Blanchards Bailey

Our Debt Recovery Costs

We are a regulated law firm, meaning that we are governed and monitored by the Solicitors Regulatory Authority.

We MUST comply with the SRA’s Principles and Code of Conduct, where unregulated solicitors and will writers do not. Our obligations include, but are not limited to, us having to:

  1. Act in the best interest of each client;
  2. Provide a service which is competent and delivered in a timely manner;
  3. Take account of our client’s attributes, needs and circumstances;
  4. Make sure the lawyers managing and supervising the matter have the requisite legal and practical knowledge to carry out the work and that they keep their professional knowledge and skills up to date;
  5. Safeguard money and assets entrusted to us by clients;
  6. Keep the affairs of current and former clients confidential; and
  7. Provide transparency in relation to our fees and the service we provide.

We value our clients. So, we act proactively and commercial to assist them achieving their objectives.

The information below is set out to assist you in deciding whether you want to instruct us in relation to a debt claim. We cannot set out every perceivable situation and therefore you can contact us to find out the likely costs specific to your claim. You are free to accept or refuse any quote that we provide you.


We have set out an example of fixed fee debt recovery work. The costs for most stages reduce when we are instructed to act on multiple matters per year. We will happily provide a bespoke pricing guide for bulk debt recovery.

We do not undertake fixed fee work for debts over £10,001 – such matters are billed on an hourly rate and you will be provided with a cost estimate at the outset and cost updates as the matter progresses.

A debt is produced when a party to a contract/agreement breaches their obligation to make the necessary payment by the specified time. All debt claims are governed by the Civil Procedure Rules and the Pre-Action Conduct and Protocols. We help you navigate these rules and provide you with advice about the prospects of your claim.

Our expert lawyers will do all we can to recover the debt quickly. Many debts are paid upon receipt of a Letter of Claim and in such instances court proceedings are not necessary. We charge for different stages of the work. An example of our charges for each stage of work are set out below.

Example of a debt owed to a business for the supply of goods.

This example is based on a claim that is undisputed, the debt of £5,000 is clearly documented, and the documentation is not voluminous, Judgment in Default is obtained and payment is made after instruction a Court Bailiff to recover the debt (a warrant of control to recover a sum of money).

Stage 1, Initial letter of claim and pre-issue work – £550 plus VAT

Sage 2, Issuing Court proceedings - £650 plus VAT and disbursements

Stage 3, Obtaining default Judgment - £150 plus VAT

Stage 4, Enforcement of the Judgment to recover payment - £200 plus VAT and disbursements.

The Court fees are a disbursement, the cost of issuing a claim. The costs do vary from time to time, but are updated accordingly.

Example for a business to business debt that is undisputed

As above the debt is clearly documented and is not in dispute.

Debt Value

Court Fee

Our Fee


Up to £5,000

£35 to £205

£1,500 + (£300 VAT)

£1,835 to £2,005

£5,001 to £10,000


£4,000 + (£800 VAT)


£10,001 to £100,000

5% of the Claim

Hourly rate

Estimate provided at the outset of the matter

If the Defendant disputes the claim, then we will need to undertake additional work before we issue proceedings, to try and resolve or narrow the issues in dispute. We will need to advise you on the strength of the Defence, mediation is likely to take place and a court hearing may be listed. We will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs and any additional disbursements. If the matter is not capable of being run under a fixed fee then you will be charged our hourly rates.

When working on an hour rate we charge on a time basis of six minute units and our hourly rates are:

Partners: £350 per hour plus VAT

Senior Associate: £310 per hour plus VAT

Associate / Senior Executive £280 per hour plus VAT

Solicitor / Chartered Legal Executive £250 per hour to £265 per hour plus VAT

Graduate Legal Executive: £210 per hour plus VAT

Executive: £210 per hour plus VAT

Assistant/Paralegal: £150 to £185 per hour plus VAT

Trainee Assistant: £130 per hour plus VAT

Clerk rate: £110 to £120 per hour plus VAT

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

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

Our fee includes:

  • Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
  • Undertaking appropriate searches
  • Sending a letter before action
  • Drafting and issuing claim.
  • Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgement in default
  • When Judgement in default in received, write to the other side to request payment
  • If payment is not received within the demanded period, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs

If we recover payment and you require this sum paid to you by bank transfer then we charge £35 plus VAT, where the payment is above £500.

If the matter is Defended then it is likely the matter will go to mediation. For matters under £10,000 the Court offer a free telephone mediation service. You will need to pay our costs on a hourly rate if you want us to represent you at that. The mediation lasts up to an hour and we will need to prepare for this. The cost is likely to be £350 to £500 plus VAT. If the mediation is in person or runs longer then these costs will increase.

If the matter goes to a hearing then you will need to pay a court hearing fee. Depending where the matter is being heard, you will incur our costs of attending or an agent where you need representation. The likely cost of an agent representing you, and us instructing them accordingly, will be £600 plus VAT. Costs will vary depending on how long the hearing is listed, where it is, what points are in issue, the experience level of the agent, etc. Not many matters go to a trial, so we will have to advise you of the cost on a case by case basis, if it is necessary.

The UK’s current standard rate of VAT is 20%.

Your failure to provide coherent instructions and documentation, failing to reply to our requests and requestions in a timely manner or at all and requiring additional updates will cause the costs of dealing with your matter to increase. We are willing to provide you with the service you desire, but the more time we spend on a matter the ore it will cost you. You may not be able to recover such costs.

You are unlikely to recover the costs of pursuing a debt under £10,000 and/or where the matter is not Defended.


When you first instruct us, if you reinstruct us but have not done so for 12 months and periodically as required, we need to undertake Anti-Money Laundering checks, sanctions checks, source of funds and source of wealth checks, risk checks etc. We chare £20 plus VAT for an individual and £15 plus VAT for a company plus £20 plus VAT for each individual we need to check. This is based on a UK resident, where they pass first time and upload their documents accordingly.

Matters usually take about 1 week from receipt of instructions and the necessary documentation and passing of ID checks and receiving money on account to send out the Letter of Claim. The debtor has up to 30 days to respond to the letter of claim, subject to the Pre-Action Protocol governing the matter. Issuing proceedings will usually take up to 2 weeks to draft, finalise and file at court. The Debtor will have 14 days to defend the claim once it is served on them. This time limit can be extended to 28 days, if the Defendant file an acknowledgment of service within the 14 day period. If they fail to file a Defence, then Default Judgment can be requested and will usually be received within 2 to 3 weeks of making the application. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.


We have a large litigation team, providing an excellent and timely service. Regardless of who works on your matter, they will be supervised by Associates, Senior Associates and one of the Partners will oversee your matter. If you instruct us to act for you then you will receive additional information about those dealing with your matter in our letter of engagement. The members of the team and their profiles can be located here.

Please click here if you would like one of our specialist debt recover lawyers to contact you.

So, how can we help?

Whatever your requirements, our team is standing by.

Blanchards Bailey
Blanchards Bailey

So, how can we help?

Whatever your requirements, our team is standing by.

Call us today on
01258 459361