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At Abels we are able to assist when you may find yourself in dispute. Disputes can arise in many situations, including and not limited to property, wills and probate, employment and many other situations.
Here at Abels, we are able to advise you on whether you have a potential claim, advise on alternative dispute resolution, represent you at pre-trial hearings and conferences, or attend trials. Should you require any information then please contact our civil litigation department.
Although it is not part of our usual business; we do undertake debt collection for business clients of ours and can for new business clients. Peter Humphris (see “meet the team” ) heads this service.
We can offer fixed costs (see below) for such work provided that the claim relates to an unpaid invoice issued to another business and this is not disputed and enforcement action is not needed. If a dispute is raised we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary. We would charge a rate of £240 (inclusive of vat at 20%) per hour for additional work.
Where the debt you are seeking to recover is against an individual not in business then you will need to comply with debt pre-action protocol to be found at www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/pdf/protocols/debt-pap.pdf before you instruct us.
We would suggest you undertake a County Court Judgments search (www.trustonline.org.uk) for which a fee of between £4 and £10 is payable per name per address as well as a bankruptcy search (www.gov.uk/guidance/land-registry-portal-how-to-make-a-bankruptcy-search ) for which a fee of £2 per name is charged and in the case of a company a check at companies house to check on the status of the company (www.gov.uk/government/organisations/companies-house).
For issuing a simple letter before action seeking payment on an outstanding invoice (assuming that full AML information is provided) to a business asking for 14 days to pay we would charge £100 inclusive of vat at 20% although
For issuing proceedings on-line for a business against a business or individual (if you have complied with the pre-action protocol) we would charge £ 420 inclusive of vat at 20% for the work we do. In addition a court fee will be payable and this depends on how much you are seeking. Refer to www.gov.uk/court-fees-what-they-are .for details. We would require both amounts to be paid prior to us issuing proceedings.
If there is no response to the claim within the time allowed (14 days from service for an acknowledgment of service form or if that is received 28 days from service for a defence) then for applying for judgment and advising you on enforcement options a further fee of £250 inclusive of vat at 20% would be payable.
Unless your contract allows for the recovery of your costs as part of your claim then the only sum you can include in your claim for your costs is the court issue fee and fixed costs detailed at www.justice.gov.uk/courts/procedure-rules/civil/rules/part45-fixed-costs#rule45.2 .
Having a judgment is no guarantee of payment and you should consider how to enforce the same.
From when we receive instructions to issue proceedings to when we obtain judgment (assuming there is a judgment entered in default as above) would likely be a period of between 35 to 50 days
Whether we can act
However please note that there may be circumstances where we are unable to take instructions or act further such as where you are unable to make payments to us to in advance (which we would require in cases of this nature) , where we do not have the capacity in the office to do the work properly , the matter turns out to more complex or difficult for us to deal with or , having done the checks we are required to carry out there is a problem such as a conflict between you and another client