As a business you will have enough struggles with the day to day running of your business, managing cash-flow, paying suppliers, managing payroll, ensuring work completion, monitoring compliance, insurance, ensuring stock levels etc.
The added headache of your customers delaying or just flat out refusing to pay can add a lot of unnecessary strain on a business and in extreme circumstances can even cause severe cash flow problems causing your company to struggle financially.
At TJD Legal you fill out one simple form and leave the rest to us. If we feel more information to strengthen your case is required we will ask for it.
How Does it Work?
As an independent qualified paralegal, regulated by the Institute of Paralegals, TJD Legal can offer you a Small Claims Court service for a highly competitive rate, and cheaper than a solicitor.
Since the implementation of the Civil Procedure Rules a claimant should try to reduce the likelihood of the matter going to court, and by not following those rules a claimant risks losing the case or losing potential costs being awarded back to you. This makes it a VERY lengthy and time consuming process.
TJD Legal can give you back that valuable time chasing debts from bad payers, or people who owe you money. Each stage is individually priced so you can request our service at any time if you have started your own proceedings.
Stage 1 - 7 day letter ‘Late Payment Demand’
This advisory letter is sent to the debtor informing them that you have taken legal advice and are no longer willing to wait for further excuses in regards to your debt. This will include brief details of the debt you are reclaiming and a demand that it be paid within 7 days. Many debtors pay once they read this. If the respondent pays then no further action is required.
The flat rate for this is £7.
There are several optional extras such as:
Option 1 – TJD Legal can send this on your behalf in the normal post.
Option 2 – You can hand deliver it to the debtors address in person (in such cases it is suggested that the letter is post dated by 7 days)
Option 3 – TJD Legal can send it recorded signed for to the debtor (additional £3)
Option 4 – TJD Legal can send it Guaranteed 1pm delivery to the debtor (additional £7.50)
Alternatively, you can set up an account with TJD Legal allowing you access to our 7 day Late Payment Demand Generator. A simple to use system available 24/7 for just £25, where you can generate as many letters as you want you to send yourself. Just click this link for more information.
Stage 2 - Litigation Procedure/Pre Action Protocol
Taking someone to the small claims court involves a process known as ‘Pre Action Protocol’ which is described under the ‘Civil procedure Rules, a set of rules laid down in order to reduce the amount of cases that are heard in the courts and to try and solve the disputes without the involvement of the courts whereby you have to engage in ‘Alternative Dispute Resolution’, of which negotiation is a form, with the other side and settle this matter out of court (by not complying this may result in the judge dismissing your case).
To begin this process, we will go through a brief consultation with you.
If you agree to retain our services we will sign a contract and invoice you an ‘initial retainer’. We will then assimilate the information that you provide us and begin the case by sending a ‘Letter before Action’. This letter is crucial as it tells the defence that this is it – no more playing around. This is their last chance to deal with this before going to court.
In this letter, we present your case along with any paperwork we intend to rely upon as evidence.
My associate and I will go through the files, research any legislation and then formulate the letter. The letter is then passed by you to double check for accuracy and if you are happy to instruct us to send it, the defendant is then given 14 days with which to respond.
If they respond they may decide to pay based on that evidence and the matter is closed and we will invoice you. If they dispute it we will begin to negotiate to try and settle the matter with your best interests.
You will be informed of each communication and involved in every correspondence we send. We will advise you on our best judgement and what we believe the best course of action to take but at all times we will act under your instruction.
In some cases compensation and interest may be added (late payment of commercial debts (interest) Act. You will be advised of this in the consultation.
Claims up to £1,000 – £50 initial retainer + 25% of the settlement figure if successful (due only if settlement agreed) retainer refunded if settlement fee is £400 or more.
Claims from £1,001 – £5,000 – £120 initial retainer, £50 per hour for the first 4 hours, then reduced to £35 per hour thereafter.
- £8 per letter response (inc recorded delivery)
- £5 per email response
Claims from £5,001 upwards: £150 initial retainer
£35 per hour plus 5% settlement figure due only if settlement agreed retainer fee refunded if settlement agreed reaches £5,000 or above.
- £8 per letter response (inc recorded delivery)
- £5 per email response
All emails and telephone calls (including time) between us and you remain free of charge. We will only charge when actively engaging with the other side to keep your costs down.
Only when the above steps are exhausted or the respondent fails to reply should litigation begin.
Once signed we will invoice you then prepare and submit filing paperwork on your behalf.
Litigation rates follow the table laid out below. Court fees are non-refundable but upon succession of your case are awarded back to you. Our fees are what we charge to collate the file and submit the paperwork on your behalf. Our costs do not include bursaries which will be expected to be paid by you
Court Referral Costs
These are the costs if you wish to take the matter all the way to court if the debtor fails to pay up at the letter stage.
|Claim amount||Costs||Court Fees||Total paid by you|
|Up to £200||£35||£25||£60|
|£300 to £500||£75||£35||£110|
|£500 to £600||£100||£60||£160|
|£600 to £1,000||£120||£60||£180|
|£1,000 to £1,500||£140||£70||£210|
|£1,500 to £3,000||£150||£105||£255|
|£3,000 to £5,000||£160||£185||£345|
|£5,000 to £10,000||£170||£410||£580|
Anything over £10,000 will require discussion before engagement of services will be considered.
- In the event of obtaining judgment on admission or judgment in default you will be entitled to recover fixed solicitors costs, however the amounts are negligible and may not provide full reimbursement of actual costs incurred.
- In using the small claims track, parties are expected to bear their own costs. This means that in circumstances where the debtor files a defence to your claim such that it proceeds to trial, you are unlikely to recover from your opponent any fees paid to us, other than fixed commencement costs.
- The fixed fee amounts above are exclusive of any disbursements which we might incur, but you will be given notice of any need by us to incur disbursements
- Our fees for acting for you in any enforcement proceedings that become necessary will be charged inclusive of the discount provided
- Enforcement proceedings are subject to fixed costs rules and again, the amounts recoverable are negligible and will not provide reimbursement of actual costs incurred