance with all current guidance and legislation.