We understand waiting for outstanding debts to be paid can be detrimental to a business’s cash flow and to an individual’s personal finances.

Dixon Ward has been assisting commercial clients and individuals with debt recovery since the firm’s inception. We take pride in building trustworthy and lasting relationships with our clients, who continue to instruct us because of our fast, reliable and determined service.

Our dispute resolution department has extensive experience in tackling and resolving disputes relating to debts from sending the initial letter of claim, to issuing proceedings and obtaining judgment against the debtor. We can also assist with enforcement action of a judgment debt.  

Undisputed debts – In many circumstances, the debtor will not dispute the balance due, but is, or claims to be unable to pay the debt in full due to a lack of funds. In this type of situation, we can facilitate an agreement between the parties for repayment of the debt to be made by regular instalments and take the necessary action should the debtor default on any repayments.

Disputed debts – Where the debtor disputes the debt, we will initially establish the reason for the non-payment of the of the balance due and attempt to resolve the dispute direct or by way of Alternative Dispute Resolution/mediation. If the parties are unable to come to a resolution, we will assist with the issue of Court proceedings and guide you through the entire process to trial if required.  

The recovery of commercial debt from an individual is governed by the Pre-Action Protocol for debt claims which should be complied with before the commencement of proceedings unless there is urgency to the matter which makes that inappropriate. We will guide you through this process on receiving instructions from you.

We will guide you through this process


Gurpreet Reehal is our solicitor who deals with debt recovery. Gurpreet has 5 years’ experience of this work. His hourly rate is currently £240 plus VAT. He will be assisted by a trainee solicitor where appropriate whose time is charged at £180 plus VAT per hour. Gurpreet will liaise with our partner, Rod Horler, if appropriate, whose time is charged at £290 plus VAT per hour. Those rates are reviewed at the end of March of each year.

Court Claims

These costs apply where your claim is in relation to an unpaid invoice or other debt which is not disputed and enforcement action is not needed. If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about costs if necessary, which will be based on an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed. In that case, we will always provide you with an estimate of further fees before taking further steps on your behalf.

Court Fees on Commencement of Proceedings - The Court charges fixed fees for the issue of proceedings up to the value of £10,000. The fixed fee increases in accordance the amount of the claim. Any claim issued over the value of £10,000, but no more than £200,000 will be charged at a rate of 5% of the value of the claim. Claims over £200,000 will incur a court fee in the sum of £10,000.  These fees are subject to change by Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service.     


Claim amount

Paper form fee

Online claim fee

Up to £300



£300.01 to £500



£500.01 to £1,000



£1,000.01 to £1,500



£1,500.01 to £3,000



£3,000.01 to £5,000



£5,000.01 to £10,000



£10,000.01 to £100,000

5% of the claim

4.5% of the claim

£100,000.01 to £200,000

5% of the claim

You cannot make a claim online

More than £200,000


You cannot make a claim online

The fees set out below are based on a single instruction being received from our client in respect of one or more outstanding invoices outstanding for payment by the same person or entity. Our fees per debt are reduced for business clients in respect of multiple debts arising from unpaid invoices.

Where the debt is paid after service on the debtor of our formal letter before claim: £100 plus VAT (£120 in total).

Where proceedings are required after service on the debtor of our letter before claim and no dispute has been intimated by the debtor, but the debt is then paid in full after the commencement of proceedings without further action being required: £400 plus VAT (£480 in total)

Where we have to obtain a judgment in default in proceedings and serve on the debtor, but the debt is then paid without further action being required: an additional £150 plus VAT (£180 in total).

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

•The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor if you are registered for VAT.

•Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding, with a higher applicable Court fee.

•The costs quoted above are not for matters where enforcement action is needed to collect your debt.

Our fees include:

•Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation

•Undertaking any appropriate searches

•Sending a letter before action

•Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim

•If necessary, drafting a claim and forwarding that to the Court for issue and service on the debtor

Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgement in default

•When Judgement in default in received, informing the debtor and requiring payment to be made

•If payment is not received within 14 days, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs


Matters usually take 4 - 12 weeks from receipt of instructions from you to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on the type of debt and 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.