Bates Wells & Braithwaite Dispute Resolution Services

Our litigation solicitors Mark Heselden and Tim Parsons have a wide range of experience in identifying, dealing with and resolving legal disputes.

We provide you with realistic and practical advice and will work with you to achieve the best possible outcome for you as quickly and as cost effectively as we can, whether through negotiation, mediation or through the courts, if litigation cannot be avoided.

See our Dispute Resolution Services below;

DISPUTE RESOLUTION

General and Commercial Litigation

We specialise in the following – contract disputes, business and partnership disputes, inheritance disputes, professional negligence claims, disputes involving neighbours, boundaries and rights of way, property disputes and problems with landlords or tenants.

We will be open about our costs and if possible we will look to recover them for you when working to resolve your dispute.

Initial fixed fee consultation

In appropriate cases we offer an initial consultation for a fixed fee of £360 (£300 plus VAT), which covers:-

  1. Considering documentation and other information relevant to your dispute provided by you prior to our initial meeting;
  2. Initial meeting with you to enable us to understand the issues relating to your dispute, so that we can advise you on the position, the options available to you and the likely costs involved depending on how you proceed;
  3. Written confirmation from us of the advice given to you in this initial meeting.

Otherwise our costs for any work which we may undertake for you in dealing with your legal dispute will be based on the time spent at our prevailing hourly rates at the time the work is undertaken. Currently our hourly rate for such work is £185 plus VAT. However, in more complex or high value cases our charge rates may be higher, but if this is the case, we will let you know at the outset.

Many things will affect the time scale involved in us dealing with your dispute, a number of which will be beyond your or our control. These include court schedules, the actions of your opponent and nature of negotiations. Disputes may be resolved very early in the process or may continue to the end of a court trial. Once court proceedings are issued, the process will take at least 6 months and substantial or complicated cases can take in the region of 12-18 months if not longer. 

Debt Recovery – Debts up to £10,000

Securing payment of outstanding invoices for work done, or services provided by you is likely to be crucial to the smooth and efficient running of your business.

Where your claim relates to an unpaid invoice or invoices of up to £10,000 in value and the work or service you have provided is not disputed, we are able to deal with your debt recovery claim on a fixed fee basis as follows:-

1. Initial claim letter and response – £60 (£50 plus VAT)

This includes obtaining and reviewing invoices received from you and sending a 7 day letter/letter before action, then receiving payment and sending on to you.

2. Preparing and commencing a court claim

This covers where the debt is not paid and we prepare and issue the court claim for you. This does not extend to dealing with the claim for you if the claim is defended. The fees which you will have to pay to both us and to the Court will depend on the amount in dispute and are set out in the table below.

Debt ValueOur FeeCourt FeeTotal
Up to £300£60 (£50 + vat)£35£95
Up to £300-£500£60 (£50 + vat)£50£110
Up to £500-£1000£84 (£70 + vat)£70154
Up to £1500-£3000£96 (£80 + vat)£115£211
Up to £3000-£5000£120 (£100 + vat)£205£325
Up to £5000-£10,000£144 (£120 + vat)£455£599

3. Entry of judgment if claim not defended

This covers where no acknowledgement of service or defence is received to your claim and we apply for you to the Court to enter judgment in default and thereafter writing to the other side to request payment.

Where judgement Exceeds £10,000£60 (£50 + vat)

If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve and the fixed costs quoted above do not cover enforcement action such as instructing the bailiff, if this is needed to collect your debt.

Disputed or defended claims or claims for more than £10,000 – above fixed fees do not apply

Please note that if the debt is disputed by the other side at any time before or during your court claim, then our charges payable by you will no longer be limited to the fixed fees above, but will be based on the time spent at our current hourly rate of £185 plus VAT. Equally if we deal with debt recovery work for you, where the amount claimed by you is more than £10,000 then our charges will be based on the time spent at our hourly rate which is currently £185 plus VAT. In such cases we shall discuss with you what work we will need to undertake for you and the time frame your claim is likely to take and costs which are likely to be involved.

If the money you are owed is not disputed, then matters usually take 3-8 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 promptly pays on receipt of judgment in default. If the amount you claim is disputed or the debtor fails to pay you, then the matter will take longer and when this becomes clear we shall discuss with you the likely time frame and costs involved.

Generally speaking in money claims for less than £10,000 other than the court fee, you are unlikely to recover our fees for the above work from the other side, no matter what the outcome is and you will have to pay these fees yourself. If you succeed in a claim and recover money due to you of more than £10,000 then the other side are likely to have to make a contribution towards your legal costs in addition to any money and interest they have to repay to you, if your claim is successful.

General and Commercial Litigation

We specialise in the following – contract disputes, business and partnership disputes, inheritance disputes, professional negligence claims, disputes involving neighbours, boundaries and rights of way, property disputes and problems with landlords or tenants.

We will be open about our costs and if possible we will look to recover them for you when working to resolve your dispute.

Initial fixed fee consultation

In appropriate cases we offer an initial consultation for a fixed fee of £360 (£300 plus VAT), which covers:-

  1. Considering documentation and other information relevant to your dispute provided by you prior to our initial meeting;
  2. Initial meeting with you to enable us to understand the issues relating to your dispute, so that we can advise you on the position, the options available to you and the likely costs involved depending on how you proceed;
  3. Written confirmation from us of the advice given to you in this initial meeting.

Otherwise our costs for any work which we may undertake for you in dealing with your legal dispute will be based on the time spent at our prevailing hourly rates at the time the work is undertaken. Currently our hourly rate for such work is £185 plus VAT. However, in more complex or high value cases our charge rates may be higher, but if this is the case, we will let you know at the outset.

Many things will affect the time scale involved in us dealing with your dispute, a number of which will be beyond your or our control. These include court schedules, the actions of your opponent and nature of negotiations. Disputes may be resolved very early in the process or may continue to the end of a court trial. Once court proceedings are issued, the process will take at least 6 months and substantial or complicated cases can take in the region of 12-18 months if not longer. 

Debt Recovery – Debts up to £10,000

Securing payment of outstanding invoices for work done, or services provided by you is likely to be crucial to the smooth and efficient running of your business.

Where your claim relates to an unpaid invoice or invoices of up to £10,000 in value and the work or service you have provided is not disputed, we are able to deal with your debt recovery claim on a fixed fee basis as follows:-

1. Initial claim letter and response – £60 (£50 plus VAT)

This includes obtaining and reviewing invoices received from you and sending a 7 day letter/letter before action, then receiving payment and sending on to you.

2. Preparing and commencing a court claim

This covers where the debt is not paid and we prepare and issue the court claim for you. This does not extend to dealing with the claim for you if the claim is defended. The fees which you will have to pay to both us and to the Court will depend on the amount in dispute and are set out in the table below.

Debt ValueOur FeeCourt FeeTotal
Up to £300£60 (£50 + vat)£35£95
Up to £300-£500£60 (£50 + vat)£50£110
Up to £500-£1000£84 (£70 + vat)£70154
Up to £1500-£3000£96 (£80 + vat)£115£211
Up to £3000-£5000£120 (£100 + vat)£205£325
Up to £5000-£10,000£144 (£120 + vat)£455£599

3. Entry of judgment if claim not defended

This covers where no acknowledgement of service or defence is received to your claim and we apply for you to the Court to enter judgment in default and thereafter writing to the other side to request payment.

Where judgement Exceeds £10,000£60 (£50 + vat)

If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve and the fixed costs quoted above do not cover enforcement action such as instructing the bailiff, if this is needed to collect your debt.

Disputed or defended claims or claims for more than £10,000 – above fixed fees do not apply

Please note that if the debt is disputed by the other side at any time before or during your court claim, then our charges payable by you will no longer be limited to the fixed fees above, but will be based on the time spent at our current hourly rate of £185 plus VAT. Equally if we deal with debt recovery work for you, where the amount claimed by you is more than £10,000 then our charges will be based on the time spent at our hourly rate which is currently £185 plus VAT. In such cases we shall discuss with you what work we will need to undertake for you and the time frame your claim is likely to take and costs which are likely to be involved.

If the money you are owed is not disputed, then matters usually take 3-8 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 promptly pays on receipt of judgment in default. If the amount you claim is disputed or the debtor fails to pay you, then the matter will take longer and when this becomes clear we shall discuss with you the likely time frame and costs involved.

Generally speaking in money claims for less than £10,000 other than the court fee, you are unlikely to recover our fees for the above work from the other side, no matter what the outcome is and you will have to pay these fees yourself. If you succeed in a claim and recover money due to you of more than £10,000 then the other side are likely to have to make a contribution towards your legal costs in addition to any money and interest they have to repay to you, if your claim is successful.

Our team of specialist dispute resolution solicitors have extensive knowledge and experience which will enable us to deal with all aspects of your enquiry.

Call us on 01787 880440 or complete our online enquiry form so that we can arrange to speak to you.

Tim Parsons

Tim joined Bates Wells & Braithwaite in 2017 as a Commercial Litigation Solicitor.

Tim completed his legal training in Norwich, before specialising in commercial litigation at an East Coast firm, where he represented commercial clients and individuals across East Anglia in a wide range of disputes. Prior to qualifying as a solicitor in 1993, Tim worked for a large multinational accountancy practice.

Away from the office, Tim enjoys golf and playing and watching most sports.

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