Debt Disputes

Unpaid invoices can cause serious disruptions to your business’s cashflow and can be a major headache for any business.

At WE Solicitors, we understand the importance of healthy cashflow to the success of your business. That is why, if you are facing debt disputes, we can help you by providing representation, guidance and support throughout the legal process. Our experienced team will work to collect your debts while safeguarding relationships wherever possible.

We will advise you in the context of your business as a whole, considering all the aspects that may affect your case, rather than solely on the law relating to a particular area. We will discuss with you the best options to collect your debts, including negotiation and mediation to avoid court proceedings whenever possible. Our approach is tailored to your specific business needs, taking into account all relevant factors to ensure that all angles are covered.

With WE Solicitors on your side, you can have peace of mind knowing that your debt dispute is in capable hands. We will work diligently to protect your interests and help you achieve the best possible outcome for your business.

Our Debt Specialist

All debt recovery work is supervised by David Wingate who is a solicitor and partner in the firm. David has over 20 years experience in litigation work. David’s basic hourly rate is £255/hour*. David qualified in 1998 and has specialised in litigation for the entirety of his career. In the past five-years David has spent 50% of his time involved in commercial disputes.

David has acted for a range of companies from small businesses to insurers. The range of value of the disputes dealt with by David is between £15,000 and £500,000

Whilst David retains overall control of your case, he is assisted by paralegals. The hourly rate for a paralegal is £126/hour*.

There are many routes by which a debt might be recovered. The three most common are court proceedings, statutory demand and winding up petitions. This firm does not do fixed price debt recovery work.

Our initial legal advice is at no cost to you, so speak to one of our specialists now.

Price Transparency 

Charges if the debt is not disputed – statutory demands and winding up petitions

1. Statutory demand (under £25,000 in value)

The firm will draft and serve a statutory demand for the fixed price of £750 plus VAT. This will include meeting with you, assessing the merits of serving a demand and thereafter serving it. If the recipient then disputes that monies are owed, then this will not be covered by the demand. There are no court fees or other additional charges.

If the sum claimed is in excess of £25,000 then we will provide you with a fixed quote upon application.

2. Winding-up Petition

If the debtor does not respond to the statutory demand then you might consider serving a winding-petition. The costs involved are far greater than those involved with a statutory demand. The court fees are up to £300 and you also have to lodge a deposit of £1,500 at the court. There are also fees involved in having to instruct a barrister to attend any court hearing and also advertising the petition in the London Gazette. The overall cost of brining an undefended petition will be in the region of £4,500 (inclusive of time, disbursements and VAT).

If the petition is defended then there may well be far more time and expense involved, none of which can be recovered if the debtor has no assets.

Charges if the debt is disputed

3. Court proceedings

During the life of a case you will be charged for* (but it is not limited to):-

  • Information gathering and investigations;
  • Advise on the merits of your case;
  • Corresponding with any parties involved (such as the defendant, the court and barristers);
  • Preparation of documents and papers (such as witness statements and instructions to counsel);
  • Attending court either with or without a barrister;
  • Photocopying;
  • Court fees; and
  • Dealing with legal costs won or lost.

The overall amount that you will be charged depends upon how much information gathering that you do yourself, the complexity of your case and how long your case goes on for. A case can take anywhere from a few months to a few years.

A £15,000 value case (with no expert evidence needed) can cost £25,000 to get to trial (inclusive of VAT, court fees, and disbursements). This would break down as:-

Time Disbursements VAT
Pre issue costs £7,000 £1,000 £1,600
Issue £1,000 £3,500 £350
1st hearing £1,000 £750 £350
Disclosure £1,000 £200
Statements £2,000 £400
Listing £750 £560 £150
Trial £750 £2,500 £700
£13,500 £8,560 £3,750
Grand Total £25,810

The court issue fee in a £15,000 case would be £3,000 (5% of the value of the claim). If you are a business then you may be able to offset the costs against tax and offset your liability for VAT. If you are not VAT registered then you may be able to recover the VAT from the debtor.

The initial stages, up until court proceedings, are relatively easy to keep costs down. However, once proceedings are issued then costs quickly rise. If proceedings become necessary then you will get an estimate of the cost as the case gets to each stage of court proceedings and ultimately trial.

Even if you win, not all of your legal fees will be recoverable. There is a certain element of legal fees that the defendant will not be ordered to pay but that you will remain responsible for. We will not charge you for liaising with the defendant about recovering your legal costs and damages (if you win) unless costs proceedings become necessary and or enforcement action become necessary. The costs of enforcement action and/or costs proceedings are case specific and we will provide you with a written quote should such action become necessary. 

*VAT is chargeable in addition (where applicable).

What our clients have to say…

“In difficult circumstances my husband was given excellent advice and assistance so that his case could be pursued. It was dealt with in an exceptionally caring, diligent and professional manner which led to a successful outcome.”


“What a great experience dealing with WE Solicitors. From the day they took my case on til the day it was resolved I received nothing but great communication, excellent service and exceptional professionalism throughout.”

Alex Surace

“Kept me informed the whole way through the process. The claim required minimal effort on my part as my solicitor did all the hard work for me. The settlement we finally agreed on was far higher than I expected at the start of the process.”

Mr Hughes