We specialise in providing bulk litigation services for financial and other institutions to recover debts owed by consumers. We only act for a small number of clients who are themselves regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority or similar industry regulator.
The overwhelming majority of claims we issue are not defended and hence are “undefended cases”. In those cases we obtain a Judgment and seek to enforce that Judgment in accordance with the instruction from our Client (“enforcement proceedings”). Enforcement methods include a Charging Order; Attachment of Earnings; Warrant of Control or in certain circumstances bankruptcy proceedings. A small proportion of cases we issue are defended and our specialist defended team have conduct of these (“defended litigation”). If the defended litigation results in a Judgment then this will be enforced in a similar way as a Judgment obtained in undefended litigation.
We do not:-
i) Act for small businesses/trading companies and we do not provide a business to business debt recovery service.
ii) Recover individual or a small number of debts. Our relationship with our clients involves referral of debt portfolios.
iii) Carry out any other type of work.
Our fees include:-
i) Receiving your instructions and reviewing the electronic files/databases sent.
ii) Sending a Letter of Claim in accordance with the relevant Pre-Action Protocol for Debt Claims.
iii) If the debt is not paid – issuing a Court Claim.
iv) Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgment in default.
v) If Judgment in default is obtained (and payment not then received) then proceeding to enforcement.
vi) Applying for Charging Orders after judgment has been obtained; or
vii) Applying for an Attachment of Earnings Order after judgment has been obtained; or
viii) Issuing a Warrant of Control after Judgment has been obtained; or
ix) Applying for an Order for Sale after a Charging Order has been obtained where specific instruction in writing is provided by the Company; or
x) Applying for a Third Party Debt Order.
We will usually issue a claim 33 days after sending a Letter of Claim (and in the event the Letter of Claim is not responded to appropriately). If the other side does not respond to the court proceedings, judgment in default can be requested approximately 14 days after the claim has been served. We will then ask the other side to make payment. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.
1) Reflecting the nature of our work - the main components of our invoices are:-
i) Disbursements – costs which have to be paid to a third party which we pay on your behalf. The majority of these are Court fees – e.g. fees for issuing a Claim Form, an application or an enforcement application - but disbursements can also include Land Registry fees.
The prevailing court fees (at any given moment in time) are set out in the EX50 publication (“Civil and Family Court Fees”) issued by the HM Courts and Tribunals Service. The appropriate link is:-
ii) Solicitor Fixed Costs – these are the costs which are awarded by the Court in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules (“The CPR“) for work undertaken in Court proceedings. The amount of such costs is usually determined by the amount of the Claim.
The prevailing scale of Solicitors Fixed Costs (at any given moment in time) is set out in Part 45 of the Civil Procedure Rules. The appropriate link is:-
2) What VAT do we charge and when
i) Disbursements – VAT is not paid by us when we issue Court claims or applications and therefore, in respect of Court fees, our invoices do not seek recovery of VAT.
ii) Solicitors Fixed Costs – any award by the Court is net of VAT – it is the net figure which is added to the judgment debt. The Solicitors Fixed Costs element of any invoice rendered by us to a client will include an additional element relating to VAT.
iii) Disbursements (Counsel’s Fees) – these are disbursements because we incur these costs on your behalf. Generally speaking they are incurred in defended litigation – please see below.
Defended litigation is undertaken by our specialist Defence Department. The Department has many years of collective experience in defended litigation and has a particular expertise in consumer credit – having been involved in some of the high profile/test cases. Members of the team include:-
ii) Trainee Legal Executives.
iii) Junior qualified Solicitors of between 0-1 months PQE and 2-3 years PQE.
Day to day management of the Team is undertaken by an experienced Team Leader. The department as a whole is supervised by RSL’s Senior Solicitor who has many years of experience representing banks, lenders and debt purchasers.
i) Subject to any specific client instruction, we will attempt to obtain Summary Judgment on any defended litigation and/or oppose any application by or on behalf of a consumer to set Judgment aside. Generally speaking there will be a hearing and again subject to specific client instruction our general procedure is to instruct an advocate to attend the hearing.
ii) The amount of work undertaken depends on the nature of the Defence (for example what specific points have been raised) and what available evidence/documentation our clients have. Timeframe (e.g. when a Summary Judgment application will be listed) also depends on these factors.
iii) If a Summary Judgment application is unsuccessful (or impossible) or if the application to set Judgment aside is successful Restons will seek further instruction from the Client as to whether the Client wishes to progress the case through to trial. In terms of timeframes – progression of defended litigation will depend on directions set by the court which in turn depends on which track the court has allocated the case to. Actual listing of the trial very much depends on court availability.
iv) Costs of defended litigation – such costs are based on an hourly rate, agreed with our clients based on the level of experience of the person undertaking the work.