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06/10/2016

15/09/16

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15/09/16

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Handling a Dispute: Business Briefing

 

Does the business really want to be involved in legal proceedings?

Is it possible to negotiate a settlement?

Practical steps to take when a dispute or potential claim arises.

 

Handling a dispute: Business Briefing

This Business Briefing sets out the actions a business should take when a dispute or potential dispute arises. It applies to any dispute or incident, whether started by the business or brought against it (for example, a dispute with a trading partner or a prosecution by a regulatory body).

Does the business really want to be involved in legal proceedings?

It is very important to understand what the business is getting involved in. It is almost always better to find a commercial solution to a dispute. Consider:

  • The value of the claim, the costs involved and the commercial implications of success or failure. Even if the business wins, it will not recover all of the legal costs it has incurred.
  • What the business is trying to achieve from the litigation process.
  • The time, cost and management commitment involved, most of which is incurred early on in the process.
  • How it will affect ongoing commercial relationships.
  • Whether the mere existence of a dispute will create difficulties in bidding for new business or otherwise adversely affect the business’ reputation.
  • Whether there is a commercial advantage to the dispute (for example, by showing that the business is serious about trademark infringement).
  • What the effect will be for both parties if the dispute is made public.
  • Whether the other party will be able to pay up if the business wins.
  • All litigation is to some extent speculative (for example, how will the witnesses perform in the witness box?).

Is it possible to negotiate a settlement?

  • A business should not consider it a sign of weakness to approach the other side to explore the chances of a settlement. This can be done at any time during the litigation process, even during a trial. Settlement negotiations facilitated by a neutral third party (known as mediation) are increasingly popular.
  • Always take advice first to ensure the settlement discussions are conducted on a “without prejudice basis”. This means that anything said about the dispute during the settlement negotiations or in any written settlement offer cannot be used later at the trial. This protection only applies to statements made purely in an attempt to settle the case.
  • Consider who should handle any negotiations. It is generally advisable to appoint one person with overall responsibility.
  • If an offer is made, the business should consider its present-day value, bearing in mind how long it will take to get to trial and the potential cost of litigation.

Practical steps to take when a dispute or potential claim arises

  • Take advice as soon as possible after an incident occurs.
  • If the business receives any formal documents requiring a response within a specified time, take legal advice immediately.
  • Do not leave everything to the last minute. There are time limits which a business will need to comply with. Ensure the business:
  1. knows which time limits apply; and
  2. has enough time to comply with them.
  • Avoid talking to the other party without having a lawyer present. It is important to avoid saying something that may be used against the business at a later date.
  • Do not admit anything or agree to settle without taking advice. If the business is forced into a discussion without legal advice, do not admit anything or agree to settle.
  • Limit internal discussions to those with a real “need to know”. However, ensure that anyone within the business with day-to-day contact with the other party is aware that there is a potential dispute.
  • Do not communicate with any external party (for example, a trade association) without taking legal advice. Do not send documents relevant to the case to external parties or ask them to send them to the business without taking legal advice.

Do not destroy, delete or amend any relevant documentation

  • A business should not destroy, delete or amend any documents or media containing information relevant to the case (for example, notes of conversations, diaries, e-mails, photographs or tapes).
  • Suspend any routine destruction process that the business may have in place.
  • Ensure everyone with access to information relevant to the case is immediately notified not to destroy it and to be careful when creating new documents.

Be careful when discussing a potential dispute or preparing a report on an incident

Businesses may have to show embarrassing or damaging documents to the other party or the investigating body as part of legal proceedings. Therefore:

  • Always consider whether a written document needs to be created.
  • Think about what is being recorded and how it would appear if it was read out in court. Take legal advice first if it is likely to contain confidential or sensitive material.
  • Never speculate, offer opinions or make critical remarks: simply stick to the facts.
  • Remember that e-mails are documents, just like letters.
  • Only send the document or e-mail to those who really need to see it.

A business may have to implement improvements or changes in practices following an incident, implicitly showing that previous practice was flawed. Take legal advice to find the best way to do this without prejudicing any possible litigation.

Protected communications

  • Communications between a business and its legal advisers do not usually have to be shown to the other side or regulatory body. They are protected by the legal concept of privilege and the lawyer’s general duty of client confidentiality.
  • However, some communications are not protected. For example, take legal advice before marking documents “privileged” or “confidential”. Using these terms on a document or copying it to a lawyer does not, in itself, make it privileged or confidential.

•              Privilege and confidentiality can be lost if the privileged or confidential information is distributed or copied too widely. Only circulate it on a real “need to know” basis and never copy it externally without taking legal advice beforehand.

Is the business insured?

Check the business’ insurance policy to see if it is an insured claim. If it may be, notify the insurers immediately and follow their claims procedure, otherwise the insurance claim could be invalidated. The business may need to get the insurance company’s consent before taking any action.

Establishing the case

  • Evidence. Locate and preserve any relevant materials as soon as possible.
  • Witnesses. Identify anyone who may be relevant to the case and, therefore, may have to give evidence. Are they still employed by the business, if not, can they be traced? Contact the business’ legal advisers immediately if there is any reason why they might not be able or willing to give a statement (for example, if they were dismissed or are ill).
  • Other parties. Tell the business’ legal advisers if there is any other party who may be liable or should be involved in the case (for example, was the disputed work sub-contracted?).
  • Assets. Inform the business’ legal advisers if the other party may consider disposing of its assets so that it cannot pay if it loses. A business may be able to obtain a court order to secure its claim. Also consider where the other party’s assets are.
  • Management time. Keep a record of management time taken by the case.
  • Case review. Review how the case is going on a regular basis. Consult all areas of the business that the dispute is likely to have an impact on.

 AVC Debt Recovery

Debt Recovery for Business

http://www.avcdebtrecovery.com

This article was written by Yuill + Kyle Debt recovery + Credit control Lawyers, Scotland

Debt Recovery Ignited!

05/08/16

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10/08/16

CW Contract Law and Legal

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Debt Collection Advice For Freelancers

 

With 15% of the workforce in the UK now self-employed, it’s not just the big businesses that need help with credit control and debt recovery/ collection.

Chasing overdue monies before they become a debt  can be difficult for any business – especially if you are self-employed and the role of credit controller falls into your lap.

 

How to be your own credit controller

Whether you employ an external bookkeeper to help or not, chasing late payers can be a difficult decision to make when you work for yourself.  Switching from a sales and marketing mind set and relationship with your customers to one where you are pressing your lifeblood and contacts for money can be difficult at the best of times and not a transition many people like to make. 

Whilst it may be uncomfortable to put on the debt recovery hat, it shouldn’t stop you from doing it.  Prompt payment of your invoices is essential if you are to survive in your business.

 

Set clear payment terms up front

The key lies in setting the right terms down from the start as this can help you avoid cash flow problems, client relationship breakdowns, and awkward telephone calls in the future. We always say that onl;y focusing on the sale and forgetting to ask how and when you are going to get paid may be storing up issues at the outset.

If you work in the service industry, it’s may be prudent to ask for part payment or deposits up front to safeguard yourself against any payment problems down the line.  Basic credit checks may also be wise. Sometimes asking for payment in advance for products is not an insult. As a small business, your prospective customers may push against any payment terms and try to negotiate with you, but always remember how much harder you may need to work to make up for goods or ser4vices sold and not paid for.  Remain strong in your conviction and remember that a promise of business is only worth it if you get paid for your work on time.

Be clear about your payment terms when you establish new relationships and set those terms out clearly in quotes, contracts and terms and conditions. That way no ambiguities will exist and disputes will be reduced.

 

Don’t wait to chase for overdue invoices

If you do run into problems with late payers, you don’t need to go in hard straight away.  Get on the phone and politely ask the person responsible when you can expect payment.  Don’t leave the call without your client telling you what day they will be paying you and by which payment method.

If the problem escalates and you suspect your customer has financial problems, it is worth speaking to a professional debt recovery agency. The earlier you act against a later payer the less chance you have of that later payer becoming a bad debt. . Faster action improves your chances of being able to recover monies. Get yourself to the front of the queue and persistence often precludes the debtor using the cash elsewhere.

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To find out more about our professional debt recovery and credit control model and claim your Free debt recovery consultation contact us at AVC Debt Recovery.

www.avcdebtrecovery.com

 

08/07/16

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How Debt Recovery and Debt Collection Works

 

Your idea of a business debt collector?

 

Mention the words debt recovery or debt collection to most people and they immediately get a vision of a burly tattooed bloke with a crew cut, limited vocabulary and baseball bat. The reality is far removed from this.

 

While there may be unfortunate times when your business needs to employee the services of a bailiff or sheriff (who may or may not look like your mental picture because most of them are very polite), there’s a long process to go through before they can just turn up on your debtor’s doorstep to take away his belongings including car and computers. In fact the law is quite specific about what can and can’t be taken.

When you engage the services of a professional debt recovery business like AVC Debt Recovery using our “no win no fee or Fixed Fee deliverable, there is a process to follow, and this process happily gives your debtor many opportunities to change their mind and settle your unpaid invoice.

 

Attempts to Contact

 

The first thing to do with a debt is to contact the company that owes you money and find out if there’s a reason why they have not paid. Perhaps they claim that they didn’t receive your invoice, or perhaps your invoice was incorrect and is now sitting in the pending file. Perhaps there is a genuine error and in some cases people actually have not chased their invoices and a telephone call solves the issue. Perhaps there is a dispute that both parties have put to one side and forgot about. While sometimes there are genuine reasons perhaps they are just excuses to avoid paying, The best scenario in collecting monies is prompt credit control procedure that enable a quick and easy resolution.

 

Payment Plans

 

However, if there is a late payment that is not easily resolved then action is required. If a company says that they are in financial difficulty or can’t pay you, then the next step is to see if you can agree a payment plan for the debt. Here, the debtor commits to pay the debt in instalments over an agreed length of time and in agreed instalments.

It’s important to at least attempt to reach a compromise with the debtor because if you do end up in court, judges will look more kindly on your side of the argument when they can see that you have tried to act in a constructive way to settle the dispute without taking up expensive court time.

 

Final Warning before Action

If you can’t agree a payment plan, or the debtor is unresponsive, then the last step before going to court is to issue a final demand. This communication will be sent by both email and by signature required mail.

 

Here you issue a deadline after which if the debtor has not paid in full you will state you will commence legal proceedings to recover your debt. Before issuing such a demand it is important that you are absolutely committed to following through. It's not good practice to issue threats and not act on them, and doing so could be interpreted as harassment.

 

County Court Judgement

If the debtor does not respond to your final demand or they do but you can’t agree a payment schedule, then you have no further options except to take them to court. The process of taking a debtor to court can last many months and winning is not an exact science, but if you have  a case you will win and obtain judgement against the debtor..

 

Court Judgement-backed Payment Plan

Judges often manage outcomes by imposing a payment plan on your debtor, especially if they ask for one. This is not ideal, but with a judgement backed payment plan you’re in a much stronger position than a payment plan agreed between you and the debtor. If the debtor fails to pay you at the agreed time you can apply to the court for a warrant for bailiffs to seize property and goods to the value of your debt. It is only at this point as a complete last resort that the professionals we all have the perception of and see on the TV get involved. However, be aware that clever debtors can frustrate the system.

 

Why use a Debt Recovery/Collection Agency?

Of course it’s possible to do all of this yourself, but you are a professional at your business and what you do will be a more important and constructive use of your time. The big advantage of involving a professional debt recovery agency is that they can apply all facets of Late Payment legislation and communicate to the debtor to see if a constructive payment plan can be instigated prior to any court action. It also sends a clear message to the debtor that things have got serious and it’s time to pay up. If the debtor company is financially stressed, then they’re probably juggling who gets paid at the end of each month. By elevating your late invoice and involving a specialist in business debt recovery you get your monies to the front of the queue. It’s like being a celebrity at Wimbledon tennis. We make sure you are not queuing on Wimbledon Common, we get you to the front to get in (paid).  We have the know-how to see the process right through to court (not the centre cout), but before that we have placed your invoice right up to the top of the list.

 

Many companies pay up very quickly once we contact them and we aim to collect all outstanding monies well before court proceedings are necessary. Sometimes a writ spurs the debtor into action to pay

 

You have a right to add a statutory charge, interest at 8% above the Bank of England base rate and recovery costs to a late payment from a business customer. This means that, if you choose to, we can add our fees to the debt , so the late payer pays our fees and our service ends up costing you nothing, or you can use a fixed fee service where we take a percentage of the debt, so you get 85% of your monies which, in 9 times out of 10, the client stays with you and becomes a more diligent payer.

For more information visit http://www.avcdebtrecovery.com

 

 

 

15/06/16

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Who’s Making Sure You're Getting Paid on Time?

 

Benefits of credit control

 

"It Doesn't Count 'til it's in the Account"

 

For a small number of people paying on time is part of their ethos, but unfortunately for most their human nature is that they will not pay you until they are reminded to.

Many business people find asking customers for money a tricky and often uncomfortable conversation to have, but the longer the debt remains unpaid the more difficult it becomes to collect and the more at risk you are of a later payer becoming a bad debt..

 

With bad debt and cash flow issues cited as two of the main reasons most small businesses fail it is vital that someone in your business is tasked to keeping an eye on your outstanding monies and guarding your cash flow.

 

What is Credit Control?

 

Credit Control is the system used by a business to make certain that it gives credit only to customers who are able to pay, and that customers pay on time. It is a critical part of a well-managed business that will help minimise bad debts and improve the cash flow in your business. Improving the management of your debtor book can release important cash flow into your business and help avoid the need to pay interest on overdrafts, offer discounts or use expensive invoice discounting. In any business cash is still king. You can run  a business without profits, but you cannot run  a business without cash.  Having cash to make payments on time will improve your own credit terms with suppliers. In other words, managing your debtor book can help keep those juggled balls in the air.

 

Credit control requires specialist skills together with the right systems and processes in place at the business and the right processes or systems does not mean expensive software it often involves simple processes that start with a basic supplier form that clearly sets out contact names and payment days and  the filling in of this form by any potential customer often tell s you a lot about whether they will be a late payer. It’s not just about collecting cash from late paying customers, good credit control is based on building relationships with your customers and creating a rapport with them. Calling a customer to chase money can often be a difficult conversation, especially if you omitted to clearly set out your terms of business form the outset. Also, if you’re not careful you could easily upset them, so it's always best to be polite and professional and to remove the emotional side of things from the call.

 

Credit management is also about assessing the risk of potential customers from day one, before the sale is even made and deciding how much credit (if any) you are comfortable extending. If you trade with customers over an extended period, you need to keep your credit ratings current and stay on the lookout for the signs of a business in financial distress so you can adjust credit limits limit your risk of getting caught out by a customer going into administration owing you money.

 

Ensuring that have the requisite knowledge of your customer’s processes and approval systems when it comes to invoicing is also a crucial factor, especially when dealing with larger companies who often omit to tell you that invoice is incorrectly submitted will be filed in a pending tray. It is tough enough getting paid on time without realising 35 days after the invoice is raised that it is wrong and needs re-submitting. With many companies only having one payment run a month nowadays this could result in your business having to wait over 60 days before you receive payment, which could be damaging if the cash flow from that invoice is being relied upon. 

 

Reduce the potential opportunities for people to pay you late, so check that your invoice is up to scratch and meets all legal requirements. Customers will not let you know if there is a problem with your invoice – it will just sit on their disputed pile so it's really important to get it right first time. If you are sending an invoice out to a new customer then it is worth giving them a call a few days after you sent it just to check it has been received.

 

Dealing with Overdue Invoices

 

One of the many challenges small businesses face is tactfully, but firmly, securing payment from customers who have disputed an invoice. When this happens, however tempting it might be to try to avoid conflicts, you must not ignore the problem of a late disputed invoice. It certainly won't go away on its own and it's far better to tackle the issue quickly before positions become entrenched.

 

If an invoice does become late, the Late Payment 2013 regulations give you the statutory right to add late payment interest and compensation charges to the debt. When all reasonable efforts have failed you should escalate the invoice quickly, for example by passing it to a business debt recovery service such as AVC Debt Recovery,  which will preclude you from having to listen to yet another excuse for paying late. The cost of the service can be added to the debt as a compensation charge, so in effect your late payer ends up paying for the collection service. It's important that the collection service has teeth and can see the process through to a County Court Judgement (CCJ). This way the debtor knows it's time to pay and most will do so long before such measures are necessary.

 

Outsourced Credit Control

 

Few small and medium sized businesses can afford a specialist credit controller and often it is down to an administrator or even the owner to deal with it. This takes up their valuable time when they should be doing what they do best – in most cases that’s winning new business. Many businesses do not realise that this kind service exists let alone that it can be bought on an outsourced basis.

 

Outsourcing gives you the option of using the service as and when the need arises, therefore it reduces the need of employing specialist staff who you may not have a full time position for.

Why not go and take a look at your debtor book – you will be surprised at how much is sitting in the overdue column – remember that’s your cash and it should be sitting in your bank account!

 

If you would like further information or advice on managing your debtor books, or to know how AVC Debt Recovery can benefit your company cash flow please contact us.

http://www.avcdebtrecovery.com

 

17/05/16

AVC DEBT RECOVERY    

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What to Look for in Debt Recovery Debt Collection

 

Looking for Debt Recovery/Collection?

 

Choosing a Debt Recovery/ Debt Collection Service

 

You have delivered work OTIF and your patience has reached breaking point. The customer who agreed payment terms has used every excuse in the book (and sometime some that aren’t even in there), not to pay you and played for time at every turn.

Therefore enough is enough. It is important you get your money, but you have to focus on running the rest of your business too. Time to turn to a debt recovery/debt collector for help, but what should you be looking for?

 

Can’t Pay? We’ll Take it Away.

 

We have all seen the TV shows featuring large gentlemen intimidating recalcitrant payers into coughing up, the popular image of a debt collector is a large necked man in a suit. We also remember Vinnie Jones in Lock Stock and Two Smoking barrels. This may be the kind of approach some businesses are looking for, but if you value your reputation and brand you are likely to be looking for a more professional approach that approaches debt recovery from the legal standpoint.

The ideal scenario is to get paid whilst continuing to do business with the customer, so sometimes credit control and nudging the customer into the position of payment is the way forward. Whatever happens you must be smart and realistic.

Employing a debt recovery company need not destroy a business relationship, in fact bringing in a third party can remove emotional baggage from the negotiation and leave relationships in better shape after the issue has been resolved.

 

The Vinnie Jones option is not for business.

A company that employs large necked gentleman with tattoos is not either.

 A credit control company that specialises in business debt collection can combine a professional approach with a less aggressive initial contact, quickly ramping up the pressure on the debtor to legal action only if the debtor does not respond positively.

A debt recovery solution that is Free at point of engagement is also an option now thanks to UK government legislation.

 

Alignment of Interests

Ask yourself what the alignment is with your debt to the ethos of the collection process.

Are you prepared to pay a percentage of  the debt to the collector or do you want all the invoiced monies? If you want the former then you need to look at an upfront  fixed fee, the latter “No win-No fee”.

Are all interests lined up in the recovery process?

Does the debt recovery company tell you your chances of recovering the monies?

 

Many legal firms will send an automated threatening legal letter to your debtor for a very small fee. But why would they do this? Clearly its because they hope the debtor ignores it and you have to end up spending money with them taking the debtor through the courts. It’s a simple loss leader for them. The letters have impressive-sounding titles like ‘Letter Before Action’(LBA), but the more it’s used (and there are more and more of legal firms offering this service), the more debtors are getting wise to the idea that the letter costs only a few quid and the threat is empty.

 

Some debt collection companies charge an upfront fee to work on your behalf or they charge you a percentage of recovered monies.  Here the fee of between 10% -20% come out of your monies so you receive 80% - 90% of your monies.

But you can avoid these and instead choose a business that backs itself with a fee that is only charged on successful recovery of your debt . This is called “No win- No fee” debt recovery from a company who use the Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998 (2013 Regulations) which enables them to earn money from the addition of fees under late payment legislation. Ultimately most debtors pursued under this methodology do not say, but it is the most effective methodology of debt recovery as the debt recovery company are highly motivated to recover the monies.

All companies who offer “No win- No fee” also operate fixed fee, but many legal firms do not operate “No win – No fee”.

 

Alignment of the aims is key to choosing your partner in debt recovery as then you know that the company you have chosen has exactly the same interests as you, namely to bring in the most money in the quickest possible time.

 

Check also that the debt collection company will give you the option to add late payment interest and their fees to the debt to be collected. You now have a statutory right to charge our debtor for these. If these additional sums are successfully collected, the debtor will in effect be paying the debt collector and you’ll be getting the service for nothing.

 

The Big Stick

 

It’s important to check that the debt collection service you employ has the capability of taking the case all the way to court in the small number of situations that require it. The reason for this is that the debtor needs to know, deep down, that this has become serious and they really need to deal with your outstanding payment rather than go to court and accrue more cost.

 

US President Theodore Roosevelt said of foreign policy ‘Speak softly and carry a big stick’.  If the polite insistence of your debt collection company is backed up with the credible threat of a court action, then you’re far more likely to get paid quickly and not need to end up in court at all. Check your debt collector has the ability to take your debtor to small claims court, and perhaps more importantly that their website makes it clear to your debtors that this is the case. If the debt recovery company is of the Al Capone type then they will use his phrase on how he got his own way: “… a few kind words and a loaded gun”.

 

Making the Best

 

It may be that there are serious financial problems with the debtor company and that you feel that anything you can get out before the train crashes is a bonus.  A good debt recovery company will enact credit checks and advise on the chances of a payment. Where it become a case of  “impossible to pay " rather than "won’t pay” then a good debt recovery company will not take your money or take the job on. However, when push comes to shove a good debt recovery agency will enable payment. Where financial issues are the case, it is often best if your debt collector can help you agree a payment plan where the debtor pays you in instalments over a few months, with the aim of getting paid ahead of other creditors. Check your debt collection company will negotiate for you rather than just insisting on full payment immediately and driving you into a costly and ultimately fruitless court case. Remember it is not a win if the debtor goes pop and has no assets to cover your debt. It isn’t a win till it’s in (your account). That and the fat lady singing of course.

Here at AVC Debt Recovery we work closely to align the needs of our clients to ensure they receive their monies as fast as possible offering a Free debt recovery service under Late Payment legislation and fixed fee work.

 

http://www.cwcontractlawandlegal.co.uk

http://www.avcdebtrecovery.com

 

 

 

 

26/03/16 

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Do your contracts comply with the new rules on late payment?

 

The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013 apply to all contracts entered into on or after 16 March 2013. 

AVC Debt Recovery sets out those areas you may wish to look at in your agreements relating to your payment terms.

 

The original legislation is The Late Payment of Commercial Debts (Interest) Act 1998, which is often referred to.

The aim of the Regulations is to encourage prompt payment of invoices - a continuing issue that may become a problem for all businesses. Recently the government stated that £34.2bn was outstanding as late payments and often larger businesses paying small suppliers are at fault. Late payment affects everybody, but particularly small suppliers suffering cashflow problems, particularly so in the current climate where margins seem to be shrinking.

 

Time limits for payment

There are now time limits for payment, depending on who you are contracting with:

 

Public authorities: 30 days unless the contract stipulates a shorter period for payment.  This period runs from the later of the date of the invoice or the receipt, acceptance (or, where the contract provides for it, verification) of the goods or services.

 

Private businesses: 30 days unless the contract contains an express clause on payment.   Any express clause may allow up to 60 days from the later of the date of the invoice or receipt, acceptance (or, where the contract provides for it, verification) of the goods or services. 

It is possible to agree more than 60 days provided the agreement is in writing and such terms are not “grossly unfair”.

“Grossly unfair” means anything which, in the circumstances, is a gross deviation from good commercial practice and contrary to good faith and fair dealing.  As this is a new concept under English law it will be interesting to see how the courts apply this in practice.

 

What if payment is late?

Under the Regulations the creditor can charge the following:

interest at a rate of 8% over the Bank of England base rate (or such other rate as is agreed);

a fixed statutory charge or compensation charge of £40, £70 or £100 depending on the size of the outstanding debt; and

any other reasonable recovery costs incurred.

 

What should I do about this?

We recommend that:

you review your standard terms of sale and purchase or any agreements or terms and conditions to see whether any amendments are needed;

When reviewing any new contracts, you enact simple checks and keep a look out for any clauses or terms which may not be in line of the new rules.

 

Here at AVC Debt Recovery we offer a full service including contract checking, credit control and invoice chasing at fixed cost as well as full recovery services tailoring the best practice to enable clients to get paid with a view to retaining the customer.

 

www.avcdebtrecovery.com

 

10/03/16 

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What do you do, when someone threatens your business with litigation?

 Higher than average levels of optimism and boundless drive are the fuel behind many business entrepreneurs but, they’re not always water tight with their business controls, and a lack of planning can land you in hot water.

Being taken to court is not a pleasant experience for anyone, but for a small business legal proceedings can be disastrous and place an inordinate strain on your resources and entrepreneurs are often at risk of litigation due to business controls not always being in place and sometimes, being ignored.

 Litigation (or even the threat of it) is bad news with time, money, reputation and uncertainty eating away at the core of your business and in the worst case scenarios, potentially ruining it.

 So what do you do when someone threatens you with court action?

 Proactively mitigating your risk is a good start!

Check your contract or any agreement to see if what is being stated to you is correct and there is a dispute.

 If your business is threatened with legal action, your priority should be to minimize the impact. Sometimes the best course of action for your business may not be your preferred outcome, particularly if emotion and price get involved.  So you first need to identify and evaluate exactly what’s happening, the alternatives and base decisions on common commercial sense and reason, rather than emotion.

 

Don’t delay in getting advice

 Whilst it’s tempting to ignore a demand or claim letter, don’t ignore a threat of legal proceedings in the hope that the problem will just go away - though you can certainly try to test out whether the other party is just using the threat of litigation, to bully you into submission.   A familiar tactic faced by many small business owners. 

In any event, even if you fervently believe that the threat of legal action is without any foundation, the chances are that you will end up pay more in time & cash if you don’t seek some immediate legal guidance to understand your position.  Knowledge is power etc.

Consider the strength of your position asap and if necessary, have an initial chat with someone experienced in this type of dispute resolution. 

 Not only should you receive sensible commercial advice, but you can also obtain an impartial perspective on what might by that stage, have become personal and confrontational.

 

Don’t Forget ….Your business comes first

 

There is a good chance that you’ll avoid formal proceedings, particularly if you nip any problem in the bud.

 Why not use an old fashioned strategy to begin with …. talking!   Most conflict can be resolved by communication.

 If you can’t amicably sort out your issues and reach some common ground, explore more formal avenues of alternative dispute resolution – including mediation.

 Settling out of court is usually quicker and cost-effective than going to court. In the UK, judges expect parties to have undergone some attempt at resolution before reaching court – and there are adverse cost consequences for not doing so.

  If you are unable to avoid court

 Once a dispute has reached court, there are 3 possible outcomes;

  1. Still do what you can to reach an agreement with the other party otherwise,
    1. the court will either dismiss the claim or
    2. make a judgement.

 

CW Contract Law and Legal

Fixed Price legal Services.

www.cwcontractlawandlegal.co.uk

 

 

AVC Debt Recovery

Debt Recovery foe Business

http://www.avcdebtrecovery.com

 

This article was written by Andrew Weaver, CEO Lawyer Fair

Lawyer Fair offer  a free service to help businesses find the right lawyer at the fairest price.

 

 

Cooperation

Solicitors Looking to Partner in Debt Recovery

06/10/2016

We work with solcitors who pass us any debt recovery issues, who we then engage in the conduct of litigation

Solicitors Looking to Partner in Debt Recovery

06/10/2016

We work with solcitors who pass us any debt recovery issues, who we then engage in the conduct of litigation.

Solicitors Looking to Partner in Debt Recovery

06/10/2016

We work with solcitors who pass us any debt recovery issues, who we then engage in the conduct of litigation

Solicitors Looking to Partner in Debt Recovery

06/10/2016

We work with solcitors who pass us any debt recovery issues, who we then engage in the conduct of litigation