Debt recovery

- About Us

expert Debt Recovery with Bate & Albon.

When deciding to pursue a claim, we understand that one of the most significant factors you will consider is the cost. At Bate & Albon, we make this as clear as possible from the outset, letting you know how much you are likely to spend and what you are likely to recover.

Our aim is to recover your money quickly and efficiently to avoid the need for court proceedings. Our expert solicitors have worked with a wide range of clients, from individuals to businesses. We aim to help our clients find the most cost-effective solution while offering practical and useful advice throughout the debt recovery process.

- Our Services

What areas do
we cover?

- How can we help?

Our specialist team of solicitors cover all areas of debt recovery and can offer advice on:

· Tracing assets and individuals

· Court proceedings

· Mediation services and other forms of alternative dispute resolution

· Enforcement

· County court advocacy

· Insolvency action, including petitions for bankruptcy and winding up orders

· General recovery advice

· Service charge and ground rent collection

· Disputed debts

Debt recovery

The very nature of litigation makes it difficult to know how a matter will proceed and the likely costs to be involved. However, at Bate & Albon we understand that the costs of pursuing a claim are a major factor in a decision-making process, which is why we aim to be as transparent as possible.

How to calculate your fees

We will confirm the hourly rates of the staff who are likely to be working on your matter at the beginning of our instruction. Those rates will range, depending on which members of our team are involved, from £195 to £250 plus VAT per hour (at the current rate of 20%).

Fees are charged in units of 6 minutes, and by reference to time spent on your matter. Time spent includes:

· Reading, drafting, and working on documents.

· Considering and responding to incoming emails and letters.

· Attending to you or third parties on the telephone and drafting an attendance note.

· Preparation for and attendance at meetings as well as drafting meeting attendance notes.

· Travel to and from the office, for example, to attend meetings or court.

A breakdown of fees incurred on your matter is always available on request.

How much could it cost?

It is very difficult to estimate what our fees will be in any particular dispute, as each case will involve different facts and complexities. However, based on our experience of these issues, our fees for dealing with the issues we set out above is likely to be:

  • In low-complexity cases, in the region of £1,000 to £4,000 plus VAT (at the current rate of 20%)

  • In mid-complexity cases, in the region of £3,000 to £7,000 plus VAT (at the current rate of 20%)

  • In high-complexity cases, in excess of £7,000 plus VAT (at the current rate of 20%)

We will confirm with you which band your case falls into at the outset of our instruction.

When will fees be higher than estimated?

In the event that a defence is filed, then our fees will exceed the estimates which we have provided on the basis it will be undefended. Likewise, if it becomes necessary to carry out additional work on your behalf, such as entering into further correspondence with your opponent, then our fees will also increase. We will provide you with a revised estimate of costs as soon as this appears to be the case.

Additional expenses

Throughout your matter, various expenses (disbursements) may be incurred, for example, court fees and counsel’s fees.

A non-refundable court fee will be payable on the issue of proceedings. The amount payable is determined by the value of the debt and on whether proceedings are issued through the court or using the court’s ‘Money Claims Online’ service.

Further disbursements may become payable at a later stage (for example, if the matter becomes contested). These may have to be incurred at short notice due to time limits.

Throughout the entire process, you will be regularly updated to ensure you are aware of all costs associated with your case.

Can I recover my legal costs from my opponent?

Litigation can become very expensive, particularly if the matter becomes contested. It is very unusual for a party to recover all the costs incurred.

A general rule is if your claim is successful, you may be entitled to recover some of your costs from your opponent. Equally, you may be required to pay some of your opponent’s costs if your claim is unsuccessful.

Claims below £100,000 may be subject to fixed recoverable costs and we will advise you on the applicable rules before commencing the claim. The is also the case for your opponent who, even if they are successful, would be unlikely to recover over and above their fixed costs from you.

How long will it take to recover the sums owed to me?

Stage 1: Letter before action

The letter before action allows your debtor between 21-30 days to make payment in full or provide a satisfactory proposal for payment. If your debtor does not respond or make payment, we will be guided by your instructions as to whether you wish to issue proceedings.

Stage 2: Issuing Proceedings

Once proceedings have been issued and served on your debtor, the debtor will have 14 days to respond. This can be extended to 28 days where the debtor files an acknowledgment of service.

If a response or payment is still not received, we will ask the court to order judgment in default. If the court considers that you are entitled to judgment in default, it will order the debtor to make payment and send a copy of the order made to the parties.

The process will take longer if a defence is filed, and because no two cases are the same, it is difficult to predict how long this will be.

The court estimates that claims for £10,000 or less will usually last less than six months and claims worth over £10,000 (which are often more complicated) are likely to take longer than six months.

The above timescales are simply estimates given on the assumption that:

· All your documentation is in order.

· We do not require any additional information from you to proceed with your claim.

· We do not experience any delays with the court.

What are the risks?

There is a risk that the costs of litigation may become disproportionate to the sums which you are seeking to recover and that the claim may become uneconomical to pursue. There is no guarantee that you will recover any costs at all and therefore you will be responsible for any shortfall.

The cost risks will always be highlighted to you from the outset of any matter, and we will ensure you are kept fully updated throughout the process.

Enforcement action

It is important to note that even if you successfully obtain judgment against your debtor, there is no guarantee that your debtor will make payment, in which case, enforcement action may become necessary.

Our solicitors can advise you on the various methods of enforcement, and the likely timescales of each. However, enforcement action still may not be successful if your debtor does not have the money to pay you.

Please note that enforcement of a judgment is not included in the costs quoted above. We can provide estimates for this stage upon request.


In short, debt recovery is all about collecting unpaid debts. Debt recovery involves various methods such as enforcement, negotiation, mediation, and in some cases legal action.

At Bate & Albon, our experienced solicitors know the law, and always provide a personalised service. We’ll take the time to understand the circumstances, and draw up a bespoke plan of action. We will doggedly pursue your interests at all times – and this will include being frank about the most likely outcome, instead of over-promising.

You can begin legal action by sending a letter before action (LBA) outlining the debt and consequences if not paid. This formal notice often prompts the debtor to settle the debt without court involvement. In some cases, you can serve a form of demand on a debtor without resorting to an LBA. If you already have a county court judgment, Bate & Albon can advise you on the best method of enforcing that judgment.

In some cases, yes, legal costs can be recovered from the debtor.

This is subject to the rules on fixed costs, the court’s discretion and the terms of any agreement between the parties.

It will depend on the terms of any agreement and the type of agreement. If the matter goes to court, interest can also be dependent on the court’s discretion. 

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer. Bate & Albon can assess your case and advise on the best course of action based on factors such as the amount owed, the likelihood of recovery, and potential costs involved.

Costs vary depending on the complexity of the case. Bate & Albon offers transparent fee structures and will discuss charges upfront to avoid any surprises.

Yes, Bate & Albon can provide a clear breakdown of fees throughout the debt recovery process. This ensures transparency and helps you understand the costs involved at each stage.

Additional expenses may include court fees, expert witness fees, travel expenses, or fees for third-party services. Bate & Albon will inform you of any potential additional costs upfront.

Relevant documentation, contracts, invoices and communication records can strengthen your case. Providing clear evidence of the debt owed will support your claim in legal proceedings. We will guide you through this from the start, to maximise your chances in the event of a dispute.

Enforcement methods include court orders, bailiffs, or obtaining a charging order against the debtor’s property. Bate & Albon will pursue the most appropriate enforcement action based on your individual circumstances.

Factors such as the debtor’s responsiveness, complexity of the case, and court backlog can affect the duration of debt recovery proceedings. We will always provide an estimate based on your specific situation, to ensure there are no surprises.

Yes, small claims are usually handled more informally and have simpler procedures compared to large claims. Bate & Albon can advise on the most suitable legal process based on the amount of debt owed.

Yes, different entities may have varying procedures and timelines for debt recovery. Bate & Albon can navigate these differences for you, ensuring the most effective approach for each type of debtor.

- Meet the Team

Where can I get more information about debt recovery?

Contact Alina De Heer, Ricky Coleman or Paul Harrington to see how Bate & Albon Solicitors can help you. 

Alina De Heer
Alina de Heer
Ricky Coleman
Ricky Coleman
Paul Harrington
Paul Harrington
- Contact

Need to Speak to us?

- Let's Talk

Contact one of Our
Debt Recovery experts

Brighton: 01273 525766

Eastbourne: 01323 406080

Chichester: 01243 271490

Worthing: 01903 369959

- Where are we?

Commercial Property Solicitors in Brighton, Chichester, Eastbourne & Worthing

As a firm based in in East and West Sussex, Bate & Albon are specialists in our local property landscape. We make it a priority that you and both parties receive full clarity and premium service when it comes to business premises and commercial property. Our highly professional team of legal experts ensure that you and your property are in safe hands.

Looking for a solicitor to help you with your property? Contact Carl Bate to see how we can help you with your matter.