If you are owed money there are many legal avenues for you to explore to retrieve the debts.

Equally there is a legal framework to assist you if you are being pursued for money that you do not owe or you dispute the amount,

Thomas Dunton have a team of lawyers within their Business Services Department who specialise in these areas and may be of invaluable assistance.

Problems with Cash Flow?

Has another client failed to pay a bill?

Your firm is profitable, but your cash flow is suffering.

You want to spend your time earning, not chasing money due to you.

You want to enforce your rights but are not sure how.

What Thomas Dunton can do for you

We have a dedicated Commercial Debt Recovery Team who can provide a quick, efficient and, most importantly, a cost-effective answer to all your debt recovery problems.

We do all the chasing on your behalf to enable you to concentrate on more important matters. You can rest assured, knowing that you have a legal team on side willing to give you clear advice on all your debt problems.

Terms and Conditions

The Terms and Conditions under which you trade are vital to the protection of your business.

They will include your liabilities for the goods and services you provide, how and when payment has to be made and rates of interest for late payment.

Whether for employees, suppliers, customers or landlords they can define responsibilities and liabilities so that everyone is clear how the business operates.

At Thomas Dunton we have an outstanding Business Team with wide experience in all contractual matters.

To avoid future difficulties enforcing payments due, we can assist by ensuring your terms and conditions of trading are appropriate.

A Pre-Action Protocol

A Pre-Action protocol has been introduced for all civil disputes. If it is not followed, then the Court could make an order for costs against the party not complying.

Bringing a claim using the Pre-Action Protocol:

  1. Write to the other party giving full details of the claim.
  2. Enclose copies that support your claim (such as unpaid invoices).
  3. Ask for a reply by a specific date (usually 4 weeks hence).
  4. State that Court proceeding will be started if a response is not received within that time.

If they dispute the claim

  1. Ask for a copy of any relevant documents which the opponent has which support his case.
  2. State whether you wish to mediate and explain that the Court may impose sanctions for failure to comply with the Pre-Action Protocol.

Interest on the debt

The Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 allows for all businesses to claim interest from each other on debts due. If there is no contractual rate of interest, you may be entitled to the statutory interest rate of 8% above base.

This is applicable from any agreed date, or 30 days from the time that either you provided the goods or services that you were contracted for or when the purchaser received notice of the sum due.

A defendant must provide a substantial alternative to this statutory right to interest if he wishes to opt out of paying and it will be subject to the court’s view as to whether the alternative is reasonable or not. There are also other penalties which may be claimed.

If you are defending a claim and receive a Pre-Action Protocol letter

  1. Acknowledge receipt within 21 days.
  2. Say when you will give a response and explain why if this will be longer than the time allowed by the Claimant.
  3. When you make a response you should say whether the claim is accepted as a whole, in part, or not at all and make proposals for settlement if appropriate.

If you do not accept the claim

  1. Give detailed reasons why the claim is not accepted.
  2. What is agreed and what is in dispute.
  3. Enclose copies of documents that support your position.
  4. Ask for any documents that the Claimant has that are relevant and have not been provided to you, and state whether you would be prepared to consider mediation.
  5. Where documents are disclosed they should normally only be used to resolve the dispute, not for any other purpose unless the other party agrees.

Mediation

If you are involved in a dispute, have you considered mediation? It can often reduce costs, bring about a faster settlement that is acceptable to both parties, and may even allow a commercial relationship to continue.

If however the situation cannot be resolved, it is now vital for you to take the right action.

Please contact us on 01689 822554 or email business@thomasdunton.co.uk

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