Dispute Resolution - Commercial Debt Recovery

Debt Recovery Claims up to £100,000

Brethertons have particular expertise in acting for businesses who instruct us to recover sums due to them as a result of a non-payment by a debtor. Breach of contract claims such as these can be straightforward and they can also be very complicated if defended.

We have set out below the key stages which would be involved in pursuing an uncontested debt recovery claim and identified the fixed fees which would be incurred in pursuing such a claim.

Stage 1: Review of a new customer’s contractual documentation

At the outset of a matter for a customer who is new to Brethertons, we will carry out a thorough review of their contractual documentation in order to establish the basis of the claim. This will include reviewing:

  • Copies of any written contractual documentation
  • An understanding of the terms of any oral contract and/or oral representations made at the time the contract was entered into
  • A review of any Terms & Conditions of sale including any Retention of Title clauses
  • A review of the debtors Terms and Conditions of Purchase (if any)
  • Any Statements of Account
  • Copies of all outstanding invoices
  • Copy delivery notes where applicable
  • All credit control correspondence and telephone file notes
  • Understanding any interest provisions. If the contract provides for interest to be charged to the debtor, this will be included within the sum claimed

We will  identify:

  • Full correct name(s) of debtor(s) who were a party to the contract
  • Undertake appropriate credit searches
  • The correct address for service of the debtor
  • Whether there is a valid claim and if we foresee any difficulties in pursuing the claim
  • Advise what level of fixed court costs may be recovered from the debtor

Stage 1 Fixed Cost: £450 + VAT

Stage 2: Sending a Letter of Claim

If the customer has a valid claim, we will draft and send a letter to the debtor before action which will comply with the relevant Civil Court Practice Rules Pre-Action Protocols.

Stage 2 Fixed Cost: £300 + VAT

Stage 3: Sending a second letter to the debtor

If payment is not forthcoming from the debtor we can, if requested to do, so send a further chasing letter.

Stage 3 Fixed Cost: £250 + VAT

Stage 4:  Issue of court proceedings

Once we have been instructed us to issue Court proceedings a pro-forma invoice will be provided seeking payment on account of the Court fee.

Once payment has been received, proceedings will be drafted.

Once proceedings have been drafted, these will be submitted to the customer for final approval and signature.

Stage 4 Fixed Cost: £800 + VAT

Stage 5: Requesting Judgment in Default if the debtor fails to respond to court proceedings

Where no Acknowledgement of Service or Defence is received from the debtor, we will apply to the court to enter Judgment in Default

Stage 5 Fixed Cost: £250 + VAT

If the debt is disputed/contested

If the debtor disputes the debt and files a defence or defence and counterclaim, we will, after discussing the merits of any defence and/or counterclaim, provide an estimate of anticipated fees based on the relevant lawyers charging rate.

How much will bringing a claim cost?

We have indicated costs above for each stage of an uncontested debt recovery claim.

Any fixed legal costs awarded by the court for issuing the claim and entering judgment will be used to offset the charges which we make to our customers.

The costs quoted above are not for matters where enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to recover the debt.


Disbursements are costs related to your matter that are payable to third parties, such as:

Court Fees:

Amount of Claim Lower LimitAmount of Claim Upper LimitCourt Fee Amount



NB: Interest added to a claim may take a debt into a higher banding with a higher cost. Court Fees are not subject to VAT.

Process Servers Fees:

If the debtor seeks to avoid service of the Claim Form by the court it may be necessary to employ a Process Server. If required, we will obtain a quote for their fees.

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 individual cases are resolved, and whether it is necessary to issue a claim.

Factors which affect time scales also include the speed at which the Court Service process applications to issue a County Court Summons and process requests to enter Judgment and return the appropriate paperwork.

Typically, a case from receipt of instructions to closing a matter following payment from a defaulting debtor, who pays the debt following a County Court judgment, will take approximately 16 weeks. This timescale assumes that the debtor will pay promptly on receipt of a judgment.

Next steps

If you would like to instruct us, or to learn more about our Dispute Resolution services, please visit our key contact details. Alternatively, you can email your enquiry to us or visit our Dispute Resolution pages for further information.

Should you wish to meet our team of experienced and talented staff who would be responsible for progressing your matter then please click here.