When a commercial (business to business) payment is late and you wish to engage our services to assist in recovering that debt, we can agree a fixed fee for our work. Please note that we are unable to offer this service for bulk debt recovery services and our prices reflect this (ie we charge more than other service providers with large debt recovery teams). HOWEVER, we can offer you a more personalised service delivered by a qualified solicitor.

Sometimes, our fee may vary if the circumstances of the case are complex, so the fixed-fees mentioned below may not apply. In those circumstances we may still be able to offer a fixed-fee estimate to help you to budget, which we will discuss with you before we start.

What we need from you to start the process:

  1. Proof of the contractual arrangement which caused the debt to occur;
  2. Proof of the debt, any invoices raised, the date payment was due and any part payments that have been made; and
  3. Any correspondence already with the debtor.

If you have not agreed a payment date as part of the payment terms, the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 states the payment is late 30 days after either:

  • the customer gets the invoice
  • you deliver the goods or provide the service (if this is later).

Stage one: Letter of Claim

Level of Debt

Russell & Co fee (£) plus VAT

What you can recover from the Debtor (£)
Less than £1,000



£1,000 to less than £10,000



£10,000 and over



Other pre-action correspondence will be considered separately at our standard hourly rates.

Undisputed Claims

Where the Letter of Claim goes without response, we would then look to issue Court proceedings on your behalf. The costs of us doing this is as follows.

Court claims – issue the claim

Debt Court fee (£) Russell & Co fee (£) Plus VAT General Costs recovery (other than Court fixed costs)
Up to £300 35 105 No
£300.01 – £500 50 105 No
£500.01 – £1,000 70 150 No
£1,000.01 – £1,500 80 210 No
£1,500.01 – £3,000 115 210 No
£3,000.01 – £5,000 205 315 No
£5,000.01 – £10,000 455 350 No
£10,000.01 – £200,000 5% of claim Hourly rates TBC Yes
Greater than £200,000 10,000 Hourly rates TBC Yes

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding with a higher cost.

Once the court has served the claim, a debtor has 14 days within which to file a Defence or enter an Acknowledgement.  After the 14-day period has expired (assuming an Acknowledgment was not filed) a request can be made to the court for judgment to be entered, providing the debtor has not filed an Acknowledgement or a Defence.

Request for Judgment

Judgment Position Russell & Co fee (£) Plus VAT What you can recover (£)
Default Judgment for a claim under £5,000 50 22
Default Judgment for a claim over £5,000 60 30
Requesting Judgment on admission of a claim under £5,000 and the Defendant’s offer of payment is accepted 80 40
Requesting Judgment on admission of a claim over £5,000 and the Defendant’s offer of payment is accepted 110 55
Requesting Judgment on admission of a claim under £5,000 and the Court decides on the amount of payment 110 55
Requesting Judgment on admission of a claim over £5,000 and the Court decides on the amount of payment 140 70

Timescale: It usually takes the court about 10 working days to enter judgment following receipt of a request to enter judgment.


If judgment is obtained but not paid, then further action will be required to enforce payment. The costs involved in this will be considered separately as they will vary depending on the method of enforcement available in each case.

Dispute claims

If the claim is disputed, it will need to move onto our hourly rates charges, as we will need to investigate the Defence with you and potentially deal with defended pleadings.  We will provide you with our best estimate of the costs and prospects of success to take the matter to court.  You will then be able to decide whether the potential success and return of the debt justifies the expense.

Contact Ruth MacCarthy directly on RMacCarthy@russell-law.co.uk.