The £16K Green Light Traffic Management Co.

Our client received a remittance for a 9-day overdue debt just 12 minutes after Advocate Debt Recovery emailed the Notice of Court Proceedings to the West London based traffic management company. Payment of the full £16K was received as cleared funds later that morning.

Small Business v Large Company

Our client is a fast-growing but still relatively small business with less than 5 employees. They design and implement traffic management systems, and when needed collaborate with other businesses in the sector to meet spikes in demand. Any small business trading with the Goliaths of their industry will have concerns over how quickly invoices can be paid. In this case, the David was our client who had been trading barely 6 years, and the Goliath was a company built up over the last 40 years.

Multi-million-pound businesses often have the luxury of being able to demand longer payment terms and reduced rates which can pose a significant challenge for smaller suppliers. Shortly after the original invoices were raised the debtor wanted to renegotiate the rates. With one eye on nurturing a growing commercial relationship and the other on cash flow, our client made some concessions. It was agreed the original invoices would be credited and rebilled at the new rates. By the time new rates were agreed and the credit/rebill was completed a month had gone by. Had they not been credited, the original invoices would now be overdue. When the new rates & invoices fell due 30 days later, the client was only met with silence from the debtor.

Bringing it Home

Having discussed the situation at length with Advocate and emphasising the cashflow implications which now lay upon them, the client declared this was now a business-critical matter. On the day of Advocate’s instruction, a letter was issued by first class post. On the second day, the notice was sent by email before scheduling a follow-up telephone call. A mere 12 minutes after the Notice of Court Proceedings was emailed to the debtor, a remittance was received for the principal sums and cleared funds received that morning. The client was delighted because the overdue invoices had been paid at 9 days overdue with Advocate collecting the debt in less than 24 hours.

The debtor initially refused to pay the Statutory Late Payment charges. At first, they claimed the invoices were not due because they only pay suppliers on terms set at 45 days end of the month. Our client had been prudent and thorough in their initial tender making payment terms of 30 days undisputable. The debtor then bizarrely claimed annual leave pardoned them from paying any statutory charges! We did note the efficiency of a Goliath size company can be measured on the ability to do business as usual in the absence of one or more employees. Once informed The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2013 makes no provision for summer holidays, the statutory charges were promptly paid.