As part of SRA transparency rules, we are obliged to publish details of our charges for debt recovery services that we offer to businesses seeking to recover debts of up to £100,000.00.

Below are our charges where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice which is not disputed and enforcement action is not needed.

Value of debtStage 1 – Pre-issueStage 2 – Preparing ClaimStage 3 – Requesting Payment
 Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
Undertaking appropriate searches
Sending a letter before action
Following up with the debtor
Receiving payment and sending it onto you
If the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claimWhere no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgment in default
When Judgment in default in received, write to the other side to request payment
If payment is not received within 14-30 days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs
Up to £2,500.00£40.00 +VAT£100.00 +VAT£40.00 +VAT
£2,500.01 to £5,000.00£45.00 +VAT£120.00 +VAT£45.00 +VAT
£5,000.01 to £7,500.00£50.00 +VAT£140.00 +VAT£50.00 +VAT
£7,500.01 to £10,000.00£55.00 +VAT£160.00 +VAT£55.00 +VAT
£10,000.00 to £100,000.00£60.00 +VAT£180.00 +VAT£60.00 +VAT

VAT is currently charged at 20% and is subject to change. So for example a fee of £60.00 will attract VAT of £12.00.

Sometimes, it will be necessary to pay for searches, such as Land Registry searches, in order to establish what assets a debtor has. Such search fees generally range from £3 +VAT to £20 +VAT.

If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary, which could be on a fixed fee (e.g. if a one off letter is required), or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.

If the claim is defended or additional work is required, our hourly charging rates range from £80.00 +VAT per hour to £250.00 +VAT per hour. Debt collection work is undertaken by or supervised by Mark Taylor, a solicitor and partner at Cunningtons Solicitors LLP. His profile can be found on our website.

For straightforward matters and to ensure that clients receive value for money, we may ask a trainee solicitor, paralegal or similar to undertake the relevant work under the supervision of a qualified solicitor, and we will let you know who this is.

Court fees

Details of Court fees can be found here: 8133/ex50-eng.pdf.

In summary:

Value of claim
(including interest and
compensation claimed)
Claim issued on paperClaim Issued online
Up to £300.00£35.00£25.00
£300.00 to £500.00£50.00£35.00
£500.00 to £1,000.00£70.00£60.00
£1,000.00 to £1,500.00£80.00£70.00
£1,500.00 to £3,000.00£115.00£105.00
£3,000.00 to £5,000.00£205.00£185.00
£5,000.00 to £10,000.00£455.00£410.00
£10,000.00 to £15,000.005% of the value of the claim4.5% of the value of the claim
£15,000.00 to £50,000.005% of the value of the claim4.5% of the value of the claim
£50,000.00 to £100,000.005% of the value of the claim4.5% of the value of the claim
£150,000.00 to £200,000.005% of the value of the claimCannot be issued online
£200,000.00 +£10,000.00Cannot be issued online

Time frames

We understand that clients want to know how long the debt collection process will take. Whilst we can act quickly for you, the court expects parties to comply with certain rules before a claim is issued. Also, how long recovering a debt takes does depend on third parties, including the court and the debtor themselves.

General time frames are set out below:

From receiving instructions and documentation
to issuing letter before action
Up to 1 week but normally more quickly
than this.
Preparing and issuing your claim in CourtCourt Practice Directions stipulate that a debtor
should be given a minimum of 14 days to
respond to the letter before action.In cases where the debtor is an individual
(including a sole trader) then the Court expects
the creditor to give the debtor 30 days to
respond to the letter before action.If no response is received, we will normally be
able to prepare your claim in a day or two.
From serving the claim to requesting judgmentA minimum of 14 days from service of the claim must elapse before we can ask the Court to issue a judgment. If the debtor acknowledges the claim, this period is extended to 28 days.


It is important to understand that:

  • Before a claim is issued by the court, it is not generally possible to recover your legal costs from the debtor. If we are legally able to do this for you, we will.
  • The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
  • Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding, with a higher cost.
  • If we successfully obtain a county court judgment for you, if the debtor still does not pay, you will have to enforce the judgment.
  • The costs quoted above are not for matters where enforcement action, such as a bailiff or High Court enforcement officer, is needed to collect your debt.
  • The Court retains discretion at all times as to whether or not to award a party their legal costs.

What can be added to a judgment debt in respect of your legal costs is fixed by law. Details of the fixed costs can be found here:

In summary, what you can claim towards your legal costs and what will be added to your judgment debt is:

1.The Court fee you paySee above
2. Fixed commencement costs:  
 a. If your claim is below £500.00£50.00
 b. If your claim is between £500.00 and £1,000.00£70.00
 c. If your claim is between £1,000.00 and £5,000.00£80.00
 d. If your claim is over £5,000.00£100.00
3. Fixed costs on entering judgment:  
 a. if judgment is entered before the debtor formally acknowledges the claim 
 If the claim is under £5,000.00£22.00
 If the claim is over £5,000.00£30.00
 b. If judgment is entered before the debtor files a defence 
 If the claim is under £5,000.00£25.00
 If the claim is over £5,000.00£35.00
 c. If the debtor admits the claim and you accept the debtors proposal for payment 
 If the claim is under £5,000.00£40.00
 If the claim is over £5,000.00£55.00
 d. If the debtor admits the claim and the Court decides on payment 
 If the claim is under £5,000.00£55.00
 If the claim is over £5,000.00£70.00


Funding Your Claim

There are a number of ways in which your civil litigation claim can be funded. Our guide is a good place to start.

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Landlord’s Possession

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Litigation Partner Profile

Meet Mark Taylor, the Partner in charge of our Civil Litigation department.

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