Our fees and services

For details of our debt recovery costs and services, please click on the relevant drop-down option below.

  • Pre-Court action debt recovery services and fees (including Statutory Demands)

    Our debt recovery service for pre-Court action, includes the following:

    • Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation.
    • Sending correspondence to your debtor and dealing with any response(s).
    • Receiving payment and sending it on to you, or if the debt is not paid, advising you on the next steps.

    Our fees for this service are as follows:

    • Debts of £1,000 or less – our fees will be 10% of the gross sum recovered (including VAT) plus VAT.
    • Debts in excess of £1,000 – our fees will be £100 plus VAT plus 7% (plus VAT) of the recovered debt, insofar as the debt is between £1,000 and £25,000 in value with an additional 3% (plus VAT) of any part of the recovered debt, which exceeds £25,000.

    Here are a couple of examples of our fees for pre Court debt recovery action:

    • A recovered debt of £10,000 would generate a fee of £800 plus VAT ((7% of £10,000) £700 + £100 = £800 plus VAT).
    • A recovered debt of £40,000 would generate a fee of £2,300 plus VAT ((7% of £25,000) £1,750 + (3% of £15,000) £450 + £100 = £2,300 plus VAT).

    If there is no recovery of the debt, no percentage recovery fee will apply.

    Statutory Demands

    A Statutory Demand is a direct route to starting insolvency proceedings. Without a Court judgment, before you can serve a bankruptcy or winding up petition upon a debtor, you must serve a Statutory Demand for the outstanding debt. You can only use a Statutory Demand if the debt is in excess of £750, and is not disputed. 

    If a debtor fails to pay within the time limit, then insolvency proceedings may be started without notice to the debtor. A Statutory Demand can be a very powerful collection tool, so it has to be used carefully as there are risks of penalties in costs if misused.

    Our fixed fee for this service, including service by post, is £75 plus VAT, whether there is a recovery of the debt or not. If a personal service of demand is required, the expenses incurred will be charged in addition to this cost.

  • Court action debt recovery service and fees

    If your debt cannot be collected through pre Court action correspondence and telephone calls, we may advise you that it is commercially viable to issue Court proceedings. If you decide to do so, then our team will sue the debtor for the original debt plus any interest or compensation you are due.

    Through Court action, we will continue to pursue your case and liaise and advise you throughout the process. We would most likely recommend that appropriate searches are carried out to check the credit rating of your debtor before you start Court action in all cases. Additional fees will be payable for these searches – but we will discuss them with you before they are incurred.

    Our fees for this service will be charged on a fixed fee between £100 to £200 plus VAT, in addition to the fee plus VAT, permitted by Court rules. A more detail breakdown of our costs can be found here:


    Court Fee

    Recoverable Fixed Fee (excl VAT)

    Our fee (excl VAT)

    Total (excl VAT)

    Up to £300 £35.00 £50.00 £100.00 £185.00
    Exceeding £300 but not £500 £50.00 £50.00 £100.00 £200.00
    Exceeds £500 but not £1,000 £70.00 £70.00 £100.00 £240.00
    Exceeds £1,000 but not £1,500 £80.00 £80.00 £100.00 £260.00
    Exceeds £1,500 but not £2,000 £115.00 £80.00 £100.00 £295.00
    Exceeds £2,000 but not £3,000 £115.00 £80.00 £200.00 £395.00
    Exceeds £3,000 but not £5,000 £205.00 £80.00 £200.00 £485.00
    Exceeds £5,000 but not £10,000 £455.00 £100.00 £200.00 £755.00
    Exceeds £10,000 but not £200,000 5% of the value of the claim £100.00 £200.00 £300 plus 5% of the claim value
    Exceeds £200,000 £10,000.00 £100.00 £200.00 £10,300.00

    Obtaining a Court judgment

    If the debtor does not respond to your claim in accordance with the Court’s prescribed rules, you will be entitled to request a Court judgment. When obtaining a Court judgment there is a fee payable to us of £50 plus VAT, plus the recoverable fixed Court fees plus VAT, as outlined below:

    Fixed costs on entry of judgment in a claim for the recovery of money, goods or services provided

    Where the amount of the judgment exceeds £25 but does not exceed £5,000

    Where the amount of the judgment exceeds £5,000

    Where judgment in default of an acknowledgment of service is entered £22.00 £30.00
    Where judgment in default of a defence is entered £25.00 £35.00
    Where judgment is entered on an admission £40.00 £55.00
    Where judgment is entered on an admission (or an admission  of part of the claim) and  the court decides the date or time of payment £55.00 £70.00

    The Court rules allow you to recover some of these sums from the debtor, although the exact amount you can recover changes from time to time.

  • Additional services (including enforcement of Court judgments)

    There may be occasions where additional services will be recommended to you that will assist in the pursuance of your debt, for example, this might be undertaking a search concerning a debtor, or formal action to enforce a Court judgment.

    These fixed fees include an element of our time in processing the application, as well as our payment to a third party supplier. The fees listed below are intended as a guideline only, as the expenses we pay may vary from case to case.


    Guideline fee for our time plus VAT

    Guideline Expense

    Overall Fixed Fee plus VAT

    Trace of Person / Business £30.00 £37.00 Positive Trace – £67.00
    Negative Trace – £30.00
    Additional Administrative charge where necessary to appoint lawyer agents for recovery outside of England and Wales £50.00 N/A £50.00
    Consumer Credit Check £23.00 £2.00 £25.00
    Business Credit Check / Companies House £29.00 £1.00 £30.00
    Land Registry Search £21.00 £3.00 £24.00
    Winding Up Petition Search £15.00 75p per minute – (average length of call 4 minutes) £15.00
    Bankruptcy Search £15.00 Free £15.00
    Instalment Monitoring £15.00 N/A £15.00 per instalment
    Bailiff’s Warrant £60.00 £100.00 Court Fee £160.00
    High Court Enforcement Officer (HCEO) £60.00 £66.00 Court Fee in all cases (debts over £600 only) £126.00
    Attachment of Earnings £75.00 £110.00 Court Fee £185.00
    Charging Orders £150.00 £213.00 £363.00
    Third Party Debt Order £150.00 £110.00 £260.00
    UK Lawyer Agents Chargeable by time Various N/A
    Questioning  Debtor About Means £75.00 £55.00 Court Fee £130 plus costs to serve
    Overseas Collection Agents 7% of recovery 10% to 20% of recovery 17% to 27% of recovery
    Overseas Lawyer Agents £150.00 to £300.00 per month Various £150.00 to £300.00 plus various charges per month
    Certificate of Money Provisions £60.00 £40.00 £100.00
    European Enforcement Order £150.00 £50.00 £200.00

    If matters can be resolved without the need to issue Court proceedings, they will usually take between 2 to 8 weeks from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side (depending on the level of correspondence required).

    If Court proceedings are required, matters will usually take between 12 to 16 weeks from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side. 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.

    Please note that where a pursued debt is due from an individual or sole trader, a Court pre action protocol applies that allows debtors an extended period to respond to correspondence (a minimum of 30 days). This will, inevitably, impact on the timescale for a matter reaching its conclusion.

  • Hourly fees for our debt recovery services

    In the event that the debt you are pursuing becomes disputed or, in instances where you may benefit from additional advice/services, your file may be referred to a member of our Dispute Resolution team.

    Matters will only be referred and fees will only be incurred in this way, having obtained your express instructions to do so. As we cannot always know in advance precisely what work is going to be involved, we will provide you with the best information possible about the likely cost at the beginning of the matter and at intervals while the matter proceeds.

    Our hourly rates are as follows:

    • Partners – £295.00 + VAT
    • Legal Directors – £275 + VAT
    • Senior Associates – £235.00 + VAT
    • Associates and admitted Legal Executives – £195.00 + VAT
    • Trainee Solicitors and Paralegals – £150.00 + VAT

    The above fees cover all work done, including:

    • Time spent in meetings with you and others (including others from Nelsons).
    • Preparing documents.
    • Preparing advice.
    • Reading and preparing letters, emails and faxes.
    • Telephone calls made and received.
    • Any other activity necessary to progress your matter.

    Sometimes we may increase the rates outlined above – we will notify you of the changes prior to them taking effect.

    The hourly rate is specific to the work you have asked us to undertake and may reflect the value of the property or assets involved, unusual complexity, levels of responsibility, exceptional value of our work to you, working unsociable hours or unusual speed applied to your matter.

For more information about our fees and services, contact us via our online form or call 0800 024 1976 for a guaranteed response.

  • "Nelsons...focuses on handling bespoke (rather than volume, process-driven) business-to-business debt recovery mandates from commercial clients, and particularly excels in pre-action collections."

    Legal 500
  • "Excellent, prompt service. Fast turnaround. Brilliant. Highly recommended."

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  • "Nelsons give a friendly efficient and professional service with regular updates on case proceedings."

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