Our Services

Information for clients: pricing, service information and complaints

Overdales Legal Limited is a specialist law firm providing industry leading litigation and debt collection solutions to corporate clients across a wide range of industry sectors, including those in the Financial Services, Utilities, Telecommunications and Home Credit markets. Whether your needs are large or small, we can offer solutions that are specifically tailored to you. Our approach embraces treating our clients' customers fairly, whilst always incorporating your regulatory obligations.

Our people work to pursue your instructions with determination in your best interests, while complying with the applicable law and our professional obligations under the SRA and FCA Standards and Regulations.

Debt Recovery Service Overview

Our debt recovery services are tailored to our clients' needs, covering:

  • Digital contact strategies – our digital services offer a cost effective way to engage with customers utilising their channel of choice.
  • Traditional letter strategies – our bespoke lettering suite provides our clients with access to a number of tried and tested engagement strategies, incorporating links to our website, directions to convert to digital contact, and targeted accounts information.
  • Data-driven analytics – utilising our cutting edge data and analytics technology, our clients have access to data to provide progress updates on their accounts. This is tailored to each of our clients and can be provided in a number of formats for ease of access and interrogation.

Litigation Service Overview

There are four main stages under the debt recovery process:

  • Pre-claim;
  • Uncontested litigation;
  • Contested litigation; and
  • Enforcement.

Each stage is managed by a team experienced and competent in that particular stage of the debt recovery process. Recovery may be achieved during the provision of any one of the following services.

                                                                                                                                                                             

Costs generally

As a specialist firm that provides bespoke litigation and debt recovery services, our fee structure will be fair, appropriate and proportionate to, amongst other things, the:

  • complexity of your instructions;
  • volume of work you wish to instruct us on;
  • appropriate track for these cases (small claims, fast-track or multi-track); and
  • lifespan of our retainer with you.

For any cases we conduct you may expect to incur fees and disbursements. Fees are sums paid to the court, such as the court fee to start a claim. Disbursements are costs we may need to pay third parties, for example where we instruct a barrister to represent you.

There may also be instances, typically based on an adverse judicial decision, where the court orders you to pay the opponents costs. Our experts will guide you as to the steps that can be taken to ensure that the risk of this is kept to an absolute minimum.

Please note that the right to recover costs is limited in small claims cases and most consumer cases are in this category. Any cases which are allocated to fast track or multi track will attract a different costs arrangement, which will of course be set out in our terms of engagement.

At this stage we communicate with the other party to seek to agree an affordable repayment arrangement, and issue the formal letter of claim as required by the law. We normally only charge you a percentage of the recoveries made. Ordinarily, there are no fees or disbursements payable at this stage, so this charge will reflect mainly our time spent working on your cases.

This rate will depend heavily on factors such as the complexity of the case, and the volume of your instructions. It is difficult to prescribe a standard charging rate, as this does not reflect the requirements of your instructions, and of course commercial factors. We can however confirm that the rate of charge will be transparently discussed with you prior to our terms of engagement commencing, and will also be set out clearly in our letter of engagement provided to you at the outset.

Should a settlement not be reached without litigation, we will need to involve the courts to issue a claim. Most cases fall under the small claims track, and for these cases, Part 45 of the Civil Procedure Rules sets out the costs you can claim. In uncontested cases, our legal costs will be limited to the amount of fixed costs allowed by the court at each stage of legal proceedings. Although we will issue an invoice to you for payment of these fixed costs at each stage, the amount will be added to the sum to be recovered from the defendant.

To benefit from a reduced court fee, and for an expeditious resolution, we issue our claims through the online money claims service. Although the table of fees as of May 2021 is set out below, the fees to change from time to time and the most up to date fees are published in the EX50 publication by the HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

Claim amount

County Court Business Centre (“CCBC”) issue fee

Up to £300

£35

£300.01 to £500

£50

£500.01 to £1,000

£70

£1,000.01 to £1,500

£80

£1,500.01 to £3,000

£115

£3,000.01 to £5,000

£205

£5,000.01 to £10,000

£455

£10,000.01 to £100,000

5% of the claim

 

Fixed solicitors’ costs on issue of a claim

Claim amount

Fixed solicitors’ costs

£25 to £500

£50

£500 to £1,000

£70

£1,000 to £5,000

£80

Over £5,000

£100

 

Fixed solicitors’ costs on entry of a Judgment

Claim amount

Fixed solicitors’ costs

£25 to £5000

£22

Over £5,000

£30

VAT

  • Fixed costs: Costs awarded by the court are inclusive of VAT.
  • Disbursements: We do not seek the recovery of VAT from you as we do not pay this when we issue claims or apply for Judgment
  • Our fees: Our invoice may incorporate an additional element relating to VAT, and this cannot be reclaimed from the defendant.

Following the issue of proceedings, a defence may be raised in which the defendant sets out their reason for challenging the debt, which prevents you from entering a CCJ by default. Upon receipt of the defence, you can either accept the defendant’s position or continue with your claim in which case the matter will be passed to our Complex Litigation team to deal with the claim on your behalf.

The defendant may also enter a counterclaim in which the defendant attempts to pursue you for an outstanding sum. In this instance, our Complex Litigation team will act in line with your instructions, to best protect your interests and minimise any exposure to risk. The counterclaim is a claim in itself, and runs independently even if you no longer choose to pursue your claim.

Although the fixed costs set out above still apply, our costs relating to defended cases are likely to be higher, due to the nature of this work. This work comprises but is not limited to:

  • Complying with directions;
  • Abiding by disclosure requirements set out in the CPR;
  • Drafting pleadings;
  • Helping you draft witness statements;
  • Preparing for hearings; and
  • Representing you at hearings, or instructing an advocate to attend on your behalf.

We therefore have a suitably experienced Complex Litigation team to deal with defended litigation and counterclaims. Day to day case management is conducted by our team of around 21 experienced paralegals and supervised by qualified solicitors, led by our Senior Solicitor who has over 10 years Post Qualification Experience (PQE). The team brings together a vast amount of experience relating to regulated and non-regulated defended litigation.

The team deals with all types of disputed litigation, such as claims against clients and applications to set Judgment aside. The team will protect your best interests, in line with your instructions.

Based on the above, and as previously explained, the costs we charge vary based on numerous factors. As a case progresses through each stage of the defended process, the costs may increase as demonstrated by the following representative example. Should the matter be allocated to the small claims track rather than charge you on traditional hourly rate, we favour a fixed fee approach, in the interests of transparency. All amounts quoted are excluding VAT.

Defended stage

Work

Costs

Running total

1

Defence

£150.00

£150.00

2

Negotiating a settlement

£100.00

£250.00

3

Attendance at mediation

£100.00

£350.00

4

Filing and serving evidence

£250.00

£600.00

5

Interim applications

£100.00

£700.00

6

Representation at hearing

£200.00

£900.00

Where a matter is contested and the matter is listed for a hearing, there will also be a hearing fee. Although the table of fees as of September 2021 is set out below, the most up to date fees are published in the EX50 publication by the HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

Hearing fees

Less than £300.00

£27.00

£300.01 - £500.00

£59.00

£500.01 - £1,000.00

£85.00

£1,000.01 - £1,500.00

£123.00

£1,500.01 - £3,000.00

£181.00

£3,000.01 - £10,000.00

£346.00

£10,000.01 - £25,000.00

£545.00

More than £25,000

£1,090.00

Unlike the fixed costs and fees set out in the uncontested cases section above, the charges in this section are not necessarily recoverable from the defendant. Although we will make submissions to the court, subject to your instructions, that the defendant should be liable for these costs, this will remain at the discretion of the court.

Should the matter (due to complexity or size of the claim/counterclaim) be allocated to a track other than the small claims track, we will be unable to offer these fixed charges and will instead attract hourly billing charges which will be discussed with you on a case by case basis.

Timescales

Uncontested Litigation

Contested Litigation

Letter of Claim

Letter of Claim

↓  33 days

↓  33 days

Issue of Claim

Issue of Claim

↓  16 days

↓  16 days

CCJ

Defence

 

↓  6 months

 

CCJ

All timescales are provided for indicative purposes only, as they are heavily dependent on court processing times. It is also important to note that defended cases are allocated to the defendant’s local court. Each local court has its own workloads and document processing times.

Warrants of Control

Instructing a bailiff to attend at the defendant’s home to seek a repayment arrangement, or take control of property

Attachment of Earnings

An order for the debt to be recovered by deductions from the defendant’s wages

Charging Orders

Securing the outstanding value of the CCJ against a property in which the defendant has a registered interest

Although the table of fees as of May 2021 is set out below, the fees to change from time to time and the most up to date fees are published in the EX50 publication by the HM Courts and Tribunals Service.

Enforcement Action

Court fee

Warrant of Control

£83

Attachment of Earnings

£119

Charging Order

£119

Fixed solicitors’ costs on issue of enforcement action

Enforcement Action

Our fixed costs

Warrant of Control

£2.25

Charging Order

£110

Representative example of uncontested litigation, secured with a charging order

Debt

Court issue fee

Fixed costs on issue

Fixed costs on judgment

Charging order fee

Land registry fees

Fixed costs on enforcement

Total payable by you (costs and fees)

£1,500

£70.00

£80.00

£22.00

£119.00

£23.00

£110.00

£424.00

£5,000

£185.00

£80.00

£22.00

£119.00

£23.00

£110.00

£539.00

£15,000

£675.00

£100.00

£30.00

£119.00

£23.00

£110.00

£1,057.00


Client Care Standards and Complaints

Please Note: The following complaints procedure is designed for clients of this firm. If you are a defendant or other third party and wish to raise a complaint, please use the Complaints Policy for customers.

As a law firm regulated by the SRA, we aim to practise in accordance with the highest standards of professional conduct and client care and in adherence to the SRA’s Standards and Regulations, which can be viewed on their website at www.sra.org.uk

We will exercise all reasonable care and skill in the handling of your work and comply with all relevant laws and regulations in force at the time of your instructions. We will give you advice that is clear, using plain English, and will be open about the likelihood of success in any particular case, and keep the ‘cost/benefit’ risk under review throughout the case. Where any limitation arises as to our ability to act for you, such as a potential conflict of interest, we will inform you promptly.

We hope you will not have any cause to complain but if you are unhappy with our services, we ask that you contact the person handling your matter in the first instance, so that your concerns can be quickly resolved to your satisfaction.

If that does not resolve your concerns, please contact our Compliance Officer for Legal Practice, Elaine Robinson at complaints@overdales.com. We will acknowledge your complaint within 3 working days and then aim to deal with your complaint as promptly as possible. Although we have eight weeks to respond to your complaint, we will aim to provide a full written response within 28 days.

What to do if we cannot resolve your complaint

If you are not satisfied with our handling of your complaint or if we have not provided a full response within eight weeks, you may be able to ask the Legal Ombudsman to consider the complaint:

Address: PO Box 6806, Wolverhampton, WV1 9WJ
Telephone number: 0300 555 0333
Email: enquiries@legalombudsman.org.uk

Normally, you will need to bring a complaint to the Legal Ombudsman within six months of receiving a final written response from us about your complaint and within six years of the act or omission about which you are complaining occurring (or, if outside this period, within three years of when you should reasonably have been aware of it).

Further details about eligibility to use the Legal Ombudsman’s services, timescales and procedures are available on the Legal Ombudsman’s website at www.legalombudsman.org.uk but, as a general rule, large corporate clients will not be able to use the services of the Legal Ombudsman.

What to do if you are unhappy with our behaviour

The Solicitors Regulation Authority can help if you are concerned about our behaviour. This could be for things like dishonesty, taking or losing your money or treating you unfairly because of your age, a disability or other characteristic.

Visit their website at www.sra.org.uk to see how you can raise your concerns with the SRA.