We are one of the leading debt recovery law firms in England and Wales with c. 265 full time staff. Whilst we have a number of solicitors and other SRA specific case handlers – we are also dual regulated by the FCA. We therefore have c. 180 customer facing staff who are relevant to the debt collection activity we carry out as a firm, and we also consider our support staff to be integral to our offering.
We provide both bespoke commercial debt recovery and high volume consumer facing debt recovery and litigation. We are able to do so because we operate a technology driven, highly compliant and highly efficient platform which utilises the firm as a whole rather than placing certain types of work with certain individuals.
Accordingly, our pricing structures are always competitive and, for the majority of debt recovery work we carry out, we look to work contingently with clients. We will always seek to agree a bespoke pricing structure with each client, tailored to the work involved, and the specific needs of each client.
Factors likely to affect price may include the following:
- Age of the debt
- Level of support provided by the client
- Volume of debt instructions and frequency of instruction
- Value of the debt
For debt recovery we tend to be paid a percentage of the sums we recover i.e. a commission rate. Where a commission rate is included, this will depend on a number of factors, but predominantly the debt value, debt average, frequency of instruction and the collection strategy that we will adopt. Average rates vary from 6% to 30% (net of VAT), but we may agree rates outside of this average banding on a case by case basis.
Wherever we take on instructions from a client we will have agreed terms and conditions of business with that client, including a negotiated commercial rate, prior to commencing work for that client. We will be open and transparent within that process as to what commercial rates we consider to be appropriate, and why, given the specifics of each instruction.
We do not believe it is fair practice to simply prescribe standard charging rates across the board, as this fails to take into account the client’s specific needs or the commercial factors relevant to the instructions.
Sample of our legal fee structure
To see our sample fee structure, please download the PDF below.
BW Legal Fee Schedule.pdf (v2 – June 2019)
Where hourly rates are charged for debt recovery work, these are usually based on the standard court guideline rates as applicable from time to time.
Hourly rates for more specialised work such as commercial or insolvency matters can be agreed, subject to the work involved, and a pre-action review is available from £250.00 plus VAT.
We do not usually use conditional fee arrangements for one-off litigation activity.
Disbursements will vary depending on the procedure, but these can include:
• Non-vatable: court fees (vary according to value of claim), Land Registry fees, other search fees
• Vatable: tracing, process server fee, advocate’s fee, counsel’s fee
Debt recovery steps
The bespoke rates agreed will usually include BW Legal being engaged on an agreed bespoke basis to carry out some or all of the following standard steps: of any debt recovery:
- Pre-contractually we seek to understand as much as possible about our client’s business and the customers they want to pursue so that we can set the right price and the right strategy.
- We will onboard the client’s data, verify the information is correct and agree the collection strategy to be adopted.
- We may assist the client in cleaning up its data, tracing debtors and engaging to clarify information before we commence the debt collection process
- Most clients will require us to engage in a pre-legal collection process which can be as short or lengthy as the client sees fit and will include lettering; SMS; telephone and other strategies which suit the specific portfolio.
- We will make set up payment plans; process payments; monitor defaulters, provide monthly performance and other reports (such as compliance oversight where necessary).
- We will deal with complaints from customers and regulators where appropriate.
- We will analyse which cases are suitable to proceed to litigation and a dedicated team of qualified experts which specialises in Small Claims Mediation and Alternative Dispute Resolution will take over the cases at the appropriate stage. This reduces the overall disbursement spend in taking a case to trial by proactively negotiating settlements with the customers early on in the litigation cycle
- Individual case assessments to advise on risks, strategy and prospects of success
- Preparation of all court documents including drafting witness statements, preparing trial bundles, and instructions to advocates
- Enforcement may be included, dependent on the type of work involved, and appropriate fee structure agreed.