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Commercial Solicitors in Sittingbourne, Kent

Clear, unambiguous advice to guide you through the legal maze and help your business grow

  • Are legal issues like contracts or a lease of premises distracting you from the day-to-day running of your business?
  • Are you worried that your company is not complying with all the rules and regulations it needs to?

Ratcliffes Solicitors in Kent advises local businesses of all kinds — from care homes to golf clubs. We are a small, approachable team, and we give practical advice.

By using Ratcliffes’ commercial team you get access to highly experienced solicitors who have worked at some of the leading firms in the City and elsewhere — for a fraction of the price you’d be charged at larger firms.

What’s more, there will be a tightly managed and dedicated team working on your case or transaction at all times. Sometimes at bigger commercial firms, where large teams of lawyers and paralegals become involved, it’s not always possible to get the advice you need, when you need it, from someone who actually knows what’s going on.

Business Law Solicitors

The work we do includes:

  • Employment contracts — We advise employers on their contractual rights and obligations in relation to employees, subcontractors and casual staff. In these days of litigation and ever-increasing government directives, employment law is a complicated and delicate area of the law. By proactively ensuring you have the right contracts in place, you can avoid legal difficulties that may harm your business further down the line. We also offer advice on all other aspects of employment law, including dismissal claims and compromise agreements.
  • Commercial conveyancing — In this tough commercial environment, we will give you a realistic budget from the outset, establish the best way forward, set realistic deadlines and stick to them. Above all, we’ll keep you informed all the way.
  • Business startups and sales — We advise on all aspects of setting up your business, and we’ll be there when the time comes to sell. If you are buying an existing business, we’ll advise you on your responsibility for the employment and other contracts the business you are buying has entered into.

Business to Business Debt Recovery

This guidance applies where your claim is for a contractual debt for an invoice for a fixed sum of money, which is not disputed. We will charge on an hourly rate which will be between £230 per hour and £240 per hour plus VAT and disbursements (see ‘disbursements’ below).  We would estimate that a relatively straightforward undisputed debt recovery where enforcement is not required would in most cases take between one and five hours i.e. £230 to £1,200 plus VAT and disbursements*.  If the other party disputes your claim at any point, we will discuss any further work required and provide you with revised advice about our fees.

We do not accept work on a no-win no-fee basis and any work undertaken will be chargeable whether or not the debt is ultimately recovered.  You will be advised at the outset as to the likelihood of recovery and updated as the matter progresses.


Disbursements are costs relating to your matter which are payable to third parties e.g. Court Fees, Bailiff’s fees etc.  You will be advised at the outset of your matter what disbursements we anticipate and payment for these will be required on account before work is carried out.

Anyone wishing to proceed with a claim should note that:

  • The VAT element of our fee cannot be reclaimed from your debtor.
  • Interest and compensation may take the debt into a higher banding, with a higher cost.
  • The costs quoted above are not for matters where enforcement action, such as the bailiff, is needed to collect your debt.

Our fee includes:

  • Taking your instructions and reviewing documentation
  • Undertaking appropriate searches
  • Taking pre-action steps, as required by the rules of Court
  • Receiving payment and sending onto you, or if the debt is not paid, drafting and issuing claim
  • Where no Acknowledgment of Service or Defence is received, applying to the court to enter Judgement in default
  • When Judgement in default is received, write to the other side to request payment
  • If payment is not received within 14 days of judgment, providing you with advice on next steps and likely costs

Straightforward uncontested recovery matters, not requiring enforcement, usually take 1-4 months from receipt of instructions from you, if successful, to receipt of payment from the other side, depending on whether it is necessary to issue a claim. This is on the basis that the other side pays promptly on receipt of Judgement in default. If enforcement action is needed, the matter will take longer to resolve.

If you instruct us to act on your behalf the information contained in our client care letter and terms and conditions, together with any updates that may become necessary in light of additional/changed information, will supersede any information contained in this document.

Contact Ratcliffes

To find out how the Sittingbourne business law solicitors at Ratcliffes can help, contact us online or by phone on  01795 477505.