Debt Recovery



Lincoln Watts & Leeding (LWL) are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA). Under the SRA Transparency Rules all such legal practices are required to publish information on prices and services in respect of specific types of legal work undertaken by them – including Probate work.


Our litigation team deals with debt recovery for individuals and commercial organisations. We understand the consequences that unpaid debt can have for individuals and businesses and the difficulties that this causes.  Our team of experienced litigators can advise you on the process from sending an initial letter through to enforcing a judgment and dealing with bankruptcy and liquidation.




Where the value of the debt is in excess of £10,000, we charge on an hourly rate basis.  Our hourly charging rate is:


  • £301 + VAT for a solicitor or legal executive with over 8 years experience
  • £247 + VAT for a solicitor or legal executive with over 4 years experience
  • £197 + VAT for other solicitors or legal executives and fee earners of equivalent experience
  • £138 + VAT for trainee solicitors, paralegals and other fee earners.


We will endeavour, if possible, at the outset of the matter to provide a general overall estimate of charges although this may not always be possible until the full nature of the dispute is known.  The cost of the matter will vary depending on the complexity of the issues involved and how the debtor responds.  As the matter progresses we will keep you updated on costs and we will always seek your permission prior to incurring any disbursements (out of pocket expenses such as payment of court fees, barrister’s fee, enforcement fees and so forth).


If the debtor responds quickly and pays following the letter setting out the claim against them then costs are unlikely to exceed £1,000 plus VAT.


If the matter is settled after we have commenced court proceedings and prior to trial then the costs may be between £3,000 and £5,000 depending upon the amount of work involved.


Should the case reach trial then costs may be between £10,000 and £15,000 again, depending on the amount of work involved.


Should enforcement become necessary we will advise you of those fees for both our costs and disbursements.


Details of the court fees payable can be found here: As you will see, court issue fees vary based upon the value of the claim. Details of the enforcement fees are also set out within this document.


If your claim is successful, the costs of your claim should be recoverable from the Defendant.  If your claim is unsuccessful, the fees will remain payable by you.


Where the value of the debt is less than £10,000, your claim will fall onto the small claims track. This is a lower value claims process and unfortunately, only very minimal legal fees are recoverable of between £50 and less than £200, court fees are recoverable from your opponent. 


In these circumstances, should we settle your claim prior to commencing court proceedings, we will agree to deal with the debt recovery for 15% of the amount recovered inclusive of VAT but subject to a minimum fee of £250 + VAT.


Should it become necessary to commence court proceedings our fee will stay at the 15% of the amount recovered inclusive of VAT but subject to a minimum fee of £900 + VAT.


Should the claim go to trial our fee will stay at the 15% of the amount recovered inclusive of VAT but subject to a minimum fee of £1,750 + VAT.


If the claim is unsuccessful, only our minimum fee will be payable for the stage that we have reached plus VAT and disbursements incurred.


In addition to our fees above are the court fees and any other disbursements incurred such as barristers fees.  We will advise you of the cost of those disbursements should it become necessary as they will vary depending upon the complexities of your claim.


Barrister’s fees may be incurred because an Advice is necessary on complex matters, this can start from about £500 + VAT and is based upon the time they spend working on your matter. An estimate of fees will be requested prior to instruction.


Barrister’s fees will also be necessary for Trial. Where the value of the claim is in excess of £10,000 the fee should be recoverable from the debtor if you are successful. Fees will vary due to complexity and the length of the Trial and a fee estimate will always be requested.  For a small claims hearing fees may start from £500 + VAT and for complex matters in excess of £10,000 than run over a number of days can be in excess of £5,000 + VAT.


Stages of the process


  • Take your instructions and give you initial advice.
  • Conducting an initial investigation of the debtor.
  • Prepare the initial letter of claim pursuant to the Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims, and forward to your debtor.
  • Account to you should the debtor make payment.
  • If payment is not made, draft and commence court proceedings.
  • Enter judgment if the Acknowledgment of Service of Defence is not received.
  • Prepare your statement and any witnesses statements in support of the claim.
  • Prepare the Trial bundle and instruct a Barrister to represent you at Trial.
  • If successful at trial or if judgment was entered at an earlier stage due to a lack of response from the debtor, serve the Order for Judgment of the Debtor and demand payment.
  • Account to you with monies recovered.
  • If payment is still not made by the debtor then discussing enforcement options with you and advising you of the costs and benefits of the various methods of enforcement.


The above are all based upon estimates of straightforward matters and upon discussion of your individual matter we will be able to prepare a quote for you.