Devonshires Solicitors LLP's growing debt recovery practice is seeing an increasing number of instructions originating both in the UK and abroad. The group focuses on providing a one-stop solution for clients who are pursuing payment from debtors, with strong expertise in substantive correspondence, County and High Court claims. The team had a particularly busy year in insolvency matters, with a particular emphasis on forensic recovery, contentious insolvency, administrations and voluntary arrangements. Robert Edge and Jim Varley co-head the department, which makes use of a proprietary debt collection portal that enables it to compete with debt collection agencies, and which offers the client a direct and secure platform to monitor and manage their practice.
Debt recovery in London
Robert Edge; Jim Varley
Other key lawyers:
Nikki Bowker; Ann Dixon
‘The team at Devonshires provide a superb service. They do the basics of debt recovery well; make recoveries quickly, and provide full transparency on costs.’
‘Robert Edge stands out from his peers because he is approachable, efficient and is always pragmatic when it comes to costs. He understands that is what clients view as most important. His overall knowledge is second to none.’
‘The firm is highly organised, professional and competitive, always striving to provide a world-class service for their clients.’
‘Robert Edge and his team provide an excellent service for their clients from beginning to end, working tirelessly to secure the desired results for them.’
‘The firm is very well-organised and professional, always striving to do the best for their clients. They are extremely knowledgeable in all areas and provide a fantastic service using the latest technology to provide an effective and efficient debt recovery service.’
‘A fantastic service from start to finish from Robert Edge and his team and everything is explained in details and options passed to us on how to proceed. Robert Edge works tirelessly to get the desired results for his clients.’
Michael Page International
Trek Bicycle Corporation Ltd
ERI Recoveries Ltd
Dedman Gray Property
Tower Quay Property
- Instructed by a Turkish based international clothing manufacturer and supplier to major fashion retailers worldwide in case whereby payment of the sum of $609,000.00 was received within a few weeks notwithstanding the ongoing pandemic and subsequent lockdown.
- Acting for Michael Page International in the recovery of $55,000.00, post filing suit in the US and a Defence being filed. Subsequent to pre-hearing negotiations we successfully recovered payment.
- Instructed by Sodexo Ltd in respect of invoices dating from October 2018, raised in respect of catering services amounting to the sum of £13,067.35. Subsequent to negotiation whilst the debt was disputed in its entirety, the payment of £9,067.35, was recovered within 16 days.
The recoveries department at DWF acts for clients such as blue-chip and FTSE 100 companies, household-name retailers and supermarkets, as well as central government departments and local authorities. Its work focuses on pre-legal collections, litigation, enforcement and insolvency work. Also notable is that the firm recently added new services and client-centred initiatives on credit control, white-labelling and strategic enforcement in connection with Covid-19-related matters. The practice is jointly led by national head of recoveries David Scottow, Kevin Feehan and Jeffersen Gledhill. James Perry left the firm.
David Scottow; Kevin Feehan; Jeff Gledhill
‘They are always easy to speak to and approachable in their tasks. They will give you clear guidelines of what they want in terms of input to get the maximum output with as minimal data as possible. They have regular catch-ups with the client, so you know that they are always on the end of the phone.’
‘Kevin Feehan is always approachable. He and his team will keep communication throughout the year and nothing is too much effort. They are always looking to make things easier for the client and will collate data and results to benchmark against financial output. Friendly and polite manner makes them different from the competitors.’
Sainsburys Supermarkets Ltd
High Court Enforcement Officers Association
DX Network Services Limited
Marks And Spencer Plc
Asda Stores Ltd
WM Morrisons Supermarkets PLC
Scottish Water Business Stream Ltd
British Telecommunications Plc
Tesco Stores Limited
Genle Limited (GoTo Auctions)
- Providing consultation services on Adverse Financial Information, defended claims and County Court Judgments (CCJs) obtained against them by consumers.
- Providing consultation services for metropolitan district council in respect of increasing in-year Council Tax collection.
- Advising a number of trustees on strategy for recovery of overpayments made to deceased members, including from: Deceased, including obtaining permission to proceed in the absence of any person representing the estate; Personal Representatives; Beneficiaries; and Third parties, suspected of fraud.
During 2021 Shoosmiths LLP teamed up with national collections, recoveries and enforcement company Chartsbridge to create a new debt recovery joint venture, Equivo, which aims to provide a ‘one-stop shop’ multi-disciplinary recoveries service for clients, operating from bases in London, Bracknell (where the head office is situated), Northampton and Manchester. Mel Chell, an expert in asset-based lending litigation and recoveries, is director of client experience and culture at the new venture, while remaining a Shoosmiths partner. Long-serving partner Jim Taylor is now managing director of Equivo's legal services division. Paula Swain leads Shoosmiths’ national business to business debt recovery team from the firm's Solent office.
Other key lawyers:
Melanie Chell; Paula Swain
‘The team handles a diverse range of legal matters.’
‘They are approachable on many facets of legal practice.’
‘The team is very prompt at responding to inquiries and instructions.’
Royal Bank of Scotland
Wedlake Bell excels in undertaking debt recovery work with a nexus to the electricity and gas supply industry; this is Charles Robinson‘s sector specialism. Further reflective of the firm’s strengths in this space, it has won a significant number of debt recovery tenders from utility companies. Elsewhere, work for clients in the financial services sector (particularly in relation to consumer collections) is also a driver of activity. Frances Coulson and Graham McPhie co-head the department together with Robinson. Coulson combines her experience in all forms of debt matters with knowledge of commercial litigation, contentious insolvency, fraud and injunctive relief. McPhie has longstanding experience of all aspects of financial disputes and also doubles as a commercial litigator.
Frances Coulson; Charles Robinson; Graham McPhie
Other key lawyers:
‘Good at identifying and utilising high-quality junior counsel to advance debt recovery claims in a cost-efficient and proportionate manner. They have excellent knowledge of the electricity and gas markets. They take a strategic view when considering the merits of a claim, including the risk that a loss may create an unhelpful precedent on a key issue with implications for future claims.’
‘The team are especially experienced in debt recovery work in the electricity and gas supply sector. Their knowledge of the industry is very strong and has been built up over a number of years with some of the largest utilities in Britain. One of the consequences of this experience is that they are able to deal with cases in a cost-effective way. Charles Robinson is excellent: efficient, experienced and generally a good solicitor.’
British Gas Trading Ltd
Orsted Energy Sales UK Limited
Landlords and/ or tenants
- Represented Orsted Power Sales UK Limited in £60,000 judgment with 100% costs award following trial for electricity charges disputed on ground that contract signed without actual or ostensible authority.
The debt recovery practice at Clarke Willmott LLP operates across multiple sub-teams, with each one focusing on the needs of a specific group of clients. Clients of the firm include government departments, local authorities, utility and insurance companies. as well as businesses and FCA-regulated companies. The department, which is led by Philip Roberts, has a broad service offering, including pre-legal debt collection and litigation. Other work includes payment agreements, insolvency actions and credit control matters. Roberts' specialisms include contentious and non-contentious insolvency, debt litigation, enforcement and leasehold recoveries, among others. Kathryn Quinton is now the head of information security and data protection at the firm.
Other key lawyers:
Stuart Hoysted; Kayleigh Cullis
The Insolvency Service
Wembley National Stadium Ltd
Viridor Waste Management
Plymouth Block Management
Fresh Property Management Ltd
Premier Training International Ltd
Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency
The Financial Conduct Authority
Hunts Food Service
- Acting on behalf of Hyde Housing in the recovery of unpaid service charge and major works arrears.
- Assisting the FCA with collecting unpaid regulatory fees from FCA-registered firms.
- Instructed by Corona Energy to recover unpaid sums due to the client for the provision of commercial gas supply.
The debt recovery department at Duncan Lewis Solicitors is particularly known for representing claimants and defendants in matters against rogue lenders and financial institutions. The team is notably strong in claims against financial advisers, with it having expertise in banking litigation, data protection and disputes between financial advisers and individual investors. In addition, the firm handles high-value debt claims for both companies and individuals during bankruptcy proceedings, where Anthony Okumah has longstanding experience. He co-heads the practice with Sobashni De Silva.
Sobashni De Silva; Anthony Okumah
Other key lawyers:
‘Duncan Lewis is a very professional firm in advice, application, paperwork, emails and communication.’
‘Associate Kulwant Sokhal makes the client feel comfortable, confident and always presents the steps forward. She’s highly professional with her work and experience.’
‘Sobashni De Silva is an outstanding lawyer; she keeps you abreast of your legal situation and makes every effort to simplify the legalese.’
‘As one of the last major firms to not only offer “full service” to their clients, but also civil legal aid work, they are still remarkably cost-effective. Anthony Okumah is a star player in this field.’
- Instructed by I.Event (UK) Limited in relation to defending commercial debt recovery proceedings brought about by a lender for circa £1.2Million and pursuing a security on elderly mother’s property.
- Representing Rajan and Dev Development and its individuals subject to heavy-handed debt recovery action including repossession of personal and matrimonial assets by two separate lenders.
- Instructed by an individual client to save her property from being auctioned in 2 days for outstanding and accrued council tax of c. £42,000.