Debt recovery in Scotland

Aberdein Considine

Working in close conjunction with the firm's financial litigation team, Aberdein Considine is well placed to assist a broad client base, including banks, asset-based lenders, building societies, debt purchasers and mortgage services, with the recovery of a wide range of assets and debt such as secured mortgages, commercial and business debt and asset-based lending recoveries. Myra Scott heads the lender services group.

Practice head(s):

Myra Scott

Testimonials

The team is flexible, approachable and knowledgeable. They understand issues from a client’s point of view and offer first-class advice and service.

Joseph Bowie is excellent at managing clients, balancing the workloads of his teams and ensuring that a first- class service is provided.

Key clients

Lloyds Banking Group

Royal Bank of Scotland

Santander UK plc

Nationwide Building Society

Clydesdale Bank plc (t/a Virgin Money)

Skipton Building Society

TSB Bank plc

Lombard

Admiral

The Mortgage Lender

Charter Court Financial Services

Atom Bank plc

Work highlights

  • Advised a UK retail bank on high-value recovery proceedings regarding the bank’s security, including Court of Session proceedings.
  • Represented a UK retail bank in the enforcement of hundreds of personal guarantees against directors arising out of its commercial lending division.
  • Instructed by a number of lenders in multi-million pound recovery actions arising out of mortgage-related fraud.
  • Acting for Santander UK plc in recoveries litigation in Scotland and England against a commercial lending customer.

Brodies LLP

Litigators Iain Rutherford and Stephen Goldie jointly head up the team at Brodies LLP, which received a significant boost with the arrival of consultant Frank Johnstone from Dentons in September 2019. His specialism lies in the motor finance space - an area of expertise that is shared by the wider team and complemented by significant expertise in the consumer credit sector. Clients include banks and other financial institutions, utility companies, motor finance companies and blue-chip clients.

Practice head(s):

Iain Rutherford; Stephen Goldie

Other key lawyers:

Frank Johnstone

Testimonials

The team’s knowledge of its clients’ business is excellent.

They are a professional firm of solicitors who provide excellent attention to detail. All cases that we have referred to so far have had a fast turnaround.

We have not dealt with Brodies for very long, but I’ve been immediately impressed with their levels of dedication, as well as the years of expertise they bring to every case. They are always happy to discuss the nuances of various actions, and guide us through the legal pitfalls. Their partnership values are first class, and I look forward to working with them for a long time to come.

Frank Johnstone is someone we have worked with for many years, and is the reason we are now working with Brodies. He is a legal oracle for us, and has always given us excellent advice and helped us through many difficult cases.

Key clients

Scottish Water Business Stream Limited t/a Business Stream

PRA Group (UK) Ltd

Toyota Financial Services (UK) Plc

Work highlights

  • Instructed by Scottish Water Business Stream (BS) to manage its UK-wide volume collections including litigation and enforcement.
  • Acting as Toyota Financial Services (UK) Plc’s sole Scottish supplier of debt recovery work, which includes regular court actions.

Morton Fraser

Morton Fraser has a strong profile for advising FCA-regulated clients and other lenders on FCA requirements, while also assisting public and education sector clients, self-invested personal pension (SIPP) providers, PLCs, SMEs, individuals and a growing number of credit unions with various recovery matters, including debt, possession of property, rental arrears and overpayments. Director Bill Stark heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Bill Stark

Other key lawyers:

Maggie Moodie; Nicola Ross

Testimonials

Very well-organised practice and very diverse in their legal offering. Main strengths are delivering a good service without delay, which is important to what we require. They also provide excellent legal advice on industry matters.

All individuals in the team are very efficient, cooperative and knowledgeable and always willing to help and assist in our endeavors, which makes it a great team.

Each individual stands out with their own professionalism and approach ability and willingness to help.

Maggie Moodie has a well-organised team behind her with excellent knowledge base.

Key clients

Glasgow Credit Union

Wells Fargo Bank International

Student Awards Agency for Scotland

Scottish Public Pensions Agency (SPPA)

Investec

Commsave Credit Union

Asset Alliance Leasing Ltd

Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance

Central Demolition Ltd

Marsh Finance Ltd

Work highlights

  • Sole supplier of debt recovery services to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA).
  • Providing recovery advice to 13 credit unions in Scotland.
  • Assisting Lloyds Bank Commercial Finance (LBCF) with various recovery matters, including the recovery of sums due from multiple guarantors and indemnifiers.
  • Acting for Wells Fargo Bank International Unlimited Company in a variety of matters, including the recovery of substantial sums due to the client under a factoring agreement.
  • Acting for Bibby Factors Slough Limited in an action to recover sums due in terms of invoices assigned by a timber company.

Shoosmiths

Shoosmiths' extensive roster of lenders, debt purchasers and corporates is testimony for its wide-ranging debt and asset recovery expertise. Following Rod Macphail's retirement in May 2019, litigator Andrew Foyle took over the practice providing full-service debt recovery support, including insolvency recoveries, and putting particular focus on mortgage recoveries.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Foyle

Other key lawyers:

Stuart Clubb

Testimonials

Good rounded knowledge of the sector and is able to deal with volume work through a good infrastructure.

I can’t thank the team at Shoosmiths enough for all the extra work they do to provide information and answer any questions we have. They continually exceed expectations and go above and beyond for myself and the team. They are always happy to answer any difficult queries and provide an excellent service.

Andrew Foyle has been in this sector for a long time and has an excellent knowledge base and they work with volume-based clients, which is indicative of how Andrew manages his team.

Andrew Foyle is a stand-out candidate. He is very approachable and has a fantastic breadth of knowledge on a number of matters. He is always very positive in meetings and provides a great service when called upon.

Key clients

Aldermore Bank plc

Aggregate Industries

Arrow Global Group

Bibby Financial Services Group

Breedon Aggregates

Cabot Credit Management

Calor Gas Limited

Close Brothers Asset Finance

Close Brothers Invoice Finance

Close Brothers Motor Finance

Creation Consumer Finance /BNP Paribas

Darcey Quigley & Co.

Davenham Asset Finance

DM Hall LLP

First Response Finance

Fishers Services Limited

Grafton Merchanting GB Ltd

Hays Specialist Recruitment

Hillhouse Quarry Group

Honda Finance Europe Ltd

HSBC Bank plc

Iwoca Limited

Leaseplan UK Ltd

Leeds Building Society

MKM Building Supplies

Opus Energy

Peel Land & Property

PPL PRS Limited

Premium Credit Limited

Royal Bank of Scotland plc

Santander UK plc

Scottish & Southern Energy

Screwfix Direct

Secure Trust Bank

Secure Trust Bank plc

Speedyhire plc

Tarmac Group

The Land Trust

Vauxhall Finance

Wella UK/ Coty

Work highlights

  • Acting for a lender in a cross-border matter, where its customer obtained lending over a number of commercial properties in Scotland, secured by securities over the properties.
  • Instructed by Aberdeen City Council to raise an action for circa £14k in council tax arrears.
  • Instructed by Grafton Merchanting to raise an action for payment against a guarantor.
  • Assisted SSE Energy Supply with unpaid electricity invoices.
  • Acted for Arkle Finance following the client entering into a guarantee-backed lease agreement with a restaurant which subsequently entered into liquidation. The team provided assistance with the settlement agreement allowing the guarantors to sell the property and release funds to the client.

Gilson Gray

Corporate, property and accountancy clients alongside insolvency practitioners regularly instruct Gilson Gray to assist with volume-based debt recovery matters, vehicle and asset recoveries, litigation and property-related recoveries; the last mentioned segment is frequently handled in cooperation with the firm's real estate team. Team head David Alexander has extensive experience in civil litigation and commercial contract disputes.

Practice head(s):

David Alexander

Key clients

Lester Aldridge

DTW Associates Ltd

D. J. Alexander

Stirling Park

Scott & Co

91BC Property Services Ltd

SRA Ventures Ltd

St James Square LLP

Graham + Sibbald

Global Voices

Credit Resource Solutions Ltd

Work highlights

  • Dealt with all of MGM Timber (Scotland) Limited’s debt recovery needs, including high-volume instructions and defended court actions. Recently, the team was instructed to recover outstanding sums from Central Fife Sheds Ltd.
  • Handling all of YESSS Electrical’s debt recovery work. Recently, this included the recovery of monies from its customer, Dwanged Ltd, who was rumoured to be falling into liquidation.
  • Acting for a commercial landlord to recover possession of his properties and to recover any sums due to him or his companies by his tenants.
  • Assisting Credit Resource Solutions Ltd with high-volume debt recovery work.
  • Scotmid instructed the team to look after its commercial and residential property portfolio in Scotland, in particular with regards to the recovery of possession and the recovery of outstanding rent arrears.

Harper Macleod LLP

Harper Macleod LLP's debt and asset recovery team led by Dawn McKenzie acts for a significant number of Scotland's registered social landlords in court actions for arrears of rent, rechargeable repairs and factoring arrears, while its client portfolio also includes commercial organisations, financial institutions and public bodies.

Practice head(s):

Dawn McKenzie

Other key lawyers:

Andrew Hunter

Testimonials

They are very accessible and always provide very thorough advice on diverse matters. We use them for litigation and for other legal advice in business matters. Their strength is knowledge and communicating advice.

They are all very approachable and easy to deal with. I find them all very knowledgeable and happy to go out their way to help.

Fast and efficient service. Clear and practical legal advice.

Well organised and proactive in relation to ongoing cases.

Key clients

Link Group Limited

Sanctuary Scotland Housing Association

Scottish Borders Housing Association

Accountant in Bankruptcy

Matthew Clark Wholesale Limited

John W Grant & Sons Limited

Stirling Park LLP

Cairn Housing Association Limited

West of Scotland Housing Association

Irvine Housing Association

Williamsburgh Housing Association

Richmond Plumbing & Heating Merchants Limited

Cadder Housing Association Limited

Partick Works Limited

Complete Storage & Interiors Limited

Caledonia Housing Association

Work highlights

  • Advised Accountant in Bankruptcy in pursuing the reduction of a transfer of one half of the value in heritable property following the defender’s argument the transfer of property was a conventional gift.
  • Advised Christie & Co to recover sums due for unpaid invoices following the sale of its client’s businesses and business properties under a Sole Selling Rights Agreement. Value to client circa £100,000.
  • Acting for Scott-Moncrieff, liquidators of Grampian MacLennan Distribution Services Limited, in an action against Carnbroe Estates Limited, challenging a gratuitous alienation by the company in favour of Carnbroe.
  • Instructed by Dumfries and Galloway Council to assist with the recovery of unpaid nursing home charges.
  • Acting in a secured recovery case for Ipsum Capital UK Limited, where the debtors are spouses who are currently going through divorce proceedings.

MacRoberts LLP

While MacRoberts LLP's volume debt recovery team continues to focus on property management, financial services, construction and the food and drink industries but it has also developed a specialism in parking debt, where the group acts for a number of private car park owners and operators. Commercial dispute specialist Leon Breakey and Stephen Cowan, whose debt recovery expertise also includes insolvency issues, jointly head the practice.

Practice head(s):

Leon Breakey; Stephen Cowan

Testimonials

Exceptional teamwork. We are kept in the loop and made aware of the next steps of all actions taken, which in turn allows me to keep our own records up to date.

MacRoberts demonstrates a strong sense of purpose and the team communicates well with each other, sharing common goals and objectives. The appropriate level of skill and experience is apparent at all levels and this gives confidence and reassurance to the client. Decision making is guided by a strong sense of practicality and commercialism, coupled with many years of knowledge and insight in dealing with such matters.

Stephen Cowan stands out for me as being well respected and very knowledgeable in his chosen field of debt recovery and litigation. He is professional, pragmatic and practical in his approach which is supported by a strong technical background. He has many years experience spanning many different industry sectors and he brings a strong ethical culture to the team. He often deals with complex situations which demand sound judgement and flexibility in reaching decisions, within the framework of which he operates.

Key clients

Cemex UK Operations

Limited

Speirs Gumley Property

Management Limited

Flogas Britain Limited

Together Energy Limited

Pointer Limited

Sealeco Limited

John Brown Caterhire Limited

Work highlights

  • Instructed by the petitioners Drika BVBA and Malu NV to enforce a decision of the Belgian courts in Scotland. The debtor appealed against registration of the judgement and that appeal was allowed.

TLT

TLT has carved out a strong practice handling secured and asset-based lending alongside unsecured debt recoveries with a client base ranging from clearing banks and utilities to local authorities and corporates, most notably in the retail, food and drink and telecommunications sectors. John Paul Sheridan and Tom McEntegart, both solicitor advocates with a focus on banking litigation and, in the case of Sheridan, with an additional specialism in commercial litigation, jointly head the team.

Other key lawyers:

Alan Munro; Tony Reynolds

Testimonials

Key aspect is speed and communication, we are always kept up-to-date with case information and no prompting is required. This sets them apart from their peers.

There is strength in depth across their team, from paralegals to solicitors, associates and partners, balanced and concise advice is always provided.

Always contactable, clear lines of communication and information provided, no stone left unturned.

Key clients

CityFibre Limited

Punch Taverns (PPCF) Limited

BT plc

Inverclyde Council

Suburban Taverns Limited

Northbay Pelagic Limited

Bank of Ireland

Bertram Nursery

Trackunit Limited

Punch Partnerships (PML) Limited

MXM Property Solutions Limited

Work highlights

  • Acted for BT plc in a court action seeking payment of money against a property development company; the costs sought related to costs incurred in repairing damage to telecommunication apparatus belonging to the client.
  • Acted for MXM Property Solutions Limited in a debt recovery case running for more than 7 years; debt of £130,000 due to the client in respect of managing agent charges which had been spread to other proprietors and resulted in a number of the development creditors not being paid.
  • Advised Heineken UK Limited on its security over a football ground and the debt owed by a social club.
  • Acted for City Fibre Limited in the recovery of money following damage to cabling in Fife.
  • Acted for Inverclyde Council in a court action raised for the recovery of money against proprietors for work carried out by the local authority under an abatement notice.

Anderson Strathern

Co-led by solicitor advocate Fiona Stephen and commercial litigator Fraser Geddes, the team at Anderson Strathern frequently acts at the intersection of debt recovery and commercial litigation; an offering that attracts a broad client base including individuals, SMEs, public sector bodies and registered social landlords.

Practice head(s):

Fiona Stephen; Fraser Geddes

Testimonials

‘Anderson Strathern treat every engagement with the utmost respect and approach every matter in a professional way.’

‘The speed of advice is something that Anderson Strathern have mastered. Their responsiveness is very good which leaves the client knowing exactly where they stand.’

 

Key clients

Midlothian Council

Northern Lighthouse Board

J.K.M. Industrial Supply Merchants Limited

Bridgend Garage Limited

PSFM SIPP Limited

Brandon Hire Limited

Stirling Park

Work highlights

  • Provided the full range of debt recovery services to Bridgend Garage Limited, most notably in relation to the recovery of defaulted hire purchase and personal loan agreements.
  • Providing the full range of debt recovery services to Brandon Hire Limited/ Hire Station Limited, including court proceedings and enforcement.
  • Instructed by Stirling Park LLP to pursue client debt through the court process, where its recovery efforts have not been successful.
  • Providing the full range of debt recovery services to J.K.M. Industrial Supply Merchants Ltd, from pre-action correspondence through to enforcement of decree.

Ascent Legal Scotland

Mark Higgins heads up the team at Ascent Legal Scotland, which 'provides a good service' to a number of institutional lenders.

Practice head(s):

Mark Higgins

BTO Solicitors LLP

BTO Solicitors LLP is well versed in handling secured and unsecured recoveries as part of commercial and property disputes across a number of sectors such as financial, real estate, food and drink, retail, leisure and credit insurance. Litigator Grant Hunter heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Grant Hunter

Other key lawyers:

Dorothy Hatfield

Key clients

American Express Services (Europe) Limited

Coface UK Services Limited

Lloyds Banking Group

Employees of Caley Fisheries Limited

Greenbelt Group

Scottish Football Association

Life Property Management Limited

Clyde Valley Group

Stena Line Ports Limited

Dooneen Limited

James Gibb Property Management Limited

Scott and Co

United Wholesale (Scotland) Limited

Hazco Environmental Limited

Work highlights

  • Acting for the employees of Caley Fisheries Limited in a commercial action in the Court of Session with the object to have the trustees restore funds following the sale of the trust’s shares in the employer company.
  • Defending a well-known Scottish hotelier in commercial proceedings brought by a company against the client seeking payment of substantial sums said to have arisen in respect of management and facilities services to a hotel.
  • Sole legal advisor to Life Property Management; the team manages around 20,000 properties across Scotland including associated debt management.
  • Acting for Coface UK in a range of undefended and defended commercial debt recovery matters on behalf of its insured.

DWF

Working in close conjunction with the firm's finance litigation practice, DWF's UK-wide debt recovery practice has a focus on high-volume work, most notably in the commercial, finance and property debt space, and frequently acts for clients in the finance sector, while also handling regular instructions from utility companies, debt purchasers and property companies and high-net-worth individuals. Debt recovery and finance specialist Ricky Cannon and commercial litigator Naomi Pryde are the main contacts for the Scottish arm of the UK-wide practice.

Practice head(s):

Ricky Cannon; Naomi Pryde

Testimonials

Passion from all the team from paralegal to senior partner is what makes DWF different. The knowledge of the associates is unbelievable for asset finance and I would not trust anyone else. All advice given is reliable and a commercial view always taken when delivering suitable solutions.

Comprehensive understanding of the law with a commercial application that delivers outstanding economic results.

Passion and a desire to succeed and give the customer what they ask for.

Their desire to provide appropriate guidance on new and unusual scenarios to our business has been invaluable during our start-up period.

The team has many strengths, including their in-depth knowledge of the subject matter, including up-to-date case law and precedent. The ability to provide complex information succinctly. Their pace of work is valued highly and they are always available to speak with for advice and or instruction.

Ricky Cannon in particular, is someone who always makes time for our business and demonstrates true commitment to improving product knowledge. He has made himself readily available to deliver on-site training which was of great benefit to a large volume of new staff members. He welcomes questions and queries, no matter how menial or tedious and delivers a truly professional response at all times.

Ricky Cannon is a fantastic, knowledgeable and driven solicitor. He is able to manage, direct and address complex matters with ease.

Key clients

Santander Consumer Finance

Barclays Partner Finance

Scottish Water Business Stream

Intrum

Startline Motor Finance

Hyundai Capital UK Ltd

Specialist Motor Finance Limited

Shawbrook Bank Limited

NextGear Capital UK Limited

Aldermore Bank Plc

Arkle Finance Limited

PSA Finance UK Ltd

Ashtead Plant Hire Company Ltd

The Royal Bank of Scotland

Work highlights

  • Providing Santander Consumer (UK) Plc with wide-ranging rovery support, including pre-legal collection management, litigation, enforcement management and post-legal collection management services.
  • Providing Startline Motor Finance with wide-ranging debt recovery services, including collection management and court actions seeking payment of outstanding sums.
  • Handling various debt recovery instructions for Ashtead Plant Hire Company Ltd.
  • Appointed by Scottish Water Business Stream to provide national debt recovery support.
  • Providing Greggs Plc with nationwide asset management assistance that includes the recovery of property-related debts in Scotland.

Shepherd and Wedderburn

Much of Shepherd and Wedderburn's recent work involved the recovery of secured and unsecured debt for lenders and banking sector clients on one hand and property debt recovery matters on the other. In the latter, the team receives regular instructions from landlords and managing agents to recover debts arising out of leases, licences and missives of let. Other clients include individuals, corporates and public sector bodies. Commercial litigator Elaine Brailsford heads the team.

Practice head(s):

Elaine Brailsford

Other key lawyers:

Gillian Carty; Stephen Humphreys

Testimonials

As per litigation, the quality of debt recovery has been very good.

The team stands out in terms of service delivery and knowledge of our sector.

They are one of the few firms in Scotland that give consistently good work.

They have a good knowledge of my firm’s products and the finance industry. They are always ready to give advice and many lawyers are also qualified for English Law.

Key clients

Ernst and Young (EY)

Hermes Unit Property Trust

KPMG (UK and Ireland)

FRP Advisory

Deloitte

PwC

UKAR UK Asset Resolution Ltd – covering NRAM Limited and Mortgage Express

Close Brothers Ltd

Mole Valley Farmers Limited

Mole Valley Feed Solutions Limited

Macdonald Resorts Ltd

Paragon Mortgages Ltd

City of Edinburgh Council

National House-Building Council

Edinburgh Alternative Finance Ltd (t/a Lending Crowd)

Amey

Work highlights

  • Acted on behalf of the City of Edinburgh Council under a tender framework for all debt recovery services. This included simple procedure and ordinary actions, sequestrations, liquidations and appearances at the Heritable Court on behalf of the Housing Department.
  • Instructed by Macdonald Resorts Limited to undertake bulk debt collection of management charges where the debt is hotly contested by members who have joined action groups and/or have instructed claims companies to act for them.
  • Acting for Mole Valley Feed Solutions Limited (MVFS) in outstanding arrears by purchasers.
  • Acting for the highway infrastructure operator, Amey Highways, pursuing volume debt recovery claims arising from incidents on its managed roads.