Ascent leads the market in collections & recoveries across the UK.

We have an unrivalled client base including most of the UK’s leading banks and many major corporates.

Our stated company vision is “Together we support financial wellbeing” and this is the overriding approach we take to all of our work. Our clients continually tell us we lead our market in customer experience.

We offer a seamless service across jurisdictions which mean that our service and reporting is aligned between Scotland, England, Wales.

Our service is personal but also supported by market leading in-house technology. This ensures efficiency, accuracy and compliance in everything we do and allows us to propose highly competitive pricing.

Our Services include:

  • Telephone & Letter collection
  • Judgement
  • Return of Goods
  • Asset Recovery
  • Charging Orders
  • Attachment of Earnings
  • Warrants of Execution
  • High Court Enforcement
  • Orders to Obtain Information
  • Bankruptcy
  • Complex Litigation

Once instructed, we will endeavour to progress recovery activity as efficiently as possible, and will aim to action your instruction no later than 48 hours.

In general Ascent does not act for individuals seeking debt recovery services. We will typically work with clients on regular referals of instructions of on portfolios of customers accounts in arrears or requiring credit management.

Ascent Legal Team

The litigation activity undertaken by Ascent Legal is progressed and supported by teams of paralegals and administrative assistants with debt collection experience that ranges from 1 year to over 10 years. These teams are expertly guided and closely supervised by Shilpi Jairath and Andrew Beck.

Mark Higgins, CEO

Mark is the CEO of Ascent. Mark qualified as a Scottish solicitor in 1993. Mark is also a regular contributor to leading UK journals and has written two books. Mark is an experienced lawyer and is a well-known expert in debt collection and recovery.

Shilpi Jairath, Head of Litigation

Shilpi is an experienced litigation lawyer and manager with varied experience of dealing with contractual recoveries subject to consumer or commercial contracts, based on both secured & unsecured products. Her extensive management experience ensures that work is undertaken on a sustainable basis with the necessary controls in place, delivering an exceptional service to all our clients.

Andrew Beck, Solicitor

Andrew oversees and supervises the team dealing with cases including complex litigation. He is recognised as a leader in his field by both Chambers and Legal 500. As well as being an accredited mediator with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution, Andrew has been engaged in a wide range of High Court and County Court cases.

Our Fees

Our fees for debt recovery can vary depending on several factors. These factors include:

  • The volume of instructions provided to us by a client
  • The type of debt we are instructed to recover
  • The age of that debt
  • The jurisdiction of that debt
  • Whether debt recovery is successful
  • Whether the debt is owed by a business or a consumer

Therefore, to ensure we offer every client a competitive price for our expert service, it is appropriate that we create a bespoke pricing package to satisfy the debt recovery needs of each client.

Ascent Consumer Pricing

As a representative example of our existing client base, we will typically charge a 10-15% commission (plus VAT charges at 20%) on successfully recovered debt. We will not charge for unsuccessful consumer debt recovery, although you may still be liable for any legal disbursements as outlined below in the disbursements section.

Ascent Commercial Pricing

Ascent Commercial will aim to recover your business debt, including both disputed and undisputed amounts, through an option of pre-legal and legal services. Our approach will be agreed with you and tailored to your needs.

Whether the agreed approach is pre-legal or legal, the fee for our service will be calculated based on a percentage of the debt amount as outlined below:

Successful debt collection10% – 12% commission on debt collected (plus VAT charged at 20%)
Unsuccesful debt collection2.5% – 5% of debt amount (plus VAT charged at 20%)

Depending on the type of instruction and activity required a legal letter may be required at the onset of our involvement. This will be agreed with you beforehand and is charged at £5-£50 per letter (plus VAT charged at 20%) based on the complexity of the detail required

Where a client requests that we work on a fixed fee per hour, we may consider this request. This fee will be £95 per hour (plus VAT charged at 20%).

Typical Stages

Every case is different and the length of time that your case takes will depend on the actions of the debtor, what stage of the process your case is resolved at and Court timetabling

Stage 1 Pre-Action

  • Issue Letters to customers upon instruction and during the collection strategy: 1 to 4 weeks
  • Completing Pre-Action Protocols and dealing with any reply: 1 to 6 weeks
  • Communications with customers including phone calls, SMS, e-mail and lettering: ongoing as consumers interact with us during the recovery process

Stage 2 Court Proceedings

  • Issuing Court Proceedings and dealing with any reply: 2 to 5 weeks
  • Obtaining Judgement: 1 to 2 weeks
  • Taking Enforcement Action: 3 to 16 weeks

Stage 3 Defended & Non-Standard Claims

  • Responding to any defences received: 1 to 4 weeks
  • Dealing with any bespoke requirements of an action: ongoing as consumers interact with us during the process

Indicative Stage 3 Hourly Rates (plus VAT at 20%)

Partner/Director£260
Senior Associate£220
Associate£180
Legal Executive£180
Paralegal£125

For a typical case we expect total hourly rates charged to range between £1,000 and £5,000 (plus VAT at 20%) for all the work included in stage 3 of a debt recovery. We usually expect stage 3 to take 4 to 16 weeks.

Our prices are intended to give you an indication of the costs of your case but every case is different and your actual costs could exceed our estimate above as our fees will depend on the facts of your case and the debtor’s actions. We will provide you with a cost estimate at the outset of your case and will keep you updated on your costs over the course of your case

Disbursements

Your instruction may also attract legal disbursement fees should a claim be made and a judgement enforcement sought from the courts. The below table illustrates the relevant court fees for England and Wales.

The following disbursements may apply to your case:

Claim amount Claim fee
Up to £300 £35
£300.01 – £500 £50
£500.01 – £1000 £70
£1000.01 – £1,500 £80
£1,500.01 – £3000 £115
£3,000.01 – £5,000 £205
£5,000.01 – £10,000 £455
£10,000.01 – £200,000 5% of claim
More than £200,000 £10,000
Enforcement action Enforcement application fee
Warrant of control (recover a sum of money) £91
Warrant of possession (recover property or land) £143
Further attempt to issue warrant at new address £36
Attachment of earnings £131
Charging order £131
Certified Enforcement Agent (Bailiff) £365

For Court fees and Enforcement action application fees no VAT is chargeable. You can find full details of the Court’s fees on the .Gov website

Counsel’s fees (plus VAT at 20%): we would typically expect Counsel’s fees to be based on hourly rates between £200 and £500. It is rare for Counsel to be consulted but if needed the extent of Counsel’s involvement, and their total fee, will vary on a case by case basis.

We will consult with you prior to incurring any disbursements to obtain your agreement to proceed

Court fees are not subject to VAT. If the claim is successful, the judge will make a decision on what percentage of these fees the debtor is to pay.

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