Debt recovery can be a serious issue for large corporations as well as SMEs and sole traders.
An effective debt recovery strategy is vital to most businesses – and it is important to seek legal advice sooner rather than later in any matter where debt is accumulating, as the larger the debt, the more costly and difficult it may be to recover at a later stage.
Duncan Lewis commercial litigation solicitors have extensive experience in debt recovery – and can advise on high-value debt recovery cases, as well as cross-border cases where a jurisdiction outside the EU might apply.
Debt recovery claims of less than £10,000 will usually be processed through the small claims court, unless otherwise ordered by the court.
A small claim may be dealt with based on written evidence without a court hearing – but if a hearing is scheduled, it is likely written evidence will be required by the County Court, as well as supporting documents.
Recovering costs in debt recovery cases in the small claims court is not automatic, even if a case is successful, unless the judge awards costs.
Claims over £10,000 and under £25,000 will be a fast-track claim at the County Court.
A district judge will usually give directions for the management of the case and set a timetable for the steps to be taken until trial.
A fast-track claim will often require only limited disclosure and written expert evidence – and such cases are heard in court within 30 weeks, with most trials lasting just half a day.
In fast-track claims, claimants are entitled to recover legal costs from the opponent in the case – but legal costs will be assessed and a judge may only award costs considered reasonable and necessary.
Claims over £25,000 which cannot be dealt with justly by the fast track because of the sum being claimed are dealt with by the multi-track.
Multi-track claims may also involve claims requiring more detailed disclosure than allowed in the fast track, including oral expert evidence at trial.
A claim for more than £25,000 will be allocated as a multi-track claim and will usually be issued at the High Court.
The court will give directions for the management of the case – and set a timetable for the steps to be taken; or may fix a case management conference, a pre-trial review, or both.
All debt recovery actions begin with a Letter Before Action sent to the debtor with a time period to pay – if payment is not made, then court proceedings can commence.
Duncan Lewis commercial litigation solicitors offer competitively priced, fixed fee rates for business debt recovery services whenever possible – and can advise on any level of debt to be recovered, at any stage of the debt recovery process.
For expert legal advice on commercial and company litigation and Debt Recovery, call Duncan Lewis Commercial Litigation Solicitors on 0333 772 0409.