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Non-paying Solicitors
Thread poster: Laura Mussutto

Laura Mussutto  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:16
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
Oct 11

Dear Colleagues in the UK,

After over 10 years in the business, the worst non-payer I've ever encountered happens to be... a firm of solicitors!
I invoiced them back in January (!) for a translation related to a divorce covered by legal aid. I have phoned them, emailed them and finally emailed them again saying that if they don't pay me by this Friday I will take appropriate action to ensure they settle the invoice. I know they have read the email, but there is no trace of £527 on my bank account as yet.

Now, what do you think is the best step forward? As I said, I have never been in this situation before.

Thank you very much in advance!

Laura


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:16
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Factoring Oct 11

You could try factoring the invoice. You'd get paid less but you'd be paid immediately and someone else would deal with all the hassle.

Here's a google search for possible agencies you might want to consider.

http://tinyurl.com/y7jz2j77


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Teresa Borges
Portugal
Local time: 09:16
Member (2007)
English to Portuguese
+ ...
Debt collection agency? Oct 11

I've never tried one. My worst non-payer was... an accountant!

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:16
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Found Oct 11

On several occasions I have found that a non-paying direct client, or a non-paying agency, can be persuaded to pay very quickly when they are provided with a description of the process that would be triggered if they do not.

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Agneta Pallinder  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:16
Member (2014)
Swedish to English
+ ...
In the UK - make court claim (used to be "small claims court") Oct 11

Since you are in the UK you could use the provision for making a direct court claim. It'll cost you £70 for a claim for between £500 and £1000.

All the details here: https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:16
Member (2008)
Italian to English
They won't pay anyway Oct 11

Agneta Pallinder wrote:

Since you are in the UK you could use the provision for making a direct court claim. It'll cost you £70 for a claim for between £500 and £1000.

All the details here: https://www.gov.uk/make-court-claim-for-money


As is well known, many judgments by the small claims court remain unpaid. In the case of a firm of solicitors, I would think the likelihood of them not paying would be even higher.

"....individuals quite rightly assume that once a judgment is awarded by the court, full and prompt payment should follow – but this is frequently not the case. Those who don't receive payment find themselves initiating enforcement proceedings, which cost money, but, more worryingly, often fail to recover compensation..."

http://tinyurl.com/ybv4esk3

[Edited at 2017-10-11 12:05 GMT]


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Laura Mussutto  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:16
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks everyone! Oct 11

Thank you very much Tom, Teresa and Agneta for taking the time to reply!

I will definitely prepare a list with the actions I am going to take, based on your suggestions.
To be honest, they don't seem to be a very small practice and I doubt they don't have the money - I just need to find a way to make them cough up!
I suspect legal aid payments take a while to arrive for them too, but this certainly doesn't make my heart weep...

Thanks again,
Laura


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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:16
Member (2008)
Italian to English
Let us know Oct 11

Please let us know what happens!

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Laura Mussutto  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:16
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Will do Tom! Oct 11

Tom in London wrote:

Please let us know what happens!


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Angela Rimmer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:16
Member (2014)
German to English
+ ...
This has happened to me too Oct 11

This has happened to me before. I settled it by sending a final demand by signed-for post, then filing a money claim (small claims procedure).

The company called asking me to withdraw the claim and I agreed to do so as soon as the money was in my account, including the court fee for filing and the interest from late payment. I was paid in full within three days and then withdrew the claim as agreed.

Sometimes filing with small claims does get the job done.


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Laura Mussutto  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:16
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Angela! Oct 11

Angela Rimmer wrote:

This has happened to me before. I settled it by sending a final demand by signed-for post, then filing a money claim (small claims procedure).

The company called asking me to withdraw the claim and I agreed to do so as soon as the money was in my account, including the court fee for filing and the interest from late payment. I was paid in full within three days and then withdrew the claim as agreed.

Sometimes filing with small claims does get the job done.


Very encouraging to hear this!


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Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:16
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

MODERATOR
Blue Board Oct 11

Please make an entry in the Blue Board, to warn off the rest of us. And, maybe, to persuade those folks that they're getting unwanted public attention. Note that if there is no Blue Board record for them, you can create one and make an entry, once staff vets the new Blue Board record.

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Tom in London
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:16
Member (2008)
Italian to English
BB Oct 11

Yolanda Broad wrote:

Please make an entry in the Blue Board, to warn off the rest of us. And, maybe, to persuade those folks that they're getting unwanted public attention. Note that if there is no Blue Board record for them, you can create one and make an entry, once staff vets the new Blue Board record.


Yes- it's very important that you do this and please - if the non-payer offers to pay on condition that you change your negative BB rating to a positive rating - don't agree to it!

[Edited at 2017-10-11 12:45 GMT]


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Michael Newton  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:16
Member (2003)
Japanese to English
+ ...
Legal non-payers Oct 11

I say the following only half in jest:
What about wearing one of those old-fashioned sandwich board advertisements, one board in front, one board in back?
The wording being: "Dewey Cheatum and Howe (or Lye Cheete and Steele) are no longer able to pay their debts. We're taking up a collection. Please give. Every little bit helps". Walk back and forth in front of their building. This might shame them. But then there are those pesky English libel laws.


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Laura Mussutto  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 09:16
Member (2009)
English to Italian
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks for your input, Yolanda Oct 11

Yolanda Broad wrote:

Please make an entry in the Blue Board, to warn off the rest of us. And, maybe, to persuade those folks that they're getting unwanted public attention. Note that if there is no Blue Board record for them, you can create one and make an entry, once staff vets the new Blue Board record.


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