Commercial Debt Recovery and Asset Recovery
Chasing debts from clients, customers and companies is not just frustrating; it can be time consuming and detrimental to your own cash flow. It could even threaten the entire operation of your business.
Taking early steps to resolve debt issues before they can cause you significant harm is essential.
We are passionate to ensure that you have more time to dedicate to other aspects of your business so that productivity can flourish. Our team understands the importance of balancing the impact of bad debts against the cost of recovery and our service is tailored to the needs of each individual client.
We are flexible in what approach you want us to take - whether it be robust or tactful. We also understand that commercially and financially this must work for you. Our offering covers a number of charging structures including an agreement whereby our fees are paid from the amount recovered. In many cases we can also offer a genuine “no win no fee” promise which tells you that we are specialist and confident of our success rate.
We will work with you to answer all your questions, keep you fully informed of progress and ensure the optimum outcome for your business. We pride ourselves in adapting to how your business operates to provide efficiency to your operations and reporting that is tailored to your requirements.
As a specialist insolvency and restructuring firm we have particular expertise in dealing with statutory demands, bankruptcy and winding-up petitions as well more specialist options such as creditor driven administration or provisional liquidation. We are also used to working with Insolvency Practitioners to undertake options and viability reviews of distressed customers.
On the other side, we can also assist debtors and seek to look for early solutions to problems that have arisen in relation to debt and recommend early engagement.
You will likely be concerned about the costs of taking legal action relative to the likelihood of recovery. We take a practical and commercially-focused approach at the outset to help you weigh up your options and take the most cost-effective and commercially-viable course of action.
In many cases, we do not need to resort to court proceedings. Firm and open negotiations with debtors are often enough to produce an acceptable outcome. However, we also have significant experience helping clients take any necessary legal action, from money claim proceedings in the County Court to making individuals bankrupt and winding up businesses.
Why choose our specialist debt recovery and asset recovery solicitors?
Independently recognised expertise
Our legal experts are independently recognised for their market-leading expertise with consistent recommendations in prestigious client guides, Chambers & Partners and Legal 500.
Practical, cost-effective recovery advice
We provide tailored advice to find cost-effective solutions. We will ensure that any recommended courses of action cause the least possible amount of disruption to your business.
Commercially aware approach
We take a flexible approach to recovery negotiations and action depending on your needs and the unique circumstances of the case. Whether we take a sensitive or firm and robust approach, our priorities are the same: to produce a commercially-viable result for you.
We help our clients weigh up the benefits and costs of taking certain types of recovery action. We offer a range of flexible fee structures, including no-win-no-fee agreements in some matters.
Contact us for more information about our debt recovery pricing structures.
Our commercial debt recovery and asset recovery expertise
Pre-action negotiations with debtors
Pre-action negotiations are a vital aspect of debt recovery proceedings. In our experience, the right approach at this early stage is usually sufficient to encourage a debtor to engage with you. Reaching a suitable settlement at this stage can help you avoid lengthy and costly court proceedings.
Our debt recovery solicitors will take all possible steps to maximise your recovery. Our skilled negotiators can communicate with debtors on your behalf and will provide advice about any settlements offers.
Where appropriate, we will provide advice about using methods of Alternative Dispute Resolution, such as mediation or arbitration, to resolve debt disputes.
Money judgment proceedings
Where informal negotiations or Alternative Dispute Resolution are unsuccessful, it may be necessary to consider making a County Court money claim. If your claim is successful, you will obtain a County Court Judgment (CCJ) against the debtor, ordering them to repay the debt. The Court has discretion to order interest and costs, in addition.
Should the debtor fail to repay, the CCJ also opens up other avenues of enforcement recovery, such as the instruction of bailiffs to recover a sum of money, goods or property/land or a Charging Order application, as examples (see enforcing judgments and recovery below).
We can provide legal guidance about the process of making a claim, including:
- Advice about weighing up the benefits and drawbacks of starting legal proceedings and your prospects for success
- Issuing a Letter Before Action (Letter of Claim) in respect of the outstanding debt
- Conducting negotiations with the debtor and advising on settlement offers
- Drafting and filing court documents, such as the claim form, particulars of claim and witness statements
- Representing you during the proceedings, including handling case management and preparing for hearings
Bankruptcy and winding up proceedings
We are insolvency specialists with substantial experience advising lenders and creditors about making individual debtors bankrupt and winding up insolvent companies.
We have particular experience in issuing Statutory Demands, Bankruptcy Petitions and Winding Up Petitions, as well as advising on more specialist options, such as creditor driven administration and provisional liquidation.
Engaging with voluntary arrangements
When facing insurmountable debt issues, a debtor may seek to enter into an Individual Voluntary Arrangement (IVA), Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) or Partnership Voluntary Arrangement (PVA) to allow them to repay a proportion of their debts over a period of time.
Voluntary arrangements are an alternative to bankruptcy or winding up that can have benefits for both debtor and creditor.
As a lender or creditor, you may receive less than the total outstanding debt, but agreeing to an IVA, CVA, or PVA could increase your chances of making a recovery.
Our debt recovery solicitors can provide advice about voluntary arrangement proposals, the likely impact on you, and the benefits and drawbacks of agreeing to the proposal.
We can also represent you during the process, such as attending the creditors’ meeting and liaising with the Insolvency Practitioner on your behalf.
We provide fast, efficient debt recovery services to secured lenders under a range of lending and facilities, including fixed and floating charges, secured loans (such as bridging loans) and Charging Orders.
Our secured debt recovery solicitors can help you take a range of actions to maximise your returns, bearing in mind the regulatory requirements that may affect your organisation.
Enforcing personal guarantees and claims against directors
Limited companies are separate legal entities, which typically means that its debts are its own, and the members and directors are protected from liability. However, there are circumstances in which a creditor may pursue the directors for the company’s debts.
This might be possible for example if a director signed a personal guarantee – a type of legal agreement that allows a creditor to directly pursue the director if the company fails to repay its debts.
Whether a personal guarantee can be enforced depends on factors such as the exact wording of the document and whether the director can raise any defences. For example, a director may try to claim that the personal guarantee is unenforceable because the creditor acted unfairly or negligently.
Our debt recovery solicitors can advise lenders on the wording, interpretation and enforceability of personal guarantees. We can help lenders take steps to enforce personal guarantees and provide practical advice should the director seek to raise any defence.
Our debt recovery specialists can provide advice about all types of claims against directors. We will make sure you are aware of all your options and provide cost estimates, so you can make an informed decision about the best way to proceed.
Enforcing judgments and recovery
Obtaining a County Court Judgment (CCJ) or successfully making a business or individual insolvent is the first major step towards recovering money owed to you. But further steps may be needed to secure your recovery. Our debt recovery lawyers can help you take the next steps to secure or recover money and assets. The types of action we can assist with include:
- Instructing County Court bailiffs or High Court enforcement officers to attend the debtor’s home or place of business to recover money or seize assets
- Applying for a Charging Order to secure a CCJ over the debtor’s property
- Applying for an Order for Sale to force the sale of a secured asset
- Obtaining a Third Party Debt Order or Attachment of Earnings Order to compel a third party, such as the debtor’s employer, to repay money owed to you</li
- If the debtor is insolvent, we will contact the debtor’s Insolvency Practitioner and provide proof of debt
We will help you choose the most practical and cost-effective method of recovery, taking steps such as seeking information from the debtor about their income and expenditure wherever appropriate.
Contact our commercial asset recovery and debt recovery solicitors
For clear, practical advice about commercial debt and asset recovery, please speak to our expert team today.