Debt recovery in East Anglia

Birketts LLP

Birketts LLP has an experienced and dedicated debt recovery practice based in Ipswich. 'They are proactive, responsive and provide a high quality of service and client care,' says a client of practice head Robert Howard, head of commercial litigation Matthew Atkins and talented associate Emma Albins. Among their clients are local and national private companies, professional partnerships and major plcs. They also work on specialist matters with the firm's shipping and construction practices.

Practice head(s):

Robert Howard

Other key lawyers:

Matthew Atkins; Emma Albins


We have a long working relationship with Birketts and [they] are our natural landing place for advice. They are proactive, responsive and provide a high quality of service and client care.

Robert Howard deserves special mention for being proactive, knowledgeable and client-focused.

The team is always on hand to offer advice and guidance through complex issues. Where our initial contacts are unavailable, we always receive support from another member of the team. They respond quickly to queries and always provide thorough and informative responses. They never put us under pressure to make decisions and are mindful and receptive to our business needs.

Robert Howard and Emma Albins offer advice that is both thorough and timely. They both understand the needs, requirements and values of our business and their advice reflects this. They are able to provide a number of courses of action and guide us through the pros and cons of each of these.

Key clients

Greene King Plc

Archant Community Media Limited

Ford & Slater Leyland DAF

Howes Percival LLP

Howes Percival LLP provides advice that is 'clear and easy to understand'. The firm's strength in insolvency work gives it the experience to advise corporate clients on complex, high-value and high-profile debt recovery matters, including fraud recovery matters, asset tracing and urgent injunctive relief to freeze assets for recovery. Michael Green in Cambridge and, in Norwich Morris Peacock and director Gordon Simpson are the main contacts. They frequently act for clients in the insolvency, education, professional services, agriculture, retail, automotive, construction, energy and tourism sectors. Former practice head Alison Kirby joined a litigation funder.

Practice head(s):

Michael Green;  Morris Peacock

Other key lawyers:

Gordon Simpson


I have found it very quick and easy to arrange a face-to-face meeting. All correspondence is clear and easy to understand.

The staff respond to telephone and email messages quickly. When the appropriate member of their team is not available, either because of ill health or holiday, the other members of the team are briefed and already up to speed on your case.

Key clients

M & K (UK) Ltd

Select Franchise Limited

Matthew Body Plant Hire Ltd

Work highlights

  • Assisted a Norfolk engineering company by providing advice in relation to the recovery of a number of outstanding debts ranging from low value up to £500,000.
  • Tasked with collecting in a book of debt over £500,000, including overseas recoveries (Poland) and a number of large debts (circa £190,000 per debtor).
  • Collecting in book debts for Select Franchising Limited.

Steeles Law

Steeles Law in Norwich is 'competent and extremely helpful' and a client praises it for showing 'the correct approach to customer service'. The bespoke debt recovery service is managed by legal executive and debt recovery specialist Denise Traube, who also handles litigation and employment law. Traube is supported by two other litigators, Damian Pitts, who deals with high-value matters for both private individuals and organisations, and Jonothan Broadbent who joined from Mishcon de Reya LLP.

Practice head(s):

Denise Traube

Other key lawyers:

Damian Pitts; Jonothan Broadbent


The firm was competent and extremely helpful in resolving issue, and it has the correct approach to customer service.

Key clients

Watson & Hillhouse Limited

Notre Dame Preparatory School (Norwich) Limited

Cucina Restaurants Limited

Falcon Tower Crane Services Limited

Work highlights

  • Debt recovery advice to former shareholder directors of large Norfolk-based wholesaler.
  • Recovery of broker fees.
  • Recovery of unpaid school fees for Norwich-based independent school.

Ashtons Legal

Ashtons Legal joins the ranking this year. The firm's 'polite, patient and helpful' practice is led by barrister Tom Bailey, who handles complex and high-value cases for listed and non-listed companies, individuals and public bodies, among which are debt recovery matters. He is assisted by a paralegal and a legal executive who are praised as 'highly professional with excellent attention to detail'.

Practice head(s):

Tom Bailey


I inherited Ashtons because they were and still are this company’s solicitor. They always handle matters that I pass to them in a professional manner.

Paralegal Nicki Frearson and legal executive Leah Newcombe are my two points of contact. They are both helpful and suggest the best course of action for us to follow.

As a practice, I have found its services professional and helpful. There has been continuity in that I have been working with one person, and when she has been away from the office, other members of her team have been able to help me.

I have worked for a few months with paralegal Nicki Frearson, specifically. I’m new to the legal debt recovery process and she has been very polite, patient and helpful, even when I’ve been muddled up about something. I’ve felt able to approach her for advice, and she has kindly taken the time to respond. She has always come across as highly professional, and has excellent attention to detail in her wording of emails and letters. When she’s been away, she has left an out of office with the details of colleagues I can go to if I need urgent assistance. Particularly with her willingness to be helpful, I feel that she exceeds what I imagine an ordinary level of service would be.

Clapham & Collinge Solicitors

'The firm has dynamic and well-coordinated teams who are passionate at doing the best possible jobs for their clients,' say clients of Clapham & Collinge Solicitors  in Norwich. The firm acts predominantly for large companies in Norfolk. 'Knowledgable, thorough and tactical' managing partner Mark Kermez oversees the practice, in which legal executive Kate Smith is recommended as a 'strong and robust litigator'.

Practice head(s):

Mark Kermez

Other key lawyers:

Kate Smith


The firm has dynamic and well-coordinated teams who are passionate at doing the best possible jobs for their clients.

Mark Kermez is very approachable, knowledgable, thorough and tactical.

Kate Smith is a strong and robust litigator who has the ability to grasp all relevant points, no matter how complex.


Joining this year's ranking is Fosters in Norwich, where debt recovery is handled by head of litigation Chris Fielding and head of insolvency Fiona Stuart. The firm acts for both commercial businesses and individuals in pre-issue recovery, claims and the enforcement of judgments. It is a partner firm to Escalate Disputes, which works with accountancy firms to recover debts.

Practice head(s):

Chris Fielding; Fiona Stuart

Key clients

GCB Agency Recruitment Limited

Acanthus Property Letting Services

Escalate Disputes

Tingdene Holiday Parks Limited

Lowestoft Electrical Co Limited

Cleveland Joinery (East Anglia) Limited

Work highlights

  • Assisted Acanthus Property Lettings Services in withdrawing an application to set aside judgment it filed in error while acting as a litigant in person and to enforce the County Court Judgment in the sum £10,198.39 plus interest.
  • Assisted and advised GCB Agency Recruitment Limited on the recovery of an outstanding invoice against a company based outside the jurisdiction.
  • Appointed as a legal partner in East Anglia for Escalate Disputes, a debt recovery service operating in partnership with accountancy firms to offer creditors a new way in risk-free debt collection services.

Mills & Reeve LLP

From its Norwich office, Mills & Reeve LLP operates a fixed-fee debt collection service for both public and private sector clients. Senior associate Harriet Wells, who handles mainly litigation and licensing matters, oversees the work of legal executive and debt recovery specialist Lynne Lawn. Her work ranges from pre-litigation letters to the the drafting and issue of court proceedings.

Practice head(s):

Harriet Wells

Other key lawyers:

Lynne Lawn

Key clients

Alfred G Pearce Limited

Ward Hill Walker

Henry Cooper Consultants Limited

Woodward Solutions Limited

Work highlights

  • Advised Ward Hill Walker on the options available to recover an outstanding debt in the sum of approximately £12,000.
  • Advised Alfred G Pearce Limited on the options available to recover an outstanding debt in the sum of approximately £2,200 and the enforcement options available.
  • Advised Henry Cooper Consultants Limited on the options available to recover an outstanding debt in the sum of approximately £22,500.