Debt recovery in East Anglia

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal merged with Steeles Law in 2021, bringing additional resource into its debt recovery team in the Norwich office. Associate and debt recovery specialist Denise Traube joined as part of the merger and works closely with barrister and head of dispute resolution Tom Bailey and litigation associates Alice Trainor and Leah Newcombe (who 'sets out clear expectations and provides helpful guidance'). Partner and insolvency specialist Fiona Stuart, also previously at Steeles Law, also plays a key role in the practice. Clients remark that 'costs and time scales are always laid out in advance, with no hidden extras'.

Practice head(s):

Tom Bailey

Other key lawyers:

Denise Traube; Alice Trainor; Leah Newcombe; Fiona Stuart


‘Costs and time scales are always laid out in advance, with no hidden extras. Good efforts have been made to understand how our organisation operates.’

‘Leah Newcombe is very responsive to all communications. She sets out clear expectations and provides helpful guidance. When Leah has not been available she has always made sure a colleague is familiar with her case files who can assist.’

Key clients

M L Partnership Landscaping Limited

McTear Williams & Wood

A C Leigh (Norwich) Limited


Ransomes Park Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for a large farm and agriculture company to recover unpaid invoices in excess of £30,000.
  • Acted for a Cambridge University college to recover rent and service charges due under a commercial lease. Court proceedings were issued and a County Court Judgment in the sum in excess of £45,000.00 was obtained.
  • Acting for a leading business insolvency practice in the recovery of sums owed to various companies that have entered into an insolvency procedure (specifically liquidation or administration).

Birketts LLP

The Ipswich of Birketts LLP is home to a dedicated debt recovery practice, which acts for includes local and national private companies in a diverse range of industry sectors. Clients are ‘impressed with the speed and ease of access to the right specialist‘. Led by commercial litigation partner Josh Ripman, the practice has a strong track record of work for professional partnerships, private companies and major PLCs. Debt recovery executive Carl Fairfull is also highly experienced in credit control matters.

Practice head(s):

Josh Ripman

Other key lawyers:

Heather Abbott; Carl Fairfull


‘Having used Birketts for 20 years, as predominantly a debt recovery operation, I have always had confidence in the advice received, and the ability to draw on the expertise of other individuals within the firm, allows for any complication to be swiftly delt with.’

‘Easy to deal with, simple billing structure, highly responsive team giving good advice on a timely basis’

‘Pleasant to deal with and clear communication given. They make you feel like they care about the issues and are on our side. This is important for debt recovery situations as invariably the situation feels like there is an immovable block preventing payment. Birketts make you feel that there is a way round this block.’

‘We have only ever used Birketts LLP for our debt recovery management – we have always been happy with the service that they have provided. The staff are friendly and are very good at explaining and communicating all of the legal terms so that we fully understand and are up to date with our cases.’

‘For over 12 years now, we have a continued working relationship with the firm. We can safely say that we cannot fault them in the professional service that they provide. No matter what the issue has been, they have always advised and guided us in order for us to achieve the best result and outcome in all of our debt recovery management cases.’

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP is best known for its work for government departments, including Official Receivers, and it is on the Crown Commercial Services Panel. This work encompasses fraud recovery matters, asset tracing and urgent injunctive relief to freeze assets for recovery. It continues to assist major companies with recovering unpaid invoices, and frequently conducts enforcement actions in court. The lead partners are insolvency specialists Michael Green in Cambridge and Morris Peacock in Norwich. Peacock leads the firm's work for the Insolvency Service, working closely with William Shirley. Litigator Gordon Simpson is another key name.

Practice head(s):

Michael Green; Morris Peacock

Other key lawyers:

William Shirley; Gordon Simpson

Key clients

The Insolvency Service

Credo Capital Finance Ltd

Quattro Recruitment Limited

Pure Resourcing Solutions Limited

Select Franchising Limited

Marine & Industrial LLP

M&K (UK) Ltd t/a Anglia Access Platforms

Bussey & Sabberton Bros. Limited

Ben Burgess & Co Limited

Collease Truck and Trailer Rentals Limited

Archimedean Limited

Wicksteed Leisure Limited

Work highlights

  • Select Franchising Limited – Recovery of sums due under a franchise agreement totalling £47,000.
  • Continuing to assist Bussey & Sabberton Bros. Ltd with recovery of unpaid invoices. Largest individual recovery was £33,448 from a guarantor.
  • Assisting the widow of John Self Agency in recovering £70,000 Commercial Agents (Council Directive) Regulations 1993.

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors

The debt recovery team at Clapham & Collinge Solicitors is based at the firm’s head office in Norwich but also covers North Walsham and Sheringham. This gives the firm a prominent position in Norfolk, where it assists numerous large local companies in the recovery of debts and related litigation. 'No stone is left unturned which gives the client the best possible chance in their matter', says a client of the practice led by managing partner and practice head Mark Kermez. Consultant Michael Olmer, partner Philip Lumb and legal executive Kate Smith also play key roles in the practice. 'They stand out as a jewel in the crown of debt recovery legal advice in East Anglia', remarks a client.

Practice head(s):

Mark Kermez

Other key lawyers:

Philip Lumb; Kate Smith; Shaun Taylor; Michael Olmer


‘Excellent client care and due diligence.’

‘Mark Kermez, Kate Smith and Shaun Taylor are extremely thorough and capable in the preparation of their client’s case. No stone is left unturned which gives the client the best possible chance in their matter.’

‘The debt recovery team at Clapham & Collinge LLP take a holistic approach to their client’s legal problems. They are able to assess the situation on the ground and give appropriate advice based on this. Their preparation of a case is meticulous. They stand out as a jewel in the crown of debt recovery legal advice in East Anglia.’

‘Shaun Taylor and Kate Smith, under the supervision of Mark Kermez, are outstanding performers.They are always available to contact and respond promptly. Their attentiveness to clients is second to none. Working as a team with them is a pleasure, leading them to achieve favourable outcomes for their clients. For a practitioner so junior, Shaun shows great promise.’

‘I have a good working relationship with Kate Smith – she is very efficient and professional,’

Work highlights

  • Advising a guarantor-based loan company in over 300 matters involving recovery of unpaid loan debt.
  • Acted on behalf of a local private school, assisting in the collection of outstanding schooling fees. Took matters on from pre-action stage, issuing a Letter Before Action, and follow matters through to obtaining Judgment.
  • Instructed in relation to an outstanding debt owed under a loan agreement secured by a second charge. Following non-payment of the outstanding loan, the firm wrote pursuant to the Pre-Action Protocol for possession claims based on mortgage arrears.


The debt recovery practice at Fosters in Norwich, which also assists clients of the Wymondham and Lowestoft offices, is ‘helpful, efficient, responsive and keen to gain clear knowledge to help take the necessary steps to recover outstanding debts‘. ‘I found the firm to be very sympathetic to our requirements and having a dedicated person dealing with matters made the process extremely straightforward‘, remarks a client. Litigation partner Chris Fielding leads the practice and he advised national company Tingdene Holiday Parks with the recovery of arrears and service charge sums arising from tenants’ breach or breaches of contract.

Practice head(s):

Chris Fielding

Other key lawyers:

Charlotte Darkins


‘Fosters are helpful, efficient, responsive and keen to gain a clear knowledge in the circumstances surrounding debts in order to help take the necessary steps to recover outstanding debts.’

‘We have built up a good relationship with Fosters and certain individuals that work with us who are always quick to help and understand the background behind the debt owing to enable them to achieve the best solution. Charlotte Darkins provides an excellent service.’

‘I found Fosters to be very sympathetic to our requirements and having a dedicated person dealing with matters made the process extremely straightforward. A positive outcome was achieved within a very short timescale.’

‘Good communications, updated at all levels when required; everything was explained in detail and they were prepared to go over anything that was not understood until I was 100% happy – invoicing was clear and explanatory.’

Key clients

Tingdene Holiday Parks Limited

Lowestoft Electrical Co. Limited

Anson Timberworks Limited

Lowestoft Town Football Club

Norfolk Facilities Services Ltd

Work highlights

  • Advising on and assisting a national group of companies, Tingdene Holiday Parks Limited, with the recovery of debts, principally arrears and service charge sums, arising from tenants’ breach or breaches of contract.

Mills & Reeve LLP

Mills & Reeve LLP is known for its 'fast and reliable service', and one clients notes that 'their depth of knowledge over a wide range of issues is outstanding'. Legal executive Lynne Lawn in Norwich is the specialist debt collection practitioner in a practice led by litigation senior associate Harriet Wells. Lawn is praised for delivering services that are 'timely, effective, professional and efficient'.

Practice head(s):

Harriet Wells

Other key lawyers:

Lynne Lawn


‘Effective in chasing the debt on our behalf. All instances have resulted in full settlement’

‘I have dealt with Lynne Lawn for the occasions that I have needed help with recovery of debt. Lynne has been prompt in her responses and also effective in chasing the debt on our behalf. All instances have resulted in full settlement. We originally looked at using a local firm, however, despite emails and phone calls we were never responded to! Mills & Reeve have always been timely, effective, professional and efficient!’

‘Have always used Mills & Reeve for a fast and reliable service. Their depth of knowledge over a wide range of issues is outstanding.’

‘We have always found the individuals we have worked with to be very efficient and informative and excellent at keeping us up to date with every case as it proceeds.’

Key clients

Benchmark Grounds Maintenance

Henry Cooper Consultants Limited

Work highlights

  • Advising Benchmark Grounds Maintenance Limited on the options available to recover an outstanding debt of approximately £56,000.
  • Continuing to advise Henry Cooper Consultants, a long-standing client, with their debt recovery matters.