Recovery of £10K Head Hunter Debt

Advocate has recovered £10K on behalf of a sole trader that actively seeks out individuals to fill unadvertised management vacancies. Based in London they work for recruitment agencies and employers within the M25 who are struggling to fill senior positions. Much like Advocate, the head hunter only gets paid for successful outcomes. When partnering with a recruitment agency they share the commission fee on permanent hires 50/50. When working for employers our client operates short payment terms and a rebate period. When working with an agency as they have, in this case, our client has payment terms of two months from the individual commencing employment. Invoices are sent by post to the agency’s registered address and by email to at least two different contacts. This process has proven effective since starting up as a sole trader several years ago.

Client Hits Target

The employer/end customer approached the debtor/agency with a requirement to urgently fill three management vacancies in a highly competitive sector. As a provider of infection control services through specialist cleaning, the employer has rapidly grown its customer base and headcount since 2020. Approaching their second decade in business, the debtor knows to treat every vacancy as urgent. In need of a quick result, they made first contact with a head hunter who set about filling all three positions. Within a couple of weeks, the new employees were all in-situ largely thanks to our client’s headhunting prowess.

Advocate Hits Target

Two months after the management vacancies were filled our client started chasing for payment and was ignored. The debtor was unresponsive. Unable to reach the debtor and unable to explain the silence, Advocate were instructed when the £10K reached five days overdue. Over the next six days en route to full payment, Advocate removed two barriers ‘suddenly’ presented by the debtor in retaliation.

The first barrier was the debtor claiming invoices sent and chased by email had not been received. They claimed it meant the invoices were not due, and nor were the statutory late payment charges. Having provided data from the client’s server showing emails had been delivered and read, the barrier was removed. The second barrier was the debtor claiming invoices had not been received by post. All invoices had been sent to the debtor’s registered address. On the third day of our action, the client received back their invoices in opened envelopes with an ‘addressee gone away’ narrative. Returned mail typically goes back through Royal Mail’s network in the same way it was first issued. These invoices were returned by signed delivery (a paid service) over two months from first posting, and the tracking showed it had been sent through the Post Office shortly after receipt of Advocate’s postal notice. Having highlighted the difference between what the debtor claimed and actual postal service processes, the barrier was removed. Payment swiftly followed inclusive of the statutory late payment charges. This was another successful commercial debt recovery by Advocate resulting in £10K being repatriated to the client in six days.

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