"Sherbornes never make me feel foolish, even when some of my questions are ridiculous! And they smile, a small thing that makes working with them relaxing and enjoyable”

- Frank Lloyd-Murray, Director

“Darren, Simon and the rest of the team at Sherbornes have always been highly professional, honest and to the point. We would highly recommend their services.”

- P.B., Director

“Clear, sensible, sound and practical advice. Would highly recommend.”

- Jon Duckworth, Sports Marketing Consultant

Pricing on debt recovery

As a business law firm, advising clients on employment, company and commercial matters, situations will also inevitably arise where our clients are owed money from another business. It is unfortunately an inevitable evil of doing business. Whilst our clients’ own credit control procedures are often enough, it is sometimes necessary for us to provide assistance in recovering the debt.

Such situations can range from one unpaid invoice to a series of historic invoices which remain unpaid. The costs associated with work to assist in recovering funds for our clients will inevitably vary dependent upon the reasons as to why the payment is owing.

Our fees:

Some matters are resolved, quickly and (relatively) amicably through settlement. Some matters, especially where the debt becomes disputed, will not resolve quickly. As the large majority of the work we undertake as a firm is charged on an hourly rate, this means that the more time spent working on your matter, the higher level of costs to you as a client. Don’t be mistaken though, this doesn’t necessarily mean that the longer the matter goes on for, the higher the level of bill. As explained above, you will only be charged for the time we spend working on your file, not any time being spent waiting for the postman to arrive. Similarly, we don’t charge you a percentage of the amount you recover, regardless of how much or little time is spent on your file. Note that all matters will be supervised by a director or an associate.

It is our aim to be completely transparent with our charges and below, you can find our hourly rates:

Darren Sherborne / Simon Birks
£290 + VAT
Trula Brunsdon
£240 + VAT
Matt Lennon
£220 + VAT
Senior Associate Solicitor
£240 plus VAT
Assistant Solicitor
£220 plus VAT
Paralegal / Trainee Solicitor
£120 plus VAT

This refers to the things we need to pay for in order to perform your work, which are not included in our hourly rate. In other trades you might think of “Disbursements” as materials. For example, a brick layer might charge for cement, that would be a disbursement.

The main disbursement which clients incur is the court issue fee i.e. the payment due to the court when initially lodging the claim. These fees do vary and will change over time. Prior to pursuing any action, we will discuss with you what the relevant issue fee is at that time. Please view this link to the court fees payable upon starting a claim, which are contained on page 5.

Other examples are Barrister’s fees for representation or advice, an expert report and accommodation. Travel in the form of mileage. This is charged at 45p per mile. It might also include parking or tolls (such as motorway tolls).

We do not generally charge for other disbursements such as postage, or necessary secretarial support if linked to the litigation, or phone charges etc.

We handle the payment of the disbursements on your behalf to ensure a smoother process. We then add the cost on to our invoice.

Where referred to above, VAT is at 20%.

Important Points to Note
  • The level of the issue fee which will need to be paid to the Court depends upon the value of the claim. Clients should be aware that interest and compensation due may take the debt into a higher bracket where a higher issue fee is due.


  • There is VAT payable on our legal fees. The VAT element of our fees cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.


  • The costs we have quoted above are not for matters where further enforcement action is necessary, for example instructing third party recovery agents or bailiffs to recover the sums due.
Key Stages
  1. Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
  2. Undertaking appropriate searches
  3. Sending a letter before action
  4. Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim
  5. Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgement in default
  6. When Judgement in default in received, write to the other side to request payment
  7. If payment is not received, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs

Matters usually take 4 and 26 weeks from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on whether or not it is necessary to issue a claim. This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of Judgement in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.

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