Meaby&Co – Cost of debt recovery up to £100,000

Civil recovery

Debt Recovery up to the value of £100,000

  1. Average cost or range of costs

Before commencing a claim to recover debt from either an individual, a limited company or a firm (partnership) we assess the merits of the claim and the anticipated costs of the action.

Costs are an integral part of the process and we believe it is important that our clients are given transparency from day one of the costs they are likely to incur throughout the litigation process. Particularly with debt recovery, it is important that costs do not become disproportionate to the amount of the claim (the debt) and the amount a client is likely to recover.

Our debt recover team deals with a wide range of debt claims. Our legal advice is tailored to each case and our costs approach is the same.

In assessing the anticipated costs of a claim, the following factors will be considered as they have a direct affect on the costs that can be incurred in dealing with a claim:

  • The nature of the debt
  • If the debt is disputed
  • If the debt is a commercial (business) or personal (individual)
  • Response received from other party’s to the claim

Due to the various factors set out above (which is not conclusive) and the value of the claim the costs of a debt recovery claim the total costs can range between £5,000 to in excess of £30,000.

  1. The basis of our charges and the solicitors carrying out the work

We provide several different funding options including fixed fees, contingency fees, continuing retainer fees or charged on an hourly rate basis.  We also provide Damages Based Agreements and Conditional Fee Agreements in certain circumstances.

Whilst our normal charging structure is an hourly basis, we assess costs on an individual basis and create a structure that is suitable to the value of the debt and the anticipated time involved. Where possible we will use a mixture of our costs options including fixing fees and hourly rates, to suit the client’s case.

In determining a fee estimate and the structure of our fees, we will take into consideration the following:-

  • the nature and complexity of the work;
  • the amount of time spent, knowledge required and responsibility involved;
  • the type and nature of the documents involved; and
  • the value of the transaction, property or subject matter.

Each of our clients is assigned a solicitor that is suitable for their case based on the nature of the claim and who we consider is best to deal with the case. On more complex matters a team will be put together by the supervising litigation Partner with a range of qualified solicitors to assist on the claim. The team will be tailored to the claim and is to manage the costs being incurred and also ensure you are receiving advice from the appropriate level of solicitor.

Where our fees are calculated on a time basis our current hourly charging rates are as follows, (unless otherwise notified):

Partner                                                                                    –              £500 p/h

Senior Solicitor                                                                      –              £395 p/h

Senior Consultant Solicitor                                                –              £300 – £395 p/h

Solicitor                                                                                   –              £265-300 p/h

Consultant Solicitor                                                             –              £250 p/h

Legal Executive/Licensed Conveyancer                          –              £200 p/h

Consultant Legal Executive                                                –              £200 p/h

Trainee Solicitor                                                                  –              £200 p/h

These rates are exclusive of VAT.

4. A description of, and the costs of, any likely disbursements and where the actual cost of a disbursement is not known, the average cost or range of costs

In addition to our professional fees, disbursements and expenses may be incurred as the matter progresses which will be payable by you. A disbursement is a payment that is made on behalf of a client to a third party on your behalf.

Below we set out examples of disbursements and additional costs that are likely to be incurred throughout a claim.

Disbursement and Costs Estimated costs excluding VAT
Travel £10-50
Photocopying charges
Experts fees

Costs draftsman

Counsel fees £500-£25,000
Search fees £10-£100
Search agent £500-1000
Process server £250-1000
Mediators fees £500-£10,000

Additionally, to issue a claim there will be a court fees, which is based on the value of the claim as set out below:

Disbursements will generally be billed at the same time as we invoice you for our fees (but may sometimes be billed at another time).

In the circumstances where there is a upcoming deadline or an urgent matter that requires working overtime, evenings or weekends we may incur additional expenses for staff, other than lawyers to assist in providing an effective service to you.  These costs of additional staff range between X-X depending on the hours required.

5. Details of what services are include in the price displayed

Set out below is an estimate of our costs, time and disbursements for a small to medium claim for each stage of the litigation process.

These estimates are exclusive of VAT are not intended to be fixed and do not include the disbursement costs.  The disbursements column is set out so that you have an indication of what additional costs there may be for that phase.

  Stages of Litigation Fee estimates (£) excluding VAT Time estimate (hours) Expected Disbursements
1. Instructing Counsel to provide an Opinion £1500 – £5,000 3-10 Counsels advice

Documents from 3rd party e.g. land registry

2 Pre-action Protocols and correspondence including, letter before action, correspondence, pre-action mediation, disclosure requests for documents £2000-15,000 3-15+ Counsels advice



Process server

Researcher fees

Court fees

2A. Drafting Claim and Particulars of Claim (where Claimant) £2,500 – £10,000 5-15+ Counsels advice



Process server

2B. Drafting Defence and any Counterclaim (where Defendant) £2,500 – £10,000 5-15+ Counsels advice


3A. Reviewing the Defence and preparing the Reply and Defence to any Counterclaim, (where Claimant) (including, instructing Counsel, meetings with you and drafting documents) £2,000 – £5,000 5-15+ Counsels advice


3B. Drafting any Reply to Defence of Counterclaim (where Defendant) £2,000 – £5,000 4-10 Counsels advice

Researcher fees

4. Preparation for and attendance at Case Management Conference £1,500 – £3,500 7-15+ Counsels advice and attendance at Hearing


Photocopy (bundles)

5. Interim Applications, where applicable, (such as requests for extensions of time, addition of parties, disclosure of specific documents) £5,000 – £40,000 3-15+ Counsels advice

Court fees


Attendance at Hearing


Process Server

6. Disclosure of documents relating to the case and inspection of the other side’s documents £2,500 – £25,000 4-15+ Photocopying

Support staff

7. Preparation of witness statements (including meetings with witnesses and with you, and drafting statements.) £3,000 – £30,000 3-15+ Counsels advice
8. Advising on and preparation for any Mediation (where applicable) (including Mediation Statements, relevant documents etc.) £10,000 – £20,000 5-15+ Counsels advice
9. Preparation for and attendance at Pre-trial Review (where applicable) £1,500 – £3,500 5-15+ Counsels fees – advice and attendance



10. Preparing for and attending the Trial £1,800 – £3,500

(per day of trial)

7-15+ Counsel (preparation and attendance)

Costs draftsman


Expert (advice and attendance)


11. General issues including, without prejudice negotiations, liaising with you, Counsel, court and other side Approximately 10% of total 1-15+ Counsels fees

Expert opinion


12 Enforcement of any Judgment £1000-10,000 3-15+ Court fees




  1. Damages-Based Agreement and Conditional Fee Agreements (‘CFA’) – When will the client have to make a payment for our services?
  2. Damages- Based Agreement (‘DBA’)

A DBA is an agreement between the you (as a client) and your legal advisers under which, you agree to pay to your legal advisers, a percentage of sums recovered in a claim. The agreement would normally require payment in the event that sums are recovered either by settling the claim or after trial.

Generally, under the terms of a DBA you won’t have to pay any legal fees (except expenses, such as expert’s fees, but not including any barrister’s fees) until sums are recovered with which to pay them.

You will pay nothing if you lose your case or if you succeed but are unable to recover the damages ordered by the court.

Where we agree to take your case under the terms of a DBA, we will pay the Barrister from the fee agreed.

We receive no fee at all during the dispute (unless provided for in the DBA). If you lose your case, we are not paid anything unless the loss arises from your unreasonable conduct or failure to provide full, complete and accurate instructions. If you win your case but are unable to recover the damages awarded or settlement sum, we would not be paid.

How is the fee calculated?

The fee is simply a percentage of sums recovered which is assessed and agreed on a case by case basis.

What costs are recoverable from the opponent when a solicitor has acted for you on a DBA?

You can recover costs from a losing opponent on a normal hourly rate basis, subject to detailed assessment. Once these are recovered they will be deducted from the amount owed by you to us. But your opponent will not have to pay more than the percentage payable by you under the DBA. This will be particularly relevant where the fees incurred on an hourly rate basis are a high proportion of damages recovered.

  1. Conditional fee agreement (‘CFA’)

A CFA is an agreement with a legal representative which provides for his or her fees and expenses, or any part of them, to be paid only in certain circumstances – usually only if the client wins the case.

Generally, if the client loses the case, it will not be liable to pay for the fees and any expenses that are subject to the CFA (the conditional fees). If the client wins the case, it will be liable to pay all fees and expenses, including the conditional fees, and the success fee, if a success fee is provided for in the CFA.

What is a ‘success fee’?

A success fee is an additional amount payable for the legal services, over and above the amount which would normally be payable if there was no CFA, in specified circumstances (usually if the client wins the case). A success fee is expressed as a percentage uplift on the amount that would be payable (our total fees and costs) if there was no CFA.

The success fee is not recoverable from the opponent and it is paid by the client.

When considering the success fee we will consider the risk of losing the litigation and the costs of funding the litigation (postponement of payment) on a case by case basis.

Depending on the terms of the CFA, liability for our legal costs will be significantly lower in that if the you succeed, the opposing party will usually have to pay a significant part of your costs, although you will have to pay the success fee. If you lose you will not have to pay those costs which are conditional.

If you lose, it is likely that you will be ordered to pay a significant part of the opponent’s costs. However, we will consider if After the Event insurance will be necessary as in the circumstances whereby you lost and were liable for the costs, you will have to pay the excess costs not covered by the insurance and the insurance premium.

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