Our commercial litigation solicitors advise businesses on all aspects of dispute resolution, from pre-action correspondence through to all parts of the litigation process, including enforcement and alternative dispute resolution.
For most businesses, cashflow is one of the important parts of their business being able to succeed. If you are unable to pay your employees, suppliers or other third parties on time, you are going to need a very understanding bank manager to ensure that you can continue to operate.
Most businesses will have payment terms as part of their terms of business and a failure by a third party to pay in accordance with those terms can cause problems for a company’s cashflow.
As such it is vitally important that you are paid for your services/goods in accordance with your terms of business. If you are not being paid, and are having problems in chasing unpaid debts, then Bindmans can help with business debt recovery.
We can adopt a number of different approaches in order to recover business debts for you.
Collecting business debts
If your customers or other third parties are late in paying you, we can adopt a number of different methods to seek to recover the monies that are owed to you. In a large majority of cases, a simple, robust letter before action from our firm can be enough to encourage the third party to pay the sums owed to you.
If this does not work, then we can threaten or instigate court proceedings to recover the debt. Unless the debt is disputed on substantial grounds, then we would be hopeful of a recovery in most cases.
We will tailor our approach to your business and to the third party which owes you money. There may be reasons why they cannot pay and we can discuss this with you and the best approach to adopt, some of which are set out further below.
Have you received a debt claim?
If you have received a letter before action or debt claim from a supplier or their solicitors but dispute the debt, then we can assist you in defending the claim or seeking to reach an amicable resolution. Our litigation team also have experience in defending statutory demands or winding up petitions if matters have escalated and can advise you accordingly.
Late Payment Interest and Compensation
If your customers have not paid your invoices on time and in accordance with your agreed terms and conditions, you may be entitled to both interest and compensation in respect of each invoice which is paid late. Our solicitors have experience pursuing claims under the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 (as amended) and have pursued claims for interest and compensation where the principal debt has been paid, albeit late. If you have a large number of invoices that need chasing, then the additional recovery of interest and compensation can run into many hundreds, if not thousands of pounds.
Statutory demands for businesses
If a business refuses to pay the debt they owe to you, and provides no valid reason for non-payment, then serving a statutory demand on that company may be a way to secure payment of the debt which is owed to you. If a company ignores a statutory demand, then they face the risk of having a winding up petition served upon them, so statutory demands can often be used as a useful business debt recovery tool where the debt is not disputed.
At Bindmans, we can assist you in both the preparation and service of statutory demands on your customers. Similarly, if you have received a statutory demand from a supplier, you must act quickly as there are strict time limits in which you either need to pay or dispute the statutory demand. At Bindmans, we can assist you in defending statutory demands and in appropriate circumstances, seeking to get them withdrawn or set aside, so that the risk of your company being wound up disappears.
Winding up petitions
If the recovery of your debt looks unlikely, you may wish to wind up the company which owes you money, to ensure that the company cannot continue with its business and refuse to pay other suppliers.
Bindmans can assist with all aspects of winding up petitions, whether you wish to issue a petition or are in receipt of a petition and wish to defend or dispute the petition. We can advise on the costs of the winding up petition and the steps which are needed to be taken to ensure that a company is wound up by the Court. Winding up petitions are not to be used where a debt is disputed, but being presented with a petition or the threat of a petition can often lead to payment of a debt by a customer.
Our team of experts have produced Dispute Resolution Guidance Documents, designed to provide individuals and businesses with information on a range of legal matters and procedures that they might find themselves facing. To view the full range of Guidance Documents available, visit our web page here.