Debt Collection & Licensing – Service Information and Prices

Debt collection & licensing work form a substantial part of our practice. We provide high-quality debt collection services to clients whether they hold secured or unsecured debt. We have particular debt collection expertise and experience with regard to the recovery of licensed/leisure industry, banking and commercial property debt. We offer a full range of licensing services from the straightforward to the complex to include applying for new premises licences, varying existing licences, defending licensing reviews or other enforcement actions,applications to change designated premises supervisors, applications for minor variations and . We set out below brief details regarding our relevant costs structures for business clients for these types of work and other factors that may need to be taken into account when assessing overall potential costs. If you have any queries of any kind or seek further information about our people who provide these services, please contact us as below.

Undisputed Court Claims

These costs apply where a claim is in relation to an undisputed unpaid invoice and enforcement action is not needed. If the other party disputes the claim at any point, we will discuss with you any further work required and provide revised advice about costs as necessary. Any additional costs may be on fixed fee basis (for example, if a one-off letter is required) or an hourly rate if more extensive work is needed.

Debt Value

Up to £5,000



Court Fee



5% of the value of the claim

Our Costs (incl.VAT)








Our legal costs include:

Taking instructions and reviewing documentation as necessary to pursue the claim

Undertaking appropriate insolvency searches  against the debtor. If the debtor is insolvent or financially distressed, the prospects of  a successful recovery may be substantially prejudiced

Sending a letter before action

Receiving payment and forwarding this onto the claimant or, if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing formal court proceedings

Where no Acknowledgement of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgement in Default

When Judgement in Default is received, contacting the debtor to further request payment

If payment is not received within 14 days, providing the claimant with advice on next steps and updated costs information

Matters usually take 2-8 weeks from receipt of instructions from the client until receipt of payment depending upon the whether it is necessary to issue a formal claim. This is on the basis that the debtor pays promptly on receipt of Judgement in Default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from  the debtor

Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding with a higher cost

The costs quoted above are not for matters where enforcement action is needed to collect the relevant debt, for example, where there is a need to instruct a bailiff

Where possible we will endeavour to collect the maximum amount of fees possible from any third-party payee with any sums recovered to be offset against our fees

We are happy to discuss our costs structure with regard to receipt of volume instructions. Please speak to our head of debt collection, Stephen Groves, if you have more than one debt to collect at any time. Stephen’s details are on our About Us web page, alternatively please use the email link in our Contact Us web page. We are happy to provide written cost quotations/estimates on request.


We set out below costs information in respect of applying under the Licensing Act 2003 for either:

a new premises licence or;

a variation to an existing premises licence to allow for more than one or more licensable activities

We charge fixed costs of £600 (including VAT) plus disbursements in relation to both types of application. Disbursements are costs relating to the instruction which are payable to third parties, for example, licensing authority application fees and advertiser’s costs. We pay these on the client’s behalf to ensure a smoother process.

The fixed costs element is made up as to:

Legal costs £500

VAT on legal costs £100

Disbursements that are payable depend upon the type of application and other factors but can include by way of example:

Licensing authority application fee £100-£635 – these fees can vary depending upon the rateable value of the particular premises and where they are located. The fees can on occasion be higher than the range given above. We provide an accurate figure as soon as we are able to.

Advertising fee £100-£450 – these can again vary based on locality

Enquiry agent fees to display public notices £70-£100 – these can again vary based on locality

Special delivery fee to serve the licensing application £5-£10

Printing additional copies of plans as may be required £5-£10

Our legal costs include us doing the following on behalf of the client:

Taking instructions and advising as the promotion of the licensing objectives within the application

Advising as to the type of plans that require submitting with the application (if applicable)

Completing the application form (as appropriate) for a new premises licence or to vary an existing premises licence (to include the operating schedule) in accordance with client’s instructions

Submitting the completed application form to the relevant licensing authority alongside suitable plans (if applicable)

Providing guidance on the fee levels payable to the relevant licensing authority

Providing copies of the application for disclosure to the responsible authorities (for example, the Police and Fire Service) and serving these on them

Drafting the notice(s) advertising the licence application and submitting the same to the local newspaper for publication

Arranging for the client to display the notice(s) advertising the application and advising as to where and how this should be done so as to comply with the requirements of the Licensing Act 2003

Where required, providing a Designated Premises Supervisor (DPS) consent form for signature by a personal licence holder proposed by the client

Checking the licence once granted/varied and correcting any errors or omissions with the licensing authority

Please note that our legal costs do not include us:

Obtaining suitable plans (where applicable) – this is the responsibility of the client

Attending pre-consultation meeting(s) with the relevant licensing authority or responsible authorities nor discharging any fee(s) for any such meeting(s)

Dealing with or advising the client in relation to queries or representations received from either the responsible authorities or any other interested parties

Attendance and representation at a licensing sub-committee hearing of the relevant responsible authority

If additional work is required under any of the above catagories or otherwise, we will provide a separate costs estimate for such work which will be charged at an hourly rate of £225 plus VAT

How long will the application take?

Our experience is that matters can take 6-8 weeks from receipt of full instructions. This assumes that the application proceeds relatively smoothly and that the client is able to provide all necessary documentation promptly. If the matter is more complex, for example, if there is substantial opposition from interested parties or if there is a delay in receiving the documents we need, it may take longer.

Written costs quotations/estimates are available on request and we are happy to consider bespoke cost arrangements with regard to volume instructions. Please contact Stephen Groves who handles our licensing matters about any licensing issues you may have. His contact details are set out in our About Us web page.

The debt collection and licensing services set out in this web page are not an exhaustive list of the services we are able to offer as practice.

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