Lifting Up Payment

Advocate has successfully recovered payment of a £5K invoice that was three months overdue at the time of instruction. Our client had spent a number of weeks reminding the debtor what had been agreed and proving the invoice was valid. When payment was eventually promised but not received, Advocate took up the case to recover the debt and statutory late payment charges.


Our client is a Nottinghamshire-based fire prevention company working on newbuilds and refit sites. Their systems and hardware can be found in everything from communal hallways to offices and warehouses. They act as either a main contractor or subcontractor. In this case, our client was engaged as a subcontractor for a Lancashire-based lift installation company tasked to modernise a pair of lift shafts on campus at a prestigious university. The original purchase order was for £1.5K. Once on-site, our client was asked to undertake additional fireproofing works as a variation to the PO. It was agreed the original PO would be increased in line with our client’s additional scope.

Payment Floor

Upon instruction to Advocate, the client provided a dossier of documentation showing the prices agreed and the debt being chased. As expected, the debtor quickly responded to Advocate with a very lengthy, multi-faceted dispute sounding more complex than it really was. In short, the debtor claimed no one had authorised work above the original £1.5K. Using the client’s dossier, we presented a response showing the full £5K had been agreed upon and made clear there was no reason to penalise our client further through non-payment. We also confirmed certification of our client’s work would be issued on receipt of payment. Until Advocate was instructed, withholding certification was the client’s only real leverage.

Mind the Payment Gap

In response to Advocate’s repudiation, the debtor entertained themselves relying on the back of emails they claimed to have not received or not understood. All the time, the clock kept ticking through the Final Demand being raised on the 7th day of our action. Persistence and regular reminders of the facts paid off and the debtor conceded by way of making full payment whilst still claiming the additional £3.5K had not been approved. Because of the Final Demand, the debtor was also obliged to pay higher statutory late payment charges than if they had seen sense sooner! Although our client is an established business with several decades of experience behind the company name, they too learned something from this – a straightforward job does not guarantee the application of logic when it comes to making payment…that is where Advocate can come to the rescue.